The Great Couch Shark

Bittersweet weekend for the Top Guns

Written by Nick Gordon (The Great Couch Shark)

Posted in :Original Content, Super 14 on 23 Feb 2009 at 10:58
Tagged with :

The Sharks and Stormers failed to win convincingly on Saturday against weaker opponents while the Bulls absolutely smashed a woeful Blues team. The Bulls were simply unmerciful and taught the other South African teams a lesson in how to hammer that final nail in (which they did several times!) It’s not often I flatter the Bulls, but, boy, they had the right attitude and it was great to watch.

Coaches Rassie Erasmus and John Plumtree will no doubt be very frustrated at the manner their teams respectively failed to find that fourth try bonus point. The Stormers let the Reds sneak in the back door while the Sharks floundered in the final twenty minutes and looked out of attacking ideas at the final bell..

The Bulls in contrast took full advantage of a Blues team that looked ravaged by both jetlag and altitude sickness. I was quite flabbergasted at how lazy and non-committed the Blues defence seemed to be. It’s all very well being renowned for your attacking game but attack alone will not win you games. The work rate of the Blues backline in particular was appalling, with only Rene Ranger hungry for work. If they weren’t loping back leisurely to collect kicks downfield, then they were giving away diabolical intercepts, the equivalent of kicking across your goals in soccer!

I’m not taking anything away from a spirited Bulls display, but other teams will not be so charitable in defence and when you’ve got Zane Kirchner breaking tackles then you know something’s wrong.
Once again Pierre Spies outlined his value; his bulk and pace was a major contributor to the scoreline. It was also good to see Morne Steyn flourishing. I always thought he was a better option than Hougaard through the years, and his running game is just what a backline with Habana and Jaco Pretorius needs.

The last game of the weekend was perhaps the most frustrating to watch. The weather conditions were probably more suitable for Bikram yoga than rugby; and it wasn’t pretty to watch the players fumbling around in a hot soup of humidity for 80 minutes. The Sharks seemed to once again employ their cat-and-mouse approach of easing themselves into the game and then pulling away at the end. However when the fourth try beckoned they seemed to revert to playing as individuals rather than a team. Kockett and Kankowski in particular were perhaps a little guilty of trying to beat defenders rather than letting the ball do the work. The Sharks had several chances in the last fifteen minutes to collect the bonus point but cynical play at the breakdowns from the Lions together with some loose attacking play from the home team saw each attempt come to naught.

Lastly, I’d like to make a little appeal to the SuperSport TV department. I don’t mind the odd ‘cut-away’ to the crowd, but having to constantly watch Bulls supporters liquored up their eyeballs and making complete tools of themselves on international television makes me a little embarrassed to be South African at times. We already know Pretoria has a famous zoo, do we really need evidence of another?


  • I don’t think the Blues expected to win. But also not to get hammered like they did.

    They spoke to the Blues assistant coach, whose name escapes me, on Sky. And he reckoned the Bulls are beatable. 😈

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.02.09 11:04:56 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 1) :

    I have no idea why you put a twisted face after that comment? We ALL know the Bulls are beatable. 😛

    Keep the ball alive and the Bulls will suffer.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.02.09 11:08:12 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : The comment just seemed a bit silly coming from a team that just conceded almost 60 points against the Bulls. 🙂

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.02.09 11:12:34 by McLovin Reply
  • The Stormers were damn aweful.

    Bekker was absolute shyte in the first 40 showing a bit of improvement in the 2nd.

    Grant had the worst game of a 10 of the season so far.

    Luke and De Villiers looked the only semi-decent players on the park on Friday.

    If you continue to toss away 3 or 4 tries a game you can forget about even coming close to a semi.

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.02.09 11:15:41 by Morné Reply
  • Seems like sharks have no line breakers in the back line, apart from cockett who they took off when we needed the bonus point.

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.02.09 11:17:11 by rahul Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 1) :

    He did say the Bulls are beatable away from home – he never said they were beatable at home 😀

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.02.09 11:18:09 by Reply
  • @rahul (Comment 5) : disagree. Steyn broke the line at will… he just had no clue what to do afterwards

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.02.09 11:19:57 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • must say it, well done bulls (ouch that hurt).

    I have said it before and i will say it again. kockott, as valuable as he is, must do his job first before he gets too fancy. too many times he is nowhere to be seen when a ruck forms (probably because he is underneath it), thus we get slow ball from the ruck and lose any advantage we had from a line-break.

    it really drives me nuts to see a prop passing the ball to the backline from the base if a ruck!

