robdylan

Cup final disaster prompts set piece rethink for Sharks


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 26 Feb 2013 at 12:47
Tagged with : , , , , ,

I’ve been ridiculed in the past for trying to take positives from Sharks losses and such was personal sense of disappointment and disillusionment after Western Province stole the Currie Cup from right under our noses last year, that I didn’t even think of trying to do so. In fact, I walked away from all rugby for as long as I could after that result and am still really battling to understand how the whole thing happened.

Something has come out today, though, that makes me think there may actually be a silver lining, no matte how faint. I’m, of course, ignoring all the talk of “revenge and retribution” that is said to be the Sharks’ primary motivation going into this game. I would like to think that he Sharks wouldn’t need to be motivated by anything as petty as that, but would rather have the confidence in their own abilities to back themselves to win a home game, regardless of opposition. If anyone allows themselves to lose focus on their own game, by being determined to “show the Stormers a thing or two”, the inevitable results will be a disjointed defeat, rather than the cohesive team performance needed to ensure victory.

No, what’s giving me just a little hope is one of the comments John Plumtree made yesterday, namely that “no matter how painful it was, maybe it served as an eye-opener to things that needed urgent attention.” Plumtree was, of course, referring to that final loss against WP and the “things” to which he refers are specifically the Sharks’ poor performances at lineout (and to a lesser extent scrum) time during not only that game, but many other preceding it. Set pieces, in short, have been given a huge amount of emphasis during this year’s pre-season and while in the past we’ve been quick to accuse the Sharks of being slow to learn from their mistakes, there is some cause for hope that this year, at least, they may have finally got the message.

Anyone watching the scrums, in particular, against the Cheetahs will, I’m sure, feel a fair bit of confidence in the Sharks’ props’ ability to properly dominate in the coming contest, but it is perhaps the line-outs that, while still not perfect in terms of execution, have shown the biggest improvement. Whilst much of the talk centres on the inability of Bok hooker Adriaan Strauss to find his own jumpers with any regularity, it should not be forgotten that the Sharks, for the first time in ages, managed not to lose any lineouts on their own throw.

Early days yet, but encouraging signs if they can keep it up.


25 Comments

  • I have never rated Craig Burden in the past with regards to his basic hooking skills – especially throwing into the lineout. I don’t recall any overthrows or skew throw-ins. So I must give him credit for a much better performance than last year.

    Obviously we will have to see how it goes against better lineouts – and then obviously the jumpers will have to play their part too.

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.02.13 13:52:31 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Yeah they were quite good this past Saturday – and not only on their own ball. They disrupted opposition ball very well.

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.02.13 13:58:07 by King Shark Reply
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    King Shark
     
  • I am still at a loss to understand the loss to WP last year as well. Rugby is a strange old game indeed.

    The Sharks scrum was awesome on Saturday, and the lineouts too. How good or bad the Cheetahs were will be reflected conversely in how dominant the Sharks will be against a Stormers scrum that were just not up to scratch against the Bulls.

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.02.13 14:00:53 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetah
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 3) : Last year Etsebeth destroyed us at the lineouts and Fourie was a real nuisance at the breakdown.

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.02.13 14:04:23 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 4) : Very true

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.02.13 14:17:18 by Uli Reply
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    Uli Boelie
     
  • Didn’t think our scrums were a problem last season? If anything the breakdown was and is a concern.

    I wasn’t so impressed with our lineout last weekend to be honest – we didn’t get close to getting a maul going despite a few attempts, and we weren’t able to stop theirs.

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.02.13 14:40:46 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big Fish
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : we didn’t lose any balls on our own throw… cast your mind back to the Currie Cup final and semi-final if you can’t work out what a big improvement that is

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.02.13 14:42:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :
    Calm down down Bertie. My point is not that we haven’t improved, it’s that we will need to step up to a pretty potent Stormer weapon.

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.02.13 14:47:57 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big Fish
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : It was really only the first maul from which they scored where we were in disarray. After that we managed to contain their maul very effectively. Kanko was pretty good at making a nuisance of himself.

    But I agree – we will need to be switched on for the entire game against the Stormers maul.

