Another painful Christchurch humiliation

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 Jul 2014 at 08:29
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The Sharks conceded five tries in a one-sided 38-6 loss to the Crusaders in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby semi-final in Christchurch.

While the result itself may not have been all that unexpected, the unexpectedly wide margin of victory is perhaps the more disappointing aspect, with the Sharks – billed as heavy pre-tournament favourites – slumping to a thrashing against a team that they had famously beaten at the same venue months before, with 14 men to boot.

The side now returns to Durban to lick its wounds after a season that saw a maiden South African Conference win, but ultimately another failed assault on that most elusive of trophies, the Super Rugby title itself. With a number of stalwarts set to move on now that the 2014 campaign has run its course, many fans find themselves asking “what now” as the Sharks must inevitably find themselves heading for another season of transition in 2015.

Questions remain, though – and I’m sure many of these will be asked and dissected in gory detail as the post mortem of the season runs its course. Foremost on that list, though, will be to explain exactly how a team with quite so many superstars, in a squad with quite so much depth, managed to execute such an uninspiring and ultimately limited game plan for so long without realising the need to make adjustments.

Whether any admissions will be forthcoming that, just maybe, the approach of 2014 is not the one to take the Sharks forward, remains to be seen.


  • Limited though it may be, might I venture that we don’t have the kickers suited to successfully execute the current game plan

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.07.14 08:36:16 by vanmartin Reply
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  • It was an awful game. Our lineouts were messy as all hell, no real forwards running close to the ruck lines and our kicking out of hand was the worst it’s been all season. Our scrums were nullified with Crockett scrumming in the whole match. That missed tackle of Jordaan leading to the first try still has me foaming at the mouth.

    Aimless kicking killed us. Botched lineouts didn’t help matters. The only Shark that actually played his heart out was Coetzee, the rest looked uninterested.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.07.14 08:46:27 by PTAShark Reply
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  • One man that really stood out for me as extremely poor was JPP. For a senior to cruise through a season doing nothing more then basically defending really disappoints me as a supporter. The semi final actually broke my heart as a supporter.

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.07.14 08:47:01 by shaniboi Reply

  • @shaniboi (Comment 3) : Ryan was also on cruise-control for most of the season. I wonder if the issue of underperforming Japanese-based players will at some point be addressed?

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.07.14 08:50:30 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Time to prep for the CC.
    And if we play like this will result in another let down.

    Do we have a list of players that is leaving?

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.07.14 08:51:03 by Rvw Reply

  • Justin Marshall’s concisely accurate comment at about 65 minutes into the game is still ringing in my ears:

    “The Sharks have a long flight home to wonder why they got a long flight to not even fire a shot.”

    Or something to that effect if not entirely verbatim.

    Man, the manner of the defeat was very disappointing. I just didn’t expect this team, limited as it was, to capitulate to a white wash in a semi final.

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.07.14 08:53:57 by Feather Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @shaniboi (Comment 3) : Totally with you. JPP only steps up in a Bok jersey and sometimes also seems like an effort to him.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.07.14 08:55:30 by catfish Reply
  • Thought Kanko got into better form the last two games. But yes, the Japanese holiday club guys always come back much crapper.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.07.14 08:58:43 by PTAShark Reply
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  • IMO I believe that loss was more down to exceptionally poor execution of the game plan rather than the game plan itself. When the odds are stacked against a team, not finding touch esp with penalties, missing tackles, losing line outs, etc gets that much more amplified.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.07.14 09:00:13 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 2) : Marcell was a machine, which the best in NZ could not contain or stop. Pity it was only 1 of 23 that played like that.

    Not sure why he was subbed.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.07.14 09:04:01 by gregkaos Reply
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  • I honestly didn’t expect a win, but somewhere in the back of my mind I thought that just perhaps Jake White had a plan up his sleeve. The manner of the loss hurt the most. It’s as if the player’s are programmed to play ONE style only.

    The most frustrating part is that on the 1 (perhaps 2) occasions that we kept ball in hand we looked really good but then immediately revert back to the tried (and failed) tactics.

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.07.14 09:05:18 by Pokkel Reply
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  • My 1st team coach used to say ‘kick to the corners for the first 5 minutes, see how they respond, and play it from there.’

    It’s a basic game plan, but it really worked for us.

    The Sharks proved they can throw the ball around just as well as the kiwi teams, but we insist on kicking everything to give them broken field ball to run back at us. We need a new game plan.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.07.14 09:11:53 by StevieS Reply
  • I thought we did change our game plan by adding Lambie to the team, this in turn made us play a game plan that did not suit our strengths or made us play in a way that we are not used to.
    Why we did not keep to our same game plan we used all season long is beyond me.
    Our no 9 was terrible again, Lambie should have never started, Jordaan has some serious suspect tackles, our forwards where still on the plane from Africa! Steyn should have also kept the kicking dutties with or without Lambie on the field. He has been so consistend , and sorry to say but Lambie has some serious BMT issues. How can he play one CC Final like a daemon and then the next like he is a school boy? His BMT kicking is really suspect.
    We were totally out classed.

