Plum’s squad knows what to do

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 10 Feb 2010 at 08:45
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Sharks head coach John Plumtree believes that the harsh lessons of last year will fire up the squad for the Super 14 which starts against the Chiefs at King’s Park on Saturday night.

John Bishop writes for Sport24.

Plumtree said the squad had prepared well for the new season but the failures of last year – the Sharks were in pole positions in both the Super 14 and the Currie Cup and then went walkabout – were still fresh in the mind.

“We are all excited about the new season and have toned down the intensity in training this week to save the legs,” he said.

“The systems are in place and we have tweaked a few things but the Super 14 remains a big challenge. We know we let ourselves down last year when we worked hard to get into good positions and then failed to produce. That has galvanised us and we hope the players have learnt and we will see a different edge to the players, not just on Saturday but right through the season.”

Plumtree said the Sharks had a talented squad “if the players and the team play to their potential.”

Apart from new signing, fullback Louis Ludik, everyone is fit for selection, he said.

The return of Ruan Pienaar, over his knee surgery, is a massive boost but he has had no pre-season rugby and it is likely that he will be named on the bench with scrumhalf Rory Kockott and flyhalf Steve Meyer starting at halfback.

Plumtree praised the influence which captain John Smit was having on the squad.

“He demands so much of himself and the team and we have a really good working relationship.”

Plumtree said that the Bok captain is aware that he is in the final two years of his career.

“He knows what’s on the line this year and that there aren’t too many chances left to win the Super 14 trophy so he’ll put it all in leading the troops for 80 minutes.”

The Sharks coach again emphasised the importance of earning bonus points by scoring four tries.

“We’ve talked about it and we have let ourselves down in the past. Getting four tries in the humidity in Durban in February will not be easy and we may have to be more tactical and mix it up a bit in these early games because the ball is really slippery.

“But we have to be brave and ambitious in our decision-making. The Chiefs won the same number of games as us last and then made the play-offs because of bonus points.”

Plumtree said the Chiefs, who were beaten by the Bulls in the final of the Super 14 last year, would challenge the Sharks across the park.

“They have always had brilliant, entertaining backs and last year they got to the final and you can’t do that without a good pack. They are usually slow starters in this competition but the success of last year will have given them confidence. They will be looking to start strongly on tour to set themselves up for a good season.”

Plumtree believes the changing approach to the laws – governing the breakdown and off-side in chasing kicks – should provide more of a spectacle though the humid Durban conditions will make it difficult for players to hold on to the ball.

While the two pre-season friendly defeats had provided the Sharks’ critics with ammunition, Plumtree said they had also helped in sorting out a number of problems.

“People are making a song and dance about our scrum, so we’ve got to show them different,” he added.

“There is an excitement and determination in the squad. We started so well last year but when things went pear-shaped, we didn’t know how to react.

“Last year, without the depth, we couldn’t rotate the players. This year I feel we do have the necessary options and that creates hunger within the team and I hope the competition will see us through.”

Plumtree should know by tonight whether burly number eight Willem Alberts and Ludik are Sharks or Lions players. The SA Rugby Union hearing into the dispute over their contracts takes place at Newlands this morning.

The physical Alberts, if he is cleared, will challenge the more athletic Ryan Kankowski for the Sharks’ number eight spot while Ludik, returning from knee surgery, is a couple of weeks from full fitness.

Saturday’s opener kicks off at 19:10.


  • I really hope they have learned from their mistakes because more of the same will not be acceptable.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.02.10 08:54:08 by Pokkel Reply
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  • GO SHARKS !!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.02.10 08:54:43 by Charlie Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : Hi Pokkie 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.02.10 08:55:12 by Charlie Reply

  • feeling good about this game, cant wait to go 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.02.10 08:58:20 by willa Reply

  • can anyone lend a tv and a dstv connection to me until may? i live in auckland park johannesburg :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.02.10 09:00:06 by war1 Reply
  • @Charlie (Comment 3) : Wat se jy ou Charlie?? Ek dink jy moet binnesenter speel en Lambie no 13….wat dink jy?

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.02.10 09:30:11 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 5) :

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.02.10 09:49:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • “He knows what’s on the line this year and that there aren’t too many chances left to win the Super 14 trophy so he’ll put it all in leading the troops for 80 minutes.”

