The Great Couch Shark

Shocking, really

Written by Nick Gordon (The Great Couch Shark)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 19 Feb 2010 at 22:01
Tagged with : , ,

The Cheetahs once again upended the Sharks, this time 25-20. It was a diabolical display from The Toothless Ones, a slap in the face of all loyal fans who pull on the black jersey every weekend.

I drove like a maniac back from work. I swerved and ducked down little side roads. All in the name of catching the game. But what was served up to me was trite that was so appalling, so inexcusably pathetic and downright shameful that I wished I had just stayed at the office and joined the ‘I’m-too-cool-for-rugby’ designers for a couple of beers

I lost count of the handling errors by the Sharks, by the end I simply cheered when a pass stuck or when a player actually managed to hold on to the ball in a tackle. I witnessed a talented team soundly beaten by an average team that based its gameplan simply around us screwing up, how embarrassing is that? The Cheetahs sensed early that 15 clowns had escaped from a nearby circus and were impersonating rugby players on the field. Unfazed, they stuck to their guns, waited for the inevitable brain-fart penalty and even popped over a sweetly taken drop goal to compound the misery.

I knew this was going to be a forgettable game when Riaan Viljoen ran 65 metres through the entire team and scored. I haven’t seen such pathetic defence since the ignominious class of 2000.

The deluded optimist in me, rationalized with my emotional side and so I cheered when the Sharks struck back early in the second stanza. Ryan Kankowski (who seems to be showing some signs of returning to the player he was two years ago) was on hand to collect a decent backline pass that actually floated through the air and didn’t go forward, The rangy number eight did some nifty footwork and stepped inside the defence to score.

Kankowski featured again in some nice line breaks as the Sharks began to realize he was the only ‘backline’ player capable of doing anything remotely useful with the ball. The effect seemed to spur on Adi Jacobs who also raised his game and looked slightly dangerous with ball in hand.

For the rest of the team, words fail to describe the level of incompetence. Ruan Pienaar can be forgiven for being rusty, but in truth he did nothing more than Monty Dumond would have. Alistair Hargreaves has neither the guile, aggression or skill to be a Super 14 player and was hauled off for new recruit Wilhelm Steenkamp much to my relief. In general, the scrums were awful with both front-rows up to all sorts of stupid nonsense that made for sporadic dull rugby.

Rory Kockett was as atrocious this week as he was sublime last week. I may be mistaken, but did he miss 4 shots at goal? Forgive my lack of specifics but I didn’t hang around long enough to watch the end-of-game stats. What really amazed me was his lack of BMT when it mattered most. The man with the most agonisingly lengthy kicking style in world rugby was forced to hurry a little bit to keep us in the game and shanked it right in front of the poles.

But I was perhaps most disappointed at the complete sham that is Odwa Ndungane. Odwa has never had pace, but that was excusable in the old days when his support play often found him in a favourable position. How Plumtree can persevere with a wing that cannot tackle, cannot catch and cannot outrun a prop, is beyond me. We have the hugely exciting Lwazi Mvovo collecting splinters on the sidelines, surely he can’t play any worse? Most teams get the ball to the wings because wings are dangerously fast, but for the Sharks, it’s like the ‘dead zone’, where all life as we know it breaks down.

So where to from here? It’s hard to say. My personal belief is that there are too many things wrong with this team right now from the egoheads like Kockett and Bismark, the walking yellow-cards like Daniel, to the utterly useless individuals like Hargreaves and Ndungane. Unless the Sharks coaching staff can pull some rabbits out of hats, I see a Cats-Sharks final for the Wooden Spoon.

I hope I’m proven wrong….

POST SCRIPT: It’s been pointed out, and I agree: the Cheetahs played well and knew how to play us well. They’re a good side, all credit to them.


  • Still say GO SHARKS !!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.02.10 22:06:02 by Charlie Reply
  • Best to right these articles the next day once you have calmed down. 🙂

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.02.10 22:07:43 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : Sage advice old man.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.02.10 22:10:36 by McLovin Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : Even tomorrow, I will have thought they were awful… But I’ll still support them…

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.02.10 22:11:21 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • Maybe some credit to the Cheetahs?

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.02.10 22:12:44 by McLovin Reply

  • Sharks won’t end bottom.

    Force & Lions will.

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.02.10 22:14:03 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 5) : Yeah for sure, they knew exactly how to play us. They always seem to relish watching us implode. They played us well.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.02.10 22:14:29 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @CapeShark (Comment 7) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.02.10 22:16:17 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : the sharks didn’t wait to ruin their fans’ season. alls fair.

