The result is vital

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Sevens on 2 Feb 2011 at 10:40
Tagged with : , , ,

If you believe results in warm-up games don’t mean anything, I am afraid you are slightly deluded.

No silly, not the scoreboard result, that is meaningless, in fact, if I was a coach I would want the scoreboard to be switched off during these games!

But there is a reason, and a pretty damn good one teams play these pre-season games, and the results from these games, are vitally important to the team and the coach.

So what is the importance and why do they play these games?

Teams at this stage have all come off their pre-season conditioning work, which would mainly include gym work and fitness (strength and conditioning) and some skills training. Heading into the competition proper however, coaches will look at implementing structures, test combinations, and of course, depth.

It will be easy to test this by playing your A-team against your B-team, but you will not learn that much as calls or plays would be known by all, and since you are doing this in a team environment, commitment and intensity would be undermined when testing these areas.

Plumtree, Mitchell, Coetzee, Ludeke and Drotske all have very specific ‘results’ in mind when they enter into these games. All of them different, and all of them having little to do what the scoreboard says after 80 minutes.

Every single coaching manual worth its value will tell you the most important aspect of training (which this is), would be to replicate real-match situations. To test structures, skills and plays under intensity and pressure. The result of this, is what is vital.

So what fans, and in particular the Bulls and Sharks fans (and obviously their coaches) need to consider here, is whether they ‘lost’, judging on these aspects of their team and the match.

Considering the Sharks and Lions game, where the Sharks lost 24 balls in contact, conceded 15 penalties, got bossed in the set-pieces (conceded 3 tries from mauls and drives) and missed way too many tackles, the ‘results’ which matters, is far worse than 10-41.

Good teams, or prepared teams, have systems that work, and they trust. I have little doubt the Sharks have decent systems in place, but unlike the Lions coach, Plumtree will have to ask serious questions with regard to the application, and commitment of his charges who are tasked to execute them.


  • Interesting insight Morne..

    Have to agree with you..

    Thanx for a great article.

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.02.11 10:59:54 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Very good article. The purpose of the warm up game becomes clear here to the uninitiated, but with the stats for the Sharks mentioned above – one wonders again at the purpose of the warm up game!Or were they looking at other things? Combinations or avoid injuries perhaps? 🙁

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.02.11 11:10:26 by Caratacus Reply

  • Good Point..Rather find out where your short falls are now, then during the tournament.

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.02.11 11:20:48 by Farlington Reply

  • thanks i was wondering whether to get bettaway, centrum or vital multi vitamins. i’ll take your suggestion and go vital.

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.02.11 11:36:21 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 4) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.02.11 11:49:06 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • Totally agree with you Morne, and its why I was so bitterly disapointed yesterday and so jittery and pessimistic about the SR 15 at the moment. It wasn’t the 41 10 but the way they played, defence sounded like was totally missing, balls being knocked on continuously by all players, and not to mention discipline! I am worried, very worried 🙁

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.02.11 11:50:22 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • Good article .I would like to see statistics so we can find a scapegoat to hang up and quarter, just joking.

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.02.11 11:54:57 by Talent Reply
  • “The Sharks lost 24 balls in contact, conceded 15 penalties, got bossed in the set-pieces (conceded 3 tries from mauls and drives) and missed way too many tackles, the ‘results’ which matters, is far worse than 10-41”
    That said it all…. Well put Morne.

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.02.11 11:55:23 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • oh by the way this just stood out in a face book status to me ,as a message;Never fail 2 appreciate every blessing God sends your way

    Could it be this is a blessing in disguise

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.02.11 11:56:52 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 9) : quite possibly a very good wake up call. Rather now than on 18 Feb.

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.02.11 12:06:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @CapeShark (Comment 8) : I agree. Very well stated by Morné.

    I wonder if there was anything positive that Plumtree was able to get out of this game ❓

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.02.11 12:17:46 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • No surprise this. We never do particularly well in these kinds of matches. No train smash at all. Still sucks to get thrashed by the Lions though.

