Richard Ferguson

Almost, but not quite

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Stormers, Super Rugby on 5 Mar 2012 at 07:54
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The Stormers beat the Sharks by 15 points to 12 on Saturday evening, bagging another four points while leaving the Sharks on no wins after two matches. The match was dominated by the kicking boot, with no tries scored, even though both teams came quite close. The defensive efforts from both sides were the highlight of the game.

The game ebbed and flowed in the favour of both teams, with the Sharks leading at half time 9 – 6, but the Stormers outscoring the away team in the second half, helped by a late penalty from the touchline from Peter Grant, to win the match.

The game never really got going, with handling errors and penalties costing both sides possession, and with Mark Lawrence watching the breakdown like a hawk, nobody quite knew what was to be expected from every ruck/maul situation.

Both team’s backlines looked dangerous, the Sharks more so in the first half and the Stormers outside backs getting better ball once Peter Grant was on the park. As for the Springbok centre pairing in Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh, they didn’t exactly outplay the Sharks combo of Meyer Bosman and JP Pietersen.

It was a disappointing game for Sharks supporters, as their team was yet again in a position to win an away game against very tough opposition, but failed to pull through in the final minutes. Credit must go to the Stormers for holding their nerve and having the patience required to get the win.

From a Sharks perspective, the defence was a big positive, as they kept a clean sheet in terms of tries scored against them, and the fact that the line outs improved might come down to Ross Skeate being on the park, or merely that the team worked on in during the week.

The front row was a bit of a problem for the Sharks, as they were under pressure in the scrums all night, even after Jannie came on. What exactly the solution there is, I don’t know. The Stormers’ young front row plainly looked better coached.

The loose trio worked well together, but Botes looked very tired after coming back onto the park in the second half. Plum might have to look at him as no more than an impact player. He did have an impact in the first half though, and along with Bismarck, put the Stormers under pressure at the breakdown, whether legally or not (who knows?). Marcell Coetzee was tasked to be the go forward bash it up player, but one feels he can look outside him once or twice and maybe look to put players into space.

One thing that is quite clear is that Charl McLeod looks in much better nick than Michalak, and should be pushing to start against the Lions this weekend. Pat Lambie was good defensively, but lacked real go forward on attack, getting rid of the ball so soon that the defence merely shifted onto Bosman and Pietersen. Lwazi Mvovo had a good game, and looked good every time he touched the ball, even showing Aplon a clean pair of heals. As for Louis Ludik, I fear he will be shown up on the wing, and should rather make way for an out and out wing to make an impact for the Sharks, like Sithole.

All in all, the match was frustrating to watch, yet the Sharks managed to answer my call from last weekend to just show some improvement. If the improvement continues, and the backline gets to gel as a unit, as well as the return of some injured players, the team could push for honours this year.


  • 👿
    Thanks Rich,
    lets just hope we don”t have 3 loses in row, we need to get back in the wining game, we don’t have a very good track record at all with the Snoils 🙄

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.03.12 08:02:27 by chaz Reply
  • Big match for both the Lions and Sharks. Would love to see the Jantjies/Lambie battle, Jantjies has been in good form wile the time spent at FB last year really cost Lambie, but he is slowly getting back there(but I won’t mind if he hits top form just a week later hehe)

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.03.12 08:05:36 by Mutley Reply
  • @Mutley (Comment 2) :

    So true, huge game for both teams.

    Lions showing good promise and the Sharks not quite showing that potential yet. Interesting game indeed.

    Looking forward to getting back to the Tank!

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.03.12 08:09:40 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • you know, this is just the sort of thing that happens every time we pick Keegan and Jacques to start together… the pack plays like a machine in the first half, but the 10% of “extra effort” that all of the other need to put in to make up for the lack of back-row bulk becomes a real killer in the last quarter.

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.03.12 08:15:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @chaz (Comment 1) : stay here, you will see a lot of wining! 😆

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.03.12 08:19:03 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Well if the Bulls and Stormers loose and we win the Snoils i think we will be about on top 🙂

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.03.12 08:20:39 by chaz Reply

  • @chaz (Comment 6) : ja, if your maths is, shall we say, “approximate”…

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.03.12 08:21:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 5) : :mrgreen:
    yep i plan to, and lets just hope its us that is doing the wining 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.03.12 08:22:09 by chaz Reply

  • @Mutley (Comment 2) : I’m afraid that the honours would go to Jantjies on current form. Lambie has done little wrong, but he hasn’t shone in the way Jantjies has.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.03.12 08:22:38 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @chaz (Comment 6) : anyway, Stormers have a bye already this coming weekend, so that’s them safe on 12 points at the end of round 3…. best we can hope for is 7.

