Sharks to cut error rate – Macleod-Henderson

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 17 Sep 2013 at 17:29
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We caught up with Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson for a quick chat ahead of this weekend’s game against Free State. Here’s what he had to say.

Sharksworld: Well, firstly congrats on the win last weekend. We’ve come to appreciate that any win in Kimberley is special, even though there may have been things about this one that weren’t incredibly pretty.

Brad Macleod-Henderson: Look, we’re obviously very happy with the win, It’s always a tough place to go and we knew it was going to be tough. The guys had to dig deep and it was pretty hot there at 3 o’clock. Also looking at a guy like Pieter-Steph [du Toit] playing his first game in 3 months, so we were happy with the effort.

SW: What would your main focus areas be for the week ahead?

BMH: I think our error count was a bit high – our handling let us down a bit, we had one or two scrums not go the way we wanted them two and a few lineouts we let slip. So while we’re happy with the result, there are things about the performance we weren’t happy with and we’ll try to get right this week.

SW: Looking to this week’s game, we’ve gathered there will be some changes at loose forward. Are you planning any changes in the tight five as well?

BMH: Yes, Dale Chadwick will come in at loosehead this week, but otherwise the tight five will be pretty much the same.

SW: And I believe the plan is for Tera Mtembu to be at 7 this week? He’s normally an 8, so is that a position that Tera’s comfortable with and is he up for the challenge?

BMH: Yes, we spoke to him at the beginning of the campaign about an opportunity for him there [at blindside]. Obviously Jean Deysel has done really well there, so the opportunity hasn’t come for him as soon as he’d like, but he’ll get a chance to show us what he can do this week.

SW: And will Jean be rested entirely, or play off the bench?

BMH: No, Jean’s going to be rested – he’s got the weekend off.

SW: Have you chosen a bench option yet? I guess Brynard Stander or Justin Downey would be in the picture?

BMH: That’s something that we’ll decide on Thursday, I think.

SW: Any chance of Francois Kleinhans getting a game at some stage?

BMH: Look, there’s always a chance, but we’re really blessed with the loose forwards we have – we obviously have a lot of depth and a lot of talent there. It is a bit of a balancing act between trying to give guys a chance and trying to maintain some continuity. Also trying to win every single game, as we’re obviously doing. It’s all about trying to get the balance right.

SW: Sticking with the loose forwards, Marcell Coetzee will be at 6 this week. He’s been moved around a bit; is this a position he can make his own over the next few years?

BMH: Yes, look, he started as an 8, of course. He’s very strong, very quick and has a high work rate, but also carries the ball well so he can probably play 6 or 7. We though this weekend him at 6 would work best; along with Tera at 7, we thought that would be our best flank combination this weekend – to compliment Keegan at 8 and also to keep an eye on some of the big boys in the Free State pack that we need to put to ground.

SW: Moving back to the tight five discussion, is there any merit to the argument that rotation makes it more difficult to establish set piece continuity?

BMH: Look, in some ways it does, because you’re not working with the same players every week, but at the same time you’re trying to build a squad, more than just a team. You can very easily get to the stage where you have one or two injuries every week and your team is forced to change anyway. We are committed to giving everyone a chance to show what they can do, because it’s that squad that’s going to win you a championship – not just a first team. We need to build the depth in our squad and that makes it important to have more guys playing, rather than standing around and watching. As I said before, every week it’s a balancing act between making changes and keeping continuity and we just try to get that balancing act right.

SW: Do you feel that a clearer picture is emerging, though, as to what sort of line-up you would pick for a semi-final?

BMH: Yes, obviously in the backs of our minds we are building towards a possible semi-final or final and obviously there we’ll be fielding our best team. We’re getting an idea of what that best team will look like, so we are working towards that.

SW: And are you banking on Springbok players being available by that stage?

BMH: Yes from what we gather they will be available to us for the tail end of the Currie Cup; it’s just the challenge of how we integrate them. We were fortunate that the Boks did come with on our camp before the season started – so they know what we’re trying to do – but it’s always difficult to get that process completely right. So yeah, we did have a chance to work with them a bit and some of them also popped in to say hi this week, so we haven’t lost touch!

SW: That’s all we have for today. Thanks a stack, Brad and best of luck for the weekend.

BMH: Thanks very much.


  • Drink every time BMH says look 😆
    Really pleased with his rotation so far, balancing rest and match fitness effectively so far.
    Managing retuning Boks is always tricky, have to see where we are at the end of the season first.
    Good interview, thanks for posting!

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.09.13 20:22:10 by Here be dragons Reply
    Here be dragons
  • Really awesome that SW gets access to the coaches. Thanks for an enlightening article!

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.09.13 21:13:24 by vanmartin Reply
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  • PSDT looked a bit rusty last weekend. Let’s hope he can step up against the States.

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.09.13 22:03:03 by MysticShark Reply
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  • So anyone got news about when the following players will be back in contention to play: Odwa Ndungane, Frans Steyn, Paul Jordaan, Hansie Graaf, Anton Bresler ??

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.09.13 08:29:18 by SheldonK Reply

  • Who is Hansie Graaf again 😳

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.09.13 08:37:20 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) :

    Odwa is available this week.
    Frans Steyn is 2-3 weeks away.
    Paul Jordaan – only next season (that’s always been the case)
    Hansie Graaff – apparently sustained a knee injury in practice so also out for the year
    Anton Bresler – hoping to be fit for the Bulls game

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.09.13 08:58:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • Cool article 😉 nice to hear what the coaches are thinking and what their views are on certain issues.

    Give that man (Rob) a Bells!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.09.13 09:07:53 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Nice article Rob.

    Nice question and answer session there.