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.02.11 12:36:49 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • @beet (Comment 11) :

    If you play a game an learn nothing, you haven’t played at all.

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.02.11 12:37:19 by Morné Reply
  • Great article as usual Morne’, the other point I want to make is when you win a game your self belief and confidence definitely takes a leap forward, last year was a classic case, the more the lions lost, the more likely it became that they would not win a game as they ended up with no confidence in what they were doing. The sharks had bad luck and shocking refs to contend with, but it also battered their self belief and confidence and put huge pressure on them from their fans as will this loss. So to all those people saying it’s only a warm up game, they all count in the build up, even if not the results

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.02.11 12:39:34 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Very good article, was a good read. We should not forget that the Lions has played a game on Friday and they lost. But we definitely have to work on our defense. I think Saturday will go must better. ❗

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.02.11 12:40:12 by Tommy Chilcott Reply

    Tommy Chilcott
  • Thank You Morne I wondered if anyone would stop beating around the bush and call a spade a spade here.

    “Yes we lost, no it doesn`t matter” is all I`ve been hearing.

    Okay it doesn`t mean much but some of the things I picked up was:

    Our discipline, handling and commitment in the rucks, there`s none of that.
    Defense . . . . hmmmm the less said the better.

    Adi possibly looked like the best centre in our squad last night.
    Bosman will have to step up or ship out. Too Slow, zero defense and his passing?? Think Stefan must have had a few harsh words with him. Judging by the comments in the crowd arround me he should go back to VC and we`ll see him again in the CC if we can`t find anyone else.
    Lambie should slot in at 12 with Adi 13 and Stefan back to 15. While the defense might not be much better at least we`ll have someone exciting out there.

    Our forwards will shape up I`m not worried about them, it`s the backs that kept me up last night.

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.02.11 12:40:50 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Obviously, with neither of the tri series games thus far having been televised, it is difficult to comment on much else but the scorelines (as opposed to the results). From a Lions point of view, I think both the result and the scoreline must be heartening, purely based on Friday’s game. From a 15-0 loss, to a 41-10 victory can only bode well, because, again, not having seen anything, one must assume that the mistakes made in the first game were rectified in the second(either that or the sharks played really kak 😆 ). From a shark perspective, the results( and to a lesser extent) the scoreline, in Saturday’s game will be of greater importance. If the mistakes from last night are eliminated, they can feel that they are approaching readiness. A repeat of last night will be problematic

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.02.11 12:43:11 by Greg Reply

  • @Original Champion (Comment 16) : remember Meyer missed out on a fair bit of the pre-season due to a groin injury… give him a chance to get better

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.02.11 12:46:11 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Talent (Comment 9) : agree with [email protected]KSA Shark © (Comment 10) :
    and its true rather a wake up call now than later :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 02.02.11 12:52:39 by chaz Reply

  • @Greg (Comment 17) : i’m not going to get it in with you on that part of the sharks being kak 😳 😳

    because when i do i always end up in big trouble so i’ll let the Shark Players do the talking for me :mrgreen:

    but well done with the warm up game which for me means niks it doesn’t count for the log and then you still have to get the best from the other teams your team just got lucky and the worst from us the best is still to come from the Sharks just remember the Sharks don’t let go the quickly 😉

  • Comment 20, posted at 02.02.11 12:58:34 by chaz Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Oh I`ll give him a chance . . Doubt very much if Sonny Bill and Wynand Olivier will be so lenient :mrgreen:

    Suddenly I`m worried about our locks though . .

  • Comment 21, posted at 02.02.11 13:14:48 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Morne, I agree that the concern should be around how we played – not the result.

    Having said that, the big problem areas were interesting – handling, defence and breakdown. All have to do with discipline, and all improve with repetition.

    For me this says 2 things – our problem is not skills or personnel, but game time, and playing these warm-ups is the correct remedy.

    So basically, that which illustrated the problem will also fix it.

    So let’s not push the panic buttons just yet.

