John Plumtree: We’ve just got to dig in and work hard for each other

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 Apr 2013 at 09:47
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

The Stormers host the Sharks at Newlands this Saturday at 5pm in an all important match for both sides, but for very different reasons. The Sharks will want to keep their campaign on track with a win in their penultimate game before a tough tour where they will come up against the Chiefs, Highlanders, Reds and the Force. A loss against the Stormers this weekend will make a successful tour all the more important as the competition starts to get even tougher. The Stormers on the other hand are fighting for survival.

This season when asked about their opposition and weaknesses they might look to attack or areas they would have to focus on, John Plumtree and the Sharks have taken the stance that whatever the other team might or might not bring to the table, that it was their own game that they would keep the focus on. And although this week many outside factors could take focus, such as injuries and the desperation of an opposition staring down the barrell of a gun, John Plumtree maintains that he has not given much attention to other teams and their situations, but rather focused on his own team and what they need to do.

In fact when asked whether he thinks the Stormers’ injury-time loss against the Cheetahs would have influenced them and what their team morale must be like not just after that game, but after losing 4 out of their first 6 games, Plumtree was as candid as saying – “I don’t know mate. That’s the million dollar question, but I don’t have a clue,… as I say it doesn’t matter how they are feeling.”

“I don’t look at them and what they do. I’ve really been focussed on what we’re doing. It’s not relevant for me what the Stormers are doing or what they have done or what they’re going to do. I’m just worried about my guys.”

“The problems that they have had has been well documented, losing one of their best players with meningitis, how lucky is that, but that’s what we’re living with as coaches, it’s the roll of the dice and sometimes it doesn’t go for you.” said Plumtree.

Although the team made it clear that they will again focus on their own game this week, they are mindful of the threats the Stormers will pose this weekend, the collisions being one of those areas.

“I think that (the collision) is huge in super rugby in general, whoever you play” said Plumtree “That and your set piece has to operate if you want to have territory and possession. If you’re down on that stat you struggle”

“The Stormers also have one of the better attacking line-outs in the country. Our line-outs are going alright though and our hookers are showing a bit of confidence” said Plumtree.

Both the Sharks and the Stormers had tough encounters last week, the Stormers will have to lift themselves from the disappointment of a devastating loss to the Cheetahs, where the Sharks although they took a rare victory from the Crusaders will feel the physical and mental strain of pushing themselves to a victory against a tough team and John Plumtree feels that this weekend’s result will depend a lot on how ready each player is for the challenge.

“The players will know what they have to do this weekend. It’s just the side that arrives,and sticks to the game plan. In these big derby games it’s the side that’s consistently playing at a high intensity for those 80 minutes that will get it. Both teams are full of talent, but it’s the side that puts it together that will come away with the win” said Plumtree.

“Getting up in this competition every week is a big challenge. We’ve seen that with the Kings, although they’ve been going really well, side’s that we’ve all thought the Kings will get smacked by have failed to do so because there’s a mental block. No disrespect to the Kings, but the Brumbies are a much better side than the Kings, but they didn’t show that.” Plumtree said to the point.

The Sharks coach who knows all too well about not playing to your potential seems to have learned a lesson from bad losses last year and has put great emphasis on the teams mental approach this year.

“Attitude is everything, for the players to have the right attitude in terms of the intensity they need to play in Super Rugby, that’s the mental challenge for them personally. Fifteen guys that go out there, in the right space and put the plan together, has a really good opportunity, if it is a good side, but if you’re of the mark just two or three percent, you turn in an average performance.”

“Every side suffers that at some point in the competition, but the side that consistently gets up every week, is the side that gets the opportunity to host those playoffs and that’s ultimately what we want.” said Plumtree.

Although Plumtree feels that his side has not been able to put together an 80 minute performance yet, he is still pleased with some areas of their game, the set pieces especially have been an area that have been very pleasing for the Sharks, but they feel that they still need to work on most other areas of their game.

“We’ve shown bits and pieces on attack, but we haven’t shown enough yet, defensively we’ve been pretty good and our set pieces are operating well.” said the coach.

But what the Sharks coach has been most pleased with has been the results his team has given him over the first 6 games and said: “We’re winning close games. We’ve only lost one game and we’ve had heaps of problems. We’re battling away and I think that’s what I want this team to keep doing. We just have to, times are tough. We’ve just got to dig in and work hard for each other. That’s all we’re focussing on. We’re not going to worry if we win ugly on the weekend, trust me.”


  • Me neither, Coach!, me neither…

    GO BOYS!

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.04.13 12:46:35 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Something I don`t understand.
    When we get a penalty deep in our own half, why do we allow Lambie to take the touch kick?
    Frans or even Bosman can kick a lot further . . .

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.04.13 07:12:44 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre

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