The ghost of try time

The Tale of Two Coaches

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

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Springboks, Tri Nations on 19 Jul 2010 at 08:55

This weekend had the spotlight on two coaches under pressure, one fired and one didn’t.

This year John Plumtree has been under fire for some odd selection decisions and poor results. Pieter de Villiers is in the spotlight with the Rugby World Cup a little over a year away and the defence of the title in his hands. In 8 days the two coaches took different approaches, leaving one smiling today and the other working out what stupid excuse he can think of now. Funnily enough both coaches had exactly the same positional issues the week before and only Plumtree had the presence of mind to make changes.

Scrumhalf, wing and fullback hampered both the Sharks and the Springboks in their opening matches. At scrumhalf Januarie is past his prime and deserves his spot as bench warmer in a Currie Cup team, Rory Kockett is a good rugby player but a shocking scrumhalf. Both players have the inability to give their flyhalves quick quality ball. Louis Ludik and Jean de Villiers weren’t good enough at wing as both players were playing out of position, in the Boks case their kick and chase game required wings with speed, that Jean or Habana don’t possess. At fullback Pat Lambie and Zane Kirchner were shown wanting, although Pat Lambie has far more skill than Zane Kirchner, Pat wants to be in the backline and often finds himself out of position. Zane is only good when Fourie du Preez is there holding his hand, otherwise his game is as bad as his hairstyle.

One week later the two coaches took different routes and were rewarded accordingly. Pieter de Villiers stuck to his guns saying his game plan was the way to go and his backline was the best to beat the All Blacks. Pieter de Villiers is now chewing on the carrot his team was given by the All Blacks. John Plumtree gave Rory Kockett a chance to impress and after letting the team down again, John relegated Rory to the bench. He also realised Pat wanted to be in the backline so he replaced another weak link (Riaan Swanepoel) with Pat Lambie and got the just rewards. This left fullback empty, so John put Ludik in his rightful position and got a proper wing in and it paid off. The backline played its best rugby of the year and the confidence in the backline made Stefan hold onto the ball more. Sharks possession was at its best and although they never converted most that possession, they made sure the Bulls couldn’t score as they were starved of ball.

So hats off to John for finally the taking time to fix his backline and Pieter de Villiers should chew on his hat to shut his mouth long enough to give his brain a chance to think.


  • I hope both have learned their lessons. If PdV dont change his mind (read: approach and backline), then unfortunately, the Boks are in for another hiding.

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.07.10 09:06:49 by Jarson Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Quite an article… 😉

    I am not going to comment on the Boks, as this is a waste of emotional energy – we all know what is required and us as fans are being starved of cheering rights…

    But as for the Sharks, yep, we need to laud Plum for taking the plunge and making brave calls… Well not really brave calls, but good calls – the backline functioned well and 9 was key, 12 was key – the wings are hot and Louis is a fullback, lets hope we carry the momentum, and lets hope the players remained switched on and reward Plum for the faith he has shown in them, the game plan was varied and it worked well… Very chuffed Sharks fan…

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.07.10 09:07:21 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • John Plumtree must also be congratulated for putting a team together that can score bonus points. this has put the Sharks second on the log. even with the loss. this has been what the fans have complained about for two years. bonus points soften losses as can be seen.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.07.10 09:21:49 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 3) : We lost a game? 😯 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.07.10 09:24:24 by Jarson Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • PDV it,s time to bring in eddie jones and stop listening to heads up muir ,without fourie du preez that plan does,t work and everyone one needs to hold back on calling Lambie the solution at 12 his played one game there and he played very well , but we all know this story ,everyone praises him and hails him the great hope ,then he has 2 bad games and everyone wants him bannished from durban .So for once lets be sensible and not build him up to break him down wait till the end of the currie cup or 7 games to evaluate him and if he trips up give him time

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.07.10 09:30:10 by zvision10 Reply

