Positives from the season so far


Written by Geoffrey Stokker (Butchie34)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 Feb 2011 at 11:30
Tagged with : , , , , ,

It’s always easier to write this kind of piece after your team has started the season well and has won two from two and lies second on the overall log and at the top of your conference than it would’ve been last year when nothing seemed to go right.

So obviously, the first positive is the fact that we have managed to win our first two games of the season. Many people pointed fingers at the Sharks after the first game when we played dull, dour rugby but it’s also a positive. The Sharks have shown early in the season that they can grind out the hard games in difficult conditions.

Our handling did at times let us down against the Blues, but this is Durban in February, which means there is the all-too-often-heard-about humidity. If the Sharks handle like this in the hot, humidity of Durban it means their handling will be exemplary when they come back from the Antipodes.

Pat Lambie’s kicking. Pat was lambasted in the first game where he kicked 4 out of 5 of his attempts at the posts. Sure there were more kicks that were missed but none of these were taken by Pat. In the game against the Blues, he missed a grand total of one kick and scored a total of twenty-one points and kicked 6 out of 7 at goal. That translates into 10 kicks out of 12 and a success ratio of 83.33%. Those are stats which any kicker at international level would love to possess.

We butchered at least three tries against the Blues. It might have made for several nail-biting moments during the game on Saturday when the Blues closed within 7 points, but in the long run it will mean that the players in question who made the mistakes now won’t be making those mistakes in the future.

Confidence. Say what you will but a win is a win and winning by any manner possible builds a team’s confidence. I used to have a Sunday Times article hanging on my study as motivation during my university days. It was the article the day after the Sharks beat the Brumbies in Durban in 2001, the year after we’d finished 12th. No one believed in the team other than the players, but they still went out determined and won. That win was the start of what culminated in them powering through the Final.

Good off season acquisitions. No matter what other supporters may say about how the Sharks only buy players in and don’t develop players. We have ‘bought’ very few players in the off-season and 99% of the players are the same players who won the Currie Cup at the end of 2010. Andries Strauss was a man-mountain on defence for us last season, but Conrad Hoffman, Meyer Bosman and Jacques Louis Potgeiter bring something different and a great versatility to the team.


39 Comments

  • Positives -the usual super rugby titans have had shakey starts ,we doing the job !

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.02.11 11:39:41 by Talent Reply
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    Talent
     
  • @Talent (Comment 1) : Our main rivals the Bulls have had a steady start as well if you take into account they`ve won everything away . . .

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.02.11 11:41:49 by Original Champion Reply
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    Original Pierre
     
  • yeah true ,but will they have confidence?

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.02.11 11:56:49 by Talent Reply
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    Talent
     
  • @Talent (Comment 3) : after coming from behind to win in Bloem, I think they’re going to have confidence.

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.02.11 12:19:29 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • Say what you want about the bully boys, they have lotsa confidence. I get the feeling they just don`t care if you score against them, when they decide to turn it on they just score when they want.

    That`ll change after the world cup I`m sure!

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.02.11 12:36:37 by Original Champion Reply
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    Original Pierre
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 4) : I don’t think so…

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.02.11 12:43:54 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @Ben (Comment 6) : They might be shocked that they haven’t started as they’d like but they’ll have confidence knowing they can come from behind like they did and still win.

    Have to agree with Original Champion, they don’t care too much if you score against them, they back themselves to be able to come back and score more points than you.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.02.11 13:10:40 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 7) : My take is this. They have won 3 super titles in 4 years. So what else do they have to prove? I think they will be focusing more on not getting injured with the world cup coming up and will not be passionate and hungry enough to even reach the semis. Just my take on things

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.02.11 13:14:46 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @Ben:guys like matfield,rossouw,bakkies botha and fourie looked like they were very determined to win..

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.02.11 13:19:20 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • 4 in 5 years.. And 3in a row_hat-trick of sr wins..and winning the first new sr comp..plenty motivating factors there ..oh yeah,also to end their careers (senior players who’ll be leaving bulls)at the bulls on a high..

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.02.11 13:23:05 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 10) : Then they should prove it

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.02.11 13:26:46 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @Ben: they did prove it vs cheetahs .

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.02.11 13:30:27 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 12) : Through out the season I mean.

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.02.11 13:34:07 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @Ben (Comment 13) : I think the Bulls will really be the team to beat this year, but we showed last year in the CC semis that we have the ability to beat these guys and I’m sure we can show both home and away that we can beat them again this year.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.02.11 13:39:12 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • The tahs will be the team to beat this year,just coz how the aus conf is looking like..

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.02.11 13:41:53 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • I don’t think the blues will play another game without scoring a try this season…. sharks were disciplined on defence.

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.02.11 13:44:00 by mikey Reply

    money
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 15) : My thoughts exactly. SA and NZ really screwed themselves over when they agreed to this format.

    @mikey (Comment 16) : Had to hold my breath at several occassions on Sat as the Sharks pulled off tackle after tackle and kept these guys out. Huge confidence booster!

