KSA Shark ©

Plumtree: Sharks can’t afford to relax

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 10 Mar 2009 at 08:02
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Springbok captain John Smit will return to the Sharks starting line-up at tighthead prop for Jannie du Plessis, and Albert van den Berg will replace injured Alistair Hargreaves on the bench for Saturday’s match against the Reds in Brisbane in the only two changes to the squad that beat the Blues at the weekend.

Mike Greenaway writes in The Mercury that the plan had always been to give Du Plessis a break this week and get Smit going again at tighthead and it has worked out nicely because Du Plessis picked up a minor injury in Auckland.

Hargreaves, the former SA under-19 captain, was not as fortunate and is flying home because of a serious ankle injury. The replacement for Hargreaves has not been confirmed but the next lock in line is Johan Snyman of the Sharks XV.

Van den Berg has not played any rugby in the Super 14 this year because he has been recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

The Sharks have set up camp at Surfers Paradise, south of the city of Brisbane and on the famous Gold Coast. In years gone by, Sharks minds have tended to wander in this neck of the woods and their record against the Reds is poor.

So it is hardly surprising that mental focus is a theme of the week.

“We have just come out of a team meeting and spoken a lot about motivation,” coach John Plumtree said. “It is important that the leaders in the team and myself don’t spend the week wasting mental energy on worrying about whether the team are “up” for the game. We are beyond that. Individuals must motivate themselves. Representing the jersey is motivation in itself.”

In addition, Plumtree says that because the tour is split into two neat halves, and with the first half having been successfully completed (the two games in New Zealand), it is easy to start the tour afresh with a clean slate.

“What happened in New Zealand has been left behind us and the challenge is to now repeat the exercise in Australia,” he said. “It is important that we don’t lose our way. We don’t have a good record here and we must rectify that.”

Plumtree said that the team were not happy with the way they performed against the Blues, despite earning rave reviews from many.

“We feel we are some way off where we want to be. Our defence is not up to scratch, for a start. We were playing a lot better in the Currie Cup last year, although it is fair to say that the Super 14 is tougher because the teams test you differently – each week you play against a different type of team.”

The Reds are certainly different to most teams because of their adherence to attacking rugby, come what may.

“The Reds play a lot of rugby but don’t always get rewards because that approach opens them up to mistakes,” Plumtree said. “As a matter of policy their coach wants them to play attractive, entertaining rugby. We must make sure we don’t get sucked into a loose game against them.”


  • The Reds play a lot of rugby but don’t always get rewards because that approach opens them up to mistakes,” Plumtree said.

    And the Sharks are the best in the business at capitilising from such mistakes. The Sharks should win this easily.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.03.09 08:19:27 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • yes this is exactly what i have been saying. that is why i like plum, he sees the problems and talks about them. unlike dick that denied the problems. remember last year he shrugged off the lack of bonus points. plum seems more in tune with what needs to be done at each stage. great coach, great team.

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.03.09 08:28:30 by try time Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) :

    Hey I don’t know hey. A win is a sure thing in my mind but it will probably not be easy.

    The Red’s unstructured play is what almost saw the Stormers come unstuck against them.

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.03.09 08:33:05 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : The only way the Sharks can lose this match is if they lose focus and I don’t think Plumtrre will allow them to become complacent. Having said that, I’ve seen stranger things happen in the Super 14

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.03.09 08:36:39 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 2) : My respect for Plumtree is growing every week and I for one am not missing Muir. I don’t think Plumtree takes kak from anybody in the team and I don’t think he will allow them to become windgat

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.03.09 08:39:02 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) : Said like a real Dutchman :mrgreen:

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.03.09 08:40:38 by Pokkel Reply
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  • From thetimes.co.za

    Coach warns against high expectations

    Sharks coach John Plumtree has warned pundits not to get too carried away, after his side won their fourth consecutive Super 14 match of the season and their second in New Zealand.

