KSA Shark ©

Plumtree points a finger at Cheetahs

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Cheetahs, In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 18 Jan 2009 at 07:18

Bitter acrimony between the Sharks and the Cheetahs provides the unhappy backdrop to the first round of local Super 14 friendlies.

Simnikiwe Xabanisa writes for the Times Online that the two were supposed to play against each other in a warm-up game in Dubai on Saturday, but the match was cancelled due to the sponsor pulling out.

“We’re disappointed in the Cheetahs,” Sharks coach John Plumtree said. “We’re a fellow (Super 14) franchise and we need to work together, now they’ve just let us down.”

Instead of agreeing to play the game locally, the Cheetahs went their own way by organising a fixture against Griquas on the same day.

The decision has left the Durban side as the only local Super 14 team without a friendly this coming weekend, which has incensed Plumtree.

In Bloemfontein the Cheetahs’ coach Naka Drotske was hardly apologetic, citing the central union’s lack of riches as the reason they chose to play Griquas at Grey College instead. (The pitch at Vodacom Park has just been re- laid.)

“We don’t have the money of the bigger unions,” he explained. “The deal in Dubai was all expenses paid and we were going to make R100000 out of the game.

“Suddenly there were a lot of costs involved and we needed to make up our minds quickly about organising another game.”

When he was told that Plumtree was upset with the decision, Drotske replied: “That’s his opinion, but I tried to get a hold of him and he was nowhere to be found.”

Compounding Plumtree’s problems is that when the Sharks face the Bulls on February 4 they will not play against their probable Super 14 starting line-up.

Frans Ludeke will only play his strongest side in the game against the Cheetahs on January 30, meaning the side to play the Sharks will largely be made up of second stringers.

As a result, the Durban side — which is seen as SA’ s best hope in the Super 14 — runs the risk of being the most underdone of the local teams going into the tournament.

Setbacks aside, Plumtree lauded the impact of Australian Rugby League legend Andrew Johns. “Johns was excellent, he taught our playmakers a lot. The boys enjoyed the intensity he brought to training and the different ways of going about things.”

Going into the friendlies, Drotske’s greatest concern is whether flanker Kabamba Floors will be a back or a forward.

“I’d like to sit and talk to him about his future,” Drotske said. “We’ve brought in Danwel Demas and Bjorn Basson at wing, and we’ve also got a lot of loosies.

“I have to be honest and say he’s not going to start in either position. So we need to discuss what he wants.”

At the Stormers, Rassie Erasmus confirmed his decision to try promising back-rower Nick Koster on the wing ahead of their match against English Premiership side Saracens on Sunday. Erasmus said he felt that Koster, who was in school in 2007, was not yet up to the physical requirements of the Super 14.

“We’ll try to play him in a position that’s not as physical,” he said. “He’s 106kg and can run the 100m in 11 seconds, is a tall man and has great ball skills. But I’m not saying he’ll stay there for the rest of his career.”

Erasmus was also keen on playing former Bulls flanker Hilton Lobberts at lock and Fijian Sireli Naqelevuki at outside centre.

“Hilton is built like a lock and a seven (blindside) flank, Juan Smith played both positions early in his career so it’s not such a big move. With Sireli there’s no move at all because he played wing and centre in Fiji.”

With Conrad Jantjes (groin) and Willem de Waal (hand) injured, Erasmus is also keen to see how Alipate Fatafehi fares in a match situation. The Tongan — a centre, winger and fullback — has impressed in training.

Erasmus has also opted for more friendlies this season to have a look at his depth. “I knew my starting line-up well last year, I want to see what the rest can do this year.”

The one coach who has gone for less practice matches is Eugene Eloff. The Lions mentor has opted for just one match, against the Bulls at Wits on Saturday evening.

“Statistics show that you get a lot of injuries from warm-up matches. I can’t take that risk,” he said. “Also, Super 14 matches are a big ask, physically, and there’s 13 of them. I know what we have in our players.”

