Richard Ferguson

What is ‘the perfect season’


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 17 Feb 2012 at 11:53
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To win the Super Rugby trophy, a team needs to have a near perfect year with every single detail coming together and working in favour of the team. But what are all these factors that need to be considered?

The most important factor that can help a team win the trophy, is as simple as the players remaining fit. Injuries have been well known for ruining a team’s chances, as not only does the team have to field a player who is not necessarily the best in his position, but the balance of the team also breaks down.

Injuries can come about in many different ways, both on and off the field. Many might argue that injuries come down to luck alone, but I think there can be measures put in place to do the utmost to prevent them. Such as having a perfectly conditioned team, an unfit player is more likely to breakdown than a fit player.

Another big talking point around injuries is player fatigue. This can come about when a coach consistently selects the same players and lets them batter through a full 80 minutes week in and week out. This is a particularly bad situation, as a group of players playing together week in and week out will all get tired at the same time, meaning a core group within the team not able to give 100%.

The second factor to help a team do well is balance. The team as well as the entire squad has to have a certain balance about it, with experienced players to lead the team and give necessary guidance, as well as youth who will be motivated and give the experienced players something to think about.

This is a very tricky balance to try and maintain, as there are differing views from coaches and fans alike. A coach might prefer experience over youth, and will default to players he knows he can trust, which is understandable. Fans might see the other side of the picture and want to see an exciting talent be given game time to develop, which one can also understand.

The key is balance, for example, when putting an inexperienced player on the park, make sure he knows that if he does do something wrong, he will not be shot. All players make mistakes, and the less nerves there are, the better the player is likely to perform. Also, surround a youngster with experienced players who can assist and put a player at ease.

The gameplan is as important as any of the above factors. A team has to, first and foremost, play winning rugby to be able to win a competition. Now a team could go out with an amazing plan, and it will work against say South African opposition, and will fail horribly against the New Zealand or Australian teams, for instance. The important thing here is for a team to be able to adapt to a scenario, and to be able to change a gameplan should it be failing. This is very dependent on the players on the park, and how experienced they are.

These three factors, if correctly put together and worked on during preseason and even during the competition itself, could give any team a reasonable chance in doing well. We will have to wait and see which team has the perfect season this year.


27 Comments

  • another way to win is to win all your games. lol

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.02.12 12:19:48 by MJ Reply
    MJ
     
  • It’s all good and sciency, Tim Noakes style arguing, but if you cut down to the barebones, the best way to win, is to ensure the other team doesn’t

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.02.12 12:26:45 by Die Kriek Reply
     
  • 😈 True! Plain and simple. Good article 😈

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.02.12 12:27:26 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @MJ (Comment 1) :
    @Die Kriek (Comment 2) :

    Never thought of that…

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.02.12 12:37:04 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
     
  • @MJ (Comment 1) : @Die Kriek (Comment 2) : @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) : There is also a third, secret way to get the Super Rugby trophy. At the ceremony where the trophy is about to be handed over to the Melbourne Rebels, grab it, jump on a plane and fly straight to Durban. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.02.12 12:55:57 by vanmartin Reply
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  • You also need to be placed 1st after pool games to ensure a home final because it hellishly hard to win a play-off game away from home especially in NZ or Australia.

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.02.12 13:04:51 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) :

    It was more of a global article than Sharks or South African team specific..

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.02.12 13:07:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) : Especially if you have to travel over twice during play-offs.

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.02.12 13:07:39 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) :

    But travelling is a factor that I thought about putting in, but it gets a bit long.

    A fourth factor is very clearly luck of the draw, in this case being which teams you don’t play and which teams you play home or away..

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.02.12 13:08:51 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Rich – do squads have to be announced prior to the start of the tournament and if so by when? Cannot recall official announcement of any SA squad!

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.02.12 13:09:02 by davew Reply

     
  • @davew (Comment 10) :

    Not as far as I know.. there is no official announcement..

    Not for any of the 15 teams actually..

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.02.12 13:10:06 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Something I find quite peculiar and perhaps one of our scribes can pen an article on the subject.

    What I cannot seem to understand for the life of me is how do the Sharks manage with just the bare minimum amount of coaches.

    The Sharks management is made up of the following:
    Head coach : John Plumtree
    Assistant: Grant Bashford
    Assistant: Hugh Reece Edwards
    Manager: Trevor Barnes
    Analyst: Clinton Isaacs
    Equipment: Emmanuel Zuma
    Doctor: Ewoudt Van der Linde
    Physio: Deane Macquet
    Biokeneticist: Jimmy Wright
    Conditioning: Mark Steele
    Masseur: Bob Russell
    Assistant physio: Daniel Garnett

    All well and snazzy that The sharks have a masseur, Assistant physio etc, BUT WHY do we not have a specialist forward coach, specialist backline coach, defence coach,kicking coach, mental coach, attack coach etc like the top teams in world rugby. Could that not be our undoing?