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.07.14 09:14:21 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • Probably the biggest error was starting with Lambie. In Jordaan and Sithole we had a half decent centre pairing. Why break it up? And when your anti-rugby gameplan falls to pieces, why the hell not adapt it?

    I thought Jake was supposed to be a cunning strategist. All we’ve seen is a mind-numbingly boring kicking game with bash-it-up forwards trying to pummel the opposition and no plan B.

    Our try-scoring record is only better than the lowest in the competition, because we played an extra game. Pathetic.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.07.14 09:15:03 by rhineshark Reply
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  • This game was so disappointing, much like the tail end of our season.

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.07.14 09:22:12 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 13) : Lambie has hardly played all season and then is expected to just perform miracles…

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.07.14 09:23:20 by lostfish Reply
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  • I think before we blame the coach,the players and the tic tacs,for me what this season has patently exposed,which to me is an old problem,almost ingrained at the Sharks,and that is the mental aspect, that first and foremost the Sharks MUST get a KOP dr,install the killer instinct /mental grit,then all else can follow

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.07.14 09:40:47 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 17) : I think that’s a must now. But we also need to run off the ball at pace. We give it to a forward standing still and expect him to make yards.

    We also need to trust our backs more, given them the freedom to run.

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.07.14 09:52:01 by StevieS Reply
  • Time to employ a 7’s coach as head coach….he’ll get rid of this kicking game plan in no time 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.07.14 10:07:20 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Nailed it Rob – “Foremost on that list, though, will be to explain exactly how a team with quite so many superstars, in a squad with quite so much depth, managed to execute such an uninspiring and ultimately limited game plan for so long without realising the need to make adjustments.”

    @Uli Boelie (Comment 13) : Im sorry pal but Lambie does not have BMT issues….

    – You don’t have BMT issues if you Dominate 2 currie cup finals, as well as their corresponding semis. – More importantly You don’t have BMT issues if you perform more than admirably (as noted by kiwi commentators themselves) when your coach puts a 2nd/3rd team pack in front of you (2011 when we got pumped in Wellington). This against eventual World Champions 1st team.

    Both 2012 and 2014 play offs in New Zealand where he did under perform – he had just returned from injury. He may not be a Richie McCaw who can slot in after a long lay off and be brilliant but no one else can either…

    Cant agree with you there

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.07.14 10:07:43 by pienaar111 Reply

  • Very dissapointing performance from the Sharks – we were totally outplayed on the day.

    I am really not enjoying the kicking gameplan that the Sharks have employed all season. I think Mallet summed it up best at the post game discussion, where he noted that an unattractive game plan is only worth it if you winning, if you not why keep doing it.

    I really hope that there is a change in game plan for the CC and beyond, and I find myself less and less excited about watching the Sharks play.

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.07.14 10:12:04 by stevovo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 19) : Kicking can work but we seem to kick off first phase all the time and are very predictable. We rely on the other team to play with the ball and then profit from their mistakes.

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.07.14 10:15:01 by lostfish Reply
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  • Dear John (Smit),

    It seems the cancer is still there. The rot has truly crept into the foundations of Kings Park.

    It is time to leave the desert behind, and move into the Promised Land.

    Moses Mabhida is the only solution. Time to move, figure it out, and make it happen.

    Yours faithfully,

    Loyal and very frustrated Sharks supporter. 😉

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.07.14 10:15:55 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @lostfish (Comment 22) : You’re talking about tactical kicking….our boys got stuck at “kicking”.

    Not sure they understand why they are kicking, not sure they are told why they are kicking….maybe our boys are just too thick to figure out what the coach wants, maybe the coach can’t remember why he originally employed this game plan (back in 2004).

    And I’m not sure any of us know how to remedy the current situation. Is there any solution to making this game plan work? Especially with the players we currently have on our books?

    Let’s face it, we’re pretty much employing a similar game plan to HM….and in all honesty, without Willie le Roux, that game plan is impotent.

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.07.14 10:22:41 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • The thing is if you employ a kicking game plan, there need to be some thinking behind the kicking. At the moment the players do not know what else to do, so they just hoof the ball down field. The Crusaders actually kicked more than the Sharks I believe, but almost every single kick put them in a better position.

    We should not have been playing this semi in Christchurch in the first place. Loosing against a Stormers team held together by cellotape at home killed our season. That one I will put down to playing his exhausted first choice players, where I am pretty sure the second choice could have pulled it through.

    The 17 turnovers that we conceded on average this year needs to be looked at. You cannot build pressure when you loose the ball at critical times.

    We need an attack coach that can add value to the setup. The players do have the skills (as some of the breakouts show), but someone will inevitably make the wrong decision that kills the entire opportunity. Attack from first phase is poor – it is predicable and needs some variation. If our forwards cannot overpower the opposition, we are out of ideas.

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.07.14 10:25:18 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 25) : Mitch would be a great attack coach, just manage his player relations as this seems to be his shortfall.

    JW should be the correct person to manage this, as he is a man manager (not a coach!)

