Richard Ferguson

The root of all evil

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Aug 2011 at 12:06
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The Sharks loss this weekend has left the supporters scratching their heads, for more than just one reason. The Sharks are yet to hit full tilt during this Currie Cup so far and are looking far off the team we saw glimpses of during the Super Rugby season, and even further off the Currie Cup winning team we saw in action this time last year.

There are a lot of things that jump to mind when you compare the team from last year to this year. Many would argue that the Springboks are away on World Cup duty, but this cannot be the only reason for this slump. Firstly, the Sharks have not been hit that hard by the Springbok selections.

The Sharks might have lost a few players to Bok duty, but where have we been hit that hard that we could blame our lack of form on that alone? Our front row is on its way to New Zealand, but considering the talent we have in there at the moment, this is not such a big loss. Chadwick, Herbst and van Staden have all really stood up, and the Sharks scrum is looking solid.

Onto the second row, we have lost Steven Sykes to Ireland, yet we have a great young talent in Bresler that is playing better than Sykes was playing during the Super Rugby season anyway. Yes, Willem Alberts, the human battering ram himself is dearly missed, but one man cannot have such a big influence on this team that it falls to pieces without him?

In the backline, in Fred Michalak we have a fantastic replacement for the missing Pat Lambie, with an even better goal kicking record than the young Springbok anyway. We are missing JP Pietersen, but itโ€™s not like Sithole, Richards and Mvovo are getting a lot of ball anyway. So what is it then?

The areas of concern in the Sharks team at the moment is the loose trio, that seems very unbalanced. We have great runners in the loose forwards, yet they are not put into any space and seem dead set on running into the opposing player, instead of running around him.

Our centres, as mentioned in many an article on this site, are also cause for concern. The creativity in the team is lacking and our usual stand out players seem to be forced to play a game that they do not like. Look at Craig Burden, Keegan Daniel and Ryan Kankowski, you do not see them running with the ball like we all know they can. Has this been coached out of them, perhaps?

There also seems to be a clear lack of game plan. The plan enforced at the moment seems to be neither here nor there, as it is not completely a forwards based game, neither is it an all out running game, so what exactly IS the plan? There also seems to be a lack of thinking on the park, playing to what you are up against, an attribute that the All Blacks so nicely showed us after half time this weekend.

We have the team to be able to do so much better, the players are there and they are hungry, they just do not seem to possess the tools or the plan to execute.


  • The love for money…

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.08.11 12:11:26 by Charlie Reply
  • Loosies: Kanko 8, Deysel 7, Daniel 6. (Coetzee to come on after 60 mins of Deysel.)
    Centres: Adi 12, Lindeque 13.

    I would also love to see Gouws Prisloo have a shot at CC level soon. Jordaan may be a little bit young but hes an exciting prospect.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.08.11 12:25:35 by John Galt Reply
    John Galt
  • Disagree on the “one man cannot have such a big influence on this team that it falls to pieces without him”.

    You need a good recipe to win rugby games. Soon as you change it, you’re on a road to disaster.

    It’s like Schalk Burger for the Springboks in 2006. They were unbeatable with him, and when he broke his neck they couldn’t buy a win.

    Sometimes 1 player can make all the difference. Not saying Alberts does, but sometimes 1 player can change the way the entire team functions.

    Considering Alberts was one of the top ball-carriers in the Super 15 (made incredible yards through the middle), and the lack of physicality in the Sharks line-up, I’d say he probably is a HUGE difference.

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.08.11 12:27:56 by hendrikp Reply
  • If i remember correctly the Boks where not really involved last year as well ? they came back around the semis ?

    I think you guys miss Pat Cilliers and Michel Rhoads . Even Andries Strauss .

    You could argue that you miss lambie as well . but then again shouldn’t Fred be able to do well with all his experience .

    But this is just my analysis . im just a stupid Lions supporter hehe ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.08.11 12:28:37 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @John Galt (Comment 2) :

    Kanko has been horribly off form for the Sharks..

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.08.11 12:29:22 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • The major difference between the Currie Cup Sharks of 2010 and the 2011 vintage is a lack of patience and ability to retain possession! Last year the sharks took the ball the width of the field and back again untill the gaps opened up. This year we seem intent on trying to break through channel 1 and 2 from 1st and second phase ball an if we dont get through we simply lose the ball.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.08.11 12:30:03 by SheldonK Reply

  • Oh and the Sharks really need someone who plays towards the ball. In the Super rugby season Bismarck du Plessis did it brilliantly and they had a reasonable loose-trio supporting him.

