Tough Highveld test awaits

Written by Warren Smith (war1)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 20 Sep 2010 at 11:49
Tagged with : ,

The Sharks did fantastically well to pick up the pieces of two lacklustre performances in the last two weeks to convincingly beat the Cheetahs this weekend. One interesting thing is that the turnaround match was at sea level and not on the highveld where the Sharks have struggled to put a 80 minute performance the previous two weekends.

This coming weekend is in Johannesburg which is at a higher altitude than both Pretoria and Witbank. The match will also be against a desperate Lions team who are clinging onto their semi final dream by their fingertips. Warning bells for the Sharks indeed. John Plumtree and his coaching staff will do well to warn the players against falling away in the second half against a team who are quite good on the counterattack, as WP in particular found out. Once again ball retention, composure on attack and rock solid defence will be required to beat a Lions team who are much better on their home ground. Plum’s use of the bench may again be vital, as the lungs start to burn in the last twenty minutes or so.

This is a vital match for the Sharks as it might just about seal top spot but more than that, an effective team performance in a tricky away test would do wonders for the team’s confidence and reinforce their title credentials but make no mistake this will be a very difficult game and the Sharks will have to replicate their fantastic effort to have a chance at beating the Lions.


  • this one does have “banana skin” written all over it, but the Sharks know how important this one is.

    This is literally the final major hurdle. Anything less than 3 points from this game and we need to get points against Province to secure top spot.

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.09.10 12:09:32 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : it would truly be a miracle if the guys get 3 points from this game :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.09.10 12:12:57 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 2) : you wanna go away and rethink that, war? πŸ™‚

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.09.10 12:14:49 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : question is, what game plan do we use. slow the game down? run everything or keep the ball away from them as we did against the stormers(s14) and wp (cc)? Lambie had a quiet few games, should be an interesting tussle against jantjies.

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.09.10 12:14:56 by VanWilder Reply

  • @war1 (Comment 2) : a 4 try draw should give you 3 isnt it?

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.09.10 12:15:40 by VanWilder Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : no, you cannot get 3 losing bonus points. it would be impossible. So basically we must win, with which I agree

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.09.10 12:19:17 by war1 Reply
  • @VanWilder (Comment 5) : @VanWilder (Comment 5) : oh yes, forgot about that. 😳 @war1 (Comment 6) : 😳

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.09.10 12:21:17 by war1 Reply
  • @VanWilder (Comment 4) : Agreed, looking forward to the battle of the flyhalves

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.09.10 12:24:05 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Clever use of the bench players in this game is going to prove vital. Plum will have to give the bench players more than the 1 or 2 minutes we have been seeing in the last few matches. Kyle Cooper has enormous potential, he deserves to come on for at least the last 15 to 20 minutes, as do some of the other reserves, such as Rory and Botes (if Plum decides to start him off the bench again. I thought Botes was huge in the time he was on against the Cheetahs, he was all over the park and was tackling like a machine Taking nothing away from Keegan’s contribution of course.

    Please all Sharks fans living in Gauteng, go to the game on Saturday afternoon. Wear black and white and wave your Shark flags, turn it into a home game for our boys, it really does make a difference.

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.09.10 12:24:11 by jonnow Reply

  • Again, we should be too strong for them. But it all depends which team pitches up for the game.
    Go Sharks ❗

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.09.10 12:24:32 by Jarson Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @war1 (Comment 7) : whoops πŸ™‚

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.09.10 12:24:49 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : Depending on other results, 3 points would suit us too, maybe we should get together and do a pakistan here πŸ˜†

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.09.10 12:26:44 by Greg Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 4) : keep the ball. Make them tackle, tackle and tackle some more. We have the pack to strangle them.

    Anyone who kicks the ball immediately gets docked 50% of his match fee. Same goes for a handling error πŸ™‚

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.09.10 12:27:12 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : when did a game end in a four try draw though?

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.09.10 12:28:18 by war1 Reply
  • @Greg (Comment 12) : considering all the options and permutations, I’d quite fancy the prospect of a home semi against the Lions… πŸ™‚

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.09.10 12:29:30 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Wouldn’t be too bad for us either, you have quite a track record in recent times when it come to home CC semis πŸ˜†

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.09.10 12:33:10 by Greg Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : I honestly don’t care who we play and I would love a home final even more, but there is still 3 weeks of league action left,

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.09.10 12:34:04 by war1 Reply
  • @Greg (Comment 16) : well, you don’t have a recent track record of home semifinals, do you?

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.09.10 12:36:28 by war1 Reply
  • The only thing “bananaskin” about the game against the Lions is that we won’t be the ones slipping.

    I would be far more worried if this was a home game. Somehow we drop the odd game against them at KP, but we’ve had a winning streak playing them away going back a number of years now.