    One of only three undefeated teams — the Bulls and the Waratahs are the others — in the competition, many experts are already anointing them as the likely winners. Plumtree is trying to play down that expectation.
    “The one thing this team does know, is how to win,” Plumtree said.
    “We won 12 games in a row to win the Currie Cup and now we have won four games of Super 14. This team is finding ways to win and that’s huge.
    “We set ourselves a goal of going unbeaten in New Zealand and being able to achieve that is outstanding.
    “We have got the credentials to do well in this competition, but it does not give you the right to win it.”
    Memories are short in the Super 14. Less than 12 months ago, the Sharks won their first six matches of the tournament, drew their seventh and won their eighth, but struggled to make the semifinals.
    From round nine, the Sharks lost three in a row and, because they had managed to secure only one bonus point in their first eight games, when they started losing the situation quickly plummeted to the point where they were in a desperate struggle to make the play-offs.
    Only a maximum haul of 10 points in the last two matches got them into the semifinals in third place, one point clear of the Hurricanes and Stormers.
    It meant an away semifinal against the Waratahs in Sydney, which ended in a comprehensive defeat.
    Plumtree is a pragmatist and is happy with the results so far, especially considering that the Sharks have picked up two wins in New Zealand and one in Cape Town.
    They’ve only had one home game this season compared to three at the same stage last year.
    They face the Reds in Brisbane this weekend, followed by an encounter against the Western Force in Perth.
    They could not have asked for a better draw.
    Now that they have taken nine out of a possible 10 points in New Zealand, the stage is ideally set for the Durban side.
    With six home games in the second half of the campaign, they couldn’t be better placed, particularly because they have not lost at King’s Park since the 2007 final against the Bulls.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.03.09 08:42:52 by blackshark Reply

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  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) : exactly he respects and is respected.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.03.09 08:43:28 by try time Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) : @blackshark (Comment 7) :

    Same here…he’s going up the respect table pretty fast…

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.03.09 08:43:56 by blackshark Reply

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  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) : :mrgreen:

    I agree with you though. Plumtree has shown that he is levelheaded and I admire that AND him not stuffing players around in 10 different positions.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.03.09 08:44:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I am a bit concerned about this game. After the hype around playing Blues and Chiefs, it’s so easy to relax knowing you’re playing a team in a double digit position on the log. They have to remain focused. We saw a similar thing happen to the Springboks in the World Cup Quarters where they had to dig really deep to win a game they should have walked. Hopefully the guys go out there to try score a BP and come home with one.

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.03.09 08:48:05 by deanoelsch Reply

  • Morning

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.03.09 08:48:27 by rahul Reply

  • @deanoelsch (Comment 11) : With the Sharks defense we will counter and get a bonus point victory… no doubt ❗

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.03.09 08:49:32 by rahul Reply

  • @blackshark (Comment 7) :
    Read this article from The Times this morning…and I could help but smile.

    As long as the boys listen to what the coach is saying – they will not be overwhelmed by the pressure of being favourites.

    SHARKS forever!

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.03.09 08:52:58 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @rahul (Comment 12) :


  • Comment 15, posted at 10.03.09 08:53:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @deanoelsch (Comment 11) :

    Yep – we as the fans are allowed a bit of space to be arrogant 😛 …but the players don’t have that option. They have to go there and get the job done…no excuses.

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.03.09 08:55:04 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) : What is sharkettes team names?

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.03.09 08:56:30 by rahul Reply

  • This is the 12th time we are playing the reds in SuperRugby and we have only beaten them by a margin of more than 12 twice.

    I won’t say they are a bogie side of ours but they DO run us close most of the time. With that in mind I think we can safely believe that the Sharks will NOT be going to sleep against these guys or underestimate them.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.03.09 08:57:54 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @rahul (Comment 17) :

    She is only playing in the LMS.

    her team name is “MY TEAM” 🙂

    BTW she was reading your comments last night. 😆 She is rather protective of her hubby as you know…..So best you go into hiding. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.03.09 08:59:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : she wont recognise me wiff my new hair style

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.03.09 09:00:43 by rahul Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 20) : 😆 😆

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.03.09 09:01:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : ksa you have to remember the reds used to be the third and last team in australia. and we had kevin putt. a lot has changed, the reds are battling to find depth and aren’t anywhere near the reds team of old.

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.03.09 09:12:16 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : ha ha ha. so kette enjoyed our little ksa debate. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.03.09 09:12:56 by try time Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 20) : ah ha but you have been rvealed to me and I know where you live 😈 😈 😈

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.03.09 09:16:51 by KSA Sharkette Reply

    KSA Sharkette
  • @try time (Comment 23) : TT PLEASE take note of my avatar – – – its ALL about KSA 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.03.09 09:18:36 by KSA Sharkette Reply

    KSA Sharkette
  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 24) :

    That’s it babe. YOU tell him.

    His days are numbered. 😆

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.03.09 09:19:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 24) : damn she is watching us. kette never comes online during the week.