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.07.14 10:31:04 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • The aim of tactical kicking is very simple. You do it to try and achieve one of two things:

    a) Field position – pin the opposition in their half and force them into mistakes at that end of the field (even if it means they are forced to kick it out where you have a set piece in their half to start from)
    b) Contestable – isolate their players and ensure that you can contest for possession in the air (80% of their team is retreating, 100% of yours is advancing – win the ball there, you are going to score)

    The Sharks kicked to get rid of the ball.

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.07.14 10:35:12 by Morné Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 26) : Amen to both statements!!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.07.14 10:41:12 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 27) : And you couldn’t e-mail that very clear and concise instruction to the Sharks why? :mrgreen:

    They should use that comment of yours, and turn it into an infographic (the ones they use to show people how to use a condom)….and stick it up in their dressing room.

    Maybe SARU can spearhead the infographic and send it to every rugby union in SA, so that it can be distributed to all the clubs and schools in the country.

    Because is seems, every player in SA believes kicking to be for the sole purpose of getting rid of the ball, because they lack any imagination on attack, and therefore would prefer to be a spectator of the opposition team’s ability to do something with that oval ball. 😈

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.07.14 10:46:07 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Not sure if we as supporters are more sad than disappointed.

    At the end of a season you can be pretty sure there will a final analysis by all stakeholders.

    We started the season with an immense amount of hope!

    1. John gets appointed and makes big bold changes with Plum out and Brendon in.
    2. Win the CC ! Great
    3. Great Squad with 12 Springboks and exciting youngsters
    4. Johns appoints his mate Brad and schoolboy coach Paul Anthony
    5. Jake gets appointed with great fanfare with mounting expectations. Brendon Gone – big problem.
    6. Bismarck new Captain – Everybody generally pleased
    7. Season starts with a bang !
    8. Great new young talented players are chosen by Jake and they show themselves : Sithole, Stephan, Terra and the Dominee “Thomas”
    9. Jake develops a game plan/style – Some are excited but as the season progresses people become more critical
    10. With an immensely talented VC squad we disappoint by not making the finals
    11. Senior players actually play club rugby – Great
    12. Our full complement and some, play exceptionally well for the Springboks
    13. Then it goes downhill – the signs were there. Forget Saturday’s humiliation, the trend was there when we lost against the Stormers and Cheetas
    14. Jake should and his coaching staff is accountable and should answer
    15. Have the sharks progressed and improved to win the S15 next year ? Not sure, what is your view?
    16. We have also lost depth in our squad with many players leaving – Keegan,Jean,Wors,Charl,Peet,Hewitt,Justin, Robert du preez,Bressler,Tim,etc. Sure they can be replaced – Not easily though. I think we are not done yet. A great talented player like Fred should leave after this ?
    17. We have also had sad and bad injuries – Pat, Anton etc.This is part of the game !
    18. A doubt in the back our minds have always been will Jake leave for an international job after the world cup as he has been marketing himself in public ? Probably yes – And what then ? Brad and Co will never be able to coach
    19. What is going to happen in the CC with all the Springboks out and Brad coaching ? Jake is very clever and gave Brad a hospital pass here ?

    Rob sorry for being a bit negative but truth is what we have to deal with.

    Maybe you can launch a Final analysis article for us all to comment on and also include a season rating for each player. Our best and most consistent player can only be Marcelle ?
    Who was our worst player ?

    Always love the Sharks !

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.07.14 11:05:17 by Observer Reply

  • @Observer (Comment 30) : No worries about JW leaving…..Sharks semi-final made sure of this, ain’t nobody desperate enough to offer a coach a contract after his team suffered such a humiliating loss….so we’re safe for another year. 😈

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.07.14 11:10:42 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • That was painful to watch. I’ve said it many times this season and it’s been discussed here on this thread as well. Aimless kicking and especially failing to kick penalties in to touch were the main reasons why the Sharks got so humiliated on Saturday.

    Granted, they weren’t the only reasons, there are so many to list, one up runners with no support, the lineout going to pot, where it had been a strength for most of the season and lapses in concentration at key moments during the game all contributed to the loss.

    Paul Jordaan deserves a special mention though, his kick led directly to their first try and then his poor tackling was also a lowlight of the game. He’s a much better player than that, but his performance typifies what is wrong with SA players, their first instincts always appear to be to kick the ball away, instead of setting up the next phase.

    Someone else mentioned it here, the team is in dire need of an attack coach, someone from a 7’s background would be ideal. Look how well the Blitzbokke played this weekend, their game still includes the physicality synonymous with South African rugby but they’ve added the element of creating and running into space and running supporting lines.

    There’s no balance in the 15 man game in SA, it’s too 1 dimensional and all too often when Plan A fails, there’s no plan B.

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.07.14 11:15:18 by Jacques Venter Reply

  • Saturday was really disappointing, as Rob says its not so much the loss but rather how we lost. What really got me on saturday was the elementary mistakes we made, putting the pressure sqarely back on ourselves. we could not compete under the high ball, we seemed to miss the ball completely, our kicking out of hand was atrocious, going out on the full how many times and our total lack of ball protection in the tackle, never mind the lost lineouts….those are all pretty much controllables that we gave back to the Saders to keep us under constant pressure….we just couldnt get any forward momentum out of this game.