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.09.10 12:41:10 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • @robdylan: watching the sharks vs cheetahs for the third time ( but this time in afrikaans commentary),gary boshoff mentioned that rory kockott is going to wp/stormers next season as if the deal has been signed already 😯 any news on this ? would hate to see rory go πŸ˜₯ .. also been watching highlights of some super 14 games of yesteryear on espn classic ..why haven`t the sharks coaching team worked with rory to improve his passing ???? i can`t believe it is the player who will say “NO” when told by coaches to improve his passing (or any skill for that matter)..they should have spent some serious time on this aspect of his game,considering the benefits to the first receiver/backline/attacking play/defensive positions..

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.09.10 12:42:03 by bergshark Reply

  • how about looking at tewis en meraai de bruyn as a sh option?..has a good pass,good kicking game,sidestep,is abbrasive,has an eye for a gap.. how about this guy playing behind and with looseforwards like kanko,keegan,alberts and deysel?and a beast and bismarck?also played a bit at fh for the boland..was a bit of a goalkicker ,too..any info on how much he earns @cheetahs?and when is his contract up for renewal?

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.09.10 12:46:39 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 20) : nothing else would make sense for Rory to do, in my mind at least.

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.09.10 12:47:25 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 18) : TouchΓ© πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.09.10 12:48:07 by Greg Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 21) : we just contracted conrad hoffmann. i dont rate tewis that much to be honest.

  • Comment 24, posted at 20.09.10 12:48:39 by war1 Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : i like it… πŸ™‚

  • Comment 25, posted at 20.09.10 12:49:07 by VanWilder Reply

  • @war1 (Comment 24) : haven`t seen conrad hoffman play @sh yet..did sharks not sign him as a utility back?
    personally,i think tewis could be a revelation @sharks..

  • Comment 26, posted at 20.09.10 12:57:13 by bergshark Reply

  • @war1 (Comment 22) : stay @sharks and fight for top spot

  • Comment 27, posted at 20.09.10 12:58:02 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 26) : no, apparently the reason he signed was that he would be playing scrummie

  • Comment 28, posted at 20.09.10 12:58:49 by war1 Reply
  • @bergshark (Comment 27) : him and plum don’t seem to see eye to eye

  • Comment 29, posted at 20.09.10 13:00:34 by war1 Reply
  • @wpw: please tell me more about this conrad hoffman,because i`m not so sure about this signing..not as first-choice sh..how many superrugby caps does he have @sh?how many minutes has he spent on the field in superrugby games?curriecup games??better option would have been someone else..

  • Comment 30, posted at 20.09.10 13:00:47 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 26) : sorry, but simply cannot agree with that. Tewis is, to be blunt, UITERS KAK.

  • Comment 31, posted at 20.09.10 13:03:59 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @war1 (Comment 29) : well then ,why is that???? what`s up with plum?? what`s up with rory??? ego`s??? get someone else in the coaching team to sort out his passing,then..this is no good πŸ™ πŸ˜₯ he still seems to have friends in the team..and they run out onto the field together..they,at the end of the day(copyrights naas botha),must be willing to fight for each other and the sharks and us ,the fans..

  • Comment 32, posted at 20.09.10 13:05:05 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 30) : I haven’t seen that much of him but a lot of the WP fans recon he’s better than Duvenhage and he is also a flyhalf option…not that we really need him there though.

  • Comment 33, posted at 20.09.10 13:05:11 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : i will differ on that,but unfortunately i don`t think we will ever see him in a sharks sh jersey playing with the likes of kanko,alberts,deysel,keegan,beast,bismark,lambie..that would be the lithmus test for the argument..

  • Comment 34, posted at 20.09.10 13:08:31 by bergshark Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 33) : well,he has signed now,so i hope he is all that – and even a whole lot more,if i can be a greedy sharksfan πŸ˜€

  • Comment 35, posted at 20.09.10 13:10:31 by bergshark Reply

  • @robdylan:how is it going with jean deysel?any news on his injury?please keep us posted

  • Comment 36, posted at 20.09.10 13:11:49 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 30) :

    He is a fairly talented at scrumhalf and made his debut for WP in 2006/7. I remember he won a few MOTM awards at the time.

    Shortly afterwards he suffered an injury and was out for quite some time (can’t recall what the injury was)

    He struggled to get back into the senior side as we had just signed Ricky, Bolla was still around and last year Duvenage came to the fore.

    Since then he has been playing for the U21’s as well as for Maties (Stellenbosch)

    I think most WP supporters would prefer him to stay!!