    Much as I like Keegan Daniels strengths, he needs to forget about the ball-carrying a little and start doing the work on the ground. Sharks won’t compete if they can’t force the opposition to commit more players to the rucks and start slowing down opposition ball. At the moment they’re simply making tackles and letting opposition get clean ball.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.08.11 12:31:02 by hendrikp Reply

  • It has nothing to do with players. We thrashed the Bulls with on paper a weaker team, we scored 4 tries in about 25 minutes against the Cheetahs with again on paper a weaker team. This team has looked flat mentally for quite a while now and that is the real problem. We need that hunger, that spark that fighting spirit that the Sharks always show when they play well.

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.08.11 12:34:11 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 8) : “like”button

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.08.11 12:36:16 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Zibbie (Comment 4) : If you think we miss Cilliers and Rhodes think how we really miss Smit, Beast, Bismark, Jannie and Alberts.

    Having said that, it is good that they are away and that the next in line are having a tough time of it. It will stand them, and the Sharks in good stead in later competitions.

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.08.11 12:53:25 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 10) :

    i was compering this Currie cup team to last years one . those guys didnt play in last years currie cup except for the semis and the finals ? i might be wrong .

    But ok Add Alberts to my list aswell ..

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.08.11 13:04:12 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 11) : Ok, got it.

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.08.11 13:07:16 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Our (supporters) problem is that we see (almost) EVERY Shark as a hero after one goodor average performance.

    Here we have young inexperienced players such as Chadwick, Herbst, v Staden, etc. and we consider them good players.

    Yes they ARE good players but would play a very distinct 2nd fiddle to Jannie Dup, and Beast.

    Q: Where am I going with this?

    A: We have boys and we think they are men who are good enough to replace our Boks. They aren’t.

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.08.11 13:14:21 by KSA Shark ยฉ Reply

    KSA Shark ยฉ
  • @KSA Shark ยฉ (Comment 13) : Can we make that a ” not yet” ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.08.11 13:16:31 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @KSA Shark ยฉ (Comment 13) : I have to agree. I think its unfair to say “Onto the second row, we have lost Steven Sykes to Ireland, yet we have a great young talent in Bresler that is playing better than Sykes was playing during the Super Rugby season anyway.”

    Sykes played against FAR stronger opposition than Bresler is playing against now. Just an Example.

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.08.11 13:20:58 by Ben Reply
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  • Didnt we get the most bonus point wins in 2010???we are sdtruggling to score tries this year n u can see something isnt right..watching the game live u saw no proper lines by the backline..all of em been bunched together..mvovo as usual waits for work..we need to experiment a lil if we gonna have a home semi this year..

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.08.11 13:21:15 by shaniboi Reply

  • @KSA Shark ยฉ (Comment 13) : I agree Please are we the only 2 that think so… We should not have been this close to the top of the log if we u consider the loss of springboks… And sykes hargeave mosterd. We, province and bulls should be struggling at the bottom….but we aren’t and I’m still happy… We can still do it…

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.08.11 13:26:07 by Franshark Reply
  • @KSA Shark ยฉ (Comment 13) :

    I don’t argue your point KSA..

    They are not close to the Boks, but for Currie Cup, same as we were without Boks last year, they suffice.

    But you do make a very good point!

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.08.11 13:27:06 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @KSA Shark ยฉ (Comment 13) :

    haha i think every teams supporters have that “problem”

    i mean why Elton and Taute is not at the world cup is beyond me ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.08.11 13:27:23 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 14) : Don’t see my comment as an opinion on their ability, see it as an opinion on our expectations of the players.

    But to answer your quuestion, “no not really, because I talking about this year only at the moment.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    We are talking about THIS year and they are just a bunch of Kids who have to make the step up, which they will slowly do as they play more and more against the men of Superugby.

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.08.11 13:27:32 by KSA Shark ยฉ Reply

    KSA Shark ยฉ
  • @KSA Shark ยฉ (Comment 20) : Ja man – dont get technical…” not yet” does not mean its gonna happen overnight – time frame is irrelevant – just means its might just happen in the fiture sometime…but the ability is there…tsk tsk! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.08.11 13:32:09 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Zibbie (Comment 19) : Because Elton had one good game…against a new young Sharks team in the CC….? Hardly criteria for Bok selection… ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.08.11 13:33:11 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 18) :

    Agreed they should be good enough for CC, if we consider the SR experience in that Lions side though, then we were never going to win this game.

    As Frans says, we are doing MUCH better than we really should be.

    I’ll add to that. If we had a midfield with a gameplan we would do even better. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.08.11 13:36:17 by KSA Shark ยฉ Reply

    KSA Shark ยฉ
  • @hendrikp (Comment 3) :
    Yet we still tanked in the S15. Reason being, our gameplan was built too much on his big carries and the kick-chase. Its no coincidence that Kanko’s form has dropped off with Alberts around – he is being forced to play tighter to accommodate the latter.