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.02.09 11:24:53 by knersboy Reply

  • Must be said, Steyn looked miles better than against the Stormers.

    But good heavens, Doppies is shyte…

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.02.09 11:27:58 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 4) :

    You have NO idea how much it grated me to see Luke play well.

    You have no idea HOW MUCH it grates me to have to say he played well, but I will tell you this, He was one of the standout loosies this weekend.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.02.09 11:28:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 10) :

    And given the talent we have that is scary…

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.02.09 11:30:32 by Morné Reply
  • @rahul (Comment 5) :

    Taking Kockott off was a big mistake IMO, but Plumtree had to weigh his options IMO.

    We were in a comfortable lead and the newbies DO need game time. That was as good a time as any for it to be done.

    It didn’t pay off and it pissed me off but it had to be done.

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.02.09 11:30:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 10) :

    You mean the same way it grates me everytime I have to acknowledge Oupa Stefan having a decent game?

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.02.09 11:31:00 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 11) :

    I don’t think the other loosies played badly, i think Luke contested teh ball on the ground excellently.

    Enough on Luke before i have to go stick my finger down my throat. 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.02.09 11:31:53 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Morné (Comment 13) :

    Sorta like that yes. 🙂

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.02.09 11:32:29 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : L 😯 😯 K L 😯 😯 KING G 😯 😯 D !!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.02.09 11:36:24 by Charlie Reply

  • All (or maybe 2 out of 3) the pundits on Re-union predicted a Blues win. One of them even reckoned the Bulls need to be brought down a peg or two. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.02.09 11:37:41 by McLovin Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Steyn did, but passed more that trying to break the line. We ended up with the ball on the wing with three tacklers too often. Maybe we should buy de Villiers?

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.02.09 11:41:25 by rahul Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 18) : @Charlie (Comment 16) : Are you guys illegible to enter the Competitions?

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.02.09 11:43:13 by rahul Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 13) : well, you must have had a good weekend, then 🙂

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.02.09 11:43:23 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • 😳 that was for KSA and Rob

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.02.09 11:43:54 by rahul Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 17) :

    I agree with their sentiments but not their predictions 😆

    I’m afraid that, that won’t happen until round 8 though. I would have said their first loss would have been against the Hurricanes in Rnd 6, but after the Hurricanes’ performances thusfar, the Bulls ain’t gonna be beat before round 8.

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.02.09 11:46:09 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @rahul (Comment 19) :

    IMO yes, but on condition that if we win we give the tickets to someone else, possibly the runner up. 😉

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.02.09 11:47:26 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 20) :

    Smashing! 🙂

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.02.09 11:48:34 by Morné Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 23) :

    I dont think you have to worry about that!

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.02.09 11:49:13 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 25) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.02.09 11:49:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 23) : Have you got a team in either? Name? It would be interesting to see where the experts lie… or is that lye

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.02.09 11:50:40 by rahul Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 27) :

    My team is called the Sandsharks. For obvious reasons. 😆

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.02.09 11:55:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 23) :

    In short, we are essentially playing for bragging rights.

    not that I actually have to win anything to be a loud mouth who brags. 😆

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.02.09 11:56:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 22) : Yip, I don’t smaak those Bulls, but I love it when they give the overseas teams a hiding. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.02.09 11:56:17 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 22) : I’m also not very much looking forward to the Stormers trip to Roftus.

    I have a bad feeling about that one. 😐

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.02.09 11:57:31 by McLovin Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 27) :

    And there it is for everyone to read.

    he didn’t say experts in “..” he said experts. 😎

    And no “I” am not Rahul. 😛

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.02.09 11:59:29 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 29) : 😯 ok found it.

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.02.09 12:00:54 by rahul Reply

  • Its surprising how many people on LMS didnt enter a team this week!!!

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.02.09 12:05:50 by rahul Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 34) :

    I know. 😯

    I could understand Ice not realising she had to pick a team each week, but what excuse did the rest of them have? 😆

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.02.09 12:09:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @rahul (Comment 33) :

    And the shocked expression? Didn’t you expect me to be that high up? 😉

    As long as I stay visible in the top 25 on the JustRugby homepage then I am happy.

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.02.09 12:11:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 36) : Not shocked, just looking harder cause I did find it before. Im a bit slow on mondays

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.02.09 13:58:26 by rahul Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 9) :

    For sure!??!
    Where is WALTER?????

  • Comment 38, posted at 23.02.09 14:34:26 by Hmmm Reply


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