Discipline, technique vital for Sharks win

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 27 Oct 2010 at 10:14
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

The Sharks have shown this season that their new All Black-esque ball-in-hand approach can be more than a match for any team on the day. The challenge in the final is a little different, though and they will need to ensure that their execution is flawless and their discipline superb in order to win the trophy on Saturday.

Looking back at the semi-final victory over the Bulls, the Sharks dominated possession for most of the game and that ultimately snuffed out the visitors’ challenge. Worryingly, though, a number of breakdown penalties were conceded in the closing quarter of the game. Were it not for a pair of uncharacteristic Victor Matfield brain farts, those penalties could well have seen the Bulls steal a match they should never have been in, had Morne Steyn only been allowed to kick at goal. The team needs to learn from this and make damn sure that scenario does not play out again in the final; in Willem de Waal, Province have a kicker that WILL punish indiscretions anywhere within 60 metres of the goal posts and you can be sure that Schalk Burger will instruct him to take any points on offer.

Problem is, the “play-off” variation of the Sharks’ game plan necessarily requires a huge number of rucks, as the players have clearly been instructed to go to ground rather than risk a 50-50 offload in the tackle. Every single breakdown, as we’ve seen, usually presents the referee with at least 5 legitimate excuses to blow his whistle and award a penalty to either side, such is the leeway and inconsistency in the game’s laws. John Plumtree is already attempting to mitigate this – or at least ensure that rulings go in the Sharks’ favour – by accusing Province of illegal ruck tactics ahead of the game. Referee Craig Joubert penalised the Stormers mercilessly for this sort of thing in the recent Super 14 final and Plumtree will hope that their alter ego, Western Province, will receive much the same treatment from Joubert this time around.

The Sharks need to keep their noses clean, though and ensure that players arriving at the breakdown stay on their feet and ruck over the ball legitimately. There was a fair bit of diving in that happened against the Bulls, which wasn’t always penalised by Marius Jonker. I doubt the side will get off so lightly again. The other big concern is that the Sharks front row – in particular Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis – have a propensity to give away silly penalties. Jannie gets done for diving in and sealing off the ball, while Bismarck seems to be less picky about what he gets involved in. Let’s just say that he’s never one to turn the other cheek…

Now, if I were a coach, I’d be tossing and turning about this one, because if there’s one area where the Sharks would appear to have clear ascendancy – on paper at least – it’s in the front row. Plumtree will want the du Plessis brothers to go all out to ensure that the Province tight five is utterly annihilated, both in the scrums and also at the breakdown. While both players soldiered on for 80 minutes in the semi, Plumtree must use them more intelligently this time around and ask both players to go all out for an hour, before bringing on Eugene van Staden and Craig Burden. The latter, in particular, apart from his game-breaking ability, is a real miser when it comes to conceding penalties and I, for one, would far rather have a fresh Burden on the field in those vital last minutes than a tired Bismarck, whose discipline may then start to slip.

One thing is for sure, though. It’s not really about individuals. For the Sharks – and the pack in particular – discipline and technique at the point of breakdown is something that the ENTIRE team will need to have at the forefront of their minds for the full 80 minutes.


  • I getting so nervous about this game

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.10.10 10:18:53 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : I think everyone is…

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.10.10 10:21:32 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • The Sharks have shown this season that their new All Black-esque ball-in-hand approach can be more than a match for any team on the day.

    And we all know how successful they are in big competitions!

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.10.10 10:40:01 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I wont be surprised if Bismarck is wound up all day on Saturday…

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.10.10 10:40:58 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 3) : when last did YOUR bunch succeed in a big competition?

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.10.10 11:15:15 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :

    Ask me again on Monday.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.10.10 11:50:12 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 6) : haha!

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.10.10 11:58:53 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 4) : The same for Schalk. Also, when things not going 100% his way he tends to let rip with a couple of high tackles, stiff/swinging arms and in some cases….. face massages…….