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.07.14 11:19:36 by SharkED Reply

  • Bokkie Gerber writing in Rapport yesterday, well worth a read.

    Dankie aan Rapport.

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.07.14 11:44:48 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I wiped this game off the PVR last night. I havent watched the game and I havent even seen a minute of the game on any of the channels, news etc. I think, from all the comments, that I am better off for it.

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.07.14 11:47:30 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Team for next season.

    1 Marcell Coetzee
    2 Marcell Coetzee
    3 Marcell Coetzee
    4 Marcell Coetzee
    5 Marcell Coetzee
    6 Marcell Coetzee
    7 Marcell Coetzee
    8 Marcell Coetzee

    9 Pat Lambie
    10 Pat Lambie
    11 Pat Lambie
    12 Pat Lambie
    13 Pat Lambie
    14 Pat Lambie
    15 Pat Lambie

    Please……………… 😐

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.07.14 11:54:37 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 36) : Are Coetzee and Lambie adopting or something?

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.07.14 12:01:00 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Jacques Venter (Comment 32) : SA teams never have a plan B.

    We need to look at how the Waratahs changed Jaques Potgieter’s game and do the same with out guys. Jacques has now become a cult figure in Sydney whereas when he left SA he was one dimensional.

    We need a dedicated skills coach and an attack coach added to the team, as well as the mental coach someone mentioned above.

    There are positives to take from this season, but the coaching staff and players must acknowledge the weaknesses too.

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.07.14 12:11:30 by StevieS Reply
  • @SharkED … I agree with you fully. I think we either lost ground or lost the ball every time the ball was kicked onto us. It is something that all South African teams need to work on. Kudos to the crusaders every high ball was a 2 on 1.

    On the positive side, our scrumming has improved leaps and bounds this season and will be a platform to build on. Same can be said about our lineouts.

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.07.14 12:19:51 by byron Reply

  • Stats for this game is quite interesting.

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.07.14 12:35:15 by Morné Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 38) : I’m afraid you’re right, they never have a plan B.

    As far as skills are concerned, I’ve read that in NZ schoolboys don’t play in age groups as much as they do in weight groups, which encourages them to develop their skills from a young age because they can’t rely simply on their physicality, how true this is, I’m not sure but this would be something I’d like to see implemented in SA.

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.07.14 12:48:52 by Jacques Venter Reply

  • We need a proper back line coach. Imagine what Carlos Spencer can do with the talent we have in the back line.

  • Comment 42, posted at 28.07.14 12:55:38 by Rvw Reply

    Take note John Smit…..

  • Comment 43, posted at 28.07.14 12:58:10 by Phil46 Reply

  • @Jacques Venter (Comment 41) : They play age groups but have a weight ceiling. If the kid exceeds that weight ceiling he is moved up an age group. It is only for junior rugby and is stopped after certain age groups.

    The New Zealanders also tend to focus heavily on skills something that is severely lacking in South African junior rugby.

  • Comment 44, posted at 28.07.14 12:59:03 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Rvw (Comment 42) : Do we even have a backline coach???

  • Comment 45, posted at 28.07.14 13:01:12 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 45) : The way they have been playing I would not think so.

  • Comment 46, posted at 28.07.14 13:03:11 by Rvw Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 40) : Interesting enough for an article?

  • Comment 47, posted at 28.07.14 13:04:10 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Rvw (Comment 46) : My question was rather rhetorical 🙄 BMH is just so out of his depth at this level. We have so much talent in our backline but it is never utilised. We have the talent to play rugby, not to give the ball to our opponents and bully them into making mistakes.

  • Comment 48, posted at 28.07.14 13:06:25 by lostfish Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 47) :

    Can’t write anymore, but tell me what you want to know and I will tell you.

  • Comment 49, posted at 28.07.14 13:06:25 by Morné Reply
  • @lostfish (Comment 48) : Agreed. The backline is dead.. how many line breaks did they make…. last good backline move was when Sitole scored that I can recall 🙁

  • Comment 50, posted at 28.07.14 13:09:52 by Rvw Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 49) : Of course, forgot! Which stats in particular did you find interesting and why?

  • Comment 51, posted at 28.07.14 13:10:31 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 47) : This is quite interesting if you haven’t seen it. Obviously not as good as Morne’s insights but you can get a pretty good idea…

  • Comment 52, posted at 28.07.14 13:10:32 by lostfish Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 51) : That is an entire article 😉

  • Comment 53, posted at 28.07.14 13:12:41 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 52) : Out of interest, which site do you use for stats?

  • Comment 54, posted at 28.07.14 13:13:47 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 54) : I used to use the free ones I can’t remember the name of the site right now but sadly right now I don’t have time to study the stats anymore. I am lucky if I get to watch the games…

  • Comment 55, posted at 28.07.14 13:16:21 by lostfish Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 51) :


    Sharks 23
    Crusaders 35

    That in itself might be interesting, but consider only 7 kicks from the Sharks went into touch (30%) and 16 down the field.

    Crusaders is similar, even more, 80% of their kicks (28) did not go to touch.