    If i am not mistaken Plum was a loosie, Bash a scrummie and Hugh a fullback? Non really scream attacking guru or defence guru and i feel that perhaps your Brian Van Zyls and Rudolf strueli should be held accountable here because how can we get to the next level without actually buying the correct “trainers”

    Just a personal gripe…

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.02.12 13:11:39 by chucky Reply

    chucky
     
  • @chucky (Comment 12) :

    Your list excludes the likes of Ettiene Fynn and Deon Kayser, who are both involved at the Sharks??

    And that particular matter has been articled before..

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.02.12 13:13:24 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) :

    My ‘global’ consists of only 2 teams. The Sharks and the Boks.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.02.12 13:14:49 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 14) :

    Good thinking.. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.02.12 13:15:22 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 9) : The Standard for any team should be the Crusaders. Regardless of travel you would bank on them winning 9/10 away games on a round about trip, group game or play off.

    Fair enough as Saffas we have a hellish schedule as we tour longer than the australasian teams, but as the Stormers (to a certain degree) and Bulls have shown recently it is achievable, the players just need a shift in mental attitude (apptitude), something the SDharks players seem to lack. We have talent in abundance but our players seem to fold on the big stage.

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.02.12 13:16:10 by chucky Reply

    chucky
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 13) : Thanks Rich

    Deon and Etienne are not there on a “full time” basis and honestly speaking we need proven coaches for the finer technical detail.

    A good/great player does not translate automatically into a good/great coach.

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.02.12 13:18:24 by chucky Reply

    chucky
     
  • @chucky (Comment 16) :

    When last did the Sharks have a bad tour?

    We won 2 of the 4 games last year, one of the losses being against the Crusaders.

    2010 we won 2 out of 5, again playing the Crusaders in Christchurch

    2009 we won 3 out of 4 on the road..

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.02.12 13:22:17 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @chucky (Comment 17) :

    But they are there, that is all that they do.

    Do you know whether they are contracted or not, coz I seem to see them there quite a bit?

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.02.12 13:23:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 18) : for a proffesional sports team 2 out of 4 is bad then take into consideration the play off game against the saders and its 2 out of 5

    in 2010 2 out of 5 is totally unaccebtable.

    The norm should be as in 2009 but then you have to couple that with your local games. coming “close” on tour is no achievement.

    @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) : Ettiene contracted to u21 and Deon to Sharks XV.

    All coaches at the Union help out across the board, but if they are not IRB level 5 accredited I do not consider their input very beneficila to the team

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.02.12 13:28:17 by chucky Reply

    chucky
     
  • I also think teams need to think in terms of getting bonus points or maximum points, as that could also make a difference..

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.02.12 13:50:35 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
     
  • @chucky (Comment 12) : Place salary numbers next to each management member, add team players (times 12) and you have an answer!

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.02.12 13:56:36 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @chucky (Comment 16) : 😈 The Saders will tour to SA (foward in time) for 2 – 3 weeks at most and return to NZ. Regroup and travel to Aus and back for evey game. Aus teams too.
    SA teams will travel to NZ (back in time) for 2 -3 weeks, travel from city to city then to Aus for 1 – 2 weeks, from city to city. Sharks & Bulls set the bench mark in SR! 😈

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.02.12 14:01:51 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • I think the way you win or loose will also play a big role.winning with a bonus point,getting 4 points against “bigger teams” but not giving them a bonus point,and if you loose not allowing them 5 points but getting a bonus point or two aswell.specially on tour,I think getting points from tour is the focus point,two wins with 1 bonus point and two loses with 2-3 bonus points could ne seen as a good tour.

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.02.12 14:13:19 by juba_fan Reply

    CrazySharkFan
     
  • @juba_fan (Comment 24) : 😈 Maybe in this order: Win at home, Win at home with BP, Win away in SA, Win away SA with BP, Win on tour, Win on tour with BP? 😈

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.02.12 14:44:00 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @chucky (Comment 20) : i totally agree with you bru

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.02.12 10:45:17 by Spies66 Reply

    Spies66
     
  • @chucky (Comment 12) : I did an article on that last year… http://www.sharksworld.co.za/2011/05/25/sharks-losing-the-numbers-game/

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.02.12 11:04:59 by robdylan Reply
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