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.02.13 14:51:06 by Bokhoring Reply
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    Bokhoring
     
  • A few things have been ignored here. A major factor in our run to the SR final was the effect Kanko had on our line out. We had no specialised jumpers in our pack last year and a serious lack of leadership with regards to decision making at line out time. Kanko’s return solved both issues turning our line out from our biggest weakness to a key attacking platform. His absence in the CC once again meant no specialised jumper. This along with Burdens throwing implosion meant Etsebeth (who will be missing at no.2 jumper this weekend) could easily predict our calls.

    This weekend sees us take on the Storm with two jumpers and line out time leaders in van der merwe and kanko, along with them missing their main defensive line out threat in Etsebeth (Bekker jumps at 4 which is different). Basically..we should be Golden.

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.02.13 15:06:40 by JKsports Reply

    JKsports
     
  • @JKsports (Comment 10) : let’s hope so, eh… welcome to the site, BTW… long time reader, or found it recently?

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.02.13 15:45:40 by robdylan Reply
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    robdylan
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 8) : don’t f*****g tell me to calm down! :mrgreen: Or call me “Bertie”… 😈

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.02.13 15:48:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Rob, we lost two lineouts on our own throw this past weekend. The commentators wasted no time criticizing Burden’s poor lineout throwing immediately after the first lineout loss on our own throw, and how that was such a strong point for Strauss. 👿

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.02.13 16:16:18 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : bertie Bwahahahaha!!! Classic

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.02.13 16:19:22 by CLASSIC SHARK Reply

    CLASSIC SHARK
     
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 13) : the match stats don’t reflect that, though…

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.02.13 17:02:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Interesting, I remember them clearly.

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.02.13 17:11:43 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 16) : ok, odd…guess that just goes back to what they say about statistics

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.02.13 17:17:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :
    😆

    Thought that might grab you. Stole the “calm down” bit from King Megantron of course. 😉

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.02.13 18:06:53 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big Fish
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 18) : he’s very scarce given what happened on Saturday….

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.02.13 19:09:18 by robdylan Reply
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    robdylan
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : Also wasn’t convinced with our lineout this past Saturday. Hope the boys do us proud this coming Saturday. Was gutted with the CC Final loss, mainly with our lineout.

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.02.13 19:52:20 by GreatSharksays Reply

     
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 13) : Actually I recall the Cheetahs losing a number of their lineouts, plus Strauss being unusually poor with skew throw-ins and even penalized by Kaplan for a mock throw. I recall the commentators commenting on Strauss being poor where he is usually one of the best lineout exponents in the country.

    I can’t recall us losing any lineouts, although there were a few wild slaps from Kanko resulting in messy ball.

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.02.13 20:23:21 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 21) : I agree the Cheetah’s lineout was a mess, and they did end up commenting about that, but only at the end of the game, when they were poor from lineout number one. Our lineout was good all day both stealing their ball and securing ours, but I do remember two of our throw going to the cheetahs. I remember one Kanko was able to smother the ball in the ensuing maul, and we won the scrum, so may have not counted in the stats, but our lineout was won by the Cheetahs. There was one other but no point in hashing it out. There was no comparison in the set piece, both scrum and lineout between the Sharks and Cheetahs this past Saturday.

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.02.13 23:11:39 by Dancing Bear Reply
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    Dancing Bear
     
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 22) : I went and checked the stats – rugbystats.com.au, and they do not show any lost lineouts to the Sharks. There were no overthrows or skewed throws from Burden.

    The maul that Kanko smothered on our line was from a Cheetah penalty.

    That said I think the Stormers will be a better test for our lineouts. I recall we managed reasonably in the CC until we hit the Bulls and Stormers in the semi and final.

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.02.13 07:58:31 by Bokhoring Reply
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    Bokhoring
     
  • That said – a number of our lineouts resulted in us loosing ground and momentum. Often the ball was not controlled and the scrummy had to scramble back to pick up the ball. We were really very lucky with Mvovo’s try – a number of Cheetah players were close to the ball when it bounced and could have caught the ball rather than Mvovo

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.02.13 08:01:49 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Found it fairly recently. very surprised it has taken this long. great site!

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.02.13 11:50:54 by JKsports Reply

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