  • @zvision10 (Comment 5) :
    I don’t agree with you there, because he is the solution at 12 even if he does have a few bad games, everyone has a few bad games, you get emotional supporters and you get realistic supporters, based on the squad we have at The Sharks he has the best atrributes for inside centre, skills in distribution and timing, creates space, has vision… Can defend, gets the backline moving… So where is the problem – Sure he needs time there, and I feel we will give him time there, we are not going to build him up to break him down… He had a good game there and the backline functioned well in the 9,10,12 department with all three key positions warranting another start… Opinions opinions, I guess thats why it is a blog. 😉

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.07.10 09:44:30 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @Jarson (Comment 4) : 😆 i love bonus points. i love them more when the sharks get them. so far sharks have gotten max in both games.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.07.10 10:07:33 by try time Reply

  • @zvision10 (Comment 5) : who is calling for pat to be bok centre? the guy needs a little time to settle first.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.07.10 10:10:23 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 8) : I mentioned he is the solution for 12 at THE SHARKS, not the Boks…

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.07.10 10:15:46 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 9) : oh ok. well considering the other options at 12 for the sharks, i agree again with you. the big test will be against weepee and cheetahs with their experienced centers. if he succeeds then with a few tweaks in a few other positions the cc should be ours and then world domination.

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.07.10 10:20:56 by try time Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 9) :

    Do you think he is big enough to play inside centre there are some serious beasts doing the rounds in that position.

    i.e. Sonny Bill Williams

    … you think he could front up there at Super 15 level or just CC ❓

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.07.10 10:23:59 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford Highlander
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 11) : de jongh did well for the stormers. carter and brett aren’t beasts and they have played well in super rugby. so what was the question again? 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.07.10 10:27:31 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 10) : LOL 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.07.10 10:27:39 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • Well for the first time in a long time I can’t really say anything negative about our backline. I must admit I had my reservations (please see my SB prediction) but I don’t mind being proven wrong with such a performance as seen on Saturday. I would like to say congratulations to Plum and the boys and I hope you can keep it up.

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.07.10 10:30:18 by Farlington Reply

  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 11) : I like Lambie’s technique, he is not crashball, so will not be threatened by big hits from the traditional 100kg inside centre, his tackle technique is also very good, he goes in exceptionally low and almost takes you out at the boot laces, his ball in hand technique is stylish, so I do not see problems, he has been our last line of defence for The Sharks at Super level, and he is 93 KG’s isn’t he? So I don’t see a problem with him there just yet… But Meyer Bosman is also coming to town, as is JLP, so there will be no time to rest on your laurels, there is depth in most positions at the moment other than 13 which troubles me… Stef might be off the pace at Super 15 next year and Adi is sadly injury prone and in his twilight…

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.07.10 10:31:22 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @try time (Comment 12) :


    Do you mean Dan Carter or Tom Carter surely you are not comparing him to DC.

    ….aand do you mean Stephen Brett as Inside Centre….well to be fair he is rubbish there isn’t he !

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.07.10 10:38:15 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford Highlander
  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 15) :

    So i’ll take that as a yes ! 😆

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.07.10 10:38:44 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford Highlander
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 16) : when carter played his first game at center did you question if he was big enough? brett hasn’t been totally crap at 12. all i am saying is pat has skill. how much? time will tell. but lets not write off the guy from day one.

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.07.10 10:47:37 by try time Reply

  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 17) : 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.07.10 10:47:44 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • the problem i have with beasts at 12 (and I am aiming my criticism at sa rugby in particular) is they tend to crash ball rather than create. de jongh and lambie bring something fresh to sa rugby.

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.07.10 10:50:41 by try time Reply

  • Good article Try Time . . .

    I admit, I had my doubts regarding Lambie at 12, maybe I`m still under Jake`s influence . . . 😆
    He proofed me wrong though, what a relief!

    I don`t want to say too much about the bokke, like Destroyer said, we all know what`s wrong there.
    I would go so far as to say January won`t make the bench above Hoffman. WPW would agree with me . . .