    In my opinion, the problem that constantly comes up is a lack of variation or innovation on attack on defence: opposition are out-thinking us, and that’s a coaching issue.

    A fair part of it is also skills coaching though (and he we must allow for the youth of the CC team). Things like good cleaning at the ruck and knowing when to off-load are skills that talented youngsters still need to perfect over time. I think that hurt us this weekend, but I’m willing to see that if it means the youth get a chance.

    The shocking lack of direction at centre is unforgivable though.

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.08.11 13:37:39 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Zibbie (Comment 19) : Well, the first reason is that no one is at the world cup, it has not started yet.

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.08.11 13:38:11 by war1 Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 24) : Can I just pick on Stef a bit? Did you see how he stops running when he receives the ball and then passes. He basically comes to a stand still before he passes the ball.

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.08.11 13:44:08 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 22) :

    I think Stef will be glad to hear you say that ๐Ÿ˜‰ would be interesting to compare the avg age of the 2 starting line ups .

    @war1 (Comment 25) :

    blegh ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.08.11 13:51:25 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 27) : We all know Steph would through the average out by a mile! ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.08.11 13:54:02 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 28) : throw.. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.08.11 14:03:53 by Ice Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 27) :

    AVG age for the lions starting lineup comes to 25.8 . help me out with the sharks players please

    Youngest player Jaco Taute @ 20
    Oldest Player Wikus Van Heerden @ 32

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.08.11 14:04:09 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 30) :

    BTW i took the age they turned in 2011 . irrespective if they had a birthday yet or not

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.08.11 14:05:27 by Zibbie Reply
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  • We have a very promising young flanker in Marcell Coetzee and we use him as a battering ram a la Deysel or Alberts. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    We also have Kanko, who is totally off his game, and Daniel who is wasted at flank.

    I reckon Plum should move Coetzee to 6, play Deysel at 7 and Daniel at 8 for a much better balanced loose trio.

    I’m not even going to mention the useless disgrace we call a midfield. I would love to see the following backline play:

    9. McLeod
    10. Bosman
    11. Mvovo
    12. Michalak
    13. Jacobs
    14. Ndungane
    15. Terblanche

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.08.11 14:06:58 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 30) : I’ll check Saturdays starting line up – although it includes players like kanko who is only back now:

    1-8 = 24.375
    9-15 = 27.14 (Including Steph)

    Total average age = 25.75

    Youngest = 20
    Oldest = 36

  • Comment 33, posted at 29.08.11 14:16:07 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice (Comment 33) : Youngest – Marcell Coetzee, Oldest Stephan Terblanche..

  • Comment 34, posted at 29.08.11 14:19:24 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice (Comment 33) :

    25.75 vs 25.8 . close . i was shocked to see Killians age . 29 ๐Ÿ˜ฏ thought he was much younger !!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 29.08.11 14:21:45 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 34) : Stefan is the oldest. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 36, posted at 29.08.11 14:21:56 by KSA Shark ยฉ Reply

    KSA Shark ยฉ
  • @Big Fish (Comment 24) :

    Culling Song said: “While Plum may be a good coach, I do have some personal reservations about aspects of his coaching, namely 1) his โ€œblind spotโ€ with regards to the performance of our centres, and his management thereof, 2) his use, or rather lack of use of substitutes and player rotation, as evidenced in the Super 15, 3) his aversion to specialists such as mental coaches, defense coaches, etc., and 4) his over-reliance on a single type of game plan.

    Of aforementioned, issues 1) and 2) probably had little bearing on the outcome of Saturdayโ€™s game. Issue 3) is a whole different can of worms. With regards to issue 4), I tend to get the idea that Plum devises an (initially effective) game plan, but once other teams work out ways to counter it, it takes him too long to devise alternative strategies. How long did we persist in the Super 15 using Willem Alberts as a one-off strike runner around the fringes? What changes did we witness to our approach between the 1st and 2nd game against the Stormers? Too long, and none, respectively. Itโ€™s a case of being reactive (and too slow at that) instead of being proactive.”

    Then Big Fish said: “In my opinion, the problem that constantly comes up is a lack of variation or innovation on attack on defence: opposition are out-thinking us, and thatโ€™s a coaching issue.”


    “The shocking lack of direction at centre is unforgivable though.”

    Big Fish is a dirty, stinking, plagiarising bootlicker! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    PS: See Ice, I *can* copy and paste!