    Total passes:

    Sharks 70 (43% possession, 37% territory)
    Crusaders 174 (57% possession, 63% territory)

    Tackles made:

    Sharks – 101, missed, 16
    Saders – 69, missed, 14


    Sharks – 81 – line breaks – 2
    Saders – 127 – line breaks – 4


    Sharks – 11, 2 incomplete
    Saders – 19, 1 incomplete

    Both teams had 13 line outs, Sharks lost 4, Saders 1

  • Comment 56, posted at 28.07.14 13:19:38 by Morné Reply
  • I will email Rob player specific stats

  • Comment 57, posted at 28.07.14 13:23:51 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 56) : Crusaders kicked more but it was far more effective kicking. It wasn’t kicking from first phase ball. They were finding gaps and using their support runners to contest it. Our boys would get the ball kick it to a defender and then wait for them to run it back.

  • Comment 58, posted at 28.07.14 13:30:26 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 44) : I thought as much, it seems to me that’s a no brainer.

  • Comment 59, posted at 28.07.14 13:53:10 by Jacques Venter Reply

  • What happened to Cheryl Calder – did she ever help the Sharks as was announced once upon a time? I dont think so.

  • Comment 60, posted at 28.07.14 14:34:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 58) :

    Sharks kicked 4 times in total of first phases, 3 times off scrums, once from a line out, Crusaders 3 times (twice off scrums, once off a line out)

  • Comment 61, posted at 28.07.14 14:35:30 by Morné Reply
  • @lostfish (Comment 58) :

    The indicator you are looking for to show you that kicks were piss poor, is to tag the kicks with the territory and possession stats. Kicking more than 20 times a match and having shit territory stats (specifically) gives you an idea on how good those kicks were.

  • Comment 62, posted at 28.07.14 14:46:56 by Morné Reply
  • @Phil46 (Comment 43) : Very interesting article.

  • Comment 63, posted at 28.07.14 14:50:39 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 62) : The kicks were poor but the Crusader tactics also negated the Sharks kicking game. They knew that the Sharks don’t bother chasing these long kicks, so instead of just returning the kick, they often took the ball wide and ran the ball back. The return kick would often only come once they made a lot of territory running the ball back, and when the wings had to come forward to defend.

    Once they realized the Sharks struggled with up and unders, predictably those started raining down with precision.

  • Comment 64, posted at 28.07.14 15:15:38 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 64) :

    With the exception of exit kicks, every Crusaders kick was made around their 10 meter line with the target the Sharks 10 meter line.

    Dagg & Co would field a kick in their own half, run to their 10 meter, launch a contestable bomb and the Sharks would bomb…

  • Comment 65, posted at 28.07.14 15:20:46 by Morné Reply
  • Gotta say that despite been disappointed with the result on Saturday I’m hugely proud of the guys.

    From 8th (2nd to last in SA) in 2013 to a semi final in 2014.

    During the season we beat the two best sides in the competition. The Tahs comprehensively and the Saders in CHCH with 14 men.

    We finished bloody miles ahead of the other SA teams.

    New young talent unearthed in Lewis and Tomas. How potent will Lewis and PSTD be?

    Topped the stadium numbers in SA. (obviously helps when wining most of your games) I don’t know about the numbers in Aus or NZ.

  • Comment 66, posted at 28.07.14 15:20:48 by gregkaos Reply
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  • The 2014 Sharks team was probably the most schizophrenic team in the history of Natal rugby,on a good day the best team in the competition on the worst day we got hammered by the bottom feeders.
    Watching that hiding on Saturday morning with a huge case of depression for what could have been.
    Yet there are stupid things that could have been avoided,any one who has watched more than one game of rugby could see that JPP was not fit to be on the field,he still has Vermullen’s head ringing in his ears.Why the desperation to play him when Sithole was sitting on the bench.Lewies was a shadow of his former self ,also played injured.SShould have started OOsthuizen with Aklberts and brought in either Mthembu or Keegan to add some speed to a huge ponderous pack.
    Every game in the last 10 that we noved Frans Steyn from 10 we lost,Lambie was as under cooked as Bleau steak at Butcher Boys.
    Finally the voyueristic camera in the changeroom at half time spoke volumes.Todd had done his coaching and handed the show to Ritchie and Kieran,Jake on the other hand was trying to explain the basics.
    Oh shit what could have been

  • Comment 67, posted at 28.07.14 15:29:12 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 64) : Our chase from the kicks were absolute rubbish…..lazy running from everybody, seems the players didn’t buy into the whole kick-and-chase game plan.

  • Comment 68, posted at 28.07.14 15:29:31 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 65) : If you compare with the league game in Christchurch, Taylor at 15 inexplicably returned most kicks from his 22 – often resulting in Sharks territorial gain. One thing about the Crusaders, they won’t make the same mistake twice.

  • Comment 69, posted at 28.07.14 15:30:59 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 68) : I can understand that – the kicks are way to deep to chase. You would be exhausted in 15 minutes.

  • Comment 70, posted at 28.07.14 15:31:46 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @gregkaos (Comment 66) : Being proud of the Sharks this year is about the same as applauding Usain Bolt for coming 4th in the Olympic 100m sprint.