    In what position I wonder??? 🙄

    If it’s at hooker I feel for Burben being the 3rd in line at hooker. How about Burden as an opensider?..he’s quick enough, strong enough and not too tall, actually a very similar build to Brussow 😀

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.02.10 09:52:33 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : wonder if the uj internet nazis will allow such

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.02.10 09:53:20 by war1 Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) : reckon we missed a trick not trying 6 instead of 2….

    @war1 (Comment 9) : unlikely, I guess. bandwidth might be a problem.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.02.10 10:10:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 9) : Plenty of bars near UJ that should show the rugby 😛

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.02.10 10:15:30 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I’m not 100% sure, but I think I saw Ludik practising with The Sharks on SABC news last night, he might be ready sooner than later. I hope he and Alberts will be wearing the Sharks’ strip with pride.

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.02.10 10:38:21 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) : Wish I could, maar Plummo maak die calls, Lambie lyk na ‘n talentvolle speler, sal interresant wees om hom op 13 te sien speel 😉

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.02.10 11:05:56 by Charlie Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 13) : IMO you played better when you were playing from the bench, I hope you will lift your game a bit 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.02.10 11:42:47 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 14) : 😐

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.02.10 11:49:39 by Charlie Reply

  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 14) : uh oh 🙂

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.02.10 11:52:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • plum should’ve put dikgat Barney on a conditioning program to get him to lose weight…he struggles to get around the park, i can harldly see him leading any troops for 80 minutes!

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.02.10 11:53:45 by Megatron Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : @Charlie (Comment 15) : uhm, did I say something wrong 😯

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.02.10 11:55:19 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 17) : I can only see him playing 80 min as a hooker, not at tighthead. He played 80 min in most of the tests last year

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.02.10 11:58:09 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 18) : Nope… 😉

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.02.10 12:26:49 by Charlie Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 20) : didnt think so… 😉 Adi your a great oke

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.02.10 12:59:32 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) : i live across the road (sort of) from a dros, will probably spend more time there between now and the end of May, although Im not a big drinker. Going to the coke tin on saturday and planning on home next weekend. So I’m sorted for the next couple of weeks

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.02.10 14:15:35 by war1 Reply
  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 21) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.02.10 14:36:14 by Charlie Reply

  • well looks like alberts can play on saturday. thats not what the ruling says, but it is what can be read between the lines.

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.02.10 15:27:51 by try time Reply

  • saru have ruled the matter is between sharks and lions as it is a contract validity issue (duh dumb idiots what else was it about imbecile). so the ruling basically says saru is washing its hands clean. now if the sharks have the balls they should play alberts and force lions to take legal action.

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.02.10 15:31:07 by try time Reply

  • The statement is at

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.02.10 15:32:34 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 26) : I read it as well, SARU are copping out here. They also say they hope it gets sorted out by friday. This is a farce. 👿

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.02.10 15:45:51 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 27) : the sharks should play alberts. if both lions and stormers poached players and won, sharks are also going to.

  • Comment 28, posted at 10.02.10 15:49:04 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 28) : yeah, they should. but lions and stormers cases are both closed. this is not a good situation 3 days before the first game!

  • Comment 29, posted at 10.02.10 15:51:10 by war1 Reply
  • what are the lions going to do send police and arrest alberts when he runs onto the field? they need a judgement or court order to do that. if the lions feel there is foul play they must initiate legal proceedings. it is not the players that must.

  • Comment 30, posted at 10.02.10 15:56:38 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 30) : look, the worst case scenario implications for the sharks are quite scary

  • Comment 31, posted at 10.02.10 16:02:32 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 27) : please could you post the article? I need to rush home

  • Comment 32, posted at 10.02.10 16:06:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 17) : Have to agree with you there.

    The first two games so far have showed what will be required from a prop this year – do your job up front and in the rucks, then run, handle and defend like backs all around the park.

    I can’t see Barney doing that for any decent length of time, especially in view of how he could hardly talk to the ref in the warm-up games he was so stuffed.

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.02.10 14:05:42 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 30) : I reckon we should just play Alberts. Besides a negative outcome to the legal action, which is already in process, what can anybody do about it?

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.02.10 14:10:54 by rhineshark Reply
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