Culling Song

My 2012 Sharks wish-list revisited

Written by André Meyer (Culling Song)

Posted in :Admin, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 8 Aug 2012 at 11:19
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

At the start of the year I published an article expressing a sense of optimism over the 2012 edition of SupeRugby. However, as that had not been the first time where I entered a season with a rose-tinted outlook, only to emerge at the tail end in the throes of depression and frustration, I opted to focus on some outcomes (other than a trophy) that I was hoping for in 2012.

Now that the southern hemisphere’s premier franchise competition has wound down, it’s time to see how we fared. As a refresher (not that it’s necessary, because I just now y’all commit my articles to memory, right?), the issues up for discussion were: player rotation, coaching, succession planning, brave decision-making, a solution at 13, and finally, appropriate results.

1. Player Rotation
I’ll acknowledge that rotation is obviously easier to talk about than to implement in practice; players need to be managed to allow proper recovery, but coaches are employed to win using the resources at their disposal, and changing a winning habit and team is not something that is lightly done. There is obviously no blanket rule that can be applied, and each player has to be managed on a per-case basis. To the Sharks’ credit, they’ve ended the season with very few players out injured (JPP & PSDT), so clearly the conditioning programs followed must be excellent, and player management appears to be acceptable. However, the workload carried by players such as Anton Bresler, Bismarck du Plessis, Keegan Daniel & Marcell Coetzee to name a few has been too high, and although they’ve emerged relatively unscathed, this is sure to catch up with them in the longer term. Additionally, it means that their understudies have not had adequate game time (see Craig Burden’s combined playing time of 37 seconds for the season as an example), and will be entering the Currie Cup severely undercooked.
Score: 5/10

2. Coaching
This is bound to be a contentious issue; how good is our coaching team actually? Did we do as well as we did in 2012 because of them, or despite them? Under Plum’s guidance we’ve won two Currie Cups, and played in an additional two (I think, but stand to be corrected) finals, as well as progressing to the SupeRugby 2012 final. Furthermore, it would appear that Plum has created an environment in which most players are actually very happy, with several having declined big-money offers and recommitted to the Sharks in recent years. Lastly, we’ve seen the Sharks evolve to play scintillating, devastating rugby at times (Currie Cup 2010 and the latter part of this year’s SupeRugby being prime examples). Countering this is the persistent issue of inconsistency, predictability and a tendency to regress that has been dogging the Sharks for years now, and has ultimately resulted in us failing to reach the giddy heights many feel we should have, given the obvious player talents within the squad. My take on it is that our coaching team is good, just not good enough, with the two single biggest failings being the lack of (quality) assistant/specialist coaches, and Plum’s continued lack of belief in the necessity for aforementioned coaches.
Score: 6/10

3. Succession Planning
Succession planning is, for me, the process of ensuring depth in every position, either through mentoring and development of young in-house talent, or through shrewd recruitment. With the exception of scrumhalf, where Conrad Hoffman has apparently bought some timeshare in a Nedcare facility right next to André Pretorius’ wing, and Jaco Reinach is largely untested, I’d say we’re sitting very pretty indeed.
Score: 9/10

4. Brave Decision-Making
Really, what I was saying here was “don’t feel compelled to use the player I shall not name just because someone signed off on a big pay cheque for him”. In lieu of that, I’d say I’m pretty satisfied. As a secondary plea, I was hoping the coaches would display a bit of adventurousness, instead of sticking to the tried and tested. JPP at 13, Riaan Viljoen in at 15 in a semi after a prolonged stint on the sideline, Alberts at 4… all in all, I’d say there’s been a fair bit of out-of-the-box thinking, and while it hasn’t always worked, I’m glad to have seen some meandering down the road less travelled.
Score: 7/10

5. A Solution at 13
We ended 2011 with our options at 13 being Stefan Terblanche and the player who shall not be named. In 2012 we can list Paul Jordaan, Tim Whitehead and JPP as credible options, and in Paul, Tim and Frans Steyn we suddenly have the best pool of centres we’ve seen at the Sharks in years. Dog years even.
Score: 15/10

6. Appropriate Results
While all fans obviously want us to win trophies, I said that I would be willing to forego the SupeRugby trophy (for now) in lieu of clear evidence that systems are being put in place that would ensure sustainable, long-term success. As such, this one is still a little early to call. Reaching the final of SupeRugby is no small feat, and while we seem to have a pretty decent squad, we’ll really only learn how well equipped we are when we see how we fare in the Currie Cup (and what brand of rugby we play) without our Springboks in the mix:
Score: Judgment deferred until a later date

As always, debate is encourage and welcomed, as are gifts of appreciation for aforementioned articles, preferable in the form of cash or (decent) whisky. Contact me for banking and delivery address details. Now let the Currie Cup begin!


  • “Lastly, we’ve seen the Sharks evolve to play scintillating, devastating rugby at times (Currie Cup 2010 and the latter part of this year’s SupeRugby being prime examples).”