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.09.13 09:14:28 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Do u think they will risk Frans Steyn in this Currie Cup? I suppose they have to if the Bok Coach wants him for end of year tour. So looks like Graaf will be pretty much Vodacom Cup next year, he is still fairly young though correct? Sharks have missed Breslers work in the rucks

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.09.13 09:14:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 7) : I appreciate the sentiment, but if you could make it a Glenmorangie or a Bowmore, I’d be happier 🙂

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.09.13 09:34:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 9) : Frans is earning SO MUCH MONEY for sitting around doing stuff all, they really do need to play him if he’s fit. That’s my feeling, anyway.

    Graaff is still up in the air. To my knowledge, he was only contracted for Currie Cup, so we’ll have to see whether they keep him longer term without seeing him play.

    Agree re Bresler. Our best 4.

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.09.13 09:35:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • Great article but what a nonsense response to the Mtembu question and why would he have to prove himself out of position, the high school coach worries me big time

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.09.13 09:49:25 by benji Reply
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  • Nice interview, Rob. Good to see the Sharks allowing access to coaches and players.

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.09.13 09:49:26 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Eish if thats right re Graaf thats a serious waste of money and medical if they not keeping him. I think he is talented and could be 3rd choice 10 and deputise elsewhere. But he has to be fit. And yes fully agree with Steyn- if fit must play. Same with Odwa to be honest. To see a Sharks Currie Cup bench have Reinach,Steyn, Odwa as the backs and Botes,Bresler,Mthembu as forwards would be pretty potent in the 2nd half. Is Adriaanse only contracted from 2014?

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.09.13 10:03:44 by SheldonK Reply

  • Issues at hand:
    -Poor set piece execution.
    -Poor defensive structures and technique.
    -Lack of synergy in our backs.
    -Bullied at the breakdown.

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.09.13 10:16:04 by Talent Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Lol sure thing :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.09.13 10:37:27 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 14) : my feeling is Butch will probably hang up his boots at the end of the year, meaning a spot for Graaf in the Super Rugby squad.

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.09.13 10:47:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : I think you right there.

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.09.13 11:03:07 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : really don’t think Robbie DuP will be ready for Super Rugby next year, making it key to have a third option there.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.09.13 11:46:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Oh no for sure- he must learn his trade and earn his stripes like Fred did in the Vodacom Cup. Depsite my wishes for Pat Lambie to play 15 he will no doubt be the preferred 10 with Fred bench. Graaf off the bench could cover 10-15 so very usefull. Still not fully convinced SP Marais really to take over from Ludick- Marais has looked better on the wing. Funny how a guy like Sean Robinson out of favour now after playing Super rugby

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.09.13 11:50:39 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 20) : the feeling is Plumtree promoted certain youngsters way too soon…. Robinson and Dell, for instance.

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.09.13 11:52:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : I think Plum was just desperate for a spark, any spark. Also injuries took their toll.

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.09.13 12:01:40 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 22) : it is true… and you kind have to think he may have had a point in overlooking Mienie… Maybe that’s harsh, though. The kid plays a nice game for a loosehead – just wish the scrums would look better.

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.09.13 12:03:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Having watched Danie Mienie I like the way he gets involved. Scumming wise im not sure he is strong or heavy enough with these new scrum laws, its not about the hit anymore but the wrestle thereafter. In general play i was a bit disappointed that he went to ground too early, hope he isnt scared to take a hit. It is concerning that both the Sharks and Boks dont have too much behind Beast and Jannie. Well not playing in SA anyway.

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.09.13 12:48:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : regarding weight – bear in mind that SuperSport was wrong when they said Mienie weighs 104kg. I checked with him and he’s 111kg now.

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.09.13 13:39:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : 111kg is fine but we both props need time to mature. I mean remember when Herbst first started- and he is still learning a lot. Im still amazed the Sharks let Eugene Van Staaden go.

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.09.13 13:53:58 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 26) : ja, you are spot on. I’ve said this before.

    The worst thing that could have happened to prop development in this country was for WP’s gamble to pick two u20 props at senior level to work.

    Now all of a sudden everybody looks at Kitshoff and Malherbe and has an expectation that props should be ready for Super Rugby at the age of 20 – not understanding that they are the EXCEPTION, rather than the NORM.

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.09.13 14:04:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : Plumtree was probably the worst exponent of that kind of thinking though… he didn’t get that players need time in the system to grow. For him it was always “good enough NOW or gone”.

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.09.13 14:05:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : I just find it funny how we are very quick in this country to always look for the next youngster and forget about the youngsters that hav come through, got the experience and just need polishing. But instead we cast them aside only for Northern Hemisphere teams to pick them up, polish a bit and well Shaun Sowerby, Joe Van Niekerk, Brian Mujati, Rory Kockett…

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.09.13 14:39:23 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 29) : I think Bismarck is a good example of how it should be done. He patiently sat on the bench for some 6 years before he finally got himself the provincial and national starting spot.

    It probably requires patience from both coach and player.

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.09.13 14:59:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 30) : Patience from players…i dont know of this thing you speak of! hahaha But yes fully agree its a 2 way streak. Pity though if I think of the names lost to not only Sharks but Bok rugby

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.09.13 15:25:55 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 31) : I guess that’s where the Sharks rotation policy comes in handy, you end up with two first choice players per position.

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.09.13 16:15:37 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 32) : Well if you look at the European clubs thats their way of thinking. 2 guys in every position that can start and not weaken the team. Yes they have stars that they would like to play but if those stars arent available they know that they have 1 or 2 guys they can slot straight in and not have to worry about his lack of experience etc. It is a bit different for them though as a lot of their depth is acquired not developed internally but the idea is good.

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.09.13 08:03:33 by SheldonK Reply


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