The ghost of try time

Stefan is the Key

Written by cheers had fun (The ghost of try time)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 12 Mar 2010 at 08:11
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As the old man and leader of the backline, Stefan is the man to turn the Sharks backline woes around.

Ok, before I go it is only fair to give the stats from the Waratahs’ game, as Stefan deserves that. And unfortunately the stats support my argument, but also prove that Stefan is the key to turning the Sharks around and if he plays like he did in the last 25 minutes the Sharks luck will change.

In the 1st 55 minutes of the game, Stefan received the ball 14 times. He kicked the ball away 11 times, 3 times on attack in the Waratahs half wasting good attacking opportunities. A lot of these kicks also kept the Sharks on the back foot. In Stefan’s defence here he wasn’t the only guy that kicked ball away from the fullback position, Odwa and Goode also had a hand in keeping the Sharks camped in their half.

Two significant changes in the last 25 minutes turned the Sharks around. Firstly Stefan kicked JP (that did squat all game) to fullback and stood in JP’s place in the backline. This I felt is what a good leader would do. He then received 14 balls (notice the same amount of received balls in half the time, because he bought himself into the game) of which he only kicked 5 times. And only one was kicked on attack.  This change in Stefan’s game and Ruan moving to flyhalf, suddenly made the backline look dangerous and suddenly the Sharks were putting phases together and kept the Sharks out their half. Suddenly it was the forwards that needed to pull up their socks, to turn the Sharks fortunes around. The rest is history. One referee given a yellow and another chance blown.

If Stefan can carry on where he left off, he will certainly silence his critics. To end, here is the comment made at the time Stefan turned his game around. A decision to run instead of kick gave the Sharks a kickable penalty (unfortunately the second easy one missed on the night that cost the Sharks the game): “They get their reward for Stefan running it back 30 to 40 meters.” Stefan this is what your critics want to see. That is me finally out of here, tied up all loose ends.



  • He kicked the ball away 11 times, 3 times on attack in the Waratahs half wasting good attacking opportunities.

    Was it when joining the backline that he kicked this away?

    Where exactly in the Tahs half?

    Was it in receiving kicks?

    And if so, did he have enough support to attack from there?

    I will say it again, you guys have no idea what value Stefan brings to the Sharks.

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.03.10 08:19:14 by Morné Reply
  • Go Stefan….make us proud.

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.03.10 08:21:54 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 1) :

    No No.

    WE DO!!!!!!! TT doesn’t!!!!!!!

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.03.10 08:22:37 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Morné (Comment 1) : i am not stupid morne. i wouldn’t accuse him of kicking away shit ball. he was in the backline at centre and he had players on his outside. he should have taken the tackle or passed.

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.03.10 08:23:15 by try time Reply

  • And although Stefan is a key player for the Sharks, the ‘key-men’ to turn the backline fortunes around in my view is your 9, 10 and 12.

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.03.10 08:23:35 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 1) : Morne how many times have you seen Stefan join the backline?….I fail to even remeber 1 in recent history.

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.03.10 08:23:54 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : read the article again. you obviously missed the point i am making that stefan is a great player, that has let his boot let the team down. but he has everything needed to be the leader the backline has been missing.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.03.10 08:25:12 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 4) :

    Never said you were stupid.

    I am asking for context.

    Did he join the line from fullback?

    What types of kicks was this? Attacking/territorial? What was the end result? (line-out attacking, lost possession, etc)

    Was it off set-phases, or 4th or 5th phases?

    Did they cross the advantage line by that time or not?

    Who was on his outside?

    Simply, define your version of ‘attacking ball’

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.03.10 08:26:22 by Morné Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) : sorry pokkel, he did as i mentioned in the article and that is what turned the backline around. but ksa will once again miss my patting stefan on the shoulder. typical one eyed ref. 😆

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.03.10 08:26:48 by try time Reply

  • Not this again 🙄

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.03.10 08:27:32 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 7) :

    I did read the article, I was resposnding to Morne saying that we don’t see the value of Stefan. It is no secret that you want him dropped from the team. Therefore my response that he shouldn’t cast his net to wide when saying “you guys”.