    No matter how many diamond league gold medals he won, the Olympic games is the one that counts.

    So to me, after supporting the Sharks for all these years, no matter how many games they’ve won throughout the season, it’s winning the SR trophy that matters….they have once again failed to reach this objective, with the odds stacked heavily in their favor.

  • Comment 71, posted at 28.07.14 15:42:28 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 69) :

    You want the most telling stat?

    The ball was in play for just over 32 minutes in this game.

    Out of the 32 minutes, the Sharks attacked (spent time with ball in hand) for 13 minutes, defended for 19…

  • Comment 72, posted at 28.07.14 15:42:48 by Morné Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 70) : Now that Morné mentioned it, I do recall that our boys never caught a single contestable ball in the air….we looked like the AB’s of 2009. 🙄

  • Comment 73, posted at 28.07.14 15:45:05 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 73) : You are being rather generous with that comparison.

  • Comment 74, posted at 28.07.14 15:57:36 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 72) : Interesting – it just shows the gulf in class on attack between the sides. For 6 minutes (56%) more time on attack, the Crusaders created 5 tries to zip.

  • Comment 75, posted at 28.07.14 15:59:30 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @lostfish (Comment 74) : I am actually picturing all our jumping jacks trying to figure out how to time their jump for the bomb…..looks like circus training, everybody hopping all over the place, catching everything except the ball. 😈

    We really were a sorry sight, great way to end the season….nice lasting imagery. 🙄

  • Comment 76, posted at 28.07.14 16:02:48 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 75) :

    For me it shows the clear intent and willingness of a team wanting to play with the ball, and another who prefers to play without it.

    I am sure I don’t need to remind you what White’s philosophy is for finals rugby.

  • Comment 77, posted at 28.07.14 16:03:39 by Morné Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 76) : It is just such a disappointing finish to the season after such an excellent start and a brilliant tour. I have to admit I lost all faith when we lost to the Cheetahs and gave up pole position.

  • Comment 78, posted at 28.07.14 16:05:14 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 77) : Ugly ugly rugby 🙄

  • Comment 79, posted at 28.07.14 16:06:11 by lostfish Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 71) : Since when did the Sharks become the Usain Bolt of super rugby? Didn’t realise the other teams were there just to make up the numbers. The 7 time champions Crusaders may have something to say about that.

    I can understand disappointment but the sheer volume of acid been spewed toward the Sharks who gave it their all but weren’t good enough this time round is completely insane. It’s like I like you but only if you win.

  • Comment 80, posted at 28.07.14 16:42:59 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 48) : @Phil46 (Comment 43) : the issues raised in the article where already raised by me and others at the start of the season, wherein I stated that it made no sense with JM hanging around in the backwaters of Durban yet a high school coach is employed,I was cut down as a negative chop,and now!

  • Comment 81, posted at 28.07.14 16:57:26 by benji Reply
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  • Sorry for all the swearing in afr, english and sotho on saturday. Jammer ouens!

  • Comment 82, posted at 28.07.14 17:29:14 by Shark Overide Reply

  • @gregkaos (Comment 80) : No, we’ve been liking the Sharks irrespective of their trophy cabinet….remember the 12 year trophy drought? We stuck with them….now we have the 18 year SR trophy drought, yet we stick with them.

    How many teams can boast with the player stocks and coaching staff and budget that the Sharks possess?

    Neither the Saders nor the Tahs have a wc winning coach…the Saders definitely do not have the finances the Sharks possess.

    Sorry to say, but no matter how much romance you want to throw around, this Sharks team should have had a home semi at the very least….they failed.

    But, next season I’ll be sure to adopt the tsietas supporter mentality, expecting the Sharks to merely upset a few big unions, because it seems we’re not supposed to expect a star studded team to not make the same mistakes that they’ve been making since the inception of this competition. 😉

  • Comment 83, posted at 28.07.14 17:35:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I dont think this is really a surprise. Its sad, but certainly not unexpected.

    When you only have one arrow in your quiver and it doesnt work…

    This is the JW way. Its Blue Bulls rugby of old, but without Bakkies and Morne.
    It’ll get you into contention, but wont win you the games that really matter. For that you need variation and a Plan B.

  • Comment 84, posted at 28.07.14 17:51:23 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 83) :

    Oh FFS – can we please stop banging on about a WC-winning coach?
    If that’s what you’re gonna hang your hat on then you’re in for a lot of misery.

    SCW also won the world cup, using a similar strategy to JW. He then took a Lions side down to NZ and got his ass handed to him. First time in 22 years that the Lions lost all three tests on tour.

    World Cups are flukes. They tell very little about the coaching quality.

    Tell me this – if in 2007 the WC was structured as SR is, do you still think we would’ve won it?

  • Comment 85, posted at 28.07.14 17:55:34 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 83) : just a quick question,when does enough become enough ? And I don’t just mean the supporters toward the team but also the team/players toward themselves

  • Comment 86, posted at 28.07.14 17:58:13 by benji Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 85) : @VinChainSaw (Comment 84) : add to that 7 Danie Rossuows and a John Smit. No the game has evolved as it should

  • Comment 87, posted at 28.07.14 18:02:19 by benji Reply
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  • Thanks for the stats Morne, telling indeed.

