All Doom & Gloom?

Written by Alan Williams (Baldrick)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 7 May 2009 at 12:20
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By nature I am a perpetual optimist. While I like to see the world through rose-coloured glasses, I am not so blinded by optimism that I can’t see things the way they are, but I also see other things that temper the bad stuff as well, so in my correspondence I urged Rob to err on the side of ambivalence rather than downright depression over the state of the Sharks and instead of expecting failure, rather wait to see if it happens (or not), or who knows, success might even occur. If it helps his blood pressure, then it’s been of some value at least!

And I urge anyone else in the same fit of depression to try take these words to heart.

So, after reading all the negativity, here are my 10 reasons to feel positive about the Sharks:

1. We showed last week against 130kg monster props that our scrum is probably the best, or up with the best in the tournament.

2. Who matches Jean Deysel, Ryan Kankowski, Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira, Deon Carstens and JP Pietersen in their positions for their attacking ability?

3. We have lost Frans Steyn and Rory Kockott. We have gained Charl McLeod and Bradley Barritt. Some would argue that it is a very good swap!

4. Our attack has been hugely impacted positively by the return from injury of Deysel and Pienaar. Pienaar is not a physical, crash-ball style of player and with his distribution along with Barritt, our backline may well come into their own after looking fairly boring on attack this season.

5. We’ve won 8 out of 11 games. You can’t be a rubbish side if you achieve a 72% success rate in the tournament.

6. We are creating opportunities, just not finishing them. If we weren’t creating them in the first place, we would be worried. Patience is a virtue and let’s hope that unlike last week, the 6 or 7 tries we left on the table because we didn’t hold on long enough are scored this week. I’d settle for just four!

7. If we win the next two games we are in the semis. The Hurricanes play the Chiefs this weekend and the Sharks could leapfrog the loser, depending on who it is. We then play the Bulls and if we win, could end second, or even first if we get bonus points and the Hurricanes lose of the their two remaining games. Finishing first or second on the log does not fill me with dread.

8. Our last two games are at home. We have lost twice in three years at home, a remarkable 89% home record.

9. We haven’t played one full excellent game yet, but have won 8 times. If we were playing to our potential, I’d be worried. But there is easily 20-30% untapped.

10. The Bye and for me one of the most crucial elements that rocked us. The bye was very late, unfairly so I argue, and like the Waratahs, it affected us. Then to return from a week’s break does have an effect on continuity and match practice and quite possibly the uncharacteristic handling errors could be put down to that. I would bet good money that our handling is much-improved this Saturday.

11. OK, I know I said 10, but I’m granting myself license to say one more. Before last year’s CC final which we won, we had the choker tag firmly (and maybe rightly so) around our necks. We won a game we were expected to (unlike previously when we lost games we should have won) and taking the Cheetahs and Reds aberrations out of the equation, this team may well be able to win games they have to. Getting up for a poor team is difficult. We won’t have that problem as we won’t have that kind of opposition from hereon in. I believe the team might have matured enough.

12. Final one – we have probably the best coach in South Africa, and amongst the best in the tournament, that counts for something, as do Johann Muller and John Smit and the other leaders in the team.


  • the argument has never been that we are a shit team, Baldy… for years now we have been a good team struggling to become a great team. We never quite seem able to take that step up.

    Your reasons for being positive notwithstanding, we were in a position just a few weeks ago were all we needed to do was win our remaining games to be assured of a first-place finish. How we’ve pissed that one away.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.05.09 12:41:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : 😕 i wanted to be first – jeez but what can you do if you are slow. :mrgreen:

    regarding your number one – i couldn’t believe how much lighter the sharks pack was when they showed the numbers.

    i’ve heard the comment sometime at the beginning of the competition that sharks pack is heavy and not mobile enough, but whenever they show numbers – the sharks are lighter (I think even stormers with brits were heavier – fatties :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.05.09 12:47:23 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 2) : sharks have superb technique at scrum time… that you cannot dispute

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.05.09 12:56:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • look I am still not over it when the Tahs sort of stop us last year at the same time dead in our tracks with that draw in the wet.