  • Comment 37, posted at 20.09.10 13:12:11 by wpw Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 33) : and where does that leave the cronje twin that plays sh?not that i rate either of the two

  • Comment 38, posted at 20.09.10 13:13:22 by bergshark Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 37) : thanks for the info .. would have prefered though that you refered to him as a “hugely talented player who has won big games against big name teams on his own” πŸ˜† (perhaps that will still come with him in a sharks jersey πŸ˜€

  • Comment 39, posted at 20.09.10 13:16:15 by bergshark Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 37) : @bergshark (Comment 39) : He recenly came on a replacement for WP at fullback and wing and he looked very good.

  • Comment 40, posted at 20.09.10 13:19:10 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @bergshark (Comment 36) : I heard from him last week. Rehab is going well, but it’s early days yet

  • Comment 41, posted at 20.09.10 13:43:48 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • i’m in two minds about this game. after the workload some of the players put in on saturday they need a breather. this game would be a great game to give the bench a start to give them game time to get them fit in case we get an unfortunate injury. we have a home semi already so we can afford to rest key players. i would rather take the foot off the pedal this and next week than go to newlands with nothing to prove and get into the wrong frame of mind before the semis.

  • Comment 42, posted at 20.09.10 13:48:54 by try time Reply

  • but to win the final three games will also be great for the team, as long as they don’t lose any key players.

  • Comment 43, posted at 20.09.10 13:50:58 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 42) : wow… what a gambit!

    Would far rather go all out to win this game, then relax for 2 weeks. We are going to, of necessity, send a pretty strong team to Cape Town anyway, since we’ll want to tune up the Boks ahead of the semi

  • Comment 44, posted at 20.09.10 13:58:53 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Pokkel (Comment 40) : @bergshark (Comment 39) :

    He can also kick at goal.

    Reminds me of Ruan Pienaar. 😈

  • Comment 45, posted at 20.09.10 14:01:19 by wpw Reply
  • College Rovers playin against UJ in quarter finals of club champs at 5pm today! Hope we win in

  • Comment 46, posted at 20.09.10 14:03:03 by RuckingFun Reply

  • @RuckingFun (Comment 46) : that would be awesome.

    Any idea what the Rovers team will look like?

  • Comment 47, posted at 20.09.10 14:04:27 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 44) : i would like to hope the sharks peak towards the semis rather than this weekend and then restart the rebuilding of momentum. i think it is better to now start slow this weekend, better next weekend, stronger wp then they are hitting their straps semi time. rather than hard this weekend, and restart next week, go to newlands with nothing to play for and little motivation, and then get to the semis scared because they backfired in cape town.

    both ways could fail or succeed. i hope plum chooses the right one.

  • Comment 48, posted at 20.09.10 14:07:09 by try time Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 45) : Ruan was mentally weak…I recon for a player with the right attitude this wouldn’t be a problem.

  • Comment 49, posted at 20.09.10 14:10:05 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @try time (Comment 48) : let’s peak continuously from now until after the final. That would suit me.

  • Comment 50, posted at 20.09.10 14:11:45 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • i would like willem alberts, sykes and dries to rest this weekend. give pretorius a run with lambie or stefan at the back
    give rhodes a run. if we win great, if we lose at least we don’t have our key players injured.

  • Comment 51, posted at 20.09.10 14:12:34 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : me too, but can the sharks keep that sort of momentum up. they crashed after 7 in a row, and going on previous seasons the next crash happens after one less game. that would be the final.

  • Comment 52, posted at 20.09.10 14:15:53 by try time Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 49) : That is one great thing about Lambie, he misses a kick at goal and it doesn’t affect the rest of his game.

  • Comment 53, posted at 20.09.10 14:16:29 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • on the topic of the boks getting conditioned, is it my imagination, or does province benefit most out of the players lost to this conditioning. was p divvie hoping to help wp overtake the sharks on the log? it backfired when burden and cilliers stepped in briiliantly. πŸ˜†

  • Comment 54, posted at 20.09.10 14:20:19 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : no clue was hoping someone on here may be able to help out

  • Comment 55, posted at 20.09.10 14:29:03 by RuckingFun Reply

  • Really looking forward to this weekend. In a way i’m happy to see the Lions regain form as it makes the competition a whole lot more interesting. The obvious focus will be on the two number tens, but I think the real challenge will be between the scrummies. Vermaak is back to his best and McCleod is showing the kind of form that made the Sharks bring him to the union from the Falcons.

  • Comment 56, posted at 20.09.10 14:40:41 by blueski palooski Reply

    blueski palooski
  • the game of the weekend for me is seeing downey up his game for the sharks and help griquas beat the poefters. in the one game i did watch him play he didn’t really impress me, but he was just drafted and it takes time to get combos going.

