KSA Shark ©

Rattling the Sharks’ cage: ego-driven Sharks have a weakness

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 5 May 2009 at 07:16
Tagged with : ,

The Waratahs’ next opponents on their do-or-die run to the Super 14 finals are packed with superstar Springboks and hail from rugby-obsessed Durban but NSW back-rower Ben Mowen believes he has spotted a weakness – the Sharks can be rattled under pressure.

“They have some egos in that team, with good reason – they are [full of] world champions, they have a lot of Springboks,” said Mowen, one of many to impress in NSW’s 18-10 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last Friday. “But the thing about a team with guys with egos is that it can be rattled. And hopefully, if we can get a good start and apply that pressure, particularly at set pieces, I think we can get them unsettled.”

Rupert Guinness writes for Rugbyheaven Aus that The Sharks will have to do without at least one of their brightest stars, with inside back Francois Steyn ruled out of this weekend’s game with a knee injury and form halfback Rory Kockott set to face the judiciary for striking Highlanders No.6 Adam Thomson.

Mowen – who has almost made the NSW No.6 jersey his own, with regular blindside breakaway Dean Mumm playing second row this year – targets No.8 Ryan Kankowski as one such star who is ripe for the taking on Saturday (Sunday morning, Sydney time).

The 23-year-old was the South African Super 14 player of the year in 2008 but Mowen has an idea how he may negate his impact on the game.

“Like with those big loose forwards in those Kiwi teams, you have to be confrontational early, put them under pressure and let them know you are there to get stuck in,” he said.

“[Kankowski] is obviously a very talented player and a great runner. The more pressure you can apply in set piece and limit his opportunities and put him under pressure early, [the more] you will take a strong part of his game away. I think you can frustrate him and get in him that way.”

The Sharks are in fourth place on the ladder with 35 points, and the Waratahs are fifth on 32 after 12 rounds, meaning the stakes are high going into Saturday’s game.

“It is almost a semi-final intensity for both teams,” Mowen said. “After the results of the weekend, on the ladder not many sides have moved. [The finals shake-up] is really going to come down to this round. Anything less than a bonus-point victory and you might be under a bit of pressure.”

The Waratahs, meanwhile, are likely to keep their faith in Kurtley Beale and Timana Tahu as the centres pairing on Saturday. Three backs – Lote Tuqiri, Sam Norton-Knight and Rob Horne – have joined hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau as players under injury clouds. Even if they recover in time to play the Sharks, it seems NSW selectors believe the Beale-Tahu centres combination is worth sticking with.

The availability of Tuqiri (knee), Norton-Knight (back), Horne (hamstring) and Polota-Nau (ankle) will not be known until the Waratahs’ next training session on Tuesday.

Tuqiri, who went off after 30 minutes against the Cheetahs last Friday, underwent scans on Sunday that confirmed he has sustained a partial dislocation of the knee and is still suffering from swelling.

“At this stage, we would have to make a call on Tuesday because Lote will still need time get the swelling down, and then he will need time to get start running again,” Waratahs coach Chris Hickey said.

Norton-Knight’s lower-back condition, which ruled him out of the Cheetahs game, did not improve after a day-long transfer from Bloemfontein to Durban that included two flights.

Horne, who has been out since just before the Force game with a hamstring injury, was set to undergo a fitness test on Monday after he had scans on Sunday.

However, even if he was fit to play this week, it is likely he will be put on the wing, with Peter Playford moving back to the bench.

Polota-Nau also had scans on Sunday after aggravating an ankle injury he has been carrying all season.


  • Well if Plumtree wants his team to really perform this week all he needs to do is give each player a copy of this article.

    I reckon it will work.

    Now if it was Rassie on the other hand….

    Ag nevermind!! 🙄

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.05.09 07:35:34 by wpw Reply
  • good thing is the two players with the biggest egos aren’t playing this weekend, so time to re plan.

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.05.09 07:41:43 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 2) :

    Luke IS playing!!!!!!!! 😛 🙄 He has taken over the Captaincy from Burger.

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.05.09 07:45:04 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : no i am talking about the sharks team. rory and frans both have egos bigger than a rugby field. but luke is in the same league. he is the chuck norris of rugby players. he doesn’t need team mates, they get in his way. 😈

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.05.09 07:49:57 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 4) :


    that’s why I only named ONE player when you said TWO players aren’t playing. Luke plays Flyhalf and 8th man. Now that he has been made Captain he will be playing a few more positions.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.05.09 07:52:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : 😆 😆 he’ll probably pass the ball to himself.

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.05.09 07:57:13 by try time Reply

  • and throw in the line out ball and catch it.

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.05.09 07:58:04 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 7) :

    Which proves Jake White’s theory was wrong all along.