    I am not one of the guys who believes he should be dropped.

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.03.10 08:28:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Morné (Comment 8) : the ball was kicked out all three times. he joined from the back. he had space in front of him two of the three times. it was shit decision making. but as i said suddenly at 55 minutes something clicked and he became a maestro.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.03.10 08:29:02 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : i value stefan highly, that why i have said a hundred times that if he would just kick less he would be the complete package. but everyone misses this when they read my comments on him.

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.03.10 08:30:39 by try time Reply

  • i can’t believe it, i put up a flattering article on stefan and i still get shredded. my gut feel is stefan is going to step up tomorrow and the backline is going to look impressive.

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.03.10 08:32:09 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 12) :

    How many phases has been played in those 3 instances?

    How many times if any, in each of those phases did the Sharks cross the advantage line?

    What was his options left and right for support play if he decided not to kick?

    How many defenders in the first line of defense?

    All of this defines the concept of kicking away good attacking ball.

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.03.10 08:33:24 by Morné Reply
  • ok now this is my last call. cheers guys it has been good.

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.03.10 08:33:57 by try time Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 8) : I’m no expert analyst, but it was obvious that there was a lot of aimless kicking in the game. Luckily for the Sharks the Tah’s kicked just as much.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.03.10 08:35:00 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 1) :

    What the hell?? 😯

    Just last year Morne confirmed that Oupa Stefan was one of his least favourite players. bwahahahahaha

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.03.10 08:35:42 by wpw Reply
  • I don’t mind when Stefan (or anyone else) kicks the ball, but at least find touch with it or make sure the chase is on…..mostly Stefan (and others) has kicked the ball away without any purpose…that’s a waste.

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.03.10 08:36:16 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @try time (Comment 16) : Cheers TT is was fun. I’ll keep in touch.

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.03.10 08:43:07 by Pokkel Reply
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  • It’s bloody simple. Good kicking wins games, aimless kicking loses games.

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.03.10 08:44:09 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 17) :

    Pokkel the point I am trying to make is not to piss TT off, but there is a massive difference in kicking away possession thanks to bad decision making, and kicking away possession through bad execution (not only in the kick but in play preceding the kick).

    Looking at the kicking stats overall, the Sharks are not kicking that much more or less than any other team.

    I also believe that the Sharks are not always kicking away attacking possession – possession yes, but they were not in good attacking positions when they do this.

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.03.10 08:44:26 by Morné Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 18) :

    I still dont like him!

    @rhineshark (Comment 21) :

    Add to this, a kick is only as good as the chasers following up…

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.03.10 08:45:37 by Morné Reply
  • I hear what you are saying. Maybe the best way to get a decent comparison would be to compare what Stefan did to say Joe Pieterson. Even if a fullback gets a ball outside his 22 and there is no immediate attacking oppertunities wouldn’t it be better to carry the ball up towards your forwards retain possesion and try and create something from there instead of kicking the ball down the middle of the field and giving away possesion

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.03.10 08:51:08 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I really hope Stefan and everyone else brings their A game tomorrow. Very disappointed I can’t watch the game.

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.03.10 08:53:57 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 23) : True, but our wings are lazy.

    Not only lazy in chasing the ball, but being hopelessly ineffective in putting pressure on the catcher, simply because they don’t concentrate on where the ball is going to bounce.

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.03.10 08:57:00 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 23) : I agree with the quality of the chase being very important but how many times does a team on average get the ball back from an up and under since the new law applications. I understand a kick in the corner where you force the opposition to kick out with very little angle to work with but what is the real success rate with up and under nowadays?

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.03.10 08:57:20 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 26) : @Pokkel (Comment 27) :

    Communication is key in a kicking game, and if anything, there seems to be none in the Sharks team which I will concede is a big criticism.

