The enigma that is Plum

Written by Jan Dyman (JD)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Sharks, Super Rugby on 22 May 2013 at 09:06
Tagged with : , , ,

Whilst being one of many voices calling for John Plumtree to be fired I have been thinking a lot about what Plum has done for the Sharks. Let’s take a look at exactly what Plum has done for our beloved Sharks:

For starters he was part of the 1990 team that won the Currie Cup for the first time in 100 years. After 1990 he continued to play for the Sharks until 1997. During this time the Sharks won the Currie Cup 4 times and thus this must be the best era that the Sharks ever had. During his playing days I remember him as a player covered in white plasters always giving 100% for the team no matter what the impact it had on his body. I used to joke and say that I’m sure he was sponsored by Elastoplast, as he had more on him than the rest of the team combined.

As a coach he gave us a Currie Cup trophy in 2008 – the first since 1996. Wow! that was a very long time without a trophy and then he did it again in 2010. I must say I felt like I was in heaven.

But it seems that this is where the fairy tale seems to stop for the Sharks and for Plum. In the following two years we played in two more Currie Cup finals and one Super rugby final and the Sharks were beaten quite badly in all three those finals. So now it’s time for the big question – do we as supporters hang him for his failures as a coach, or do we praise him for what he did for the Sharks as a player and a coach?

I do think we must thank him for what he did as both a player and a coach and whilst this does not change my feelings that the Sharks need a new coach for the 2014 season, it does change the way in which I think the change must be done. Let Plum go with the dignity and fanfare which the beloved player and coach deserves and let’s wish him all the best in future.

Mr. John Plumtree, you made a valuable contribution towards the Sharks not only as a player but also as a coach.  For that, I will always remember and respect you!


  • JD, thank you for this. I think you are quite right, I also think its time for new beginnings, but no need to trash a guy that has tried.

    It sort of reminds me of a company I use to work for. Once you left you were the scum of the earth, and I remember clearly thinking how shit such a situation is and how petty people can be.For years you gave them most of your time, yet when they cannot meet your needs and you seek greener pastures, you are the enemy.

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.05.13 09:17:34 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Ok fair enough, but you are already saying good bye, do u know something we don’t?

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.05.13 09:18:28 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • If it was up to me, I’d keep him on as forwards coach. When he was left to concentrate just on that, the forwards were pretty impressive.
    IMO Plum is a good coach, but he is neither a great technical tactician nor a great manager of people.
    The fact that his assistants are considered weak merely exacerbates the situation.
    New head coach, forwards coach = Plumtree, new backline coach, new defence coach, new skills coach,new fitness coach…the list goes on.
    An interesting piece of info;
    Andy Keast – an experienced coach considered to be the brains behind the Lions ’97 win and someone who has been involved in the Sharks before, lives in Dbn now and has apparently offered his services. Of course he was turned down in the same way Campese was show his marching orders!

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.05.13 09:34:27 by neilster Reply

  • That’s the nicest way of saying – It’s time to leave! 😀

    If I’m not mistaken Plum still has 2 years left on his current deal with the Sharks, or at least until the end of 2014.

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.05.13 09:40:58 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @neilster (Comment 3) :

    I don’t agree, when last did you see the Sharks competitive at the breakdown?

    We don’t counter ruck and we don’t compete at the breakdown. Against the Force on Friday we basically ‘gave’ them the breakdown and waited for them to make mistakes.

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.05.13 09:42:45 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • Re-read what i just wrote, I said WHEN he was forwards coach. Is he the forwards coach now, No!!

    I agree, the forwards are poor at the moment.

    ‘Giving the breakdown’ to the opposing side and not counter-rucking is a game strategy / defensive plan. Its ill conceived IMHO

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.05.13 09:45:13 by neilster Reply

  • Reading this article sounds like Plum is already gone…

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.05.13 09:45:28 by SharksRTB Reply

  • Oh, how our opinion might just change if we beat the Bulle this weekend… ? 😕 😉 😯

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.05.13 09:46:04 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @SharksRTB (Comment 8) : No, mine won’t change and I don’t think we will.

    I still thought we needed a change after last years Super Rugby. We should not have had to travel 3 times to play the final. We were a better team than that and the way we played in the last few weeks proves that.

    Under Plum we always have a dip. Only the 2008 and 2010 Currie Cup seasons were perfect.

    That’s 2 out of 10. That’s damn poor.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.05.13 09:50:12 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 9) : Agree fully.. It is poor, especially considering the talent he had at his disposal. We should’ve dominated the last couple of years in South-Africa like the Bulle dominated the early 2000’s.

    Makes me wonder, when these players start moving on, and new coach/management start moving in, will we ever be in such a strong position with as many talent than what we have now?

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.05.13 10:16:45 by SharksRTB Reply

  • Morning everyone
    Plumtree has done a lot as a player and as a coach for the Sharks and I will always be grateful for his contributions. But lets be honest even if we make the play-offs or beat the bulls this weekend, with the team that Plumtree had over the years as a coach he should have achieved more. The talent the Sharks have we should have dominated but yet it always turned out to be another mediocre season.

    If there is no trophies in the cabinet then it is a failed season 😐

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.05.13 10:22:31 by TheLegend Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @SharksRTB (Comment 7) : @SharksRTB (Comment 8) : No I don’t think Plum is gone but I do believe it’s time for some new blood! Some changes must be made for the Sharks to be a champion side again.

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.05.13 10:56:45 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Yes Plum made a big contribution throughout his involvement with the Sharks – that we cannot dispute. But we have had a lot of talent in the squad the past few years and we always seem to fall short – esp in Super Rugby.
    New fresh ideas are needed – a new coach with a different perspective and methods of coaching is required. The current “game plan” dished up this year ain’t working :mrgreen: imho :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.05.13 11:32:16 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • JD I’m afraid your spelling needs a heck of a lot of improvement!!

    It is spelt E N E M A. 🙂

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.05.13 12:31:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : clever one boss 🙂

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.05.13 12:33:02 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Lets look at Plumtree’s. SR coaching achievements
    2008 – 3rd
    2009 – 6th
    2010 – 9th
    2011 – 6th
    2012 – 5th

    All way below par and his highest finish (2008) was riding on the coat tails of what Muir had achieved in 2007.

    Nothing more than a good (not great) CC coach.

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.05.13 12:40:33 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : Agree regarding 2008.

    Why wasn’t Muir given another shot with the Sharks? His personality and man management skills seemed to work well with some pretty big name, big persona guys.

    2007 we had Skinstad, Montgomery, Frans Steyn, Ackerman(?) and John Smit yet he managed to get the best out of the entire team.

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.05.13 12:54:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : Ja boet I is a dutchman and does not do de engelish very goode. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.05.13 13:21:29 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Hey Kroonstad taught me perfect English. 🙂

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.05.13 13:27:33 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I do believe most of you are missing the crux of the article…

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.05.13 13:35:41 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.05.13 17:40:37 by steve haag Reply

  • @steve haag (Comment 21) : I`m sorry I don`t want to see my team struggle for another 3 years.

    I hope John Smit feels the same and ring the changes on his first day in the hot seat.

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.05.13 07:50:35 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @steve haag (Comment 21) : No… Fool me once, shame on you… Fool me twice? 😕

    Please, we need a coach who can use the mass talent of players currently at the union!

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.05.13 07:52:10 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @steve haag (Comment 21) : Sorry Mrs Plumtree – ain’t going to happen

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.05.13 07:57:23 by Bokhoring Reply

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.