Sharks vs Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 Mar 2013 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The Sharks will travel to Port Elizabeth where they will be taking on Super Rugby newcomers the Kings in their third local conference match in as many encounters in this year’s competition. This will be the first match for the Sharks at Nelson Madela Bay Stadium and the first Super Rugby match between these two teams and will kick off at 19:10 on Saturday.

John Plumtree has not only emphasised the importance of getting off to a good start and building some momentum before they have to go on tour, but specifically pointed out the importance of conference matches in this competition format. South African Derbies are always tight affairs, a real arm wrestle with one team, if not both coming out of the battle feeling a little worn out, as I’m sure both the Sharks and Stormers can attest to after last weekend’s absolutely high intensity (if not that pleasing to the viewer in entertainment value and excitement), bruising encounter.

But the Sharks feel that they could have done more on attack and John Plumtree says that they will hope to improve on this aspect this weekend.

“I think the ball on the weekend was pretty slow, there was a lot of counter rucking, we had to see more numbers to the rucks than we prefer to and that obviously leads to fewer options on attack, as players had to commit to the ruck. Sometimes players would go in there and were not needed and that’s a stress thing.

“Hopefully we’ll get better at that and the guys will start to make better decisions and we’ll maintain ball for long periods of time and give guys like JP a bit more ball, a bit more fast ball. That’s obviously what Pat (Lambie) wants, the ball that Pat got on the weekend was not ideal, because it was too slow and makes it pretty hard to run off, so we just have to make sure that we get that going.”

“It depends on the conditions. I’m hoping (we will be able to play more expansive). I’m hoping we’ll find a little more space and let the ball move around a little bit. It looks like the Kings will do the same thing, so it could be a good spectacle, the pitch looks really nice”.

JP Pietersen though feels that a big part of what looked to be lacking in the Sharks’s attack against the Stormers was what the opposition brought to the table.

“That happens when you play the best against the best, in the South African conference. We all know each other’s weaknesses and the Stormers are a great organised team. They are very sound defensively, but like Plum said we could improve on our attacking game and create more opportunities for us on attack. It was very tough out there for any attack though”

The Kings on the other hand has only been part of this competition long enough to yet again prove that Australia does not have enough depth to accommodate 5 teams in this competition and that their conference most probably will prove to be the weakest in 2013, as it did in 2012. It’s hard to say how good the Kings’ first showing really was, even after the Force gave the Bulls a bit of a scare at Loftus last week.

The Kings have something to prove. Their team and style of play are mostly unknown to the Sharks and other teams, as are many of their players. Although there are a few stalwarts who has made their way into this team who would want to prove a few things of their own – Andries Strauss and Steven Sykes being some of the most prominent. He might not be available for this game, but Luke Watson will be an important part of their campaign.

The Sharks are the overwhelming favourites on paper and in experience, but it’s difficult to say what will happen in this match, whether this will be a typical derby match battled out between two South African sides or the more free and open that we’ve come to expect from new teams introduced into this competition. Certainly the odds seems to be stacked in favour of a comfortable Sharks win, but I have a feeling that if the Kings aren’t able to match up to the Sharks on the scoring board that their second objective will be to get even in the physical battle, as all South Africans do. Whether they have what it takes, remains to be seen, but I think this encounter will be a good one and hopefully entertaining, as John Plumtree says: “There are no easy matches in Super Rugby”.


  • Lets hope the conditions for Saturday’s match is conducive of running rugby and we can get the necessary quick ball that will allow our backs to have some space to play with. It has been seriously lacking in the first to matches for the Sharks.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.03.13 08:15:33 by Viking Reply
  • Going to go watch some schoolboy action 1st at the Border Schools Rugby Day. Should end around 5

    Thereafter am glued to the screen for this encounter, KINGS all the way!!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.03.13 09:55:03 by Ludz Reply

  • “We were forced to send in more numbers to the rucks than we’d like!” I’m scarred that we haven’t learnt from the past. The game has changed so much that the rucks are an integral part of the game. Rucks determine the speed of the ball you get, we therefore need to focus on rucks and if it means we need to send in more numbers to secure and gives us quick ball, we should do that.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.03.13 10:24:27 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • We need to clean up the ruck if we want to score a lot of tries.

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.03.13 10:25:33 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 3) : no, you’re misunderstanding what he said.

    Common sense would dictate that you don’t commit more payers to the ruck than you need to in order to secure the ball. More players in ruck = fewer options on attack. So the intention should always be to have as few players as possible hitting rucks in order to have more free to attack. That, of course, depends on how effective the opposition is at slowing down ruck ball.

