“The guys left behind haven’t let us down”

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Feb 2012 at 08:19
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John Plumtree has had some kind words to say to those members of his Super Rugby training squad who narrowly missed out on selection for his 24-man group to play the Kings in PE today. Speaking to the Sharks website, Plum said that “the guys that are left behind haven’t let themselves down and haven’t let us down.”

Plumtree went on to admit that while the coaching staff have a pretty clear idea of what their starting team for the Bulls match next week would look like, nothing is yet cast in stone and a few places are definitely still up for grabs. It had been tough to whittle the group down to 24, but those left out are still very much in the picture and the situation will be reassessed after the Kings game; that’s a pretty clear warning to anyone in the side for tonight’s game that they can quite easily play themselves out of contention for the season opener too!

With competition for places still the buzzword, Plumtree will be pushing his charges hard and looking specifically at accuracy tonight; he’s said that he’s quite happy with the handling and fitness of his charges, but wants good technique, particularly at the breakdown, to be a particular focus. He’s hoping that the Kings will provide some good intensity and a strong physical challenge, unlike Boland, whose resistance last week lasted little over an hour.


  • Why is it that every year we see a select few warm up games live on TV, yet I cannot remember seeing one Sharks warm up broadcast in the past few years

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.02.12 08:37:50 by Die Kriek Reply
  • This is good..

    Competition amongst places breeds quality..

    This is going to be a good season..

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.02.12 08:40:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Rob – your last sentence hoping that the Kings provide some intensity and a physical challenge. As this is the Kings “1st team I am sure it will be a good work out.
    As you know there is the ongoing debate about the Kings joining Super Rugby next year usually features the argument that the Kings are not up to the required standard and the riposte being that the local talent is lured away by financially stronger franchises who offer the opportunity to play Super Rugby.
    Whilst I would choose to avoid commenting on above two valid arguments, I do find it interesting that in the Sharks squad of 24 for this evening’s game that there are 7 who were schooled in the Eastern Cape, being:
    Sykes – Marlow
    Whitehead – Grey
    Mtembu – Dale
    Daniel – Dale
    Ndungane – Hudson Park
    Kankowski – St Andrews
    Mvovo – Maria Louw
    This is impressive against only 5 from KZN, being Chadwick,Bresler,Coetzee,Burden and Lambie
    Apologies up front for any errors and/or omissions!

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.02.12 08:44:02 by davew Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 1) :

    Lions in the same boat …

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.02.12 08:48:16 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Good stuff. 😎

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.02.12 08:54:54 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Die Kriek (Comment 1) : Cause Super Sport sucks 👿

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.02.12 08:56:08 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @davew (Comment 3) : Hi Dave

    Yes, well spotted and you’re completely right in pointing out that a fair few of our team attended school in the Eastern Cape.

    It’s a very emotive topic, of course, with many feeling that players should be free to play wherever they feel they have the best opportunity after school; with most of the big provinces now offering superb youth programs it’s not surprising that the cream of young talent tends to flock to those big centres (with Durban, unfortunately, relatively low in the pecking order when compared with Pretoria and Cape Town).

    The Kings issue is a tricky one, because in order for it to succeed, you almost have to fix it at ALL level simultaneously. Not only do you need strong, competitive Super Rugby and Currie Cup teams, with a clear identity, that young players can aspire to playing for, you also have to have the youth program or academy structure in place to ensure that those kids see a clear path that leads from going to school in the Eastern Cape right trough to donning that Kings jersey in Super Rugby – and potentially beyond that to the Boks.

    Even if the Kings were to be successful in Super Rugby within their first few years, my feeling is it would take a few more years before Eastern Cape school boys would consider staying in the province an option after school, rather than going to one of the established academies elsewhere and only heading back to the Kings should they fail to obtain a Bulls, WP or Sharks contract.

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.02.12 09:02:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : holy crap… that comment was longer than many of the articles I’ve written 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.02.12 09:02:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 4) : @JarsonX (Comment 6) : Well said and agreed!! Bulls and Stormers get everything!

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.02.12 09:20:01 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Don’t know if the Kings will give the necessary intensity and physical challenge that Plum are looking for. My guess is that the Sharks will dominate the game from the start and control the ball 75% of the time.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.02.12 09:24:12 by Viking Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    I hope SARU realize this is a long term project . 10 years or more by my thinking

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.02.12 09:30:55 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :
    Agree with your accurate summary of what it would take to establish and maintain a successful franchise. Unfortunately the Kings are not there yet! They are, however, in the processes of establishing an academy at Alicedale – under the leadership of Robbie Kempson I think – and the University is making good strides with their rugby program as can be seen with the recent victory of Shimlas in the Varsity Cup.
    Unfortunately I think we all agree that the demons surrounding the decision to include the Kings in Super Rugby next year are still to raise their ugly heads!

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.02.12 09:31:43 by davew Reply

  • @davew (Comment 12) : ummm – did you count the number of Sharks Academy boys in the NMMU squad, though?

    BOOOYA 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.02.12 09:40:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @davew (Comment 3) : 😈 It is sorta sad to see the kids who grow up in a certain province dream of playing for the senior team and then play for another province but that is an old sentiment such as when the bread price below R1.
    There is no place for that argument in modern pro rugby anymore. This is a career and just like you have to option to work wherever and employ whoever and at what price our players need to look out for themselves. There are some 600 positions open for this job in SA and the door closes further on the player when it comes to avaiable work in their favourite posisions i.e. flyhalf.
    Even in the pre-pro days, the players were drafted by the SAP, Army and varsities to play in other provinces (Michael Du Plessis of WP played at TUKS for example) so it is not something new. The rugby public must get over this sentiment. The argument is also just used by losing provinces, never the cup winners as they understand how a pro sport works and they graft accordingly. From my understanding it is the FS which delivers the most players currently and that is development for all. All unions work together to develop SA (even global) rugby, not each one on their own island but the management of a union should make it a profitable winning culture otherwise the other unions win silverware and become richer and the others are left with just a couple of CHEEKY remarks. 😈

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.02.12 10:16:48 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @davew (Comment 3) : Just as a matter of interest how many Kings players are from the area? Would be interesting to see.

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.02.12 12:31:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : yip you can’t claim that the EC academy (what is the name BTW?) brought those players through to NMMU.

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.02.12 12:32:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

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