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.02.11 13:45:26 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 14) : Only time will tell

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.02.11 13:56:08 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 14) : Disagree, old chum. The Bulls look tired. And bored. They are resting on their proverbial laurels and playing by the numbers but there’s zero passion and drive in their game, just grim determination not to be beaten – sheer pride is pushing them on. They hate losing more than they love winning, and I think that’s down to dogma more than passion.
    They’ve come close to losing twice in as many weeks now, and don’t like it one bit. One day the subtle difference between desperately hating a loss and really loving a win is going to cost them, and my bet is that day isn’t too far off.

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.02.11 15:52:04 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    Shaz
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 19) : I like the way you put that across…was trying to do the same when I saw your post, I think you got it right.

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.02.11 16:14:45 by Me2 aka Mama Shark Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 19) : As a Sharks supporter in Pretoria, I can say that I cannot wait until the Bulls start to fall down.

    The thing with the Bulls so far is that they haven’t played one of the ‘favourites’ for the title. By favourites I mean a team which many people tout as being able to top their own conference or the log. They’ve polayed the two teams many people expect to be the bottom two of the SA conference. How would they have gone against the Sharks or the Stormers?

    The Sharks conversely have faced the Blues who are favourites to either be number 1 or 2 (tied with Hurricanes probably) of the NZ conference and we slaughtered them. Much different situation.

    The thing which worries me is that the Bulls are going to find themselves in the situation where they are going to have to switch on or their final dynasty year will be a disaster, because let’s be honest, none of the Boks are going to play in the Currie Cup this year. So they’re going to find their love of winning coming back.

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.02.11 16:22:54 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 21) : You live here too, dude? That’s cool!
    I hear what you say, but have a feeling that by the time the Bliksems in Blue wake up to the fact that their era is coming to an end (and let’s face it, they are not exactly the brightest buttons on the SupeRugby coat, are they?) it will all be over bar the shouting.
    I realise that you naturally raise your game when the competition is “better” than you, but rusty season starts aside, the Bulls have not impressed other than with brute strength and, forgive the pun, bullying tactics. Which it seems to me is all they have at the moment.
    It’s early days yet, agreed, but I’ll warrant that the old brand of Bull-headed dogma (ooh, I just love the ways you can play on their name… used to do the Pretoria News “Incredi-bull” headlines, Lord forgive me) will prevent both management and team from truly appreciating how tenuous their reign is.
    They need fire in their bellies, but at the moment their bellies are too bloated from being constantly fed a diet of “You’re the Bulls, you never lose”.

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.02.11 16:33:59 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    Shaz
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 21) : How I wish we’d beaten the Brumbies in 2001 coz then we would have been Super 12 champions. We were runnersup that year.

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.02.11 16:41:30 by beet Reply
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    beet
     
  • @beet (Comment 23) : We beat them in the round robin games, by a point or two point in Durban.

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.02.11 16:43:32 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @war1 (Comment 24) : Yes but they killed us in the final.

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.02.11 17:01:15 by beet Reply
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    beet
     
  • @war1 (Comment 24) : I think Butchie meant the 2000 season when our only win was against NSW and we won the woodenspoon. The season Reece-Edwards was in charge.

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.02.11 17:03:45 by beet Reply
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    beet
     
  • @beet (Comment 23) : How I wish we beat the Bulls in 2007! 😉

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.02.11 17:32:25 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @Ben (Comment 27) : Don’t live in the past, or pray for the future to unfold. Enjoy the present… the here and now. It’s all we have. Right here. Right now.

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.02.11 17:46:51 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    Shaz
     
  • @Ben (Comment 27) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.02.11 17:47:35 by SharonvanWyk Reply
    Author
    Shaz
     
  • @Ben (Comment 27) : I was just kidding Shaz.

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.02.11 17:49:38 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @Ben (Comment 30) : I know. Just pulling your chain! Am feeling full of the joys today. Having an operation on Thursday so taking stock of life and the meaning of it! Surgery has a way of doing that!

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.02.11 18:08:04 by SharonvanWyk Reply
    Author
    Shaz
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 21) : Where u based, Butchie? I’m next door to Lynnwood Ridge.

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.02.11 18:09:12 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    Shaz
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 31) : Hope all goes well.

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.02.11 18:10:00 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @Ben (Comment 33) : Cheers. Am saying my prayers like no-one’s business! I know Him Upstairs will take care of me!

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.02.11 18:12:56 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    Shaz
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 34) : I’m sure He will!

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.02.11 18:26:47 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • We should be to strong for the bulls……..next please.

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.02.11 20:49:56 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
     
  • Let’s hope the bulls the sharks and the stormers have very good seasons for our world cup hopes to be alive…on the other hand I believe that it is in our best interest as a sports nation to be the under dogs…then the presure seems to be on the other side…new zealand in my prediction to choke in the final against the Boks, he’ll they’ll choke against japan…just so long as they are favorites but we need a hot du preez fourie de villiers botha matfield and steyn…wish I had someone els in mind but steyn…so let’s go bulls!!!go sharks, go stormers!!!

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.03.11 01:47:54 by BoerSeun Reply

    BoerSeun
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 32) : Hey Shaz, I’m in Pierre van Ryneveld. Grew up in the same street as Fortress Loftus and I still didn’t adopt the blue 🙂

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.03.11 06:25:09 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 38) : I`ve got to thank you for putting things in perspective for me again.
    You made me realise I have so much to be gratefull for!

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.03.11 08:49:06 by Original Champion Reply
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    Original Pierre
     

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