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.10.10 12:21:32 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @SharksRTB (Comment 8) :

    Agreed – this could turn out to be a slugfest with fists flying all game.
    Actually, I half expect that to be the case!
    At least that’ll give the sharks the “blame the ref” excuse come Monday morning… 😉

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.10.10 13:29:35 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • UNCHARACTERISTIC Victor Matfield brainfarts??????? 😯

    The man is a wet paper bag he has the leadership skills of a concussed flock of sheep.

    Watch him “lead” the way on the EOYT. 🙁

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.10.10 13:42:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 6) :

    The answer will be the same if you answer today or on Monday.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.10.10 13:44:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 10) :

    I couldnt agree more. It puzzles me greatly how well-informed fans can think any differently.

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.10.10 13:46:23 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 9) :

    Off the ball stuff will be common place in the later part of the game, when WP try and at least win the fight.

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.10.10 13:46:38 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) :

    KSA – with the greatest respect I dont think you understand.
    A WeePee win this weekend has been ordained. Its written in the stars my good man, no use complaining about it, just accept it.

    This is the start of the next blue and white age of prosperity.
    Remember the eighties – well big hair is making a come-back along with the mighty Western Province!
    Resistance is futile!

    PS. I’m really sorry you’ll be missing the big hair craze… 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.10.10 13:49:45 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 10) : :mrgreen: true i don’t know what we are going to do when our Captain can’t play anymore for the Boks it will be down road all the way until the Sharks can come up with another bets Captain of the WORLD 😉

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.10.10 13:52:32 by chaz (Black and White forever) Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 14) : Ouch 😆

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.10.10 13:53:03 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @chaz (Black and White forever) (Comment 15) :

    I wouldnt worry about it too much – I heard your next captain has just finished matric at Grey Bloem…

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.10.10 13:55:35 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 14) : FJELN 😛

    But on the first part of your comment. You mustn’t believe everything you read in the media SPECIALLY not the WP media.

    I see you guys bumped off Paul because he was going to predict a Sharks win???

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.10.10 13:57:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : maybe thats what they did when the ocotopus was going to say a SHARKS WIN WIN AND WIN the got rid of him somehow 😕

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.10.10 14:01:31 by chaz (Black and White forever) Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 17) : thats ok we always teach the best to be the best in the old end :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.10.10 14:02:28 by chaz (Black and White forever) Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : On a different note……….
    AAAAAAGH. Catastrophe. Help!! Sudden change of plan means an urgent flight to UK (from Zim) on Friday night. This further means no comfy armchair with bitterly cold ales within easy reach, no supportive family and friends gathered round and (worst of all) no WP supporting, low life, so-called mates to abuse and gloat over after the agame.

    So any ideas where in London the game can be watched? Must have GREAT atmosphere.

  • Comment 21, posted at 27.10.10 19:50:18 by perran_dw Reply

  • @perran_dw (Comment 21) : Slug and Lettuce in Wimbledon, the Bok Bar in Covent Garden. You might want to double check as it has been a while since I have lived in London.

  • Comment 22, posted at 27.10.10 20:18:32 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @lostfish (Comment 22) : Thanks. Will investigate

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.10.10 07:59:10 by perran_dw Reply

  • I think it should be safe for Lambie to kick the ball out to relieve pressure. Lets face it, wp doesn`t have a bulls line out, plus they`re playing their backup hooker already . . .

    Bottom line don`t play the game in our own half, De Waal will knock those kicks over, when we kick make sure it is out so we have our defensive line ready when they get the ball.

    The pick and drive should be an option for us as well since Schulk would probably lurk at centre all the time . . .

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.10.10 08:41:29 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • The Sharks forwards will dominate. Of that i’m certain. But we need to get ahead on the scoreboard. In the semi we had the bulk of the possession but in the end it was very close. Don’t want to be in the same situation in the last 10min this Saturday. We need to be a few points clear……

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.10.10 09:03:44 by SharksRTB Reply

  • Anybody know he odds for Saturday?

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.10.10 09:20:48 by SharksRTB Reply


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