Keep it simple – keep it tight

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 14 Apr 2010 at 23:21
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The Sharks have powered their way to three successive victories in the Super 14 on the back of a vastly improved pack of forwards. They need to stick to this formula in order to claim five points against the Lions on Saturday.

With the Sharks’ slim semi-final prospects now hanging by a thread, a bonus-point victory is a non-negotiable requirement from each one of their remaining five games. Against the Bulls away and Stormers at home, that is not going to be an easy feat, but the Lions have conceded about 150 tries already this season and the Sharks would really have to play pretty poorly, one would think, to avoid putting at least 4 more past them.

That’s just the thing, though… the Sharks have only scored 12 tries so far in 8 starts, hardly the sort of statistic to fill us fans with confidence that they simply need to rock up to collect the points. The Lions, on the other hand, have scored easily twice as many and have shown an ability (and propensity) to attack from anywhere. Hell, if only they could be bothered to tackle occasionally they might actually win a game or two!

There’s a pretty stark warning here,though, for John Plumtree and his team; don’t let the game get loose and don’t allow the Lions to run at you. They are tactically vulnerable and defensively weak pretty much all over the park, but the one thing they do not battle to do is fashion line breaks, ironically the one aspect of he Sharks defensive record that has been patchy at best this season. The key to beating the Lions is to starve them of ball, keep them out of the game and suffocate them with relentless pressure – in their own half. The Sharks have the pack to keep doing this all night and with Jean Deysel and Willem Alberts working in tandem as ball-carrying options, they can make huge inroads against a Lions team that simply will not have either the firepower or the will to stop them at close quarters. Keep the pressure on, keep kicking the penalties, winning the scrums and making ground from the driving mauls and the resistance will crumble and the tries will come on their own.

Try to get fancy by throwing the ball around and we’ll very quickly find out which back division is more dangerous. It won’t be the one wearing black…


  • It just goes to show how Plum and Dick complemented each other nicely when they were part of a coaching unit. Plum gives solidity and defensive structure, whereas Dick gave us our swashbuckling, try-scoring edge before he left.

    I heard something about Burden being used as the bench loose-forward. I like the sound of that! With his size, strength and pace as well as his backline handling skills, he’d make an incredible loose-forward. Have Beast and Wiehan Herbst on the bench covering the front-row. Here’s hoping Murray and Mvovo get a run too…

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.04.10 00:41:41 by MerckZ Reply
  • sharks always last to announce their team it seems….
    Sharks must just score an early try or 2….lions wheels will come off and heads will drop. Dont let it be close with20 minutes to go….or else lions will fancy their chances…..

    sharks by 20.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.04.10 07:54:46 by grant10 Reply
  • Hey Grant10,
    How are you buddy??

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.04.10 08:04:48 by wpw Reply
  • @grant10 (Comment 2) : sharks by 20 unless John plays at 3, then it will be snoiL by 12 ❓ :mrgreen: 😆 😀

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.04.10 08:11:15 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Really don’t want to sound negative here, but more realistic, don’t think we will make a semi, even if we go on to win all our remaining games. Would just like us to win as many as we can from here on. Especially don’t want us to be the first team to lose to the Lions. Think Lions will be far better this week with their changes in their team.

    Not so sure how much Ray Mordt will offer them in just a week.

    Tell you what though, we beat the Lions and the Blues our tails wll be up to beat the Bulls and Stormers 😛 Those are the 3 big games I am looking forward to see. Sharks/Blues/Bulls/Stormers games.

    Go Sharks.

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.04.10 08:33:10 by Puma Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 1) : I’m also excited to see Burden play flank. He is built the same way as Brussow strong and fast and a lower centre of gravity.

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.04.10 08:35:38 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 3) : i am cool thanks….starting to get a bit of nerves for stormers again…so scared to get my hopes up….those okes can be so erratic.

    cheers…gotta run.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.04.10 09:00:54 by grant10 Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 4) : LOL
    Ja….i have a promise to wpw to keep so wont comment.

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.04.10 09:02:00 by grant10 Reply

  • Nice work Rob putting what I said yesterday into an article. 😉 It gives me some credibility, some, not a lot. 😆

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.04.10 09:09:23 by try time Reply

  • I wouldn’t go for the three points though. i would keep the Lions players under pressure and try get the ref on our side. I feel the Sharks are to quick to take the pressure off the opposition by taking three points then end up getting bogged down in their 22 from the kick off and get themself under pressure of being carded by the refs for infringements in their 22. If the sharks are in the oppositions 22, they must back themselves and keep driving the ball up and force more penalties and yellow cards.

