Love the Plum you’re with

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 22 Feb 2012 at 07:00
Tagged with : , ,

Those of you waking up this morning to the somewhat surprising Sharks team announcement for this weekend’s game might just be rubbing your eyes and wondering whether you may, in fact still be dreaming.

Let’s face it, we’ve developed a bit of a habit, over the last few seasons, of questioning, doubting and often ridiculing the rather conservative approach that has typified Sharks coach John Plumtree. This is a man, we’ve come to realise, who likes to play it safe, who values experience, who counts caps. A man who believes in the tried and tested, the established combinations, the core of senior players. We’ve allowed our frustration to spill over at times too, perhaps not going quite so far as to openly call for the coach’s head, but certainly to wonder, very loudly, whether this staid Kiwi is, in fact, the right man to be taking the Sharks forward.

That’s only ever been when we’ve lost, of course. We love Plum when we win… we’re only fans, at the end of the day. Only human.

There’s an old song that goes “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” and I guess one of the best things about this ostensibly “new” Plumtree that seems to be embarking on Mission:2012 with so much unaccustomed panache, is that he honestly does appear to be a lot more like the sort of coach we feel we ought to have. He announces his sides in plenty of time. He backs youngsters. He’s not afraid to post a senior player back to the Vodacom Cup if that player’s contributions no longer warrant a place in the Super Rugby side. He puts untried players in the starting lineup (Whitehead) and on the bench (Jordaan) because he can see they add flair and unpredictability – it’s that “x factor” that he wants to have in his team. He knows that form counts for more than reputation and that fire in the belly can often count for just as much as a dozen caps earned a few seasons back.

Like I said, this really seems to be the sort of coach we feel we want. Until he loses a game, at which point, I’m sure, there will be a fair few clamouring for the “old” Plum, the “safety first” Plum, the “it wouldn’t have happened if we’d had our Boks” Plum…

Doom and gloom aside, though, I for one am certainly very pleased with the side of the bed Master Plumtree has chosen to wake up on in 2012. As with all good omelettes, this one will not be made without a few eggs going astray en route. The Sharks – and Plum – have given us a little taste of what we’ve asked for (although the proof of this pudding will be tasted on Friday evening). Let’s hope that the new, improved Plum pudding is indeed everything we hoped – nay dreamed – it would be.


  • Comparing the coach to a sweet foodstuff? Insomnia strike again?

    Anyway, fabulous post, I do like the ‘new’ Plum, although he looks a lot like an old Plum. Version 20.12 seems to have been built from the same stuff that gave us Plumtree 20.08

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.02.12 07:35:05 by Die Kriek Reply
  • Im a little confused though..enews had plum on this morning and he said he will be making his selections on thursday?????

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.02.12 07:40:52 by shaniboi Reply
  • @shaniboi (Comment 2) :

    It’s on the official Sharks website.

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.02.12 08:11:51 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 3) :

    Yeah don’t trust the lowly Sharksworld site, they have no idea 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.02.12 08:15:20 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Strange though that none of the other Rugby sites have the team announcement yet.

    NOBODY expected Plum to release his team on a Tuesday nogal! 😈

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.02.12 08:16:54 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • we just got the official press release… so if the Sharks have slipped in releasing this one early, they’ve now done so TWICE 🙂

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.02.12 08:53:22 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Great Post, Roberto! Love it! Agreed about the omellette thing, but I’m willing to waste a few in the process…

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.02.12 09:20:59 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    You’re headings are brilliant lately..

    I would have gone for something along the lines of Plum growing some plums.. but thats just a little crude I suppose..

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.02.12 09:22:19 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

    As I said in the team announcement thread – I’m backing Plum with these sort of selections whether we win or lose. It just somehow feels more true to the ‘Sharks way’ (if such a concept exists outside of my own mind).

    Our ‘bash it up with big ball carriers’ approach probably resulted in more wins than losses last year but it was never going to be sustainable in the long run.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.02.12 09:30:56 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I have a slightly different take on Plum and possibiliy his thinking in selection. Last year he backed the players with the pedigree and experience and i think he genuinely believed they would deliver for him. Because those players did not deliver i think it has made him change his mindset and pick players at face value based on what they are delivering here and now! Also coaches need to re-ivent themselves and their game plans etc otherwise they will no longer be effective. Im interested to 1. see what approach the Sharks take this year and 2. if his gameplan will match the way the referees are interpreting the laws!

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.02.12 13:06:01 by SheldonK Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.