  • Comment 57, posted at 20.09.10 14:48:31 by try time Reply

  • Watched a bit of the Super semi finals of 2007 yesterday – was awsome stuff! Old Frans Verstaan in the 14 jersey…sorry, but that oke was shoved around like hell…

  • Comment 58, posted at 20.09.10 14:51:40 by Pink Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • I would also prefer rest for Alberts. He makes huge hits with ball in hand. That would leve Botes, Keegs and Kanko. Would also begin with Rory and AP at FH. The rest i would leave the same. McCleod, Lambie and Alberts i would say are the crux of the team. The other issue then arises. How would an expansive game on the highveld pan out? Should be more conservative and play closer. Then you guys would say that Keegan is not the option then and Alberts the obvious choice. 6 of this and a halve a dozen of that πŸ™‚

  • Comment 59, posted at 20.09.10 14:54:31 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • what i think is going to prove crucial for our currie cup campaign, is if we beat the lions and leopards with this team we will have the springboks back for the province game and will prob end up resting burden etc and playing john and bizzy. Team selection for the semi will then prove crucial and i hope we don’t lose any continuity like we did last year. although i dont think we have as many boks coming back as last year.

  • Comment 60, posted at 20.09.10 15:02:14 by RuckingFun Reply

  • I’m not saying that the other players are’nt important. Keegan, Kanko, Al, V Staden and Cilliers had a gr8 game against the Tjietas. Andries was his solid self and Ludik a handful.

  • Comment 61, posted at 20.09.10 15:04:22 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 59) : i agree. i just didn’t want to suggest giving rory game time. the thought scares me. πŸ˜†

  • Comment 62, posted at 20.09.10 15:05:42 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 62) : I would give him 20 minutes if we are ahead. . .

    Having said that . . he did score the bonus point try for us!

  • Comment 63, posted at 20.09.10 17:25:53 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Golden Lions vs Sharks at Coca Cola Park, Johannesburg
    Referee: Jason Jaftha
    Assistant referees: Lusanda Jam, Christie du Preez
    Television match official: Shaun Veldsman

  • Comment 64, posted at 20.09.10 18:30:34 by war1 Reply
  • club champs college rovers beat uj 26 -20 now in semis

  • Comment 65, posted at 20.09.10 20:03:17 by ruggabugga Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    Quite pessimistic rob..

    The Bulls have scraped through a few games and are playing kak. That they lost to a bottom dwelling team says it all. The Sharks will be too much for the Lions and I don’t see why they can’t do another four tries to cruise to victory.

    The Bulls game will be their motivation.

  • Comment 66, posted at 21.09.10 08:27:14 by Predawn Reply

    Great White Shark
  • @Pokkel (Comment 49) :

    Thing is Ruan had an outstanding Super 14 and kicked very well. He had or has tremendous potential but ‘some’ of our coaches just don’t have the right credentials to man-manage a player of his quality and mould him into the player he could be.

  • Comment 67, posted at 21.09.10 08:33:02 by Predawn Reply

    Great White Shark
  • @Predawn (Comment 67) :

    Like I asked you on the other site: Are you referring to Jake?? Or perhaps Dick or Plum?? Or Div or Eddie Jones??
    Maybe Coetzee as well??

    There’s no doubt he suffered because of his versatility (sp?) BUT he played over 40 tests and still couldn’t settle in the Bok side.

  • Comment 68, posted at 21.09.10 08:41:04 by wpw Reply
  • He was ruined by de Villiers. Under Plumtree in the Super 14 he kicked brilliantly and showed versatility at flyhalf where I am convinced he should have stayed. If he’d been groomed at flyhalf from day one and managed professionally he’d not have had the confidence problems he left South Africa with.

    Our coaches can’t work together effieciently and it has ruined the careers of numerous South African rugby players in the last 6 or 7 seasons. Jake White is a culprit here too.

  • Comment 69, posted at 21.09.10 09:08:04 by Predawn Reply

    Great White Shark
  • @Predawn (Comment 69) :

    I agree that Div did not allow him to play in one position only BUT before then Jake selected him at 9, wing and at fullback. That is where it started.

    As for his kicking at goal, he nearly cost us the first B&I Lions test. If it hadn’t been for Steyn’s heriocs we would not have won the match. Ruan choked and that my friend is why Div opted for Steyn instead.

    What did Steyn do when he got an opportunity?? He took it with both hands and proceeded to break a few records along the way.

  • Comment 70, posted at 21.09.10 09:27:22 by wpw Reply
  • Pienaar’s confidence was shattered by then. It boils down to man-management. He thrived under the mentorship of Plumtree and that is clear by his attitude to his game.

    de Villiers is unprofessional and inept and it shows…he is a numpty of generous proportions.

  • Comment 71, posted at 21.09.10 09:35:15 by Predawn Reply

    Great White Shark

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.