  • Comment 22, posted at 02.02.11 13:17:54 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Will we pull a Bulls move this Saturday given all our injury concerns?

    Maybe just give the A side 15 minutes towards the end?

  • Comment 23, posted at 02.02.11 13:22:19 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) :

    Wise words from a wise man!

  • Comment 24, posted at 02.02.11 13:23:07 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Let the other teams have the glory in the warm up games,when it matters they usually do not.

  • Comment 25, posted at 02.02.11 13:26:27 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • Unless I’m mistaken, the Bulls lost their warm-up games in 2010 – all was doom and gloom for for the defending champs yet they went on to lift the trophy 😉 . With that thought in mind I am gonna remain carefully optimistic about this year’s campaign for my beloved team, and suggest you finned ones do the same :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 02.02.11 13:39:20 by diablo Reply

  • @diablo (Comment 26) : Wise words from a Bull’s supporter 😉

  • Comment 27, posted at 02.02.11 13:44:08 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • Let’s give meyer bosman another chance..he might just be our player of the s15 if he clicks..he has the skill set..and his man-on-man tackling was outstanding whilst @ cheetahs (if memory serves me right) in last year’s cc..

  • Comment 28, posted at 02.02.11 13:50:09 by bergshark Reply

  • How was the kicking at touch from penalties?

  • Comment 29, posted at 02.02.11 13:51:48 by bergshark Reply

  • 24 balls lost in contact??!! Did they gang-tackle our ball-carriers?could they anticipate our runners and where they be heading to take the ball to?were we predictable?did we send (again)ball carriers without adequate support(or were the support players to slow or hanging back in the centres?)

  • Comment 30, posted at 02.02.11 13:54:50 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 28) :

    Meyer Bosman will turn out to be your most valuable acquisition.

  • Comment 31, posted at 02.02.11 13:56:05 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 31) : Agree he is a very skilled player, and with good players around him can only get better!!

  • Comment 32, posted at 02.02.11 13:59:30 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • The problem is that nobody here (not even Morne) knows what results the coach were looking for from the game.
    Thus drawing conclusions from statistics, when you have not seen the game and do not know the context is somewhat presumptuous.

  • Comment 33, posted at 02.02.11 14:00:08 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Morné (Comment 31) : 😯

  • Comment 34, posted at 02.02.11 14:00:37 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @fyndraai (Comment 33) :

    I am sure you have read the interviews of both Plumtree and Ludeke following their respective games.

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.02.11 14:03:07 by Morné Reply
  • By the sounds of it,plum was not to happy with the effort put in on def by the sharks..

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.02.11 14:04:00 by bergshark Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 35) :
    No. Never do. Too many platitudes.

  • Comment 37, posted at 02.02.11 14:05:26 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @fyndraai (Comment 37) :

    It gave an indication what about their losses concerned them. Neither ever mentioned the margin of the loss, which is more or less what all this is all about.

  • Comment 38, posted at 02.02.11 14:06:54 by Morné Reply
  • What did the sharks do right??

  • Comment 39, posted at 02.02.11 14:10:04 by bergshark Reply

  • Any news on ali h?

  • Comment 40, posted at 02.02.11 14:11:26 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 39) :

    Pitched up for the game 😉

    Promising starts and breaks, but then discipline let them down.

  • Comment 41, posted at 02.02.11 14:12:23 by Morné Reply
  • @bergshark (Comment 39) : Ran out on time?

    Also the fact that both teams ran out in their white outfits bothered me. Surely there was a way around it?

  • Comment 42, posted at 02.02.11 14:13:45 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Do you know who missed the missed tackles/had worst tackle-attempted tackles-missed ratio? Or was it a proper” team effort”?

  • Comment 43, posted at 02.02.11 14:14:11 by bergshark Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 13) : Yeah I was referring to positives. Not so sure about your quote in this regard. When you’re learning the trade maybe. When you’re a well established coach whose been there done that I get the feeling you can go thru 80min and not learn anything new at all on certain days.

  • Comment 44, posted at 02.02.11 22:33:53 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld

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