    Why we can´t play that brand of rugby all the time is a cause for concern and why we will continue to be frustrated supporters.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.08.12 11:31:03 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • Sharks need to look after the likes of Whitehead and Jordaan, they the next CC, SR winners for the Sharks

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.08.12 11:34:11 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • I like this. I think we did pretty well.

    As far as rotation goes. Name one coach (rugby coach) that does this well.

    Things look pretty good so far. Hope it continues on this upward curve.

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.08.12 11:35:16 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Can you add a quick wish list for CC 2012. Don’t use players in positions if they won’t play in next years Super Rugby! If not as starters, at least as under studies to the starters.

    10 – If Lambie will now be a 15 then we need to sort this one out quick. Viljoen and Bosman does not inspire a lot of confidence for SS 2013. Sure, as back up to Lambie, that’s fine, but not if Lambie will play 15 for us.

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.08.12 11:38:31 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 4) : Lambie is a 10 and Plum has said as much,

    Ludick is our form 15

    to me Mcleod still needs to sort out his erratic play

    15 Ludik
    14 JPP
    13 Jordaan
    12 Steyn
    11 Mvovo
    10 Lambie
    09 Mcleod?

    Reserve backs Reinach,Viljoen,Bosman Add to that a long list of up and comming juniors, to me thats our best backline option, Why i have Jordaan in place of Whitehead is the space creating talent and speed JOrdaan has, they however can rotate anyhows

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.08.12 12:01:41 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 5) : And brain dead HM says Lambie could be a good 10 if his tactical kicking improves, and then also says Steyn’s tactical kicking has to improve.

    So why pick M Steyn over Lambie, that’s all Steyn was able to do – kick, so that’s out the window, now what we got….a tackle bag blocking the ball from reaching our centers 😡

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.08.12 12:15:35 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) : ” brain dead HM” that’s not NICE 😀

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.08.12 12:38:57 by Megatron Reply

  • can someone please update my avatar

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.08.12 12:43:01 by MJ Reply

  • @rhineshark (Comment 1) : It’s also why one of the tags used on this article is “depression” 😯 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.08.12 12:52:56 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @MJ (Comment 8) : it is updated. Clear your cache

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.08.12 12:53:41 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Letgo (Comment 3) : I agree that there doesn’t seem to be any coaches that get the whole rotation thing right. Doesn’t change the fact that the Sharks’ management of Craig Burden verges on the criminal though…

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.08.12 12:54:34 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : how do i do

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.08.12 12:55:29 by MJ Reply

  • the sharks are in kak! 😆

    wp centre combo: 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache,

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.08.12 12:58:11 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 7) : I meant to say intellectually and/or logically challenged :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.08.12 13:14:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Culling Song (Comment 9) : :mrgreen: 😆

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.08.12 13:22:30 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • we seriously, like has been said for a while, need to sort out scrumhalf!

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.08.12 14:12:30 by Dunx Reply

  • @Culling Song (Comment 11) : I agree with that. He surely could have added something at the end of a couple of games, even if only for 10 to 20 minutes.

    He is the perfect impact hooker, quick and hard working.

    It’s not just burden though. Other players only got chances because of injuries, it shouldn’t be like that. 19 games in a row is no joke. Players should get decent rest periods at specific intervals.

    That’s where the CC comes in. You have to have players and combinations that you can trust for 2 three games, to give all the players in you team equal rest. That’s just my opinion. Rugby players, any athlete, can’t be at their peak for 30 weeks in the year, because with the CC and RC, that’s what will be required of them.

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.08.12 15:02:30 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Everyone going on about J.P. du Plessis? Is he the new Sadie? Future Springbok centre? Next year already?

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.08.12 15:05:34 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me
  • @Bite me (Comment 18) : you don’t know JP DUPLESSIS??? 😯 🙄 kill yourself

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.08.12 15:07:32 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 19) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 08.08.12 15:09:21 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Megatron (Comment 19) : With FIRE :mrgreen: 😆 😛

  • Comment 21, posted at 08.08.12 15:10:34 by Die Kriek Reply

  • I have seen a couple of games J.P. du Plessis has played at age group level. Solid but really nothing spectacular. The same question was asked about Sadie last year and up to that stage and including the present, very disappointed. Stefan Watermeyer was the best centre ever to play schoolboy rugby and where is he now? I see we have Jordaan playing opposite him. Interesting.

  • Comment 22, posted at 08.08.12 15:24:15 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me

  • Comment 23, posted at 08.08.12 15:24:45 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Bite me (Comment 22) : Starting for Griquas, as it turns out 🙂

  • Comment 24, posted at 08.08.12 15:25:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Alongside the biggest joke that has ever set foot on a South African rugbyfield name J.P. Nel. Wish I had a brick…….

  • Comment 25, posted at 08.08.12 15:32:43 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me

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