Richard Ferguson

The Force certainly with the Sharks

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 14 May 2012 at 08:00
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The Sharks beat a hapless Force team on Saturday night, scoring a seven try 53 – 11 victory over their Australian opposition. The full five points, along with various other results this weekend going their way, has put the Sharks right back in the play-off race, currently in sixth place, one point behind the Crusaders in fifth.

The Sharks started the game well, heading out to a 20 – 6 lead at half time, scoring the necessary two tries in the first half, half way to the bonus point. Pat Lambie got two penalties, two conversions as well as setting up a try for Jordaan before going off at half time with an injured jaw.

The second half saw five more tries scored, two very fortunate intercepts from Lwazi Mvovo, both as the Force were putting pressure deep in the Sharks 22m. Mvovo showed a clean pair of heals twice in a matter of 5 minutes, putting the game beyond doubt.

The Sharks, for the first time in five years, put a half century of points past a Super Rugby opponent, finally showing the ability to finish off a game and not rest on their laurels after building a 14 point lead.

Killing off the game early in the second half meant that key players could get an extended break while fringe players and players returning from injury could get half an hour or so. Burden took his chance with both hands, getting in on the try scoring act. Kankowski also looked reasonably good in the half that he got, the freestyle play that the lead allowed suiting his game to a T.

The Sharks looked good in the set pieces, with the scrums being dominated by a pack clearly happy that the Beast is back in business. The line-outs also looked good, with Bresler being the main line-out taker for the Sharks, and doing an immense job.

The most notable weakness on the night was Charl McLeod, who had an average game at best, kicking away valuable possession and not being very accurate with his passing. It is unfortunate that the Sharks are battling in this position, as an in form scrumhalf could really set an exciting backline alight.

The victory will do the Sharks confidence a great deal of good, but they have to keep a level head as they face a wounded Cheetahs outfit in Bloemfontein this weekend, and as the Stormers found out on Saturday night, the men from Bloem are far from walk-overs. The running game against a pretty average looking Cheetahs defence will be the eay to go, but our own defence will have to keep the try scoring machines at bay.

On a final note, the consistency in selecting an unchanged team did wonders for the team, in that combinations looked to have had an understanding on the night. We can only hope that the injury Lambie picked up will not rule him out of contention for the Cheetahs game and that coach John Plumtree will have the opportunity to select yet another unchanged team next weekend.


  • You’re spot on about McLeod, Rich. His service is stunting a backline that would otherwise be running riot with so much qualtiy possession.

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.05.12 08:11:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    And it’s not an easy problem to fix either..

    Hoffmann is nowhere, Michalak is not any better than McLeod at the moment and Reinach is talented but unproven..

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.05.12 08:18:32 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : come home Ruan!

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.05.12 08:30:27 by jako Reply
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  • I know you can’t put our mini ”revival” down to one player, but it is interesting to note that the players seem to play with more fire in their bellies since The Beast is back.

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.05.12 08:33:32 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @jako (Comment 3) :

    We don’t deserve Ruan Pienaar back at the Sharks, to be honest..

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.05.12 08:35:06 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • One player we should try and get is Jano Vermaak, he is being wasted on the bench by the Bulls

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.05.12 08:38:45 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Always knew we were gonna pump them…all these okes saying we will scrap through, made me laugh…Sharks fans lack confidence in their team when they should actually be confident, it’s wierd.

    Freddy was good at 10 off the bench, which was nice to see, cos he has been pretty poor most of the season. Sharks need Ruan back, but i reckon Rockett will be coming back to the Tank, don’t know if he is someone who will get our backline going though, not known for his passing ability, but let’s see what happens.

    Still not chuffed with our looseforward combo, need Deysel/Alberts in that trio. Happy that Kanko showed some really good aggression off the bench, i’m happy for him, it was always painful to see such a talented 8th man running side ways all day.

    Timmy and Jordaan still need some faster ball, they getting it very flat on the advantage line, which doesn’t really help them set up the step to well, they great with space to play. Flat play works for some players, but they not there to bash it up for us, but to make use of the gaps and opportunities that arise, playing so flat not ideal.