“Loffie” also defended his new recruits Ashwin Willemse, Barry Goodes and Henno Mentz, who have been panned in some sections as being past it.

“I’ll leave it to the media to speculate. I wouldn’t have employed them if I thought they couldn’t do the job.”


  • If the states were going to make a R100,000 out of the Dubai thing, they should now sue.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.01.09 10:41:52 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 1) : I’m getting so tired of their whinging about being a charity case. Either grow up and accept the realities of professional rugby or go play amateur jukskei instead. Losers!

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.01.09 11:00:59 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • pleading poverty with a couple of c,cups in the cabinet how pathetic only in good ole sa

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.01.09 11:17:22 by dragonshark Reply

  • If R100K was all they were going to make out of the Abu Dhabi game, I can’t believe what a bad financial situation they must be in to acept that. (Just hope the Sharks weren’t lured by similar appearance fees!).

    Still the SA teams need to help each other as much as possible – it happens in NZ for sure – so this is small-minded stuff from a franchise who needs all the help it can get.

    Another bottom 4 finish!

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.01.09 11:35:15 by Baldrick Reply

  • Len Olivier’s birthday tomorrow. 😎

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.01.09 12:56:21 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Hey dudes… sunning it up in Thailand… glorious!

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.01.09 13:15:29 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 6) :


    Where you at?

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.01.09 13:18:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Watch out everyone! Rob is on the warpath! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.01.09 14:50:33 by klempie Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : He will share it with someone very special to me

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.01.09 15:07:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 6) : Mazel tov to you and the Mrs. Hope all went (and is going) well

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.01.09 15:09:38 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Tomorrow…D-day for Biscuit…..thinking of you!!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.01.09 15:45:30 by Me2 Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Couldn’t agree more…used to be my “second” team but now running out of patience with Drotske!

    Maybe Walter will finally persuade me over to the Lions 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.01.09 15:48:46 by Me2 Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :

    😆 😆 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.01.09 16:01:39 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Oh my word Plummy…
    Make a plan…the Cheetahs did (two plans in fact)…

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.01.09 16:25:50 by Hmmm Reply

  • And Loffie…
    We have been concerned about your letting go and recruiting for a few years now…so yes we think you would…

    Start winning…then you’ll make some money and also able to afford better players…

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.01.09 16:27:30 by Hmmm Reply

  • And Rassie…
    You are going to end up with a team of Steyn’s and Ruan’s (ok him of a few years back)…

    Playing half your team out of position is not the best thing either…

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.01.09 16:29:17 by Hmmm Reply

  • you tell em, Hmmmy

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.01.09 17:56:41 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Offsides to hang your laundry out in public.

    You two are grown men, sort it out as such.

    Why didn’t Plumtree pick up the phone and asked Naka WTF?!

    Nah would rather run to reporters.

    Bad form.

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.01.09 08:20:07 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 18) : Perhaps the reporters asked Plum why the game was not moved to a local venue – and he gave them his response.

    Broke Cheetahs!

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.01.09 08:29:36 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 19) :

    Might well be, but its still a cheap shot in public and Plum is better than that.

    According to Naka he did try and get hold of Plum who was nowhere to be found.

    I just think we can do without all the off-field bitching and drama and focus on rugby.

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.01.09 08:37:03 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 20) :

    I don’t think it is fair to expect Plum to cover for another union’s coach. if he was asked a question he should have answered it.

    If Naka Drotske was asked the question he should have answered it, but to then carry on about the finances of the union is just a bit much.

    How long after the game was cancelled was the Griquas game announced to be played NEXT week? I think it was late that same afternoon or early the next morning.

    Naka certainly tried very hard to get hold of Plumtree who happened to be away on a training camp in the natal Midlands with his team, he CERTAINLY gave him enough time to respond. 🙄

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.01.09 08:45:19 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) :

    I put NEXT week in capitals because it is not as if Naka needed to have an answer right away, or had he perhaps already made up his mind?