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.02.10 22:17:19 by try time Reply

  • Still trynna think of positives besides Adi and Kanko running some nice lines… sorry if i appear miffed in this article, but someone at Sharks HQ needs a boot up their bum. It really was feeble stuff.

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.02.10 22:21:42 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @CapeShark (Comment 10) : don’t waste the time trying. there weren’t any.

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.02.10 22:24:51 by try time Reply

  • @CapeShark (Comment 10) : actually there is one. kaplan with the runs is better than pro. shows the value of top referees in the tournament.

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.02.10 22:26:48 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 12) : 😀 If i had to ref a game like that, I’d also get the runs and get ouuta there. 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.02.10 22:31:12 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • Well I see Dickie’s got the Cats playing ‘Basketball’ rugby. 72-65. Hmmmm, me thinks I should have watched that game instead.

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.02.10 22:43:04 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • forgettable game. Things will seem better in the morning

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.02.10 22:54:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • i think its a great article, written while the blood is still boiling and brutally honest! i felt like this last weekend already, even after a day to cool off! roll on super 15!

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.02.10 23:29:30 by Rahul Reply

  • Sharks pack are depowered, particularly at lock.

    They’ve been very unlucky to lose the Lions lock to injury, he and Sykes might have made an outstanding pairing, but not to be. Muller adds nothing these days other than flopping over rucks and Hargreaves is a greenhorn. The sharks tried to counter it by buying Bakkies a while back, but not many other power locks in SA. They might want to consider buying a veteran french or NH lock to give them some prescence in their tight 5. Bismarck should also be playing, regardless of whether he is thought of as being a liability, he offers much needed fire in an otherwise toothless pack, which is not the sharks way. BJ also perhaps needs to be made an offer.

    Their side is aging a bit, in 2007 they were at their peak, just pretty cruel, but have made good subsequent buys in Deysel and Alberts that have prolonged matters a bit.

    Frans Steyn was a huge loss, but it was not their fault, he wanted to go. Very unlucky with Hernandez who must be costing them a fortune.

    They are going to need to view this year as a rebuilding year and perhaps look to get some talent coming in, ndungane must now go and they need to be looking for some centres that ask questions.

    Dont count the sharks out just yet tho, if Sykes and another new lock start to stand up and Alberts and Deysel come to the party who knows. Sykes is good, but they need him to step up even more, in fact all the younger players need to do so, Beast as well, far too gentile. Kankowski is a luxury i’m not sure they can afford with their tight 5 at present, he either gets stuck in or they must get a harder 8 who can help the pack retain the damn thing.

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.02.10 23:47:46 by cab Reply

  • @cab (Comment 17) : bonsoir, cabbo 🙂 You’ve been scarce

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.02.10 23:51:14 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • bonsoir mon ami, yes, i thought u guys needed a pick me up.
    sharkies getting it from all sides at present.
    only side to constantly win away, all these other grootballes fold like tinfoil when they hit that plane, the sharkies have always relished the challenge.
    just this year, i think rebuilding may be the buzzword, some cruel injuries.

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.02.10 00:01:48 by cab Reply

  • @cab (Comment 19) : yes, but on paper, we still have a very strong squad, but not living up to that potential.

    Time for a fresh approach… and a change of coach.

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.02.10 00:08:08 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • After a loss wait until you have calmed down before you write! It normally takes me a week after a loss!

    The Sharks have some great players…I believe it’s the coaching. How does a team of Springboks lose to a side with only a few?

    “Show me the quality of the student and i’ll show you the quality of the teacher”

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.02.10 02:47:40 by sanjaydeva Reply

  • There is something very wrong in the Sharks camp. To an outsider it looks like an unhappy team, guys are not playing for each other.

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.02.10 06:42:52 by Loosehead Reply

  • How good a leader is John Smit really? Think about it long and hard.