  • Comment 88, posted at 28.07.14 18:15:04 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I’ve said this before, but just to emphasise the point: oh dear…

  • Comment 89, posted at 28.07.14 18:59:03 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 77) :

    Funnily enough, White has one final and one trophy. Not exactly what we would call statistically significant.

    It would be sad if he bases his entire career’s coaching philosophy on the result of one game. And against England nogal.

    Stampkar rugby will get you so far – because of genetics, grit and a willingness of SA players to put themselves in harm’s way for the cause.
    It’ll never consistently win you the big, big games. And that’s because, as soon as the opposition are able to match your pack’s strength, either through brute force of their own, tactics or strategy, you’re toast.

    And you know what, i’m not particularly upset by that. I dont personally believe teams that dont play with the ball should be sitting at the top of the pile.

    Gutted for the Sharks and gutted for you lot. Thats not the way the SR season should’ve ended. But we are where we are and hopefully the new season brings a more balanced approach.

  • Comment 90, posted at 28.07.14 19:14:45 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 90) : Ja, maybe next year…like we haven’t been saying that since the inception of this competition.

    We have reached the point where I am really excited to see central contracting destroy provincialism in SA, because it has become patently clear, that franchises are wholly unable to make a true success of things by themselves.

    Even the bulls took the better part of 6 years to finally get it together, and having won 3 SR trophies, they are back to square one.

    What we have been doing is not working, nor will it ever work on a consistent basis. Time for SA to work together to finally dominate the old enemy.

  • Comment 91, posted at 28.07.14 19:36:12 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Jacques Venter (Comment 41) : @Jacques Venter (Comment 41) : @lostfish (Comment 44) : sorry to say but in SA schools rugby most coaches picks the big kid firswand then plays a gameplan around thr big kid smashing the opponents. This is the main reason for SA players playing this way they do where bulk is king and skills is no where to be found!!!!!

  • Comment 92, posted at 28.07.14 20:33:35 by JD Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 48) : sadly you are 100% correct but SA playing style is to bully with thr forwards and kick and chase with the backs. Venter changed that a bit during Currie cup but now we’re back to normal again.

  • Comment 93, posted at 28.07.14 20:37:30 by JD Reply
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  • The biggest problem I had on Saturday is that players were picked on reputation and not on form. JPP should not have been picked above Sithole!!!!

  • Comment 94, posted at 28.07.14 20:43:16 by JD Reply
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  • That is how predictable and monotonous JW is not only is his non existent plan but also in selecting his favourites above what the team requires. I hope he is now moved to an office as director and we get Brendan back as coach.

  • Comment 95, posted at 28.07.14 22:48:19 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 91) : That’s not a benefit I had considered in regards to central contracting. Great post.

  • Comment 96, posted at 28.07.14 23:32:00 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Yes, not too painful, as though I willed myself to hope, it was the expected result.

    We all knew losing to the Stormers at home was basically the end of our trophy hopes.

  • Comment 97, posted at 29.07.14 09:43:13 by Letgo Reply
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  • To answer Justin Marshall’s question.
    They were contractually bound to show up at the match, but nothing more.

    Deep down, the team knew and understood that they had no chance at the title. A gargantuan effort, would have been a gargantuan waste. The extra time off will serve the Bok cause well.

  • Comment 98, posted at 29.07.14 13:07:55 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 98) : al I hear when he speaks is blah beblah beblah……… now I really hope the Tahs win.

  • Comment 99, posted at 29.07.14 13:18:19 by JD Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 91) : Sadly true. Like any true Shark supporter I was gutted (apt pun?) In the same breath I was also very badly disappointed in Jake White. I agree with the sentiment about the bruising bully boy tactics which have branded all SA teams as being clueless. We had innovative coaches all through history like Markotter, Craven and our own Izak van Heerden. Now we just look for the biggest and quickest. The game of rugby has not changed so much that swerving, side-stepping and dummying do not work. So many skills that I was taught seem to be forgotten.
    I have said this elsewhere and perhaps it bears repetition:
    “I played gaining ground when I was a child, I am no longer a child!”

  • Comment 100, posted at 29.07.14 14:05:34 by charlieharvey Reply

  • @fyndraai (Comment 98) :
    I hear you, but I don’t think that I’ve seen a Blue Bulls team of the last decade or so capitulate no matter the odds.

    That’s why I always say you can’t write them off – pedigree and pride.

  • Comment 101, posted at 29.07.14 14:11:44 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I thought Jake had evolved into a progressive coach at the Brumbies? He showed in the semi that he is no better than the rest of our SA coaches who seem hell bent on playing dated percentage rugby, where players are stifled and programmed to attack contact or kick the crap out of the ball – its just pathetic.

  • Comment 102, posted at 29.07.14 14:29:00 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 102) : Agreed Dave. Last year when we played the Brumbies at home they put 20 odd points on us in under half an hour. Their rugby was so dynamic and their support and passing so dynamic I really thought he had moved on also. Sadly not so!