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.03.12 08:23:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : not to take anything away from Tera, but man it would have been nice (in hindsight) to be able to bring Big Vic on in the second half.

    Also think Plum erred in not replacing Skeate sooner… could even have done so just before the yellow card brainfart 🙂

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.03.12 08:24:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    Well like i always say Black and White is all that matters put that will with the points and i think we have a great team,
    and that which should leave us at 2nd place 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.03.12 08:28:13 by chaz Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : I’m afraid I agree with you

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.03.12 08:36:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • A lot of the Sharks problems has to do with lack of personnel to fill some injured talismanic players. There is no easy solution for that.

    Right now we lack grunt in the scrum, in the tight, and on defence. Once you add in Aberts, Deysel and Beast, that problem dissapears.

    What wont disappear though, is poor technique at the breakdowns (plenty of diving in and sealing off – even when the ball was already cleanly won)and the need to bring in a genuine threat on the right wing.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.03.12 08:38:39 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 14) : agree with you on that i didn’t think it would hurt us so much when they arn’t on the field 😉

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.03.12 08:43:50 by chaz Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 14) : I think we’re doing ok on defence…? 🙂 160 minutes, no tries conceded…

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.03.12 08:48:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : on the Elton Jantjies topic, if our dicipline goes down the drain this coming weekend, as we did against the stormers, Elton will punish us everytime. Elton manage to play a blinder against the sharks, everytime!

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.03.12 08:50:44 by VanWilder Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : that is a bright light, but we still need that killer instinct on attack. We missed Whitehead on the weekend. On the other hand, Bosman defended as if his life depended on it.

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.03.12 08:53:24 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 17) :

    The problem with Jantjies kicking is that he wont have the distance at sea level.

    Expect Taute to take a few of the longer kicks..

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.03.12 08:53:25 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) : agreed, but in our half, jantjies can be deadly.

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.03.12 09:03:09 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 20) :

    Jantjies’ limit is 45m at altitude..

    That means 40m at the most in the Tank..

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.03.12 09:10:47 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 21) : but in that 40m radius, he`s deadly. We cant expect him to do a Pietersen and miss 4 penalties.

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.03.12 09:14:39 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 22) :


    I wish Lambie could hit 85% off his kicks.. He seems to get rattled when his first kick is a tad difficult.

    Michalak has a good success rate, we might as well make use of the guy to get us some points.

  • Comment 23, posted at 05.03.12 09:18:29 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 23) : i`m more worried on our own dicipline. We tend to give away easy penalties in the second half in our own half. That happened in the Bulls and stormers games. If Pietesen kicked all of his penalties, it would have been another game all together.

    The comentators keeps going on about the sharks wonderful fitness levels, but why are we giving away so much penalties? Seems like we dont trust our own defence or we are getting tired?

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.03.12 09:28:15 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 24) :

    One has to wonder how much of it comes down to the coaching, and the Sharks’ appreciation of the laws.

    It would be beneficial for the team to invite one of the top referee’s to a training session and get his views and insights, and play accordingly.

  • Comment 25, posted at 05.03.12 09:37:57 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 25) : last week, in one of the post match interviews, i think it was keegan who said that we had Craig Joubert at a training camp, and he explained all the rules and interpretations to them.

    He also pointed out that maybe, the ill dicipline in the bulls game came down to ref interpretation, because they used Craig`s insight…

  • Comment 26, posted at 05.03.12 09:53:25 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 26) :

    Now that is interesting..

    I reckon the next development in rugby should be a ref robot, that is programmed so that each and every game could be blown in exactly the same way!

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.03.12 09:55:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) :
    Defence around the fringes could definitely do with some work. A lot of the penalties came from us having to scramble in defence – some big hitters stopping the oppo down the middle can change that.

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.03.12 09:55:55 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) : yip, i just feel, if the Sharks trusts their own defence, why do we need to linger on the edge of the offside line, and try and win the 50/50 ball at ruck time. Force the opposition into errors. Its like playing cricket, the sharks need to learn when to play at a ball, and when to leave it.

    If we are going to play on the edge, then we are playing in that grey area, where ANY ref can call a penalty, and it could go down to Ref interpretation.

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.03.12 09:59:30 by VanWilder Reply

  • I reckon Bismark had a Stormers shirt underneath with the amount of penalties he gave away. 🙁
    With the talent we have on the pitch our boys should be the top of everything….what’s going on…. The Bulls should have been battling with all their new stock, change of coaching etc…but they have just come in blazing….PLEASE someone tell me whats going one…Lambie is WAAAAYYY better than Jantjies, that it shouldnt even be a contest, but right now there is one because Jantjies is better coached…..*tears*

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.03.12 10:21:27 by Just a Fan Reply

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