Consistency and Defence will be Key

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Other SA Teams, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Apr 2012 at 15:05
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Sharks will be looking for some consistency going into this weekend’s game against the log leading Chiefs, not only by playing a full 80 minutes of good rugby, but by gaining only their second consecutive victory of the season. The Chiefs will be a different prospect to what they have been in previous years.

It’s not the same loose, just throwing around the ball team of recent years. They now have consistency and structure in both their forwards and backs and as the coaching staff points out, they definitely have become very confident in their systems and methods and up to this point is the most effective defending side in the competition with the fewest tries scored against them. Add to this the prospect of Sonny Bill Williams and looking after not only his offload, but the many talented backs that will be running on to these offloads it is no wonder that the Sharks defence was mentioned more than once by the coach and the captain.

Good news from the team is that Bismarck du Plessis has been taking part in training and will be considered to play against the Chiefs. Plumtree says that his injuries have only been minor and Bismarck usually played through injuries of this nature, but the coaching team had to make a decision before the Blues game and they felt that it would be better for him to take a break. The coach admits that Craig Burden certainly proved himself to be capable of more and that the possibility of more game time for him is not out of the question in the future. It is true that Craig is playing behind one of the best in this position as Plumtree rightly points out, but it seems that he could have been given at least some game time at this level a little sooner. We’ll have to wait until Thursday to see whether Bismarck will be given another week to rest or Burden will be trusted for a third game in a row.

In other injury updates, it seems that Whitehead might be the biggest concern for the Sharks this weekend, as he apparently picked up a few injuries on tour and has not been moving as freely as he would like to. It sounded like Plum might be making a change in the midfield to give him a rest and move Bosman into the midfield, where he and JP will have to look after Sonny Bill and the rest of the Chiefs’ potent midfield attack. Whitehead has been really good so far and it would be disappointing to lose him for this important encounter, but Bosman has proven that he is a more than capable replacement at inside centre and has combined well with Whitehead and JP in previous games.

The Sharks have not had the best start to the season, but they are happy that they played well enough to get a few bonus points out of their tough losses and even a couple of four try bonus points, which have kept them alive in the competition. They will be looking to improve on their defence, which has been disappointing so far and as captain Keegan Daniel points out, let them down, especially against the Waratahs where they could and should have won. Looking at some of the positives, the team is happy with the way their set pieces have been improving during the competition and the success of the new-look backline. They can still improve, but have been dangerous on attack and look more threatening each week. With eight games out of the way and eight more to play, the Sharks want to eliminate their errors, improve on their shortcomings and build on their strength and hopefully use the home game advantage to make a run for the top six.


  • funny thing though is the reds were playing great rugby until they came to kings park and were beaten by a sharks side who lost 5 in a row…never discount a team who blows hot and cold.Each week is different and the guys have everything to play for…n besides its home ground advantage…i have a good feeling about saturday…

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.04.12 15:29:34 by shaniboi Reply
  • @shaniboi (Comment 1) : I like it. Good feelings and positive thinking. C’mon, more of this, bet your house on the Sharks?! 😀 😐 😉

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.04.12 15:42:23 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • This is going to be a toughie! Chiefs look an excellent side with many strings to their bow. Can pick and go, bash it up with powerful runners, incisive backs and an excellent set piece – not to mention a shrewd coaching staff. We will need to be at the top of our game for this one!

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.04.12 16:07:18 by Pat Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 2) : what part of the gameplan is “consistency”? defence i understand a little but the former i need clarity on.

    consitency in doing what, the same way of playing they’ve been exhibiting for the past 8 weeks?

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.04.12 17:02:50 by Megatron Reply

  • No, because in the first 8 weeks we were inconsistent, so the opposite of that.

    We want to achieve a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality. Consistency.

    I would hope the Sharks are aiming to consistently play at the highest level that they have played so far and not at the lower levels that they have also delivered during the first 8 weeks.

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.04.12 17:24:37 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • “Consistency – by playing a full 80 minutes of good rugby”

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.04.12 17:29:33 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @shaniboi (Comment 1) : Reds were’nt actually playing good rugby as in 2011. The Aussie press actually commented at the time on how the Reds were winning some home games by being off their usual game.

    Chiefs will be a much tougher obstacle. Still you never know what can happen.

    Sharks need to keep the concentration going all 80 minutes – not have small patches of sublime play mixed with a lot of average, and now and then even the ridiculous

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.04.12 17:32:40 by Bokhoring Reply
  • The Chiefs actually play a very similar game to the Sharks in that they use their big ball carriers to get over the advantage line and then they try play it to the wing in the hope of mismatches and overlaps. The Sharks record against the Chiefs isnt the best and unless the Kings Park crowd can inspire them I forsee a very long and tough game for the Sharks based on the way they currently playing. But as they say the ball isnt round and anything can happen…and i hope it does!

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.04.12 07:57:44 by SheldonK Reply

  • I`ve got 2 Concerns:

    1 If Bissie is not available I would like to see Botes start. We need more possession and our current loose 3 just doesn`t bring that skill set to the party.
    2 If Whitehead is not available for this one we`re in big trouble.
    Last years` episode in the UK is still fresh enough in my mind not to risk MB against SBW.
    Yes I know MB`s form improved a lot but I still won`t trust him against the best 12 in super rugby. For the record I won`t trust Whitehead either but he`s been breaking the line at least, something we haven`t had since . . . Jeremy Thompson?!

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.04.12 11:08:04 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre

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