    Luke CAN play as a line out option. 😆

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.05.09 08:03:38 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 8) : 😆 😆 don’t you mean THE lineout option. you don’t need any others. and the opposition would be confused cos no-one has ever had a one man short lineout before.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.05.09 08:08:03 by try time Reply

  • actually that isn’t a bad idea. resident rugby guru ksa should be able to answer this, what is the fewest players allowed in a lineout? one?

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.05.09 08:10:41 by try time Reply

  • if you had the tallest man in rugby playing for you, i would call one man lineouts, then the opposition wouldn’t be able to counter with good lifters.

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.05.09 08:12:52 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 11) :

    You not serious??? 😕 🙄

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.05.09 08:30:57 by wpw Reply
  • Rob, KSA, I have read on one of the Blogs, I think News24 that Barritt is coming back for these last S14 games to help as Steyn is out. Is this true? I know there was an agreement in place with Saracens (?) can you confirm whether it is true or not?

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.05.09 08:35:16 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 13) :

    First i’ve heard of it, but i would be shocked if it is true.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.05.09 08:40:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 13) : there was an agreement. i forgot about that. this is good news indeed.

    @wpw (Comment 12) : i am, think about it, the rest of the players have to be back 5m. so with a hooker throwing in and a tall player catching, the opposition will battle. it will also simplify the timing factor.

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.05.09 08:43:20 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 11) :

    You do know that the Law no longer requires matching numbers in the Lineouts right?

    So if you go in with a 1 man Lineout, they can go in with as many as they like.

    AND THEN!!!!!!!

    When you get a FK given against you for not adhering to the Law that states the minimum number of players from each team in the LO is 2. You will be confused as to why YOU didn’t get the FK as their numbers didn’t conform to yours. 😉

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.05.09 08:46:59 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @try time (Comment 15) : 😯

    5m??????????? The offside line at the Lineouts is 10m!

    Who is using TT’s login details?
    Becasue I KNOW TT has seen a game of rugby before.

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.05.09 08:48:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : ten meters is even better. (sorry i thought scrums and lineouts were different.) my bad. anyway with ten meters it is even better. you then cannot have the opposition coming to help until the lineout is over. so you get to decide that by your gameplan. you also can get away with skew throws as there aren’t player lines to judge with. come on guys use your imagination. you can also use a loosie as the scrummie if you plan to create a ruck, or use the scrummie to get the ball back fast. you also have more guys in defence if things go wrong.

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.05.09 09:00:28 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 18) :

    read my comment # 16.

    But just in case i was being to facetious for you.

    1) Minimum number of players from each team allowed in the LO is TWO.
    2) Numbers in the Lineout do NOT have to be the same anymore.

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.05.09 09:10:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • ok found it guys


    hopefully supersports sources are right.

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.05.09 09:17:20 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : no the elvs are still being discussed and that change is not being accepted, so lineouts have to be the same. you posted the article if i remember rightly.

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.05.09 09:23:13 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 21) :

    No no you have it wrong.

    Any of those chancges that were not accepted are not brought into law immediately. The game still carries on the way it it until those dicisions are ratified by the IRB.

    the minimum of two in the lineou has been a law since i started refereeing and will probabaly never change though

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.05.09 09:40:31 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 22) : but in the super 14 they aren’t using that elv. and if plans are not to accept it then in the future it will be back to even numbers in the lineouts. so my idea can still be used by an innovative coach.

  • Comment 23, posted at 05.05.09 09:53:23 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 23) :

    You just can’t get the point. 😆

    There is no requirement in the Global ELVs or the Hybrid ELV to have matching numbers in the LOs.

    The requirement for a minimum of two players from each team to form a lineout is NOT an ELV of ANY sort.

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.05.09 10:32:55 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 24) : i agree this will only work if the opposition has to match the throwing in teams lineout numbers. with the current elvs it won’t work. in the s14 aren’t lineout numbers governed by pre-elv laws?

  • Comment 25, posted at 05.05.09 11:06:25 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 25) :

    Nope. Not as far as i’m aware.

    You are still missing the crucial point that you cannot only have one man in a lineout. EVER!!!

  • Comment 26, posted at 05.05.09 11:36:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) : LOOOK can ❗

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.05.09 13:01:26 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 27) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.05.09 13:18:53 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) : oh so the hooker isn’t classed as one of the line out men. sorry i did misunderstand. i wonder if it would work with two. mmm 💡

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.05.09 13:43:32 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 29) :

    😯 😯

    And they said the age of miracles was long gone. 😛

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.05.09 13:51:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 30) : sorry it was a case of crossed wires.

  • Comment 31, posted at 05.05.09 14:03:25 by try time Reply

  • how the hell do you manage to take a whole day, including two flights, to get to Durban from Bloem?

    What’s wrong with driving?

  • Comment 32, posted at 05.05.09 14:06:40 by robdylan Reply
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