The times they are a changin’

Written by Warren Smith (war1)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 24 Sep 2010 at 11:20
Tagged with : , ,

If there has been one thing about the 2010 season, especially after the Super 14, it has been how successful the more expansive and possession-orientated teams have been.

This, in my view, is a fantastic development and should serve the purpose of getting more people watching rugby and enjoying more of a running game. Evidence of this is the Tri Nations where last year the Boks were unstoppable with their kick and chase game but were criticised by everyone other than South Africans for their boring play, contrasted to that is the All Blacks being the dominant team of the 2010 Tri Nations running the ball more and pretty much universally getting praised for their approach the game.

What has also been good from a Sharks perspective is the shift in focus from the Sharks to a more possession-orientated and running rugby as opposed to the kick and chase style which did not achieve as much as what it was expected to. It is nice to see the Sharks playing with the ball in hand more especially since that has been the Natal style since way back when. My dad has told me stories of him playing fullback at school in Durban and knowing that he was not allowed to kick at all or else he would get caned for it. Maybe we should not go to those extremes but it is nonetheless good to see the guys keeping the ball.

This style of play does suit the new laws and it would be in the interest of other South African teams to follow suit and change their style of play to this new brand. It doesn’t mean there is no focus on defense or that you have to throw the ball around for no good reason, simply put you need to keep hold of the ball. I am in no way saying teams like the Bulls are obsolete now, especially as they have a way of surprising everyone whenever they are written off and anyway, they look all the more dangerous when they keep the ball in hand as well.

So, here I sit as a happy fan enjoying a brand of rugby that has the players keeping the ball in hand and hoping that this is not a passing fad but rather a meaningful change in the rugby landscape.


  • I agree and I’ve always said that you cant get points without the ball.

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.09.10 11:29:37 by Jarson Reply
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  • great article, war!

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.09.10 11:51:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : thanks rob, just hope people will read it 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.09.10 12:07:17 by war1 Reply
  • Preach brother preach

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.09.10 13:59:01 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 3) : great stuff my friend just great :mrgreen: 😉

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.09.10 16:10:16 by chaz Reply

  • For sure war1: Banana Boys rugby is what we are seeing now. The devil-may-care glint is back in the boys’ eyes, and I’m loving it!

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.09.10 16:11:50 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Rob, I saw that article on WTR regarding the players stats.

    Is it true Mvovo only weighs 85 and Wayne v Heerden weighs more than Alberts?!
    Would be nice to see stats on our boys. Or maybe I just missed it! 😕

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.09.10 16:23:58 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 7) : it’s a load of kak, just like everything else on that site.

    Alberts is closer to 120kg

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.09.10 16:43:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : 😀

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.09.10 07:24:19 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • The passing game has cost a few points on turnover ball in dangerous positions, but on the whole is getting more than its costing! More points equals more spectators…

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.09.10 07:51:55 by Rahul Reply

  • Hey Rob, dont understand why you calling WTR a kak site, the guys there put a lot of effort into the site and have only good things to say about your site. I hope for all your windgat comments towards the Lions, they crush the sharks today.

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.09.10 12:56:21 by Bizkit Reply

  • Thanks Bizkit: you certainly have shown us the level of maturity we should be displaying in future. I’m so humbled right now.

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.09.10 13:24:13 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I really must stop hanging out in the seedier parts of town. Often the denizens follow you home.

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.09.10 14:42:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hehehehehehehehe…

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.09.10 19:10:46 by Bizkit Reply

  • I was hoping you would sidle back in. You restored my belief in the universal balance by living down to my expectations. Thanks for being you. 😈

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.09.10 19:27:08 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Ag Bizkit (stupid way to spell that word, btw). Enjoy the win, but be sure to check the log when your hangover wears off. Good luck against the Cheetahs next week

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.09.10 19:38:04 by robdylan Reply
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