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.03.09 09:19:32 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 25) : 😆

  • Comment 28, posted at 10.03.09 09:19:41 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @try time (Comment 27) :

    Shows you how protective she is of me. 😉

  • Comment 29, posted at 10.03.09 09:20:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) : thats it woes boy hide behind your wife. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 10.03.09 09:20:17 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 25) : yeah i see and his has his mistress in it. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 31, posted at 10.03.09 09:21:14 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 24) : I thought those pics were taken off the net… damnit ❗ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 10.03.09 09:21:40 by rahul Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 29) : you sure it isn’t the “business trips” she is protecting? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 10.03.09 09:22:05 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 30) :

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    @try time (Comment 31) :
    :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 10.03.09 09:22:19 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @try time (Comment 30) : you’re just jealous 😉 😛 😳

  • Comment 35, posted at 10.03.09 09:22:55 by KSA Sharkette Reply

    KSA Sharkette
  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 35) : damn right i want a mistress that looks like pdv. 😈 😈 the voice drives me wild. 😆

  • Comment 36, posted at 10.03.09 09:24:14 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 35) : and the business trips, i would marry ksa for those.

  • Comment 37, posted at 10.03.09 09:24:58 by try time Reply

  • ok need to do some work….. call me if the boys are being mean again ok, and I’ll sort them out – you know how school teachers are 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 10.03.09 09:25:15 by KSA Sharkette Reply

    KSA Sharkette
  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 38) : cheers kette, nice having you online. i’ll behave. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 39, posted at 10.03.09 09:26:05 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 37) : why —- I NEVER get to go along 🙁 😥

    @try time (Comment 36) : you missed that completely —- I said look at MY avatar NOT his ! 🙄

  • Comment 40, posted at 10.03.09 09:27:45 by KSA Sharkette Reply

    KSA Sharkette
  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 38) :

    Thanks babe, I’ll let you know if they gang up on me again. 😉 😳

  • Comment 41, posted at 10.03.09 09:29:20 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 40) : damn then it must be love. and i never missed it, i chose to ignore it. 😆

  • Comment 42, posted at 10.03.09 09:30:41 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 42) : you lie…. you’ve actually got ‘a thing’ for PdV and thats why you FOCUSED on his avatar 🙄 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 43, posted at 10.03.09 09:34:28 by KSA Sharkette Reply

    KSA Sharkette
  • @try time (Comment 22) : remember last year in Durban – I wouldn’t say it was that pretty and as far as memory serves me correct we did not get BP 🙄

    and morning on this tread 😆

  • Comment 44, posted at 10.03.09 09:37:52 by rekinek Reply
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  • @KSA Sharkette (Comment 43) : got me.

  • Comment 45, posted at 10.03.09 09:47:05 by try time Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 44) : yeah we got one in the first eight game. that is a victory and a draw worth of points wasted. 3 more bonus points would have made up for the brumbies game that ended up breaking the team. they did recover in the last two round games, but that took out what the sharks had left in the tanks. so they were finished by the semi final. that is why i get aggitated when they throw away bonus points.

  • Comment 46, posted at 10.03.09 09:51:44 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 46) : it’s scary when you think about it like that. so 4 not missed BPs could be traded for 1 game in which you field “B” team and give your first XV a rest without worrying to much about log position.

  • Comment 47, posted at 10.03.09 10:04:15 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 47) : exactly, imagine playing the last round game using your whole bench for the second half. thus giving your players game time and a rest so they are all ready for the semi final. that is the luxury taking bonus points gives. crusaders did it last year and guess who won the trophy?

  • Comment 48, posted at 10.03.09 10:08:10 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 48) : yip 😎
    and the bench needs to get some game time so that they could step in should some injury happen.
    I would like to see the reserve backs in action this week. It is too long competition to play with one set of backs. i know, that they need to click into combinations but..

  • Comment 49, posted at 10.03.09 10:23:20 by rekinek Reply
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  • if a team has serious intentions to win the super 14 then you have to start playing well from round 1. if you look at all the super tournaments, rarely has a team won it by rushing in points at the end of the tournament(except for the bulls, that admitted that if it wasn’t for the 3 minutes at the end, they wouldn’t have won the trophy.)

  • Comment 50, posted at 10.03.09 10:26:19 by try time Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 49) : my thinking exactly. if we are looking strong come half time, slowly bring on subs. not like rassie on saturday when he threw all his guys on at once and slowed momentum.

  • Comment 51, posted at 10.03.09 10:28:44 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 51) : i am not sure whether there was any momentum in this game to be slowed down :mrgreen:
    but nowadays the games are played and won with 22 guys – so using a bench is a skill in itself. But I agree that you cannot just throw all the subs in and pray it will work. and I know that they are such tight games that bringing subs is too risky but you still need your subs.