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.02.10 07:55:09 by Fido Reply

  • hi i don’t think the fans are to harsh this is a very talented team witch is not up to scratch.i do think the problem is the back line witch can not score tries.the coach should take responsibility for this he is killing our can a team like the reds and lions play so positive with almost no stars and our stars are playing crap i say plum and his team are killing our team and we should get campo back to help our back play.i think the players should take the responsibility on them to perform,we are tired of excuses this sucks,rorry was off with his boot then you should see this and react bur plum did not

  • Comment 24, posted at 20.02.10 08:58:26 by koellie Reply

  • @cab (Comment 19) :
    Thanks but no thanks for that pick me up.
    I thought the scrum had the measure of the much vaunted Cheetah pack, even after Bismark came on as hooker and joined went to prop. You are now sewing seeds of doubt in my mind. 😉

  • Comment 25, posted at 20.02.10 09:23:28 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • There is something major wrong in the Tank, and its because Sharks management is disloyal towards their own. Stop importing foreigners and other union’s players and trust your own.

  • Comment 26, posted at 20.02.10 09:30:13 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • what has become of sharks player 23 ??? there were NO SUPPORTERS the stadium !!!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 20.02.10 09:36:59 by bergshark Reply

  • the durban crowd must start showing their true colours – or perhaps they are 🙁 .we need to stir them on to those great heights .. we must lift their game with our constant support from the sidelines .. we must get them to run that extra yard ..get them to make one more tackle .. one more clean at the ruck .. where are those fans ????? 🙁

  • Comment 28, posted at 20.02.10 09:42:24 by bergshark Reply

  • i don`t think there is anything wrong in the team ..except they are not winning.. “IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING TEAM,START BY BUILDING A GOOD BACKROOM TEAM”.

  • Comment 29, posted at 20.02.10 09:49:59 by bergshark Reply

  • @cab (Comment 17) : Sorry, but i totally disagree. Our pack is generally in the best age range for quality physical performance.

  • Comment 30, posted at 20.02.10 09:54:03 by JJR Reply
  • So it’s the next day and guess what….I feel even worse than yesterday.

    This season can’t be turned into a success, anyone thinking that after last night’s lacklustre performance is delusional.

    Our worst fears have been confirmed, the Sharks are in DEEP trouble and this has been brewing since last year.

    Time to face facts, two home losses back to back means there are no positives, the Sharks have real problems.

    Time to call for Straeuli’s head, no matter how we look at this, the start of the problems can be traced back to his appointment.

    The next time you’ll see me here will be only after the Sharks gets a win…..hope the Leopards really suck this year.

    But still, GO SHARKS!!!

  • Comment 31, posted at 20.02.10 09:57:18 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Early Preview Sharks vs Crusaders:

    This game is make or break. I feel if we fail to get at least 4 we have it really tough if we even thinking of a semi.

    The Sharks without a doubt posses one of the best squads in the Super 14 if you look at the individuals. I feel we are still tweaking our gameplan at this stage and should come right soon.

    Crusaders have Carter, woop di doo? As the reds have shown us if you take out their forwards they are useless and Carter is ineffective. I think many would say that our pack has alot more potential and fire power than the Reds.

    Will be a tough game, if weather stays dry i feel the Sharks will take it; they simply have to. The bonus point is up to them.

    Sharks 22- 16 Crusaders.

    Predicted Sharks Side.

    1.Beast, deon might start if he is fully fit.

    Come on Sharks we know what you can do just go for it, don’t wait!
    Sharks forever!!

  • Comment 32, posted at 20.02.10 10:06:29 by JJR Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 31) : I know how u feel, but we can’t lose the faith. Even if you try to forget about the Sharks for a while it will be difficult. I have tried and the damn memory of the losses just don’t go away. Dammit, i hope the Sharks can do what i know they can.

  • Comment 33, posted at 20.02.10 10:12:34 by JJR Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 31) : Chiefs fans might have thought the same for the Chiefs after losing their first three games last season. But, maybe writing the Sharks off totally they might start performing like we know the players can.

  • Comment 34, posted at 20.02.10 10:15:20 by JJR Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 31) :
    I know that your nick has to do with Strauli, but wheres the logic in wanting him fired because a bok laden team are not winning. I dont get it.

  • Comment 35, posted at 20.02.10 10:24:09 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • It’s still a long way to go…GO SHARKS !!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 36, posted at 20.02.10 10:50:24 by Charlie Reply

  • 😡 i still believe we should take our team back from the people who over coach them and that is the problem.the coach said we will be playing more positive rugby did we see that no,it is not that we are losing but the way we are that hurts the most

  • Comment 37, posted at 20.02.10 11:05:04 by koellie Reply

  • Guys, you need to calm down. In 2008 the Stormers lost their first 3 games of the competition but still managed to finish 5th. We missed out on a pl ace in the semis on points difference. All is not lost guys!!

  • Comment 38, posted at 20.02.10 11:19:31 by wpw Reply
  • You guys will come around….