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.04.10 09:22:05 by try time Reply

  • Did you know the Sharks are the team with the best current winning streak? 3 games and we should take that to 4 this week. The other team with the best current streak of wins is… the W.Force with 2, weird, I know. Every other team either lost last week or the week before that, therefor breaking their previous winning streak.
    So essentially the Sharks, for the past 4 weeks, has been the best team.

    It’s to bad everything starts at the beginning and not halfway through.

    But, it does hold some positives for the Sharks, as this means the top teams are losing games and the Sharks can make up some log points.

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.04.10 09:26:52 by Letgo Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 10) : I agree, I think positive play, and going for the try is one of the first things the Sharks did wrong this year.

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.04.10 09:28:54 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 11) : it is a complete turnaround from last year. with the position probably being the same.

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.04.10 09:29:32 by try time Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 12) : i agree they have let the opposition off far to easily by taking three or kicking the ball back to them. The Sharks then try and chase for bonus point tries in the last 5 minutes when it is far too late. 1 try every 20 minutes is all that required. the sharks leave it til the last 20 to get 4.

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.04.10 09:32:25 by try time Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 11) : Letgo, you make it sound all good our Sharks 😎 Like the positive thinking though. I should get some…hehehe.

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.04.10 09:40:28 by Puma Reply

  • ok lets simplify this there are a 100 meters on a rugby field. at worst the sharks take the ball on their tryline. the catcher should be able to get 10m from his touchline before being brought down. with good support and a steady safe game play they will have 19;30 minutes to move 90 meters to score a try. pity players are so impatient. k-i-s-s.

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.04.10 09:54:08 by try time Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) : Burden at 6, could be a great change. Let him start off the bench. I am sure he will be fantastic in the position.

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.04.10 10:29:19 by Oubaas2009 Reply

  • The Sharks team is announced

    15. Lambie
    14. Odwa
    13. Oupa
    12. Swannie
    11. JPP
    10. Goode
    9. Ruan
    8. Alberts
    7. Deysel
    6. Botes
    5. Muller
    4. Sykes
    3. Jannie
    2. Bissie
    1. Smit

    16. Burben
    17. Beast
    18. Wilhelm ???
    19. Hargreaves ???
    20. Rory
    21. Strauss
    22. Mvovo

    Looks like it will be a forwards orientated game by the look of the bench

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.04.10 10:29:35 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) : Burden and Hargreaves covering the loose forward position????

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.04.10 10:30:36 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) : Suppose it’s better keeping the ball among the forwards for this game.

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.04.10 10:31:17 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) : 18 and 19….who knows…maybe a typo :mrgreen:

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.04.10 10:31:34 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 21) : They need two lock replacements because Muller will probaly not last the 80 min

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.04.10 10:40:10 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I can’t say I would have picked Muller above Hargreaves, though. What is it with our teams that we don’t reward good performances? In my view Muller should play himself back into the starting line-up from the bench.

  • Comment 23, posted at 15.04.10 10:43:32 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) : No surprises there.

  • Comment 24, posted at 15.04.10 10:44:17 by Letgo Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 16) : You make it sound so easy…get the ball, keep the ball and score a try every 20 min.

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.04.10 10:45:34 by Letgo Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 23) : I agree and especially since Muller is leaving after the S14

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.04.10 10:47:32 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 23) : I would have left Hargreaves in the team even if he didn’t have great games. Muller is leaving soon, there’s no good reason to keep him in the starting xv. He doesn’t bring that much quality to the Sharks that we need to leave a guy out that will be playing for us in the CC and every other game from there on.

  • Comment 27, posted at 15.04.10 10:48:01 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 26) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 15.04.10 10:48:23 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 22) : I think they also cover flank.

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.04.10 10:48:55 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Puma (Comment 15) : It’s a talent.

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.04.10 10:49:42 by Letgo Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 23) : especially considering him leaving at the end of the season.

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.04.10 10:59:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) : me like this oupa but he can play very good for an oupa eh eh eh :mrgreen: 😉

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.04.10 13:41:56 by Chaz Reply

  • :mrgreen: GO SHARKS GO :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 15.04.10 13:43:10 by Chaz Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 4) : 👿 😥 😉

  • Comment 34, posted at 15.04.10 20:40:35 by Chaz Reply

  • snoiL fans must have some fun if they read how much we are all worried about this weekend’s game.

  • Comment 35, posted at 15.04.10 21:11:29 by rekinek Reply
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