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.01.09 08:46:23 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) :

    Point is at least he did try and get hold of him, I do not see Plum do the same, and I am sure they have cell reception wherever their camp was.

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.01.09 08:56:28 by MorneN Reply
  • IN any event, should Naka now wait for when it is comfortable for Plumtree to make alternate plans?

    If Plum was so hung up about this why did he not jump on the phone to Naka immediately and try and sort something out?

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.01.09 08:57:33 by MorneN Reply
  • Free State logic.
    Short of money, arange practice game against Vodacom cup opponents at a school ground.

    Im sure a game against the Sharks in Kimberley would be more profitable for both them (Cheetahs) and Gruiqas and be of a hell of a lot more value from a rugby point of view for the Sharks and the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.01.09 10:42:52 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • So who are the Sharks going to warm up against instead? Maybe a match less will be a blessing in disguise.

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.01.09 10:52:33 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 26) :

    Only time will tell. I think if we can get past the Stormers in the first game then we will be fine.

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.01.09 10:59:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 26) :

    Problem is Bulls may also send a 2nd string team for their warm-up against the Sharks, so they now run the risk of being undercooked.

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.01.09 11:02:04 by MorneN Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 27) : Sharks will be fine even if they lose against the Stormers. 🙂

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.01.09 11:03:38 by McLovin Reply

  • @MorneN (Comment 28) : The Sharks will not be undercooked…we’re better off playing The Sharks XV than the Cheetahs anyway. 😈

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.01.09 11:05:01 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Ja we have to bear in mind our first Super 14 game is against the Stormers, so we will be eased into the tournament 😉

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.01.09 11:08:54 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 30) :


    I heard the same talk from the All Blacks pre-World Cup 2007…

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.01.09 11:10:21 by MorneN Reply
  • yeah i think it would be better for the sharks to play the wildebeest. mix the squads up and watch the combinations. put the sharks forward pack with the wildebeest backline and the other team the opposite. that way you get your loose forwards playing against a tough backline. it also lets the players know that if they don’t feature there are players ready to take their place.

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.01.09 11:15:05 by try time Reply

  • @Dive Pass (Comment 31) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    I am so nervous about that game dude.

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.01.09 11:15:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • oh and yes i do know they aren’t called the wildebeest anymore. was just easier to refer to them as that.

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.01.09 11:17:30 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 34) :

    Going to be at the game….with the Stormer supporting family….we can’t loose….

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.01.09 11:20:22 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 34) : So am I. I need that remote from that Adam Sandler movie.

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.01.09 11:20:53 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 34) : The Sharks vs Wildebeest? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.01.09 11:20:56 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @McLovin (Comment 37) :

    you need the kids from the new Adam Sandler movie. 😆

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.01.09 11:21:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 39) : Even better…

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.01.09 11:22:48 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 39) :

    Actually you are a Stormers supporter, you can have the remote from “click” I will have the kids from “bedtime stories”

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.01.09 11:23:16 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 39) : We are talking about the one where everything he reads come true?

  • Comment 42, posted at 19.01.09 11:24:34 by McLovin Reply

  • Seems we are. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 43, posted at 19.01.09 11:25:25 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 42) :

    That is what i thought as well, but it turns out that when he tells the kids a bedtime story it comes true and then later he discovers that is is actually the bits that the children add into the story that comes true. Very good

  • Comment 44, posted at 19.01.09 11:26:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 36) :
    When do those tickets go on sale, I know you posted it previously but I’ve already forgotten.

  • Comment 45, posted at 19.01.09 11:31:26 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 45) :

    On Friday, 23rd January .

  • Comment 46, posted at 19.01.09 11:35:27 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 46) :

  • Comment 47, posted at 19.01.09 11:42:35 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • So Plummo is getting his excuses in early this year.

    Oom Rudi: Why did we not make the semis this year John??

    John Plumtree: It was Naka’s fault.

  • Comment 48, posted at 19.01.09 12:03:59 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 48) :

    Our development team let us down. 😆

  • Comment 49, posted at 19.01.09 12:15:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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