Plum’s comments raise Kiwi hackles

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 6 Mar 2012 at 11:42
Tagged with : , ,

Sharks coach John Plumtree seems to have started something of a war of words with his New Zealand compatriots, after appearing to suggest that the South African conference is the toughest in Super Rugby.

Plumtree’s comments, made off the cuff after the Bulls game, hinted at a level of frustration at the physical – more often brutal – nature of South African conference encounters, that tend to result in less attractive rugby overall. Reading between the lines, I think the coach was bemoaning the fact that whilst Australian and Kiwi sides tend to try and play constructive rugby against one another, local teams tend to revert to the ‘physical slog’ stereotype as they try to beat the crap out of each other!

Anyway, regardless of what Plum actually said – or meant when he said it – it’s been interpreted as a right old whinge at the perceived weakness of the other conferences relative to the South African one; a point with which Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has a serious issue.

The former back-rower points to recent upset results in the Kiwi conference to substantiate his claim that it is certainly no less tough, or competitive than the South African one. Scrumhalf Andy Ellis goes a step further in suggesting that while the Australian and South African conferences do indeed contain a weaker side or two, the same cannot be said of the Kiwi draw, which he feels is clearly the toughest.

Not expecting Plum to be bought too many beers in his old country, in other words!


  • I would agree with both sides. The NZ conference is probably the toughest in that even teams like the Canes and Highlanders can upset the top teams, but the SA conference is definitely the most physical. As the article states “they like to beat the crap out of each other”!

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.03.12 11:47:17 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Villie (Comment 1) : Agree, New Zealand have 5 teams that can all beat each other; but ours has 3 teams that really bash the crap outta each other; and when Lions and Cheetahs get their act together they can also beat any of the “Big 3” in Superugby.

    I watch those New Zealand derbies, definitely a lot less direct play compared to South African derbies, and the defence is also not as tight and aggresive…Just Look at these first 2 Sharks games defence from Sharks, Stormers and Bulls has been immense, even when a line break is made we find 3 players on cover defence…great commitment for sure from our teams.

    When Cheethas have Brussouw, Smith, Johnson, Coenie and Strauss Cousins/Brothers? on form they also a very physical side.

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.03.12 11:55:20 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 2) : Strauss cousins.
    Richart, the hooker playing for Leinster, in Ireland, is the brother of Andries and Adriaan is their cousin. All great players!!

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.03.12 12:05:42 by ChrisS Reply
  • Off topic, most places say 100% chance of rain in Durban on saturday…hopefully Plum adjusts tactics and team selections accordingly…man this sucks…hard to score 4 tries in rain, but at least Sharks played Kings in rain and did well a couple of weeks back. Maybe Fred should stay at 9, and Up and unders and territory will be the name of the game. Carry around the fringes and play the ball to our centres when we want to get over the whitewash…playing ball in hand in our owns half is crazy wet conditions is just asking for trouble.

    So i can’t expect Jordaan at 14 this weekend then 🙁 Ndungane will probably be the best selection for the wet conditions.

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.03.12 12:09:05 by JJR Reply
  • The difference is, in SA we are now playing primarily to avoid relegation, in the other countries they play to win the competition.

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.03.12 12:27:46 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @JJR (Comment 4) : Wet Team Option:
    Viljoen, Odwa, JP, Lambie, Michalak, Mvovo and McLeod.

    Gives you 3 safe punters in the backline and good quick ball as well.

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.03.12 12:30:18 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @JJR (Comment 4) : soo many typo’s…man all this studying is killing my brain… 🙂

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.03.12 12:34:25 by JJR Reply
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 6) : Could be an option, or we could go 9.Fred 10.Lambie 11.Ludik 12.Bosman. 13.JPP 14.Ndungane 15.Viljoen…maybe that would be a tad too conservative, even for the wet 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.03.12 12:37:31 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 8) : I don`t think Fred should start at 9 anymore. We can use him better, especially in the wet weather.

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.03.12 12:44:27 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 9) : We will see what Plum does…will be interesting.

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.03.12 12:53:59 by JJR Reply
  • Kiwi’s are over sensitive.

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.03.12 12:56:44 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Tough means physical Kiwi dudes… SA conference is the toughest. So if the Kiwis take offence hopefully they try prove a point against us, and we beat the crap out of them… In a shrewd antipodean accent – “that is going to hurt morning mate”

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.03.12 13:19:54 by DarkDestroyer Reply


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