KSA Shark ©

Sharks must do the ‘hard yards’

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 15 Apr 2009 at 06:58
Tagged with : ,

The Sharks, already struggling to cope after nine consecutive weeks of bruising battles, this week face a team they have only beaten twice in 12 years of Super Rugby – the defending champion Crusaders.

Rugby 365 reports that Sharks coach John Plumtree readily admits that his team is “feeling the effects” of the past two months – with a casualty list that has key players like Ruan Pienaar and Jean Deysel still on the sidelines.

Add to that the fact that they face a Crusaders team coming off a bye and it is obvious why the Sharks’ mentor is very apprehensive ahead of Saturday’s Round 10 encounter in Durban.

“They’re coming off a bye so they’ll be a bit fresher. We’re feeling the effects of a long and hard nine weeks of competition, but we know what to expect,” Plumtree said.

What is even more worrying is the fact that the Sharks have only beaten the Crusaders twice in their previous 12 encounters – those two wins coming from their last two encounters in Durban.

“We [the Sharks] haven’t beaten the Crusaders that much and the last time we played them in Durban [in 2007] we only won after the final hooter. So the history between the two sides suggest it will be another entertaining game,” Plumtree added.

The last three encounters between the two sides in Durban have gone down to the wire – the Sharks winning 27-26 in 2007 and 29-25 in 2004, while the Crusaders won 37-34 in 2002.

The Crusader have the most impressive record on tour in South Africa, having won 15 of their 28 matches since 1996.

Last year they completed an unbeaten tour to SA for the second time – beating the Stormers and the Bulls.

Not surprising then that the Sharks admitted they will have to do the “hard yards” this week, after their shocking 6-31 loss to the Cheetahs last week.

The men from Durban are still in first place on the standings, but even they admit that by any standards they did not produce a performance worthy of first place status.

“We’re hurting a lot after our performance against the Cheetahs, we were embarrassed by that performance, our standards are way higher than that,” Plumtree said.


  • have only beaten twice in 12 years 😯

    I have had to go and check that and it is right. 🙁

    Will have to make it 3 in 13 this weekend then.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.04.09 07:02:04 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • What was that about institutionalised thinking TG mentioned yesterday.

    If ever there was a chance for that to be a reality here is an excellent example of it.

    I cannot believe we called the Cheetahs a Bogey team of ours if we have only EVER beaten the Crusaders twice.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.04.09 07:06:44 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : I don’t believe the Sharks will have a problem with these guys, this is not a great team and providing the Sharks get into them early and rattle them a bit, they will win easily. This is not a Dean’s team, and yes they have had huge personnel changes etc, but they have not settled down the way the Crusaders of old, would have, and that’s why I say the Sharks will win going away!!

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.04.09 07:27:53 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @Whindy (Comment 3) :

    I’m not to worried about the result provided we get our front row back.

    I am shocked though that we have only ever beaten them twice.

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.04.09 07:39:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Our win ratios over the years up to and including last week

    Sharks have won:

    Lions (Cats) 10/13 (76,9%)
    Force 3/4 (75%)
    Blues 9/13 (69,2%)
    Chiefs 7/12 (58,3%)
    Highlanders 6/11 (54,5%)
    Bulls 6/12 (50%)
    Stormers 6/12 (50%)
    Cheetahs 2/4 (50%)
    Brumbies 6/13 (46,2%)
    Hurricanes 5/12 (41,7%)
    Reds 4/12 (33,3%)
    Waratahs 3/12 (25%)
    Crusaders 2/12 (16,7%)

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.04.09 07:52:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • The Sharks need to get a setteled front row and a bruiser onto the flank.

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.04.09 07:54:51 by Loosehead Reply

  • @Loosehead (Comment 6) :

    Front row is fine, was disrupted last week though.

    Read Rob’s “19 shirt” article. We Do need a bruiser in there and the sooner Deysel is back and or Downey is brought into the Starting 22 the better.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.04.09 08:00:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : what’s a starting 22? 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.04.09 08:20:20 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :

    It’s called a mid sentence mind change 😛 😳

    shoulda been Match 22.

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.04.09 08:35:29 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : This is a tough one. A bogey team includes the Reds (33% winning margin over them) and I think it refers more to the fact that we lose games against them (and FS) that we are supposed to win.

    The Waratahs and Crusaders have always given us a tough going over and we always know they will be close, or difficult to win.

    Sadly that could also come down to mental application – how do you prepare yourself mentally to play a team that always beats you?

    In saying that, I see the record against the Blues is very good, but if you cast your minds back to the mid 90s, they were brilliant and we battled to get past them.

    Last year in Christchurch we came close and could have won, so that would mean three wins in a row for the Sharks over the Crusaders and thus a big psychological boost.

    I have no doubt that we will be 100 times better this weekend.

    My take is that against teams like the Reds, Cheetahs and even Lions in the S14, we aren’t up for them mentally. Becasue we all know on paper we should thrash them all.

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.04.09 09:09:04 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 10) :

    Bogey team was the wrong choice of word, thanks for pointing that out. 🙂

    It is the institutionalised thinking bit that I really wanted to focus on. As you say “how do you prepare yourself for a team that always beats you?”

    Step 1: overcome the institutionalised thinking. 😉

    I like that phrase. Thanks TG 🙂

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.04.09 09:24:41 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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