Battered, but proud

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 6 Aug 2012 at 12:20
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Super Rugby has come to an end and while the Sharks, alas, failed at the final hurdle, I’m still walking tall as a proud Sharks fan.

We were all asked to suspend disbelief towards the end of this year’s campaign and right up until the final, our Sharks continued to defy the odds in winning, winning and winning some more, even in games they were meant to – and expected to – lose. There was so much energy, enthusiasm, passion and commitment shown not only by the Sharks, but also their fans, over these last magical five weeks that I simply could not imagine ever wanting to support another team. For me, ultimately, that feel-good vibe is back in a big way and even though the Sharks didn’t bring the cup home this time, I know that we’ve emerged from this campaign as a stronger unit – players, coaches and fans.

At various stages during this (and other) campaigns, we, as fans, have become rather frustrated and critical, perhaps overly so, as the result of a perceived lack of progress from the Sharks – the feeling that the same mistakes were being made repeatedly, that lessons weren’t being learned. Some of that has boiled over and resulted in calls for change, for the rolling of heads, sometimes quietly and at other times very publicly. The question in my mind, right now, is whether those attitudes now persist; do we still feel the same way, or have the Sharks “done enough” in recent weeks to change our minds?

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that, from the perspective of the suits at Kings Park, John Plumtree certainly has and I’d be very surprised to hear any further calls for his contract to be terminated at this stage. Fans, though, have short memories and I’m afraid that we’re no different here. What we want, at the end of the day, is to be able to walk with our heads held high, proud as can be of the team whose colours we deem worthy enough to adorn ourselves with. I hope I speak for all Sharks fans at the moment in saying that I feel that pride, in overwhelming abundance right now, but also realise that Saturday’s match should be seen as the beginning of something special, not the unfortunate end.

What we want, in a nutshell, is consistency. We have seen the game that the Sharks can play and, pardon the expletive, we fucking-well LOVE it!. What we want is for that game to be the game that the Sharks play all the time. We realise that personnel comes and goes, but we want the Sharks to do their utmost to keep the boys who play that game – as well as to develop others to take over when the circumstances demand it. We know that no team can ever win every game, but we have seen the passion and commitment that the boys have shown over the last five weeks and we want to see that same passion and commitment in every game – whether they win, or whether they lose. That, ultimately, is a non-negotiable. We can handle the Sharks no winning. What we struggle with is the Sharks not pitching up at all.

We’ve got a difficult time ahead of us, though and as fans, we need to be prepared for our commitment and pride to tested to the utmost over the next few months; the Sharks will be weak in the Currie Cup, having lost two thirds of their team to the Boks and also carrying far more fatigue into the competition than the other sides and they will lose some games that we’d like them to win. What we need to focus on is the game that they play and the passion and heart they show doing their utmost for the jersey.

That, I feel, is what will bring us to the start of Super Rugby in 2013 with a larger, healthier, more confident and more united squad than ever. 2012’s final was lost through being forced to play away. Let’s get behind the Sharks to ensure that 2013’s is played at Kings Park!

My name is Rob and I believe in the black and white!


  • Well said Rob, agree with you all the way, sometimes supporters forget the fact that they are there to support.

    If Plum can build on the way we play etc, and all players are available?? hell i tell you what, we looking good

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.08.12 12:35:35 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Sharks will have many Boks, so i guess this weekends clash with the WP should be easy for WP to win, even the NONE Boks are stuffed from all the travel,

    Should be many new faces in the Sharks team

    15 Ludik
    14 Odwa
    13 Jordaan
    12 Bosman, Whitehead injured
    11 Sbura
    10 Viljoen
    09 Mcleod
    08 Mthembu
    07 Deysel
    06 Botes
    05 Bresler
    04 Sykes
    03 Herbst
    02 Burden
    01 Chadwick

    16 Cooper
    17 Julian Redelinghuys
    18 Jandre
    19 PSDT
    20 Reinach
    21 Gouws Prinsloo
    22 Zeilina/Mjekevu/but will prolly be Joubert

    * PSDT and Whitehead injured, and not sure who to replace PSDT with???