    Hope you lot dont go the same root. The baddest thing that can happen if your lot lose on the weekend and you win the Brutes and we have no team in the semis.

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.05.09 13:05:49 by PaarlBok Reply

  • as the resident pessimist, i acknowledge your optimism and admire it. but i have watched sharks throw away silverware from the same mistakes year in year out. bp’s, lack of depth in key areas, leaving too much too late. falling asleep in should win games. the list outnumbers your ten horribly. the problem is the sharks now are in a four game playoff situation. last year they showed they were unable to do it, from the same position, can they this year. the loss of frans and return of brad has bouyed my spirits. but i am being cautious as history has proven the sharks don’t have what it takes. how i wish i am wrong.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.05.09 13:08:40 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @try time (history forgets losers) (Comment 5) :


  • Comment 6, posted at 07.05.09 13:13:37 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 6) : the sharks sholud be called the should-haves. we should have had at least 3 s14 trophies, and 4 more currie cup trophies. instead we have the full set of choker tags.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.05.09 13:21:57 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • how depressing 🙁 😆 i feel a bit more possitive with brad and ruan in the mix, Go Sharks!

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.05.09 13:29:35 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 6) : just to drive the point home, the Stormers are a sh*tload worse! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.05.09 13:34:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • Fair comment – but like mentioned above, we have equal reason to be negative.

    That said, I am pretty excited about the new 9 and 12!

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.05.09 13:42:28 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Sheesh, I have created a monster here, so much for my efforts!

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.05.09 14:03:40 by Baldrick Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :

    Thanks for that Rob. 😕

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.05.09 14:03:52 by wpw Reply
  • Has anyone noticed that I’ve been avoiding TT’s-world??? 😆

    Positive thoughts before the game people…save the negativity for the actual match analysis…if there’s anything to be negative about.

    We’re still in the competition – and we don’t need any favours from any team to move on to the knockout stage. It could’ve been better- but it could’ve been worse. Sharks to win with a BP!!! 😀

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.05.09 14:06:03 by blackshark - YNWA Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • My kind of article, Baldy! Thanks..I still maintain that the reason for me not ever getting ill, is my positivity….now maybe if the Sharks and all of their fans adopt this attitude, we might never lose again!! 😉 😆 …Just a thought…use it, dont use it…

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.05.09 14:07:44 by Prof. Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • 1. We showed last week against 130kg monster props that our scrum is probably the best, or up with the best in the tournament.

    I thought we weren’t being negative ❓ That IS the best scrum in the S14!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.05.09 14:09:53 by Rahul Reply

  • @Rahul (Comment 15) : Highlanders aren’t the best scrum, so us beating theirs doesn’t automatically mean we are the best. We’re bloody good nonetheless!

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.05.09 14:16:50 by Baldrick Reply

  • @blackshark – YNWA (Comment 13) :


  • Comment 17, posted at 07.05.09 14:28:16 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 17) :
    It’s not over until it’s over.

    Barca proved that last night with 2 minutes to go…and one man down.

    The Sharks still have a GOOD squad and 2 home games to secure a semifinal spot (preferably a HOME semi)… YES WE CAN…and WE WILL!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.05.09 14:35:31 by blackshark - YNWA Reply

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  • @blackshark – YNWA (Comment 18) :

    Dude, what would you prefer??

    Sharks winning the S14 or Liverpool winning the title THIS year??

    (be very careful before you answer) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.05.09 14:44:12 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 19) : One is a long shot… So it has to be the Sharks!