  • Comment 103, posted at 29.07.14 14:42:23 by charlieharvey Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 102) : Just keep in mind at the Brumbies he teamed up with some pretty unorthodox assistant coaches in Steven Larkham and Laurie Fischer. At the Sharks there is really no-one to counter balance him. The coaches box is filled every week with Jake plus a bunch of forward orientated coaches (BMH and Anthony).

  • Comment 104, posted at 29.07.14 14:47:53 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Saffex (Comment 102) :

    Yeah – but he also only stayed a season.

    Tells me all i need to know.

  • Comment 105, posted at 29.07.14 15:06:01 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 104) : Not just that, JW was never able to hand pick his assistants he wanted either, there was even reports that he wanted Gert Small to join him but due to the appointments already being made he was unable to.

  • Comment 106, posted at 29.07.14 15:09:53 by Uli Boelie Reply
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    Uli Boelie
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 105) : two actually.

  • Comment 107, posted at 29.07.14 15:11:16 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 106) : Gert – another forward coach – a very good one at that

  • Comment 108, posted at 29.07.14 15:15:52 by Bokhoring Reply
  • As head coach he should be dictating how the game is played, his assistants are there to do just that – assist

  • Comment 109, posted at 29.07.14 15:49:08 by Saffex Reply

  • @charlieharvey (Comment 103) : no he just reverted back to his default SA setting!!! How I miss Venter!!!!

  • Comment 110, posted at 29.07.14 15:55:56 by JD Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 107) : can we get Venter back after JW moved on?!?!?!

  • Comment 111, posted at 29.07.14 15:58:24 by JD Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 109) : and now for the Currie cup JW is resting whilst his forwards oriented coach takes over?!?!?! Does not make any sense to me at all!!!!!!!

  • Comment 112, posted at 29.07.14 16:01:05 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 112) : I damn well hope Jake is not resting. He has plenty of work to do as DOR.

  • Comment 113, posted at 29.07.14 16:06:46 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 113) : and what will that be?!?!?!?! Preparing for next year’s Super rugby?!?!?! Sorry to say but he sould have been in charge of the Currie cup team so that he and the players could find each other!!!!!

  • Comment 114, posted at 29.07.14 16:13:02 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 114) : He could start by interviewing mental coaches, and then work on putting some structures in place to up-skill the players across all age groups of Sharks rugby.

    I would also have preferred him to coach the CC, but there is plenty for a DOR to do.

  • Comment 115, posted at 29.07.14 16:35:52 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 96) : Big reason why I’d like to see the derby games completely scrapped.

    Bring rugby back to the good old days of us vs. them. Let everything our franchises do be for the betterment of our international rugby ranking over NZ and Oz.

    All our teams could work together on figuring our ways to dismantle the different opposition teams.

  • Comment 116, posted at 29.07.14 18:12:42 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 101) :

    I don’t think any team plans to lose a match, but quite often teams will not plan to win. I think this was the case with the Sharks, just as I think it’s been the case for the Bulls on all their away play-off matches. Their score lines may have been less embarrassing but the performances were just as flat.

  • Comment 117, posted at 29.07.14 18:43:14 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 115) : yes that would be nice if that happens, but somehow I do not see it happening.

  • Comment 118, posted at 29.07.14 18:45:40 by JD Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 117) : 35 – 15 is only a little bit less embarrassing that 38 – 6

  • Comment 119, posted at 29.07.14 18:48:09 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 91) : ja just imagine the Sharks kicking as much as the Bulls and the Bokke…….. how much fun would that be……….

  • Comment 120, posted at 29.07.14 18:49:21 by JD Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 116) : yes and maybe they could find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow……. way to many chiefs and to little indians in SA rugby.

  • Comment 121, posted at 29.07.14 18:53:57 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 120) : Because we played exciting running rugby this season 🙄

  • Comment 122, posted at 29.07.14 20:14:31 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 122) : ja very exciting indeed. Would love SA teams to work together but that will never happen!!!

  • Comment 123, posted at 29.07.14 20:41:59 by JD Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 119) :

    There you go.

    I can’t say if the Bulls capitulated or not. To preserve my happiness I never watch when I’m sure they will lose.

    And I don’t think the Sharks really capitulated either. They made a shit-load of mistakes but were still in with a chance at half-time. The late tries came as a result of them becoming too loose and reckless playing catch-up rugby.

    Contrary to most other posters here, I don’t think SA teams will ever beat NZ by playing running rugby. The best chance our blokes have is Jake-Ball with perfect execution.

  • Comment 124, posted at 29.07.14 23:02:14 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 124) : The Crusaders played Jake-Ball as it should be played IMO. They kicked a lot but very cleverly. They used their opportunities when presented.

  • Comment 125, posted at 30.07.14 09:58:00 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @fyndraai (Comment 124) : agree with you, Sharks must play structured rugby. If they get to loose they make mistakes. But yes I would like them to kick less and run a bit more as I believe they have the backs to run any team ragged! !!

  • Comment 126, posted at 02.08.14 23:03:40 by JD Reply
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