Plum’s not happy… but what to do?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 13 Sep 2011 at 08:00
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“We’ve certainly not reached the same heights in this Currie Cup compared to last year, so we’ll have to keep working. At the moment it doesn’t look like we can win the trophy back.”

Pretty sobering words from the mouth of Sharks coach John Plumtree, I’d say. Now I know that we as Sharks fans are often prone to a wee bit of navel gazing… and are also not shy to overreact to any sort of performance that doesn’t meet our own exacting standards (that is, beat each opponent by 70 points, scoring 11 tries in the process). One does, however, have to admit that for the coach to be making statements along the above lines, there must be a considerable amount of concern in his mind over the play dished up.

It hardly seems fair to judge the team too harshly, though. After all, they are a scant log point behind second-placed Western Province and with the latter team still to tour (at least to Durban and then Johannesburg a week later) there’s every chance that the Sharks could overtake them. The reality is that the truly hard away games are mostly behind the Sharks now, with only the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein remaining.

That said, the way this season has gone, the Leopards are as likely to upset the Sharks away from home as the Cheetahs are.

Speaking personally, though, I see no real reason to panic. The Sharks certainly aren’t playing the same brand of attacking rugby as the Lions are – or rather, they aren’t succeeding in playing that brand but one has to admit that there have been glimpses of it over the last two weeks. I remember writing an article ahead of the Bulls game where I warned fans that the switch to playing attacking rugby wasn’t going to come right overnight and that we would need to be patient as the team went through a change in approach. I believe that is currently happening and we will see better results shortly, if we can just stick with the team and resist the temptation to get the knives out every time they give us a 5-point win that wasn’t exactly the one we wanted.

In short, I think that the doom and gloom is unwarranted, both on the part of the fans and of the coach. After all, short of either going out and buying a whole new team (impossible, of course, but nevertheless it is regularly suggested) or throwing the entire under 21 side into action (with Paul Jordaan filling every single position in the backline once successfully cloned) there really isn’t all that much that the Sharks can change personnel-wise. We’ve got what we’ve got, in other words and we need to stick by them, start supporting them and egging them on to play the sort of rugby that we know they can. There is too much quality in this team for them not to succeed this year. Perhaps, all they really need is a little more encouragement from the people who call themselves fans.

It’s not really too much to ask, is it?


  • I see bosman is having a good couple of games as of late..good to see the man coming together..

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.09.11 08:10:59 by shaniboi Reply
  • Agreed!! Like Keegan said: “I’m not worried” and there is nothing to worry about…enjoy the rugby:)

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.09.11 08:12:06 by jessi Reply
  • We may not be at the same heights as we were last year but then everyone else is in a different spot too. Lions were near bottom or thereabouts last year now they’re top – Bulls were right up there; now they’re down – seems we have less to worry about than some of the others.Keegan has stepped up to the mark – proving doubters like myself as wrong by taking the Captains badge and making it his. I had a good laugh on sat at his comment to the interviewer after the game!!!!Now is the time to play clever. 😎

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.09.11 08:27:42 by Caratacus Reply
  • We’ve been telling Plum what to do for ages, but he just won’t listen. πŸ™

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.09.11 08:42:33 by KSA Shark Β© Reply
    KSA Shark Β©
  • Why is a change of approach even necessary? Why hasn’t there been a continuation of last year’s success recipe? Whose fault is it that we went from an open style, where we put phase after phase together, respected possession, and starved our opposition of ball, to the crap we have seen all year?

    I think Plum should look more towards what game plan he has the Sharks playing to and why it isn’t producing bonus point tries. I mean, come on, Weepee has won a game less, but are ahead of us on the log because of bonus points.

    That alone should give Plum enough of a clue.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.09.11 08:42:42 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 5) : Did you read the article, or just the headline?

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.09.11 08:50:57 by war1 Reply
  • There are 2 quick fixes to the Sharks came, although both are easier said than done. Firstly they need to up the tempo and play quicker as we saw on Sat when they upped the tempo the Pumas where nowhere in the game. The second is improving their ball retention, but this includes a few things such as body position in the tackle, getting numbers to the breakdown, and limiting 1 off runners. As i said easier said than done.

