Sharks an easy target for on-form kickers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 Mar 2012 at 12:00
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This is hardly rocket science, I guess, but it seems to be a very strong pattern that’s emerging; the Sharks give away far too many penalties in games and have done so for quite some time. It seems that all you need to do in order to beat the Durbanites these days is pick a 90% goal kicker and let the Sharks do the rest.

Am I oversimplifying? Of course I am, but there’s a point to be made here. Just looking back at the five most recent defeats the Sharks have suffered, across both Super Rugby and Currie Cup, in all but one of those cases, the winning side have scored at least 15 points through penalties, in the process creating a scoreboard buffer that the losers have been unable to overcome. It starts to read like a bit of a horror hstory, albeit a far too predictable one; in September last year, the Cheetahs won 53-32 in Bloemfontein, thanks in no small part to five penalties from Johan Goosen that saw the Sharks playing catch-up all the way through. Again in the Currie Cup final, it was Elton Jantjies who banged over 5, with Jaco Taute adding a 6th, en route to an embarrassingly one-sided 42-16 win.

In both of this season’s matches to date, the Sharks have been quite lucky that at various stages, both Morne Steyn and Joe Pietersen were uncharacteristically wayward off the tee. In the end, they finished with figures of 5 (Steyn) and 4 (Pietersen), with Peter Grant adding the magical fifth last week to continue the pattern. While we as fans bemoan the close losses, the reality is that both games could have been lost by wider margins had these kickers been more on song.

Penalties, in short, are the cancer that is killing Sharks rugby. Unless we find a way to stop them, improve the technique, better understand the laws, root out the culprits and do whatever it takes to fix the discipline, there will be a lot more pain to come, with Elton Jantjies already sure to be licking his lips at the prospect of another easy bonanza of points against the men in black and white this weekend.


  • Thanx for dashing my hopes this early in the week already. 🙁

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.03.12 12:10:14 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Oi, you stole this from my “how to beat the Sharks” post. 😆

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.03.12 12:14:19 by waje Reply

  • Quite simply put, less penalties please Sharks..

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.03.12 12:14:28 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @waje (Comment 2) :

    This article was written very early this morning, as you can see from the exact posting time.

    But it is a good point both of you make..

    Strange for you two to agree on anything??! 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.03.12 12:15:33 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) : 😆 😆 Or is it a case of the Sharks have become predictable? 😆

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.03.12 12:23:43 by waje Reply

  • our pack has become predictable…and with Michalak we have become telegraphed !…charl is more punchy and if he can get over the advantage line we become a lot less static and more creative.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.03.12 12:25:28 by The Duke Reply

    The Duke
  • I watched the sharks game of the weekend for the 3rd time last night, and my conclutionn was exactly that it is the penalty’s that’s costing us the games, and the seriously worrying fact is that a lot of the penalty’s we give away we are on attack/possession of the ball. those penalty’s are not even reflected in the kicking duals as they are most of the time not kickable penalty’s 👿

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.03.12 12:26:15 by Franshark Reply
  • its also a worry that our more experienced players are making these mistakes on a regular basis…Bizzie needs to wise up.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.03.12 12:33:54 by The Duke Reply

    The Duke
  • Pretty simple really. We´re losing the breakdowns in defense and on attack. That´s bound to produce a flood of penalties, but what is really worrying is that we have lost both this year´s games in the first 20 minutes after HT because of indiscipline during phase play.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.03.12 12:34:59 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 1) :

    No no dont make the Lions favorites for the game ..

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.03.12 12:36:17 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 7) : 😆 I don’t know what is more amazing, it taking you three views to realise that, or that you could watch such a boring Sharks team three times. 😆

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.03.12 12:36:25 by waje Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 10) : Unfortunately Mitchell seems to have worked out his mate, Plumtree. Lions have the upper hand. Their only weakness is Elton’s tendency to do stupid things and the lack of resolve in the last 10 minutes.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.03.12 12:40:46 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 12) :

    We have a lot of things to improve . The Lions can implode within 10 min and that cost us games

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.03.12 12:43:20 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Comment 14, posted at 07.03.12 12:46:56 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 13) : The Sharks and Lions are playing similar gamestyles at the moment. Both teams biggest weakness is the lack of patience. The players think that they have to score as soon as they get the ball, rather than build up, build up, attack.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.03.12 12:48:41 by waje Reply

  • The only thing predictable is that the penalty count against us will be more than 10 and that at least 3 will be against Bismarck. 🙁

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.03.12 12:51:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @waje (Comment 15) :

    Yes, we need the patience of the 2010 CC team.

    I did read an article that actually shows that after 2 rounds of the S15 the team that held onto the ball the LEAST won 83% of the games because of the number of penalties against the attacking teams at the breakdown. If this continues it’s going to be a terrible S15 this year. Let’s hope either the players or the referees wake up.

    Cue for KSA to provide his input… 😈

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.03.12 12:52:52 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I see Butch is starting at 12 this week. He and Bosman are going to batter the crap out of each other.

    Maybe now the Kiwis will agree with Plumtree. 🙂

    At least Butch will give Lambie and Viljoen more shots at goal. 😉

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.03.12 12:54:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Pokkel (Comment 17) : The Players will have to wake up. 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.03.12 12:55:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : At least Bismarck “I’ll throw my toys if you bench me” Du Plessis is consistent. 3 penalties per game after 2 games.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.03.12 12:57:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 20) : And Keegan with 4 missed tackles a game.