  • Comment 52, posted at 10.03.09 10:34:05 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 52) : agreed. you also don’t want to be like plum though who is leaving the guys on the bench and not giving them a run. what happens if frans gets injured. swannie hasn’t played a minute of s14 this year (if i am correct) and he may be overwhelmed by the occasion. this game is perfect to give him a run and give adi a little break.

  • Comment 53, posted at 10.03.09 10:41:32 by try time Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 52) :

    it’s a fine line (use of subs) and Eugene Eloff was caught on the wrong side of that line in the CC. In the Semi-Final he had a bench with virtually no game time becasue he had hardly used his bench during the season. Walter was up in arms about it at the time and I can see why.

  • Comment 54, posted at 10.03.09 10:51:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @try time (Comment 53) : correct. Swannie still need to make his S14 dayboo

  • Comment 55, posted at 10.03.09 10:53:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 54) : aha 😛
    @try time (Comment 53) : i was impressed with swannie during CC but must say that would feel so much better if it was waylon with brad sitting on our bench.
    but I think the guy needs a decent amount of game time and then only can be judged.

  • Comment 56, posted at 10.03.09 11:01:46 by rekinek Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 55) : now are you comfortable with him running on with 60 minutes to play against the force or a team better. and we are 5 points down. as good as he is, bench splinters hinder your game.

  • Comment 57, posted at 10.03.09 11:03:28 by try time Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 56) : don’t talk about brad. that was a sharks that got away. i think swannie can manage, but not if he doesn’t get game time.

  • Comment 58, posted at 10.03.09 11:04:46 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 57) : it’s not ideal… he needs to get out there.

    I have more confidence in Swannie than I have in many of the youngsters I’ve seen come and go. That kid has greatness written all over him. He WILL succeed

  • Comment 59, posted at 10.03.09 11:21:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 58) : just missing him a bit 😥
    but hey – every player needs to start somewhere so looking forward impatiently to see the reserves 😆

  • Comment 60, posted at 10.03.09 11:24:21 by rekinek Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 58) : I think Brad will come back… I don’t see him fitting in with the “bonehead” culture that is starting to emerge at Sarries

  • Comment 61, posted at 10.03.09 11:25:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 58) :
    With the kinda players we have – Plum can manage to introduce a few new guys into the starting 15…and also make changes earlier than usual.

    Swannie, Ndlovu, Ross …they need to feature a lot in this match…they are our DIRECT back-up after all…

  • Comment 62, posted at 10.03.09 11:25:30 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 62) : well, you have to question the sanity of dragging Ross and Swannie halfway round the world to carry tackle bags for a month, rather than let them get match sharp in the Vodacom Cup…

  • Comment 63, posted at 10.03.09 11:30:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 63) :

    Perhaps Plum doesn’t rate the VC that highly…can’t say I blame him. And what happens if THEY get injured doing VC duty? We’re basically stuck with no back up…

    It’s probably good for the guys to get that touring experience – but we can only hope they’ll get some gametime soon.

    Let’s seal the BP in the first half for a change!!!

  • Comment 64, posted at 10.03.09 11:38:02 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • sorry guys got stuck with a big payment to do. but i agree with all the above. brad may very well come back, how much game time has he actually received since landing there. by the looks of it hardly any.

  • Comment 65, posted at 10.03.09 13:52:24 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 65) : though it may soon change as a take over is in progress 🙄

  • Comment 66, posted at 10.03.09 13:56:59 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 66) : true. it will be interesting to see. will brad get game time if he comes back. i would rather he played there than play for the stormers or bulls. but with frans always looking elsewhere maybe there is a spot for him.

  • Comment 67, posted at 10.03.09 14:06:42 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 67) : ya. brad is not really a bench player but somebody whom you would like to have in your starting set up.
    Me thinks steyn’s going nowhere, especially now that he settles in one position and putting his hand for starting berth withthe boks – but you never know.

  • Comment 68, posted at 10.03.09 14:20:37 by rekinek Reply
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  • does this mean doc will be on the bench? Or will he be rested entirely with big Skip covering hooker?

  • Comment 69, posted at 10.03.09 14:20:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 69) :

    With the minor injury mentioned I think they would rest him.

  • Comment 70, posted at 10.03.09 14:25:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 69) : would like to see skipper – it’s been a long time.

  • Comment 71, posted at 10.03.09 14:58:23 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 71) :

    you would?? 😯

  • Comment 72, posted at 10.03.09 15:17:50 by Ice (you can leave your hat on!) Reply
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  • @Ice (you can leave your hat on!) (Comment 72) : ya :mrgreen:
    they took him there didn’t they. I was a bit surprised that he leapfrogged burden but all in all not a bad player.

  • Comment 73, posted at 10.03.09 15:39:36 by rekinek Reply
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