    This week we have an easy 5 pointer, but so does wp so we still won`t reach top spot.

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.07.10 10:50:49 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @try time (Comment 18) :

    DC did play inside centre and fullback of course….but i think it wass quickly worked out that he was too small.

    Brett had a really good Super 14 this year but he is never going to survive the hits Benson Standley does at inside centre

    ….i don’t even think Aussie can get away with Matt Giteau at inside centre…..just a thought….will be interesting who they pick there this Saturday.

    De Jongh and Benson Stanley very similar players but i am not sure if either is quite good enough !

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.07.10 10:53:43 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford Highlander
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 21) : i only care about top spot in the final. as long as we position ourselves well to make it easier is all that matters.

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.07.10 10:53:55 by try time Reply

  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 22) : i thought carter was moved because he offered more at flyhalf than what the crusaders had and not due to his size. he had a fair number of games at 12 before moving to 10. didn’t carter take over when mehrtens left? but carter definitely started at 12 which indicates the crusaders management weren’t concerned about his size. anyway hopefully pat will change your mind on the ideal size of a 12.

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.07.10 11:00:44 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 24) : I think he played more at 15 than 12 but don’t know the exact facts.

    lambie looks a prospect but must admit didn’t look to good at the Junior World Champs…that aside he is a fine player…..but in the mid field i’m not so sure !

    Time will tell !

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.07.10 11:07:05 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford Highlander
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 21) : can we get your opinion on Mvovo please? Still want to drop him as a liability?

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.07.10 11:09:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Time will tell indeed, and The Sharks need this young bloke to settle, learn from our mistakes and allow a player to settle. That said, this Super 15 format is intriguing with the conference system being applied – this means we might not play an Aus or NZ team that we usually do.. We will play 13 from 14 opponents, am I correct in my understanding? Does anyone know when the fixtures will be announced?

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.07.10 11:11:03 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 6) : I recall a fair few very negative posts about Lambie last week. I believe it was Uli saying that we should let him rather concentrate on becoming a model?

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.07.10 11:11:04 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : He is a beast !

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.07.10 11:12:41 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford Highlander
  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Yep – time is the best provider of answers and predicting prior usually means grovelling after… I prefer being more contemplative, however chanced my arm with the predictions of the matches this weekend, and I would rather be contemplative once more… 😆

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.07.10 11:13:08 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 30) : well, I have been steadfast in my belief that Lambie is a playmaker first and foremost, thus 10 (or 12) is his best position. This weekend, I was not proved wrong.

    I’m not expecting any apologies from the “Lambie is the next Bok fullback and moving him will ruin his confidence bladda bladda” brigade.

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.07.10 11:16:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • How many great 12’s have been big fellas?

    And how in tarnation can you argue that Carter was moved from 12 cos he was too small, and yet he was deposited at 10, where the 8th man could presumably run over him all day? 🙄

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.07.10 11:19:19 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : Yep, it was stimulating discussing this last week on the blog prior, then seeing it being made official, then seeing it pay off, a great weekend in Durbs for me… I want to move back home and be a cheerleader!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.07.10 11:21:10 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 33) : Forgive me, I am still very chuffed with the win, had a few Bulls around me who had to swallow a large cup of shut up afterwards, left before the final whistle as is typical… Wouldn’t even shake my hand… I think they saw Keegan’s try on the way down… 😆

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.07.10 11:23:16 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 34) : why is it that Keegan always plays 2000% better against the Bulls?

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.07.10 11:32:30 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 35) : It is incredible that, but he gets switched on against the bigger teams, the bigger matches, but reserves his best for the Bulls, bad blood, a point to prove, Nemesis, hurt of 07 S14, whatever the reason, I wish he could be more consistent… My man of the match for contribution and effort.

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.07.10 11:39:34 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 36) : try time makes a telling point, though (and the statistics back him up). If Botes hadn’t sacrificed himself doing the donkey work in the tight, Keegan would probably have been shown up again! My gut feel is that we still can’t really afford Keegan at 8 unless we have real donkeys at 6 and 7 (not to mention a bigger tight five).