  • Comment 37, posted at 29.08.11 14:24:57 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Ice (Comment 33) : we beat them in age by a whisker… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 38, posted at 29.08.11 14:25:22 by Franshark Reply
  • @Culling Song (Comment 37) : ๐Ÿ˜† for that PS:

  • Comment 39, posted at 29.08.11 14:29:47 by Franshark Reply
  • @KSA Shark ยฉ (Comment 36) : Stefan.. ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Zibbie (Comment 35) : So – even with our old ballies we are in average a younger team – quite interesting that!

    Okay – so again in answer to your question : I repeat: Because Elton had one good gameโ€ฆagainst a new young Sharks team in the CCโ€ฆ.? Hardly criteria for Bok selectionโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    @Culling Song (Comment 37) : ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 40, posted at 29.08.11 14:30:41 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Culling Song (Comment 37) : ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 41, posted at 29.08.11 14:30:51 by Pokkel Reply
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  • NOU WAT NOU? Manne.

  • Comment 42, posted at 29.08.11 14:32:01 by Bloubloubul Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 40) :
    eish ok you win ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 43, posted at 29.08.11 14:33:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 43) : ๐Ÿ˜‰ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 44, posted at 29.08.11 14:36:05 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Uhhhm, to jump from the Shark to the Lion, when will this weeks Fantasy Points be updated? Thanks. ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.08.11 14:38:37 by Ekkies XV Reply

  • Ha ha, please ignore, just saw the update happen as I typed ๐Ÿ™‚ 5th, damn ๐Ÿ™

  • Comment 46, posted at 29.08.11 14:41:15 by Ekkies XV Reply

  • @Bloubloubul (Comment 42) : Nou seker ma niks.. ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 47, posted at 29.08.11 14:44:31 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • The ebbs and flow of professional sports, like Culling Song says – its time for some fresh perspective… We have also said all Super season long is that we need some personnel changes to bring balance and edge – The Lions have an incredible trio in Akkies, The Jackal and Mitch… Plum needs awesome side kicks like that… Plum is a forwards man, we need a classy backs man, and a specialist (defence and tactics) the union needs it… I get the impression of an egomaniac in the midst…

  • Comment 48, posted at 29.08.11 14:53:39 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @Bloubloubul (Comment 42) : Ek stel voor jy sรช nie te veel nie; ek kan reel dat die Wimpy personeel in jou oggend koffie spoeg… ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  • Comment 49, posted at 29.08.11 14:55:13 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
    Players 1,2,3,4,5,7,11,14 not first choice players in S15,
    Players 12,13 wanted to shoot them in S15 and did not change yet
    Players 6,8,9 World class but off the ball in last few games
    Player 10 outsider one day brilliant the other not so much
    Player 15 only first choice S15
    Player that is still doing well
    Sharks played top half seated teams away and bottom half @ home.
    This all = par with 2nd on the log halfway thru… ๐Ÿ™‚ :):)

  • Comment 50, posted at 29.08.11 14:55:14 by Franshark Reply
  • @Franshark (Comment 50) : Jean Deysel is a first choice loosie, and you could see his class when he came on… But sure, although a game changer, he needs backup…

  • Comment 51, posted at 29.08.11 14:57:42 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 51) : yes came on not started

  • Comment 52, posted at 29.08.11 15:09:34 by Franshark Reply
  • I know, I know bud – just singing his praises… ๐Ÿ˜‰ how goes it Meneer?

  • Comment 53, posted at 29.08.11 15:10:58 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 53) : DD, I think you need to don your costume again; this blue look unsettles me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 54, posted at 29.08.11 15:30:13 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 54) : I agree… I will revert to defacto… BRB

  • Comment 55, posted at 29.08.11 16:57:56 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • I wonder how we’d go if we had Burden at 12 and Kanko at 13.

    I’m not being serious.

    But sometimes I see the Burden, Kanko and Daniels rushing with ball in hand, breaking D-lines, making good yards, looking forceful and determined. It’s at times like that that I wonder to myself, why can’t our backs do that? ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Comment 56, posted at 29.08.11 18:12:46 by beet Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 32) : Not a bad team!

  • Comment 57, posted at 29.08.11 20:49:42 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • High time we introduce Adonga!!

  • Comment 58, posted at 29.08.11 20:50:44 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • IMO, the biggest is attitude. We saw some of it against the bulls in the first round, where we absolutely did not take any shit from them. But since then we just wander through the games dominating for some minutes and some not.

  • Comment 59, posted at 30.08.11 07:46:50 by SharksRTB Reply

  • And here I feel that individuals can make a difference. A guy like Bismarck can kick start his teammates by hitting rucks, stealing ball, mostly being aggressive.
    Same thing we had in Dries Strauss last year, he tackled like his life depended on it, and that kick started the players around him to do the same. I say chuck Meyer and Marius into rehab, and bring in Riaan and Adi!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 60, posted at 30.08.11 07:49:55 by SharksRTB Reply


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