It is all about attitude

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 24 Mar 2010 at 12:01
Tagged with : ,

Success in any team is largely dependent on attitude, and if this is anything to go by, there is very little wrong in the Sharks camp.

Obviously the question remains how one measures attitude?

Well thanks to main-stream media attitude is unfortunately measured in the most inaccurate way one would wish to imagine, comments from players and coaches.

Not only does one find the most boring collection of clichés when asking players or coaches to comment pre- or post-games but players and coaches often find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

Try and be too technical and statistical, and you are accused of hiding behind stats. Try and say how you are disappointed (which they are believe me) and how they will work on their weaknesses in the week(s) to come (which they also do believe me) and they are accused of being evasive.

Another very inaccurate way to measure attitude, is to try and interpret player’s body language. Some players take losses very hard, others, especially those in leadership roles, have to put on a brave face and most of the time, those brave faces we see on television or read about in papers through the interpretations of reporters (who most of them never played beyond club level in the amateur era), hide the true frustration and disappointment those guys actually feel.

It is hardly a true reflection of the actual mood in the camp, and the commitment those players have towards their team mates, their coach, and their fans who they represent by pulling on the jersey every weekend.

In rugby however, there is one sure way measure a team’s attitude on the park, and that is to study their commitment to each other, and the jersey – their defense.

Many a coach has mentioned in the past that defense is firstly attitude, and then skill and systems.

If you do not have the right, positive, balls-to-the-wall attitude and commitment on defense which cannot be coached, the best technical skills and techniques and the best defensive systems means squat.

Not only is defense dependent on an individual’s attitude in isolation to his own game, but also his attitude towards his team mates, who are in the trenches with him, and his coach and management staff who is responsible for the systems they implement and execute.

This attitude includes personal conviction and belief in one’s own abilities, those of the guys around you, and those of the ones that coach you. It is based on trust and respect in those around you and the systems. This attitude from your team mates and coaches lifts you when you are down or not playing the best rugby you know you can, and it also lifts those around you when they see the commitment and effort you put into the team and the jersey.

If ever I measure a team or individual’s attitude, I look at their defense, and looking at the Sharks and the numbers half-way through the tournament, they are as good as the team currently sitting pretty at number 2 in the log, and the team credited with the best defense in the competition.


Average tackles per game: 129
Average tackles missed per game: 18
Successful tackle completion percentage: 86%


Average tackles per game: 110
Average tackles missed per game: 15
Successful tackle completion percentage: 86%


  • So there is no rift in the team then??? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.03.10 12:11:55 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I like these stats….pretty darn impressive.

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.03.10 12:20:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : hmmm

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.03.10 12:21:39 by Chaz Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : Before we lose another game…..NO 😉

    If we lose this weekend, I’ll blame Beast for the rift (based on my over simplified knowledge of math :mrgreen: )

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.03.10 12:22:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Morne….Your point makes sense to me but I’m sure the Bulls have a great attitude in their team but their defensive record is dismal. I think the Bulls have the attitude that they will just score more than the other team no matter what.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.03.10 12:27:33 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Morne….I also don’t think there is that much wrong with the Sharks personal but it again proves that a team can’t function without a decent flyhalf.

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.03.10 12:30:51 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) : @Pokkel (Comment 6) :

    Success in a team is largely due to attitude, not in total.

    Bulls tackle completion rate: 84 or 83% I believe.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.03.10 12:41:33 by Morné Reply
  • The thing is, if you oversimplify confidence issues it usually has to do with dealing with present decisions with an attachment to the past or future. This applies to most sports in that confidence is usually something that is felt rather than thought about. “Being in the groove” is often spoken about from golf through to rugby. The oversimplified difference in mental state from the sharks to the bulls is the sharks are analysing what went wrong or will be potentially wrong whereas the bulls are playing rugby they are confident they can duplicate time and again without the overanalysis. They trust the system and have a collective belief systen in it.

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.03.10 12:54:09 by zenrugby Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) : A flyhalf is to the team what a conductor is to an orchestra.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.03.10 12:58:51 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • It sounds like excuses, but four of our five losses were determined almost exclusively by referee calls.

    Chiefs game – Chiefs off sides at the kcik-off, hands in at the maul. Penalty Chiefs for Andries Strauss offsides. Legitimate penalty, except for previous unpenalised infringements. Chiefs steal Sharks lead and win.

    Cheetahs Game – everythng is going for us by half time. Second half, change of ref, change of calls, we lose the game narrowly.

    Crusaders – well beaten, no complaints.

    Brumbies – close loss, questionable decisions against us.

    Waratahs – who needs reminding?

    Highlanders – win.

    IF the calls had not gone against the sharks, questionably so, there wouldn’t be all these debates.

    Let me not confuse the issue – we have played really poorly, but to have played that badly and 4 definite wins were stolen from us, well doesn’t that say something?

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.03.10 18:08:52 by Baldrick Reply

  • We shouldnt have been in positions to lose by a penalty or a bad call to start with. Sharks have lost the abillity to score a lot of tries by their own making, we have the best players, why cant they score. IMO the Sharks have attitude, but not the winning kind.

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.03.10 18:20:55 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Baldrick (Comment 10) : The champion teams are able to grind out the win and overcome the dodgy decisions.

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.03.10 19:23:28 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @JarsonX (Comment 11) : @lostfish (Comment 12) :

    The margins between winning and losing are small gents.

    You guys are very hard on your own team.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.03.10 19:31:14 by Morné Reply
  • @JarsonX (Comment 11) : By your standards, the Nulle should have lost to the Canes. One bad call from the ref in the last 10mins would’ve cost them the game.

    Those type of games we lost due to poor refereeing.

    The difference between a champion side, and a 11th placed side are the close games…..which we lost due to poor refereeing.

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.03.10 19:50:09 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 13) : maybe but I yearn for the days when I was a kid and I KNEW the Sharks would win, any loss was a major surprise. I will always support the Sharks but I wish I could be as confident now as I was with the team of the 90’s.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.03.10 20:16:30 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @lostfish (Comment 15) : Lucky you – when I was a kid Natal was playing Sport Pienaar rugby against the likes of Noord-Oos-Kaap and Wes Transvaal.

    Every year (or at least it feels like that) we would come up against Northern Freestate for promotion into the Currie Cup and lose.

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.03.10 21:03:12 by MysticShark Reply
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  • @MysticShark (Comment 16) : Your Fantasy League Side is going well ! 😆

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.03.10 21:13:06 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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    Hertford Highlander

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