    We were lucky in this game that the Bulls picked such a light (and useless) loose trio. If we play this combo again against the Cheetahs, we’ll get hammered.

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.07.10 11:48:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : No Rob I`ll eat humble pie . . . he`s not as a big a liability as I thought. Maybe he just had an off day against Kwasse . . .

    What do we do when Odwa is ready again? I`m guessing his lack of pace is gonna count against him?
    Then there`s Mapoe to consider . . . I think FS tried him at 13 but his defense wasn`t 100%? Plum probably won`t replace Stefan anyway.

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.07.10 11:58:26 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : Yep IMO Keegan is the ultimate Super Sub… He may not like that tab, but it is what it is… But with the squad at full depth and with Mike Rhodes putting his hand up, Keeg’s actually battles to make it into my starting 22…

    Kanko is coming back (Keeg’s like, but more accomplished – on my bench against The Cheetahs…)
    Deysel is coming back
    Alberts is coming back

    Locks against the Cheetahs – Ross Skeate and Ali… Sykes seems jaded and is nursing some bumps and bruises, he needs some rest does the big unit.

    1. Pat Cilliers
    2. Beast of Burden
    3. Herbst
    4. Skeate
    5. Hargreaves
    6. Botes
    7. Deysel (pending fitness)
    8. Willem Alberts

    Kanko and Keegs need to fight it out, or both get a look in…

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.07.10 12:07:06 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • What is the story with the bokke now anyway? I hear conflicting stories.
    Some say there are 20 bokke who won`t be allowed to play any CC this year.
    Others say we`ll have our bokke before the semi-finals already?

    I can`t figure out who might be available and who we`ll only see in Super 15 2011? I`m guessing we won`t see Beast or Jannie again but we might have Kankow and Adi?
    Then there`s the BJ Botha question? Is he gonna stay in SA till after the WC now and if he does, do we have his services at all? 🙄

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.07.10 12:22:38 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 40) :

    1) Contracted Boks will not be permitted to play unless they are in need of game time, Adi Jacobs, Juan Smith, JPP etc.
    2) Boks with alot of games under their belt will not play CC until playoffs see contracted Boks and possibly others who are not contracted (Francois Louw etc)…

    3) BJ is in Munster until further notice and is still a “grey” issue, it is on record that he is seeking a home in SA…
    4) Beast is a contracted Bok, Jannie might not be eligible for CC see game time… 😉

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.07.10 12:33:59 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 32) :

    Big Fish….i think even you may have to concede that in Modern Day Test Rugby it is pretty hard getting away with a light weight second five eight.

    I have a feeling come RWC most of the tier one nations will truck out a beast at inside centre (not someone that looks like DC).

    Guys that maybe doing the rounds come RWC could include Nonu, SBW (a favourite of yours :mrgreen: ) JDV, Hape, Jouzion, Roberts all pretty big blokes. I’m still of the opinion not even Giteau can survive there when it comes to the big games that count (and he’s one of the best in the world in that position).

    …and no i don’t think DC was moved from 12 to 10 because he was too small. I think it had more to do with him fast becoming the best player on the planet and you would want him at 10 and not 12 wouldn’t you plus AM was having how would you term it ….’was coming to grips with a few personal issues – enough said’.

    ….finally on your defensive point…i think it is a lot easier to hide a player at 10 than 12 on defence. As seen in the weekend Kaino, McCaw and Read tackle like demons around the fringes often negating that big ball carring 8. Whereas in the midfield you are often left to front up yourself. That must be true or how does Rona O’Gara play 100 Tests…..!

    PS Wasn’t Pierre Spies seriously missing in action over the weekend….is he injured …..and if not will he survive the cull this weekend ?

  • Comment 42, posted at 19.07.10 15:00:15 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford Highlander

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.