    The Force will def finish below you…

  • Comment 39, posted at 20.02.10 11:36:13 by Hmmm Reply

  • @JJR (Comment 32) :

    Picking Alberts ahead of Kanko already?

  • Comment 40, posted at 20.02.10 11:40:39 by Hmmm Reply

  • you guys will most prob pic up all your points when you tour…and then lose a few when back t home…. 🙂

  • Comment 41, posted at 20.02.10 11:45:55 by Hmmm Reply

  • The Sharks-Cheetahs game had so little worth reporting that the Saturday Star decided not to!! 😆 😆

  • Comment 42, posted at 20.02.10 11:46:38 by klempie Reply

  • I got myself the new sharks jersey two days ago…boy did i pick the wrong year to do that!!!.

    WHAT A SHOCKER!!!. I would just like to say thanks to the sharks for 80 minutes of PURE COMEDY!!!, i haven’t laughed that much in my life!!!. Riaan Viljoen running through the whole team!!! LOL people… LOL!!!. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!…PATHETIC!!! 😆

  • Comment 43, posted at 20.02.10 13:20:02 by The Shark Reply

    The Shark
  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : gee not really got my son blue bull up my neck about this and gee their heads are so big with all this bloating

  • Comment 44, posted at 20.02.10 13:26:45 by Charmaine Reply

  • KSA SHARK its the morning after are yoy still going to surport the sharks or going to the bulls like you told us last night ❓

  • Comment 45, posted at 20.02.10 13:29:39 by Charmaine Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 41) : well i don’t know was thing of picking other sides for points until the sharks win and just win what else to do sitting near rock bottem with sb

  • Comment 46, posted at 20.02.10 13:33:03 by Charmaine Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 38) : i was thinking the same thing all is not lost just have good faith in our boys thats all

  • Comment 47, posted at 20.02.10 13:35:46 by Charmaine Reply

  • Well guys, some harsh words here . . . with good reason.

    Lets face it, our team was crap again last night.

    Zero support play in the tackle, all the forwards waiting in the backline to stuff things up, Rory off his game, Ruan back to his old self. Kankow provided the only faint glimmer of hope.

    After everything I`ve seen so far this year I predict the sharks and Lions in a very high scoring wooden spoon final with the winner decided by the team with the most possession, cause defense and support play seem to be ugly swear words at their practise sessions.

    Plum, Pienaar, Odwa and du Plessis gang needs to do the honourable thing and disappear into the night.
    White would be an improvement I guess . . .

  • Comment 48, posted at 20.02.10 13:41:31 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Let Barney take over the coaching. He’s got a fantastic proven record.

  • Comment 49, posted at 20.02.10 14:18:13 by klempie Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 5) : Have to give credit where credit is due – the Cheetahs played a much better game than the Sharks. Let’s hope that the Sharks have learnt something from these last 2 games and do us proud in Australasia.

  • Comment 50, posted at 20.02.10 15:08:56 by dawnwallenkamp Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Rob it is past morning and I am still mourning 😆

  • Comment 51, posted at 20.02.10 15:11:53 by dawnwallenkamp Reply

  • we just have to wait and c because if they carry on like this then i’ve no words on how angry i’m going to be and go 2 another team just no ways 👿

  • Comment 52, posted at 20.02.10 15:14:02 by Charmaine Reply

  • i think all the shark surporters are mourning today

  • Comment 53, posted at 20.02.10 15:16:59 by Charmaine Reply

  • They guys don’t look like they wanna play. They not enjoying themselves. Only decent player you have is Ryan. And no he is not a luxury. If you don’t appreciate him give him to the Stormers!

    I am sure you gonna do good on tour. Or at least I hope so.

    Good luck to my Stormers this afternoon!

  • Comment 54, posted at 20.02.10 15:19:49 by RugbyGal Reply

  • @RugbyGal (Comment 54) : 😈 well it really looks like they don’t wanna play maybe they are still on xmas leave we shall c what heppens when they play the cru but the other story leave Ryan alone he is a good player and the sharks 😀 👿

  • Comment 55, posted at 20.02.10 15:29:26 by Charmaine Reply

  • I agree 100%!!!. Hargreaves is pathetic to say the least!!!. Not even to mention Odwa, i can’t stand that guy!. Odwa has absolutely no skill or speed at all!!!. Mvovo is a much better player, but plumhead is too stupid to see that.