    Go Sharks, keen for a super clash in Bloem!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.05.12 08:39:42 by JJR Reply
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 4) : So true, i knew he was important, but he is proving season changing. His combination with the Du Plessis is causing havoc for the opposition scrum, it’s great to see out scrum putting the pressure on, again. Beast also as always was great in the loose.

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.05.12 08:41:35 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 7) : we lack confidence… you know that this is the first time a Sharks team has scored 50 in Super Rugby since 2007?

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.05.12 08:48:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :

    And only the fifth time in history that we achieved a half century of points..

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.05.12 08:53:10 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 7) :

    It’s easy to be this confident after a 42 point win..

    Where was this confidence before the game?

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.05.12 08:53:46 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Well the Rebels and Reds did the SA teams some serious favours this weekend.

    Definitely some positives from the Sharks against the Force – the main being that for a change we showed some killer instinct against a team for whom nothing went right on the night. Good to see all the reserves get a run

    Forwards played well and pretty much ensured Pocock did not really feature. Lambie is pure class. Defense was really superb

    I still believe this team lacks a decent backline / attack coach.

    We now need to keep our feet on the ground, and prepare for the one game that usually trips us up every season – Cheetahs in Bloemfontein

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.05.12 08:55:09 by Bokhoring Reply
  • McLeod had a very poor game – 5 missed tackles out of 9 attempts. Just never seemed to know what he wanted to do behind the rucks

    I wished we lured little Sarel to the Sharks instead of the Waratahs. I know he is poor on defense too, but he does make up with it with some really nippy play

    Maybe time to look at blooding Reinach from the Vodacom cup team

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.05.12 09:07:04 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 13) :

    Sarel’s passing game is what is seeing him play off the bench at the Waratahs.

    You will see him being dropped again this weekend, the only reason Sarel played was because he could understand the Bulls’ Afrikaans lineout calls.

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.05.12 09:13:42 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) : I am thinking of last year’s Sarel. I think the Waratahs are stuffing him around a bit

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.05.12 09:18:08 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 15) :

    His passing game has never been that great..

    His little sniping runs will see him do the same thing to the Sharks as Rory Kockett did.. Keeps good ball to himself and our backline will still not get anything decent to play with..

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.05.12 09:24:12 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : @Richard Ferguson (Comment 11) : I’m talking about that preview of the game…Win a boring game by 6 points. I don’t know where that prediction came from, we played pretty average against the Highlanders and won by a good amount, and the hapless Cheetahs beat the Force, and we came off a Win that would help get us on the right track in terms of how we want to play. I just didn’t understand that preview, i knew we would smack them, it was as simple as just comparing the team lineups; and they(Force) would always be on the back foot with our Bok front row, so everything said we were gonna win by at around 14 points(and that force don’t have a coach!), this before the game.

    I mean it was like saying Sharks will beat the Lions by 3 points, if we had to play them 2morrow; it read like there was a lack of confidence in the team, eventhough everything was pointing to The Sharks winning well; and we didn’t even play too great, hardly built any phases in the game; so i can only see The Sharks getting better and better in this comp.

    With Beast back, a centre combo we very happy with and a Fullback that doesn’t make silly errors, we can still Win this thing, i believe it.

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.05.12 10:01:08 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 17) :

    Yet still there is no evidence of your optimism or confidence before the game..

    This is the first time this year, and the first time in a very long time, that the Sharks dominated a game..

    Our previews generally work and what is expected from the team, based on what we have seen this year.

    We all thought the Sharks had a pretty good chance of beating the Force, but it has also been seen so far this year that the Sharks cannot put consecutive performances together (With this being the first two wins in a row this year so far).

    So excuse our lack of confidence and realistic preview to the game, it would have been great if you pointed this out BEFORE we put 50 points on them..

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.05.12 10:09:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Don`t get too optimistic guys. It was only the Force.

    However if you really want to go the optimistic route here`s something to think about.

