KSA Shark ©

‘We’re still very much in this competition’

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 20 Apr 2009 at 11:16
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Sharks coach John Plumtree reckons the Absa Stadium is in for some fireworks over the next month as his team go about the business of securing a coveted berth in the Super 14 semifinals.

Mike Greenaway writes in the Cape Times that the Sharks lost narrowly to the Crusaders on Saturday after having suffered a heavy defeat to the Cheetahs a week earlier, and while they are tied with the Chiefs at the top of the table, they are likely to be overtaken by a number of their rivals this weekend because they have a bye.

“We are still very much in this competition, but there is now real pressure on us in the hunt for the playoff spots,” said Plumtree yesterday.

“We can’t afford to drop another game. We have to win all three (against the Highlanders, Waratahs and Bulls). And that’s okay. At least we know where we stand.”

After the defeat in Bloemfontein, the coach had been in a foul mood, but he was fatalistic about the 13-10 loss to the seven-times champions.

“Look, obviously we were very keen to get the result, and we are disappointed that we did not take the opportunities that would have secured it for us,” Plumtree said.

“But you would have to say that there were two good teams out there having a crack at each other and one was three points better.

“Against the Cheetahs, we did not front up, but this game we could have won but for some crucial knock-ons.”

Not to mention a TMO ruling on a possible penalty try early in the first half. The Sharks had destroyed their opponents’ scrum five metres from their line and a retreating forward dived on the ball from an alleged offside position. The TMO ruled in favour of the Crusaders, but Plumtree was not convinced that the decision had been correct.

“That looked like a (valid) case for a penalty try,” he said. “We are disappointed that we did not get it.”

Plumtree added that, after 10 weeks of battle, his players will benefit enormously from a break from the mental and physical intensity of the competition.

“But when the guys report back for work, the pressure is going to be on every one of us. I think this team will react well to it. We have a lot of big-game players and we are going into big games. There will be no need to motivate anybody.”

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder was humble as ever in victory.

“We are very pleased that we won, but it could just as easily have been another loss for us here. Two years ago, we lost in the last minute. That is how the games seem to go between these teams,” he said.

Blackadder paid tribute to his captain, All Black openside flank Richie McCaw, who was by some margin the best player on the park in his comeback game after six weeks of injury.

“He did an unbelievable amount of work behind the scenes to get ready for this match,” he said.


  • 😯 I saw this headline on IOL and thought Rassie was at it again. 😯

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.04.09 11:28:56 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • The scoreline on Saturday suggests it was close, but there were so many knock-ons from the Sharks, it wasn’t really a case of ‘two good teams’ out on the park that day. Sharks should have won comfortably with a bonus point.

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.04.09 11:43:23 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • Why is it that the Ref asks “did the Sharks score if not its a Penalty Try” and nothing comes of that?? ❓ Also during a Loose scrum McCaw come from an Off Side position picks up the ball , but then promptly releases it, ref says “Hey” , but play carries on, however what has happened is that the ball has been succesfully slowed downwithout any sanction. I see all other citings have been cleared, however watch the Book thrown at the Sharks I am not holding my breath.

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.04.09 23:22:47 by Dynamite Reply

  • @Dynamite (Comment 3) :

    ““did the Sharks score if not IS IT a Penalty Try”

    Always going to be some frustrating calls… but the fact of the matter is… score more points and they count for nowt in the end… at least 2 tries hashed through no fault but their own…

    Go the Brumbies, Bulls, Reds this week…

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.04.09 05:59:57 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @Dynamite (Comment 3) :

    You win some you lose some. The Bulls got a try in the 2007 final that won them the game becasue the ref missed a knock on. this weekend they lost becasue the ref missed a knock on by the other team and awarded a try.

    You win some you lose some.

    Having said that, Freek burger seems to believe the TMO got it right. I disagree.

    Durban – There has been furious debate over the Sharks’ ‘try’ against the Crusaders on Saturday, with the game-changing incident still causing blood to boil in offices all over the country.
    Of course, most Sharks supporters and South African rugby followers feel a penalty try should have been awarded as the Crusaders’ scrum disintegrated, leaving the home scrum to walk over the tryline unopposed before an opponent dived in to dot the ball down, coming from the back of the Sharks players.

    Should the Sharks have been awared the try that would probably have taken them back to the top of the table?

    Former international referee and SA Rugby referee manager Freek Burger had this to say on Monday:

    “I watched this incident about 10 times and it is fresh in my mind because I have been discussing it today in lectures with my students at the Rugby Performance Academy. I am quite sure that had the ball not been dotted down by the Crusaders, Mark (Lawrence) would have awarded a penalty try, but because it was dotted down he did not have the option.

    “The first offence was the Crusaders unbinding from what was still a legitimate scrum. That first offence merited a penalty. After that happened, the Crusaders scrum disintegrated and the law is quite clear that in such an instance the scrum must be stopped for safety purposes.

    “But the Sharks were in possession, and their scrum was moving forward. In other words, there was no illegal tactic from them, and there was no dangerous play because the Crusaders had tried to wheel and there was no-one in front of them. If Crusaders hadn’t dotted down it should have been a penalty try, but the scrum finishes when the ball goes over the tryline.

    “A lot of people are saying it should have been a penalty try, but because of what I have outlined above, the ball going over the tryline, the correct ruling should have been a penalty, as per the first offence, and not a penalty try.”

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.04.09 07:01:47 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) :

    The Penalty try Law.
    Penalty Try.
    If a player would probably have scored a try but for foul play by an opponent, a penalty try is awarded between the goal posts.

    I have been reffing for a few years now and cannot understand why dotting the ball down would have made a difference on whether the Sharks were awarded a Penalty try or not.

    You win some you lose some, but from a law perspective I would be curious to know why the dotting down of the ball made a difference.

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.04.09 07:05:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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