    Hopefully the pom from England will be eager to play cause the body language of the players just showed last night that they certainly didin’t wan’t to be there!!!.

    What on earth is Hugh Resse-Edward’s job there????, there is absolutely nothing threatning about the way our backs play!. I think this was just a case of Plumhead giving his mate a job!.

    That was pathetic and i am so pissed of i spend a shit load of money on merchandice each year and they couldin’t care less!!!.

  • Comment 56, posted at 20.02.10 18:08:23 by The Shark Reply

    The Shark
  • Blowing off steam??? I suppose it was diffrent for me as I did not have to make any particular effort to see this game. I do however understand and share your frustration. The only two positives for me was the fact that Adi and Kanko showed some signs of their former glory. The scrums were also somewhat better compared to the last time these two sides met. (I wonder if the fact that Smit started at hooker had anything to do with this ❓ )

    So now we are off on tour with two losses in the bag and a lowly 2 points. Does this mean we are wooded spoon candidates?? No I think not. We will bounce back and pick up in the latter stsges as the other teams start on a downward course.

    So boys and gals all I can say is Keep the Faith and if there is only a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel… well grab onto it.


  • Comment 57, posted at 20.02.10 20:56:13 by Farlington Reply

  • we lack structure ( hope i`m not sounding like a blue bull here 🙂 ).there is NOT A SINGLE backline move ( except for when swannie returns,but i wont call fh to 12 on the crashball to set up pick-and-go,pick-and-go ad infinitum ,the high point of imaginative back play 😥 😥 😥 )

  • Comment 58, posted at 20.02.10 21:43:37 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 58) :
    😆 😆 😆
    You must write the manual the Sharks backline coaches use – cos you just described the backline repertoire to the T.

  • Comment 59, posted at 21.02.10 00:35:15 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I have a horrible feeling that we are making a BIG mistake to wait until later in the tournament to try and get up there!.

    We made the biggest mistake of the tounament by losing both our home games!. I agree that Kankowski and Jacobs showed glimpses of regaining form, but we can’t afford glimpses of good play right now!.

    I realy hate to say this but i don’t see us getting very far in this year’s super tournament at all. I also want to believe that we will get better later in the tournament but highly doubt that!.

    Just look at the body language of the players, does it realy look like they want to win, or have the smallest interest in winning the tournament this year?????, I THINK NOT!!!.

    They don’t give a damn and they only tried to keep themselfs from injury against the cheetahs to be able to go on a paid vacation to australia and new zealand.

    Im not saying stop believing, im just asking everyone to rather be realistic about your expectations this year, ’cause you might just end up being realy dissapointed…

  • Comment 60, posted at 21.02.10 12:52:15 by The Shark Reply

    The Shark
  • I see one constant problem with the sharks brian van zyl ,myt seem like an overreaction after two loses ,I understand his made the sharks alot of money and expanded the brand ,but his the constant for over 10 years ,when they,ve been new coaches and new players year after year ,I really would like to know waht the hells going on in the offices of power at the sharks ,the bulls have dragged themselves of the bottom of the super 14 log and were still in the same position we been in for over 10 years ,john pumtree and dick muir are good coaches but they still can,t win the big one ,the cancers at the top

  • Comment 61, posted at 21.02.10 22:26:28 by zvision10 Reply

  • well i would love to know that one 2 why have we nt won yet, cc was the last and got near to it when we played bull in finals well what a game but by gones are by gones good luck this year sharks fans we are sitting and waiting for our 1st win and then just c them win after that 😆

  • Comment 62, posted at 22.02.10 07:10:48 by Charmaine Reply

  • Guys come now, the joke is on us really. Didn`t we finish last when Hugh Reece Edwards coached us before? So what did we expect?

  • Comment 63, posted at 22.02.10 07:51:40 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • I am very surprised that no one really thinks Plumtree is a problem. If so many of these players look brilliant for the Boks, why don’t they look good for the Sharks?

    When the Bulls had a bad year in 2008, other than the loss of Matfield I thought Ludeke was very average. Since he showed better leadership look at the Bulls. Same players different result.

    The job of a coach is to get the best out of the players. I still believe whilst Plumtree is there, this Sharks side will continue to go backwards in a hurry!

  • Comment 64, posted at 22.02.10 08:07:10 by sanjaydeva Reply

  • @sanjaydeva (Comment 64) : not sure you’re right there. I, for one, am on record as saying I think Plumtree is (a big part of) the problem

  • Comment 65, posted at 22.02.10 09:52:07 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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