KSA Shark ©

Names on paper won’t win it

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Sharks on 22 Oct 2008 at 07:08

A piece of paper with names on it will not win the title, Sharks captain Johann Muller said on Tuesday, as he looked ahead to Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Blue Bulls at King’s Park.

John Bishop writes for The Witness that the Sharks have a number of brilliant individual gamebreakers but Muller said the outcome would be decided by a team effort.

“It’s great to have talented individuals but you still have to go out and perform as a team,” he said.

But Muller admitted that having the World Cup-winning captain (John Smit) alongside him in the 22-player squad was a major boost.

Smit will play off the bench on Saturday with Bismarck du Plessis starting at hooker and Muller – as he has done all Currie Cup season – leading the side.

“Leadership is going to be a huge factor and I’m lucky to have RWC-winning captain in the squad. You cannot ask for more than that.”

Muller admitted that the additional week off before the final had raised the excitement levels in the squad.

“You can see excitement and hunger in the players. Saturday must come now – it has been a long wait for us all.”

He said that the final would be “tough and physical.”

Team sport

“It always is against the Bulls. We know each other so well and those opening five minutes are going to be ugly. We expect nothing less.”

Muller refused to build up his contest against Bulls captain and lock Victor Matfield.

“I wish an individual could make such a difference, but rugby is a team sport and you need 22 guys who are committed.

Neither Victor nor I will make that much difference to the outcome of the game on our own.”

The Sharks captain said he was not concerned about the long break (12 years) since the Sharks last won a trophy.

“It is a fact that we haven’t won for so long but that’s all in the past. You can’t label us chokers. We have a new side and a new coach. Only Jannie (du Plessis), Stefan (Terblanche) and John (Smit) have played in Currie Cup finals in the entire group, so it’s a great challenge but a new one.”

Muller pointed out that those who believed in omens would take strength from the presence, again, of a Frenchman in the side (Frederic Michalak on Saturday and Thierry Lacroix in 1996) and that there was a break of 12 years between the Boks winning the World Cup in 1995 and 2007.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said that the loss of Akona Ndungane was a blow for the Bulls but they had a capable replacement in John Mametsa who had shown good Currie Cup form.

Plumtree said there was no perfect recipe for winning a final.


“It’s all about the day and I’m just trying to prepare the side as best I know how.”

He said he was excited about the challenge and the anticipation in the Sharks squad.

“Obviously it would be good to dominate early on, but these two teams will dish it out for 80 minutes. It’s about the side that responds to pressure the best, and this kind of game is all about pressure, pressure that an individual can fall to pieces or not get it quite right.

“We got it a little wrong in the last minute in the 2007 final and in the game a few weeks ago against the Bulls they made mistakes.

“There will be patches of the game that go well and some that will not and it is how we respond, either by taking points or conceding them that will be decisive.”

Plumtree said he had a full strength squad and he would name his team, as usual, on Thursday.

The final kicks off at 16:30.


  • Plumtree said he had a full strength squad and he would name his team, as usual, on Thursday.

    😡 Why wait until Thursday if he already knows the side has no injury issues and stuff.

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.10.08 07:11:39 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : Oubaas we actually know the team by now, concistency… 😈

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.10.08 07:31:54 by Charlie Reply
  • You’ll be glad to know that I changed the original heading. 😉

    It was Bok Capt on Bench for Final

    JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUST to avoid any confusion today. 😛

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.10.08 07:33:05 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Oe Jinne, Capt. Vicky mos 🙄

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.10.08 07:41:39 by Charlie Reply
  • No team yet???? 🙁

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.10.08 07:46:52 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice Sharkadelic Babe (Comment 5) : I think we all know what the team will look like. Even Rob hasn’t bothered with his probable team thingy… 🙂

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.10.08 07:54:27 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @just blackshark (Comment 6) :

    Ag man…i just want to SEE it in BLACK and WHITE…what a CHAMPIONS team looklike on paper…so to speak.. 😉

    Morning BS! 😀

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.10.08 07:55:51 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @just blackshark (Comment 6) :

    Not enough time to keep second guessing himself. 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.10.08 07:56:16 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Ice Sharkadelic Babe (Comment 7) : I know…I wanna see that too…

    Ok…now I’m gettin nervous…

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.10.08 08:02:54 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Wonder if Smit or Bismarck will start?

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.10.08 08:47:37 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Sauce (Comment 10) : Still speculation but it looks like it will be Bismarck.

    Smit has already mumbled something about playing in the last 20 minutes as opposed to the first 60…

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.10.08 08:54:28 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @just blackshark (Comment 11) : I think its the right decision personally.

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.10.08 09:11:40 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Sauce (Comment 12) :

    I agree, from a leadership POV and from the angle that if Bismarck isn’t finding his jumpers you want Smit to be able to step in.

    If John starts and Bismarck is having an off day it will be to late by the time we find out he is having an off day.

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.10.08 09:15:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Sharks team will be announced tomorrow. del Carne was smoking his socks

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.10.08 09:16:16 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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