    Cheetahs are just not the same without Goosen . . . We have to face them twice. Bonus points maybe? Remember the Stormers aren`t known for their attacking style of play, we could possibly get 10 points from the Cheetahs.
    We have the Stormers who are struggling with injuries in Durban.
    Remember we only lost to them by about 3 and with all our players fit ( Come On Lambie ! ) we might squeeze past the Stormers with another 4.

    The Bulls are injury ridden as well and the same applies to them.

    Which leaves one away game against the Redefine Relegation Lions.
    The CC final proved that it will be difficult, for some reason we struggle against them but at least we can count on lots of support in the Coke Tin.
    Add 4 points for a bye in the mix and . ..gulp we might have to brace our nerves for home play-offs !

    But yes I understand, a lot can still go wrong, starting this weekend in Bloemfontein. 🙄

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.05.12 10:25:00 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 18) : I was ready to rip your prediction to pieces, but i thought, i give him enough [email protected] already. On BBM i expressed my confidence, and after your preview i was ripping it with my friends. I’m not going to go get them to come say i’m right; the fact is i don’t see what variables made you think that The Sharks would only win by 6 and that it would be a boring game…i just don’t get it.

    I guess i should’ve ripped the preview how i wanted to on Friday, no more keeping my opinion to myself.

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.05.12 10:30:59 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 20) :

    The preview was done by Rob, so how he got to 6 exactly, I have no idea..

    All I am saying is, it is easy to say what you are saying after the game..

    It is like me saying I called the Hurricanes beating the Highlanders and made R10k off it, but you never heard anything before the match..

    Next time we will get you to write the preview, how’s that?

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.05.12 10:34:10 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 19) : What makes me optimistic is that we didn’t really hit our straps properly in both games, and Won very comfrotably on both occasions. I did see improvement from The Sharks, which was great; but we need to build more phases, cos we can’t rely on our forwards all the time against the big teams, we need to be able to create space for our dangerous backs to get us over the line.

    I want a complete team performance…Forwards set the platform and the backs finish it off. Classic Rugby.

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.05.12 10:34:50 by JJR Reply
  • Did anyone notice how good Bresler was from the kick-offs?

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.05.12 10:35:58 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me
  • @Bite me (Comment 23) :

    It was certainly something they worked on, and he was great getting there and putting pressure, as well as receiving the kick offs.

    He is getting better and better as the season goes on..

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.05.12 10:37:47 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 21) : I understand your point, i would say the same…well i know how i totally disagreed with that prediction and didn’t understand the reason for it being so very very conservative.I don’t want to disagree or start anything, i was just shocked that’s all. I usually give [email protected] whenever i strongly disagree with something, so guys must tale what i say with a pinch of salt. 🙂

    I would’nt mind to do a Preview for sure, and i would be as unbiased as possible; it is just that my “author rights” are not really present, everything i do needs to be approved by Sir Rob 😆 Don’t blame him though, i do tend to get my point through in a pretty harsh manner. 🙂 Thanks Rich.

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.05.12 10:40:57 by JJR Reply
  • @Bite me (Comment 23) : Yes, he was good…how long was Bosman on for? He dropped the ball cold like 3 times…if i was Bresler i would’ve gave him a smack across the face for those terrible hands.

    Bresler did very well, i’m chuffed for him. He’s doing some really great work for us.

  • Comment 26, posted at 14.05.12 10:43:16 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 25) :

    Its not just your author rights..

    We only have five or so authors with full rights, all the other have to be put up by Rob or myself..

    We have seen a few shockers going up, so it is just for our own safety, and so that Sharksworld keeps a certain quality about the content.

    If ever you have something to say, mail it through and we will get it up..

  • Comment 27, posted at 14.05.12 10:45:02 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) : Fully understand…Ur e-mail, again?

    I will give a go at a preview/prediction for Sharks for this weekend :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.05.12 11:07:10 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 28) :

    [email protected]

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.05.12 11:18:57 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 29) : tks

  • Comment 30, posted at 14.05.12 11:23:06 by JJR Reply

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