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.09.11 08:52:14 by SheldonK Reply

  • good one plum, tell the truth πŸ˜€

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.09.11 08:54:34 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 8) : Wow!! I’m speechless!!! A post by Megatron without the phrases “turnstile Bosman” or “Bok discard Deysel”!!! Repent sinners, the end is nigh!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.09.11 09:09:07 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 9) : that was lame, up your game china πŸ˜›

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.09.11 09:12:08 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 10) : What can I say, I derive pleasure from simple things… πŸ˜€

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.09.11 09:13:42 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 11) : even with a ‘less is more’ approach, being lame is inexcusable πŸ˜€

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.09.11 09:21:46 by Megatron Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 7) : true words, also drill it into our forwards heads that they need to commit to players going to ground rather than look for continuity

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.09.11 09:25:37 by Talent Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 6) : Yes, read the article. Why?

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.09.11 09:26:49 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Talent (Comment 13) : Crises if one more forward tries a pop pass from the ground i swear ill throw my beer at them from the stands!

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.09.11 09:31:20 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : Al hargreeves ,what is it with the tight forwards in this country thinking they are backs

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.09.11 09:39:06 by Talent Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : Just as infuriating is a back who doesn’t, but holds on and gets isolated, because the support runner expecting the pop pass ends up unable to hit the ruck.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.09.11 09:41:15 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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  • talking about signings, i see the bulls named their 34 man u/19 squad for next year… geez, sad to say, but quite a wishlist. Both grey/sa schools centres aswell. πŸ˜₯

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.09.11 09:52:56 by VanWilder Reply

  • I would suggest a few basics, keep Keegan at 8, take the captaincy away from him, drop Ludik, move Stefan to the back, buy a decent scrumhalf as Cronje makes too many basic errors and Hoffman’s distribution is far too slow, look at bringing JLP into the center position and give Hugh Reece Edwards the boot as the backline has been getting worse under his management.

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.09.11 09:55:53 by waje Reply

  • πŸ™„

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.09.11 10:32:42 by war1 Reply
  • How to get the Sharks right.
    1) Find some directness in the inside backs. Michalak is a great player on his day, but there is a reason no team ever settled with him at 10. He’s not doing Bosman any favours either.
    2) A good centre. Sharks haven’t had that for a long time.
    3) More grunt in the forwards. Desperately need an openside flanker, regardless of the depth in loose-forwards. It’s an important ‘recipe’ for successful rugby these days. If the Sharks had been able to secure Heinrich Brussows signature I’d have called them favourites for the S15 next year.

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.09.11 10:39:18 by hendrikp Reply

  • @waje (Comment 19) : You forgot to mention: “Buy Deon Steggman”. πŸ˜€

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.09.11 11:37:04 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • “Perhaps, all they really need is a little more encouragement from the people who call themselves fans. It’s not really too much to ask, is it?”…

    Fair enough, but hells-bells, I would have thought it would not have been too much to ask from the Coach either? πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.09.11 13:04:46 by CS Reply

  • Wow, if the coach doesn`t give us a chance I guess the dream is over for this season.

    I feel if we could squeeze past the FS this weekend and make sure of our home games against wp and LIONS we could be in with a shout.

    But yeah, maybe I too should embrace reality.
    Plum will persist with the same players and we`ll get the same results untill we sign new centres.

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.09.11 15:10:29 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 24) : How about this, can you name the respective man of the match recipients from the last two Sharks matches?

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.09.11 15:45:35 by war1 Reply
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 24) : this is an attempt @ reverse psychology from Plum πŸ™„ πŸ˜›

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.09.11 16:43:09 by Megatron Reply

  • Plum has obviously been reading Sharksworld and is now echoing the negativity that the majority seem to express, week in and week out, win or lose.

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.09.11 17:14:49 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • “Plum’s not happy… but what to do ?”… QUIT !!! 😈 πŸ˜† 😈

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.09.11 09:20:01 by Charlie Reply


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