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.08.12 12:39:07 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • I Believe in this team, and the youngsters coming through are simply incredible!! The future of Sharks rugby looks bright!

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.08.12 12:40:12 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @sharks_lover (Comment 2) :

    I would seriously consider giving Bresler the week off..

    He has played in every single Super Rugby match..

    Give him off, or at least have him on the bench, with Marais starting..

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.08.12 12:51:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Well done Sharks on what you managed to achieved in the S15. The last 6 weeks have been inspirational and even though you couldn’t get over the last hurdle I’m still proud of what was achieved.

    It’s hellishly hard to win this competition from 6th place so let’s make sure the final is at Kingspark next year.

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.08.12 12:57:24 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • I believe in the players we have and especially some of the young ones coming through = Marcell, Jordaan, PSDT, Whitehead. Do think we need a world class 9 if we want any silverware in the cupboard.

    I am not entirely sold on the coaching staff. I agree with Morne that the resurgence we saw since the Bulls game has more to do with the senior players and less with Plum and co. Kudos to Plum to allow the process to run. However I do feel there are areas the team needs to work on:
    – consistency through proper mental coaching
    – the defense was excellent towards the end of the season, but to miss the most tackles (and having to make the most tackles) in the competition is not something that can be repeated next year
    – line outs only really improved once Kanko got back into the team

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.08.12 12:57:34 by Bokhoring Reply
  • I’m definitely feeling way more proud of the team than I can remember at any point in the last 5 yearrs.

    BUT, the nagging question that remains is who to credit for the zest, innovation and motivation in the latter half of the season, and similarly, who to hold to account for the inconsistency and failure to pitch up for certain games earlier in the season.

    Certainly, if we build on what we achieved over the last eight weeks, the future should be glostick-on-acid bright, but the same can be said of our success in the 2012 Currie Cup…

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.08.12 12:58:23 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • You think they would at least plan to give the guys at least one week off between compos.

    Clearly whoever planned the fixtures had little faith in any SA side reaching the final…

    Tough ask to come back down to Cape Town toa face a side that has not lost many players and will be looking for revenge!

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.08.12 12:59:19 by MikeVS Reply

  • i have backed my team for years, the frustration of the losses are there only when i can see the team lying down and beaten. I am proud of us when we lose fighting.

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.08.12 13:06:19 by Dunx Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) : I agree 100%, that said, we have played 5 Finals and still dont have a cup to show for our efforts.

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.08.12 13:07:57 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) : Agree Richard, I said that to Puma on another site earlier,

    Jandre to start with Peet on the bench

    My concern is the bench? cant think of the names but i can think of the 2 loose forwards, one is a big 7 flank plays in the Alberts mold and the other if Francois something? a 6 flank

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.08.12 13:11:26 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 11) : unless you said it here, it didn’t happen :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.08.12 14:23:13 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Uli (Comment 10) : 4 finals…

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.08.12 14:23:36 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : I include 1994 super 10 final 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.08.12 14:41:46 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Uli (Comment 14) : ugh. I hate it when people do that!

    That opens the door for Lions fans to claim they’ve won Super Rugby (which they patently haven’t)

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.08.12 14:44:18 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : lol, yea lets not give them that chance hey 😉

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.08.12 14:52:07 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • And I believe in the Black & White…. forever!

    I hope we see some youngsters carry the work load for the first part of the season.

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.08.12 15:22:55 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Good season from the players, not such a goof one from the coaches.

    Lets face reality here – allowing a 6th placed team to contest the Finals is only due to SANZAR’s greed. Truly speaking, a mid-table finish is what we should have ended with, and that was not a good return on our player resources.

    In my book, we need clear heads at the Tank, and Plumtree and company should still be on the carpet for this year’s performance.

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.08.12 19:07:28 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish

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