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.05.09 14:46:24 by Rahul Reply

  • @Rahul (Comment 20) :

    Well said!! 😀

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.05.09 14:47:34 by Prof. Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Rahul (Comment 20) :

    Its not over until Prof.Ice sings… 😈

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.05.09 14:50:41 by wpw Reply
  • :mrgreen: 😈 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.05.09 14:53:01 by Rahul Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 22) :

    Are you implying that I am FAT??? :mrgreen:

    But – you are damn right…my woord is WET!! 😈

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.05.09 14:53:57 by Prof. Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • wasn’t baldrick satisfied with a turnip in the country. its easy to be optimistic if that is the sum total of your ambitions. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.05.09 15:06:05 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 19) :

    I’ll take both… wait…add Pirates winning the PSL to that list too… 😈

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.05.09 15:08:46 by blackshark - YNWA Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 24) :

    I meant PHAT!!



  • Comment 27, posted at 07.05.09 15:10:12 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 27) : lucky that bike has so many reverse gears… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.05.09 15:31:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : i have trained him well obi 1.

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.05.09 15:34:09 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 27) :

    PHlattery won’t get you anywhere… 😆

    PS…I have a very big husband… 😈 😉

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.05.09 15:45:42 by Prof. Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 30) : now now… keep it tidy 🙂

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.05.09 15:48:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 30) : btw, your hubby may be twice Wes’s height, but he’s nowhere near as wide! 🙂

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.05.09 15:49:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) :

    What you mean???

    @robdylan (Comment 32) :

    Thats what I meant… 😳

    And… :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 😈

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.05.09 15:51:44 by Prof. Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 33) : he he he

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.05.09 16:02:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • 1. Even the Stormers did okay against that pack, at times even dominated a scrum or two.

    2. Jean Deysel – back from injury, looked good at times but not the force he was before he got injured

    Ryan Kankowski – Second fiddle to Spies, not the Kanko of 2008

    Bismarck du Plessis – Does he know he is a hooker? Maybe he should wear gloves too…

    Beast Mtawarira – Legend, one of the few Sharkies that deserves all the credit

    Deon Carstens – He has played how many minutes since returning and now he is the best???

    JP Pietersen – Might be on form – but when last did he get the ball in space?

    3. How many Super caps does Charl have? And how easy would it be for Barritt to simply just slot in given a brand new flyhalf?

    4. By my count Pienaar has played less than 10 games of competitive rugby at 10.

    5. You have the best overall record in Super rugby history of any SA team yet never won the thing. Not rubbish, but no champion yet either.

    6. You have been creating opportunities for 3 years and never finished them. One should learn at some stage.

    7. You have been in more semis than what I would like to remember.

    8. Home record is very impressive, but you seem to always lose the ones that count…

    9. Well when do you plan to tap into the other 20 or 30 %? Its been 3 years now.

    10. Even when you handled the ball well you struggled to convert, before the byes.

    11. Super rugby is not CC rugby – ask the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.05.09 16:39:52 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 35) : eina…

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.05.09 16:54:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • Impressive combination of counter-jabs there Morne, as expected, and well HISTORY is on your corner. Time for the Sharks to fight back and hopefuls like us are praying that it will all start this weekend. Now we wait…

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.05.09 17:44:08 by blackshark - YNWA Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @robdylan (Comment 36) :

    I just thought I’d keep the Sarkies blood pressure up there!

    @blackshark – YNWA (Comment 37) :

    If the Sharks make the final, they will win it, regardless if it is in SA or not.

    It is about time the Sharks are seen as underdogs – they will then lift their game.

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.05.09 17:47:56 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 38) : mmm i like that kinda thinking

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.05.09 18:45:54 by JarsonX Reply
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  • One can always trust Morne to piss on the Sharks supporters’ parade. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.05.09 19:08:40 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 40) :
    Dude,did you cheat on your Sharks Membership test or what? 😕

    We don’t drink pink drinks and we don’t do parades…this is not Cape town… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 41, posted at 08.05.09 09:07:03 by blackshark - YNWA Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark – YNWA (Comment 41) : 🙄

  • Comment 42, posted at 08.05.09 09:11:05 by JarsonX Reply
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