    What Plumtree is saying here is that the Sharks were forced to commit more men than they would have liked to, due to how well the Stormers competed.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.03.13 10:26:57 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I disagree with Plum – you can’t have a one size fits all approach. There are teams that are good at rucking, teams such as the Stormers, Crusaders, Brumbies. What makes them good at rucking is their technique and the numbers they send to the rucks. When playing against these teams you need to focus and better them when it comes to rucks else you won’t score many tries against them.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.03.13 10:41:08 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Another question will now be how good are the Kings at slowing down the ball? The stormers are quite good at it but lets hope the Kings will allow us to have less players hitting rucks and more on the attack.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.03.13 10:42:01 by Viking Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Look at point 6.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.03.13 10:43:56 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Which is why a decent fetcher is the best defense a team can get.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.03.13 10:46:28 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I would rather have props and locks cleaning out rucks than crowding the backline

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.03.13 10:50:16 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 10) : I’d rather adopt the Stormers’ and Crusaders’ approach. Closest guys to the breakdown need to secure that ball quickly.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.03.13 10:54:01 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Plum was actually saying that we had to send in more, because the Stormers was putting pressure on us at the ruck, but then the guys at times crowded the ruck when they weren’t needed there (just because of the pressure they were feeling in this area and not necessarily because that particular ruck was under pressure) and that they would work on this area, hoping that the guys would make better decisions on whether they are needed at a ruck or not.

    @GreatSharksays (Comment 6) : I think the point Plum was trying to make was that they will work on the ruck area, but players will have to assess the moment during the game and hopefully as the season moves on they will start making better decisions.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.03.13 10:56:36 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 11) : I agree to some extent.

    However it bugs me to see 3 backs over the ball but the back line made up of props and locks – even though we have a lovely overlap.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.03.13 10:57:54 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 12) : I can accept that.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.03.13 10:58:59 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 12) : What frustrates me is that we’ve know for a while now that rucking isn’t our strong point. Why are the players not able to make the right decisions a year or 2 later? Come on guys, we can’t say we want to win this competition yet the basics are not where they should be. We’ve lost too many games in the past because of rucks and lineouts.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.03.13 11:10:54 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 11) : Your flankers and rest of the forwards, should be the guys that is the closest to the breakdown most of the time. Yes, sometimes the ball is swung wide and the backline gets isolated, but you have three loosies and 5 other forwards and these guys should insure that between then they position themselves on the field that they are the ones closest to the breakdown point – to clean and to carry.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.03.13 11:20:42 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 15) : You have to keep working on the areas of your game that you would like to improve. These things, I don’t think is exactly like riding a bike – if you’ve got it once you really don’t have to practice doing it anymore.

    That’s why teams still practice set pieces, passing and rucking, because if you don’t keep working on it you will drop your standard.

    It’s more like a muscle type of thing. You can bulk up to huge, but stop training for a month or two and you will notice your muscles shrinking.

    The guys are just back in training and game mode. Give them a chance. I think it’s already much improved from last year and will only get better as the season goes on.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.03.13 11:27:45 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 17) : Only thing that bugs me is why the Kiwi sides don’t seem to have such a dip in handling of rucks at the start of each season. The Sharks seem to start from the bottom each season and then work up slowly.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.03.13 11:30:51 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 18) : 100%!

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.03.13 11:35:09 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Kings 4 Life!!! welcome to the Slaghuis sharkies, the point of no return!

    the cauldron of dreams will be packed to the rafters come saturday evening with us the FRENZIED crowd as 16th man on the park!

    it’s going to get bumpy!!!!


  • Comment 20, posted at 07.03.13 12:10:16 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : any truth to the rumour that you’ll be donning the mascot costume?

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.03.13 12:11:43 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : will be in the city for work hopefully the meetings finish early so i can go to the game 🙂

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.03.13 14:03:05 by Poisy Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : are the kings cheerleaders just as hot as the sharkets or flashers?

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.03.13 14:05:05 by Poisy Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 18) : Maybe they put more emphasis on that area, but I bet the Stormers and Bulls will expose an area or two of their games that’s lacking this weekend. Kiwi teams always look more extravagant against each other. SA teams have a way of stunting that.

    I don’t think their defense are completely up to standard, neither are either of the Chiefs or Blues set pieces. Well it is up to standard of the competition overall, but not up to standard with their attack or rucking.

    No team is 100% happy with everything they do. I’m just happy the Sharks has done enough in the first two games to win.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.03.13 14:15:16 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Poisy (Comment 22) : really? will holla @ ya on twitter then…

    No retreat! No surrender! that is warrior law. And by warrior law, we will stand and fight…. A new age has begun: An age of Kings!!! BRING IT ON!!!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.03.13 14:26:29 by Megatron Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : nope, that honour is not mine to enjoy…

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.03.13 14:28:01 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 25) : whats ur twitter username so i cn follow you?

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.03.13 14:33:16 by Poisy Reply
  • @Poisy (Comment 27) :

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.03.13 14:47:24 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 28) : huh?

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.03.13 14:58:33 by Poisy Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 28) : I don’t think there’s an ‘h’ in Nataniël….but obviously I stand under correction. 😈

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.03.13 15:08:52 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 30) :
    Wpw would know for sure!

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.03.13 15:16:12 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 31) :


  • Comment 32, posted at 07.03.13 15:20:04 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 32) :
    Iets verkeerd, kussingbyter? 😈

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.03.13 15:23:55 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 33) : loooooooooooooooool

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.03.13 15:47:02 by klempie Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 25) : Who you…..
    Chief Maqoma Xhosa?

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.03.13 16:03:02 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle

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