Richard Ferguson

My little wishlist

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 May 2012 at 10:00
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The Sharks face the Force this weekend in what should be one of the more comfortable wins of the season, seeing as the Sharks are at home and the Force are travelling in what is one of their worst seasons to date, currently propping up the Australian conference with two wins from ten matches.

Let’s forget about the opposition for a minute, and focus on what is important, and that is what we would like to see from the Sharks this weekend. The Sharks managed to beat an impressive looking Highlanders side, picking up four points in the process, but lacking the flair and tries that we as fans always expect from the men in black and white. A win, nevertheless, is a win, and four points in the bag is much better than a losing bonus point.

The Sharks do however, find themselves with quite a challenge this weekend, as nothing but a full five pointer will satisfy the ever decreasing crowd at Mr Price Kings Park, with only 18 730 people witnessing the Highlanders victory last weekend. The full five points would go a very long way in not only pushing the Sharks closer to that play-off zone, but will also give the team’s confidence a massive boost.

Apart from the above, there are a few things that I would dearly like to see happen in the Sharks’ play, and I will discuss each of these briefly:

Firstly, our set pieces improved dramatically against the Highlanders, and that level of dominance in the scrums should be non-negotiable against the Force. Our lineouts have also improved, with the exception of the quick ball from the top, which that pass from high up to the nominated scrumhalf going to ground more often than not. I am a big fan of quick ball, but let’s secure the ball first, and then go about the fancy stuff.

Charl McLeod has come under a lot of criticism for his play behind our pack of forwards. I have to be honest in that he has never been my favourite player, and that my hopes were pinned on Conrad Hoffmann replacing him, but he is currently the best in the Sharks setup. From him, I would like to see quicker ball from the base of the ruck, with less flapping and more passing. Our backline has some potent runners, and we need to unleash them against unorganised defences in order to take full advantage. Slow ball does not allow this.

The amount of silly errors the Sharks make is embarrassing at times, with penalties not being kicked out, skew lineouts, going off our feet at ruck time. If we can reduce the amount of silly penalties, and only concede those where we have a fifty percent chance of getting the ref’s call, for example getting our hands on the ball at the breakdown, the Sharks would have more ball to play with, and a greater chance of scoring points. Basically, we want to see the basics done well.

Kick-offs have been a shambles, with Lambie trying the short kick off to a chasing wing, which has gone into touch every time I have seen it attempted. It just does not work. Keep it simple, get the forwards under the kickoff and put the pressure on the team taking the ball. Competing for this ball puts pressure on the team taking kick off, and could result in a knock and then we are on the front foot.

Defensively, we have seen a great improvement from the Sharks in recent weeks, and we want to consistently see them tackle like they did against the Highlanders. Defence win matches, never forget that.

Lastly, the old habit of not playing for the full 80 minutes was finally broken last weekend, when the Sharks, for the first time this season, played the full game, and that with minimal substitutions until the 70th minute. That coupled with conceding points immediately after scoring points, is a trait the Sharks battle to get right, and improving that will go a long way in getting the fans happy.

This has turned into a longer than I thought piece, with individual matters jumping to mind as I am writing, and has become something of a wish list. I am not expecting the Sharks to magically produce the goods and be perfect, but small steps in the right direction can not only see us potentially in the play-offs, but will put the team in good stead heading into a Currie Cup campaign, and building to Super Rugby 2013.


  • Even though the Force are at the bottom of the Aussie pile, they have a couple of wily characters who will test us in certain areas of the game – Sharpe at line out time and Pocock and Hodgson at the breakdowns. It will be a good test of our recent improvements in these areas.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.05.12 10:19:14 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Nice Rich, a positive, great article! I Like!

    I will add a little wish or 3…a driving maul or 2, like the good old days, more support and quicker assistance at rucks and centres straigtning some lines.

    Go SHARKS!

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.05.12 10:30:45 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • I have a wish, it’s nothing major. Actually is quite small: Sharks, please win all your remaining games 😈

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.05.12 11:43:58 by JarsonX Reply
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  • does anyone know who the ref is,the breakdowns will b interesting

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.05.12 12:17:52 by clarkville Reply

  • @clarkville (Comment 4) : Mark Lawrence

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.05.12 12:27:52 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • shot,hope he is fair this weekend,Pocock needs to be cleaned out at every ruck for us to have any chance

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.05.12 12:32:21 by clarkville Reply

  • @clarkville (Comment 6) : Plumtree said his happy with Lawrence as the ref this weekend because he feels his always very strict at the breakdown and that’s what they’ll need.

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.05.12 16:06:04 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • So sad to sad but I am not sure I have enough confidence in the Sharks to beat the Farce to pick them on LMS.

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.05.12 16:09:03 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • The short kick off went into touch EVERY TIME you you have SEEN it attempted? Does this mean you sometimes miss parts of the game, or that you genuinely believe we haven’t successfully pulled of one single short kick of or are you just being the “He made like a million tackles” guy? 😉

    Just kidding, I think there has been a few really good short kicks this season, but I get what you’re getting at and I agree. Safety first. If we’re up by 20 points and need one more try for the bonus point and there’s only 5 or 10 minutes left, sure go for it. But for now what you said “Keep it simple, get the forwards under the kickoff and put the pressure on the team taking the ball. Competing for this ball puts pressure on the team taking kick off, and could result in a knock and then we are on the front foot.” makes perfect sense!

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.05.12 16:32:34 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 9) : If we’re up by 20 points…. 😆

    That was funny!

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.05.12 16:33:44 by Letgo Reply
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  • Another good article. You’re on a roll dude!

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.05.12 16:34:24 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 11) : I earlier said his on fire… So the roll is to put the fire out 😉

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.05.12 16:40:07 by Franshark Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 9) :

    On the point of the kick-offs.. I like the creativity in trying different things, but a kick off is damn near close to a set piece these days, and wobbly kicking it for Lwazi to chase, and it doesn’t work.. It doesn’t make sense to me in a tight game..

    And yes, I do zone out during games and miss parts.. that is when I am writing my match report that goes live immediately after the match 😉

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.05.12 18:05:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Letgo (Comment 11) :

    And thanks..

    Its nice to get positive feedback once in a while..

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.05.12 18:06:03 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) :
    You play for the Sharks?

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.05.12 18:14:33 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 15) :


    If I did, I didn’t deserve it 😉

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.05.12 18:16:16 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • McLeod was 1 of the great players on Saturday!? Made a lot of plays and few mistakes

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.05.12 19:20:00 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) : touche!! 😉

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.05.12 20:08:00 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Sharks are gonna tear the force up! this weekend is the game that starts to bring things together for our boys. GO SHARKS!!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.05.12 07:46:11 by RuckingFun Reply


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