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.03.10 08:58:52 by Morné Reply
  • @rhineshark (Comment 26) : In Odwa’s case I don’t think it is laziness so much as he just doesn’t have enough pace to get to the catcher quick enough.

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.03.10 09:01:59 by lostfish Reply
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  • I say we sign Corey Jane!!!! :mrgreen: or put Lambie on the bench to put a fire under Stefan, this will spark his game into life

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.03.10 09:12:27 by Miguel Reply
  • To answer your question about where stefan’s kicks were kicked from, There was 5 kicks on attack…TT says 3 was bad kicks, I think 3 was good.

    1.The first of the 5 was of a scrum from Kanko to Ruan to Stefan…there was some space and even the commentators said he should have taken the takcle…the ball was directly into touch.

    2.The next one was from a second or third phase and again stefan had some space on the short side of the ruck just behind the 22, The only problem was that Stefan and Odwa was out number by 4 defenders and therefor I believe the kick was a good one. If it stayed in field for one more bounce the tahs would have been in trouble.

    3. Then there was one 35m out. The Sharks had some space and you could argue that stefan should have ran, but again he had JP next to him and three deeper defenders…his kick resulted in a 5m scrum for the sharks, so you can’t agrue with this kick.

    4. Then with 10min to go Stefan recieved a kick on the halfway and send it into their corner of the field, the angle of the kick and the pressure on the kick for the waratah player resulted in a Sharks line-out 30m out.

    5. The ball was swung wide from a line-out ball, the sharks was running out of room and Stefan tried to put a grubber through the defense it came of a waratah player and into touch.

    I hope this helps Morne

  • Comment 31, posted at 12.03.10 09:18:56 by Letgo Reply
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  • How I’d love to be in a room with Morne, TT, Letgo and maybe Rob 😉 with a big HD TV, a PVR with the Tah’s game and some good whiskey and really analise the game. 😀

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.03.10 09:36:00 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 31) :


    Thanks, gives a lot of context to the situations.

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.03.10 09:46:53 by Morné Reply
  • I think another problem with the Sharks is that nobody falls back to support Stefan which leaves him with no choice but to kick away possession.

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.03.10 09:47:42 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 34) : agree on that one just no support like i said play as a team and just maybe a turn around for us :mrgreen: 😉

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.03.10 09:53:23 by Charmaine Reply

  • How old is Oupa Stefan now?? 34?? 😕 ❓

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.03.10 09:57:18 by wpw Reply
  • gee oupa but still got some omf in his old legs nothing wrong about that still playing good for an oupa :mrgreen: 😉

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.03.10 10:00:47 by Charmaine Reply

  • @Charmaine (Comment 37) : And he’s built better than most guys on the field, hy sal my gat skop, en ek is jonger as hy…. 😆

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.03.10 10:07:04 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 38) : ha ha bly om te sien jy is terug waar ws jy ❓

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.03.10 10:08:28 by Charmaine Reply

  • @Charmaine (Comment 39) : Op ‘n sabatical, gewag vir die Sharks om weer ‘n game te wen, maar het Satredag beluit dat die Sharks gewen het so dus is ek terug.

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.03.10 10:16:58 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • sticking with stefan is one thing . .. but Lambie needs to get the odd 20 minutes here and there as well. Remember we`ll need him for the CC, even if it`s not fullback! Heck way things are going now we might need Lambie after the tour already.

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.03.10 10:31:13 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : Agreed. This is getting stale though.

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.03.10 10:49:43 by billy Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 40) : good to hear that still a shark me it just makes me want to be a bigger fan win or loose :mrgreen:

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.03.10 16:38:47 by Charmaine Reply

  • No use viewing Oupa Stef in isolation.

    Let’s compare apples with apples. Does he kick/run more than other fullbacks?

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.03.10 23:28:53 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 44) : Good point on that one :mrgreen: 😉

  • Comment 45, posted at 13.03.10 07:01:07 by Charmaine Reply


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