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.03.12 12:59:28 by waje Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : I agree. Like the penalty Wiehan Herbst gave away for going off his feet at the ruck. Wtf was he thinking? Just an example.

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.03.12 12:59:53 by Ben Reply
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  • @waje (Comment 15) :

    havent thought about it that way . But now that i think about it , Yes thats true . Its a bit of a problem . Cause you to make silly mistakes

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.03.12 13:00:32 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 23) : There is 80 minutes in a game, so why try and score whenever you get the ball? I would rather the team take it slowly, hold onto the ball, make safe passes and setup again. Let the opposition give away penalties, because they aren’t getting a chance with the ball. After spending 60 minutes defending, the opposition are going to be wrecked, then you go for the jugular.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.03.12 13:05:01 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 21) : that hasn’t lead to any score against us though.

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.03.12 13:05:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 25) : But his penalty in each game did.

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.03.12 13:10:03 by waje Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 25) : @waje (Comment 26) : So between the captain and vice captain, the Sharks start the game with a 12 point deficit.

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.03.12 13:11:23 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 26) : dude are you a dudette? Only Dudettes do the “ja but” subject change when they get something wrong. 🙂

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.03.12 13:16:20 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 28) : I never got anything wrong. I was comparing the consistency of the players. You preferred to focus on giving points away so I pointed out Keegan’s consistency there to. I wonder if Bismarck’s poor lineout throwing is also as consistent?

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.03.12 13:20:00 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 27) : This is too depressing.

    Can`t we come up with at least some positives?

    Mark Lawrence is the ref. He used to like us didn`t he?

    This is a home game, we`ve established now the weather won`t be so bad, maybe we`ll have decent support?

    It is after all only the lions. They haven`t been a factor in super rugby since .. . well forever. We`ve got nothing to worry about! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.03.12 13:25:06 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @waje (Comment 29) : ah okay. 🙂

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.03.12 13:26:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 30) : Here are the postives, but alone they don’t win games, it needs the negatives to be fixed.
    *The Sharks defence is solid.
    *The Sharks travel well.
    *The Sharks have a good maul, when they use it.
    *The Sharks have two home games coming up.
    *The Sharks have some awesome talent.
    *The Sharks scramble well.
    *The Sharks have a good team spirit.
    *The Sharks haven’t been relegated yet.
    *The Sharks are guaranteed to get another 8 points this season.
    *The Sharks injury list isn’t horrendous yet.
    *The Sharks have a great jersey.
    Okay I am starting to battle now… 😆 😆

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.03.12 13:40:05 by waje Reply

  • @Original Pierre (Comment 30) : Nowadays Mark Lawrence likes Mark Lawrence- klaar.

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.03.12 13:43:19 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Ok I decided to check how many points have come from penalty kicks against the Sharks since the start of the Currie Cup last year. 177 points. That is 59 penalties. This doesn’t take into account the missed kicks or even the penalties that the Sharks gave away out of kickable range. And even more startling is that in the last three games against the Lions the Sharks have conceded 48 points from kicked penalties. (One of those games the Lions never pitched up, because they had earnt a home semi) 😯 😯

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.03.12 14:12:55 by waje Reply

  • 100% corect in your article Rob. The problem with the Sharks is their discipline and concentration to an extent. Too often do Sharks players do stupid things and therefore give away costly penalties etc. Some of those penalties may not result in 3 points but a lot do and the ones that dont are often when the Sharks are on attack and a stupid penalty costs us a try scoring opportunity. Now i dont know if its the players ignorance, or loss of concentration but surely as professionals they should be held accountable for those actions as you and I would if we kept making costly mistakes at work! I can tell you 1 thing for certain…if the Sharks focussed on their discipline they would be a bloody tough team to beat! At the moment the opposition is guaranteed at least 9 to 12 points!

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.03.12 14:55:48 by SheldonK Reply

  • Peter De Villiers would say to beat opposition (in this case The Sharks) you need to put more points on the scoreboard… So hopefully the opposition won’t allow them to put more points on the scoreboard by, yes remaining disciplined and patient. We could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, if he had, hopefully we have learnt. Sharks simply must win this game, and I think they will. People will panic if they don’t and they realise that. Might be a scrappy game. Might be a scrappy season.

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.03.12 14:59:52 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @waje (Comment 11) : 😆 every time I started watching hoping for a different result 😉

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.03.12 15:26:51 by Franshark Reply
  • i’m just waiting to see if the sharks lose to the lions and are 0 from 3 will the “the first loss was a good thing” brigade still be preaching calm and a rose-tinted view of their team :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.03.12 15:58:08 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 38) : let’s not muck about three losses against three ‘home’ teams will be a problem… Sharks have to win this weekend… There will be huge pressure if they get fluffed against the Lions. Home games are virtually non-negotiable.

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.03.12 16:07:51 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 38) : Hehe 😀 I remember in 2010, after a 5-in-a-row losing streak and battling through some unconvincing wins (amongst others the Western Force at home), some people were still debating when would be a good time to start worrying.

    We ended 9th, so maybe that has become our new Super Rugby pain threshold :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.03.12 16:43:47 by rhineshark Reply
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