Everitt praises Pumas defence

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 19 Aug 2014 at 15:54
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We caught up with Cell C Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt after this weekend’s bonus point win against the Pumas at Kings Park, and put some questions to him.

Sharksworld: Hi Sean, nice to chat again. You guys must be feeling pretty good after two wins from two?

Sean Everitt: We set ourselves a goal for the first two games. They were always going to be difficult, because they’re not easy teams to play against; we don’t know too much about them. We’re very happy with our new squad, coming away with two wins. We’re looking forward to this weekend which will be a great test for us.

SW: With so many forwards lost to the Boks, you’ve had to change the game a bit for this campaing? Can you elaborate on that for us?

SE: We don’t have the big ball carriers that we had in Super Rugby; the composition of the forward pack has changed somewhat. The tight five are all good players in the set piece but from a ball carrying perspective we haven’t got the big guys coming around the corner so we’ve had to adapt to the composition of our team. We’re trying to play a bit more expansively because we feel the backs are a strength in our team and they’ve really done well in Super Rugby when they’ve had the opportunity. Obviously it’s a process and we’re going to get better and better each week.

SW: While we can certainly see the intention to play a more open game, it looks as though it’s not quite come together yet. There were times against the Pumas where we really battled to score, despite having plenty of possession in their half.

SE: Credit must go to the Pumas for the way they defended. They obviously knew where our strengths were out wide; they got off the line really early and they tackled really well; their tackle percentage was right up their with the best we’ve played against this year. For us it was frustrating; I think the area we need to work on there is that we’re creating opportunities when we have numbers on the outside, but we’re not finishing them off. We’ve worked very hard this week on trying to rectify that, so that when we put ourselves into positions to score tries, with numbers up on the outside, we actually finish them off and don’t become too lateral in our attack.

SW: How do you see the move to inside centre for Paul Jordaan working out? He started the season at 13 – how is he handling the move inside?

SE: Paul is a really versatile player, we could play him anywhere in the backline if we had to. His positions at school were flyhalf and inside centre and the games that we really played well in Super Rugby were those where we played Paul and S’bura at 12 and 13; they’re forming a really good partnership and obviously the longer they play together the better. Regarding Paul’s skill set, we’re really fortunate to have a guy like that, who can also kick and has great distributional skills. And like we saw in the close contact situations, such as when he broke through and almost put Tonderai [Chavhanga] away on the left wing – he can beat the heavy artillery when they’re coming at him.

SW: It’s got to be tough at the moment for guys like Heimar Williams and Jaco van Tonder, who played well last year but haven’t had a run yet in this Currie Cup campaign. How close are they to getting in?

SE: They certainly will get an opportunity at some point, it’s just that at the moment we’re looking for some continuity with all the changes in the side. We’re trying to stick with the guys who have played together and then later in the competition we can give these guys a run. As for Heimar and Jaco, we know what they can do and they’ve done well for us in the past, but they’re just not making the starting selection at the moment; in our first game we had a 5/2 bench and then last week we had Pat Lambie coming back, so it limited the bench opportunities as well for those guys, but they could come into the frame on the bench this week.

SW: What about a guy like Lionel Cronje? What sort of ting does he bring to the party?

SE: Lionel for us brings a wealth of experience, having played Super Rugby for the Stormers, Lions and Brumbies. He’s also a versatile player who covers 10, 12 and 15 and if need be we could also play him at outside centre. What also counts in his favour is that he’s an accomplished goal kicker, which is why it helps us a bit having him on the bench.

SW: How much of a concern is goal-kicking? Fred Zeilinga has missed a couple over the last two weeks.

SE: Fred was really good last year in the Currie Cup, kicking at 91 % which is right up there with the best in the world. We know what he can do for us and we don’t think there’s any problem there. He’s also had some trouble with injuries and hasn’t had the time that he’d like on the field this season.

SW: We all saw what a difference it made having a guy like Pat Lambie on the field. What are the chances we might get him back again towards the business end?

SE: The way it stands at the moment, none of the contracted Springboks are available and Pat’s one of them. They felt he needed game time which is why he was released to us as a special concession, but we’re not expecting to have him available again; the guys that we have now are the guys we’re going to follow through with.

SW: And how about Cameron Wright? A big step up for the youngster and he’s done well, coming virtually from nowhere.

SE: It wasn’t easy for Cameron to step up – the last games he played were in the Varsity Shield, which is not quite the same level as the Currie Cup. We knew that he had the potential, which is why we started him and the more time he gets in the Currie Cup the better he’s going to get; he’s a bright prospect for the future.

SW: Lastly, how are we looking in terms of injuries this week?

SE: Marco Wentzel’s been cleared to play this weekend; there was an injury concern with him over a facial fracture but he’s been cleared, and then we’re still waiting on JC Astle and Stephan Lewies. In the backs we’ve got a full squad to choose from.

A big thanks to Sean and Novashni at the Sharks for arranging this for us! Best of luck for the weekend, Sharks.


  • So let me get this straight….he didn’t bring all manner of railing accusations against the Ref as the reason for us not scoring 6 to 8 tries? Unbelievable 😈

    Anyways, good to hear from one of the coaches….extraordinary that we have such depth in the backs these days.

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.08.14 16:45:19 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • Great interview Rob. Always lekker getting these insights from the coaches.

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.08.14 16:48:50 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld gregkaos
  • Nice interview, hope the tall ones are available for the game.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.08.14 16:54:33 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 1) : Best way to get a dig in at that uncouth mob is to praise them – I doubt they get it though.

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.08.14 16:58:06 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Nice one Rob, but must say I would rather have Heimar at 12 but then again it only the opinion of a prop.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.08.14 20:13:44 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 4) : kill them with kindness! !!!!!! And then moer them on the field in the next round!!!!!!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.08.14 20:15:27 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • Thanks Rob, nice to hear from Sean. Great of him to take the time to do this. Something I was wondering about: any particular reason BMH is head CC coach and not Sean? If I recall correctly Sean was head coach in the interim last year between Plumtree’s departure and Brendan’s arrival. (Nothing at all against BMH, just curious)

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.08.14 21:00:05 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld vanmartin
  • @vanmartin (Comment 7) : if my memory is correct BMH should have been head coach for the Currie cup last year but BV did the job himself so probably just doing it this year as he should have last year. Also for the last part of Super rugby 2013 Sean was co-head coach as both the assistant coaches was named co-head coach for the last part of that season.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.08.14 22:00:52 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • I’m really hoping this won’t be the case, but I have a feeling Lambie will be in need of game time even more after the RC. I don’t know if he’s going to get a chance if Steyn and Pollard stay fit.

    Not that HM will see it that way, so I don’t if we’ll see him play rugby again this year.

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.08.14 07:42:50 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Letgo
  • @Letgo (Comment 9) : Ja, sad but true…as with the Sharks’ SR aspirations, with Lambie we will also have to say: “maybe next year” 😐

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.08.14 08:13:56 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • Good insights here. U can tell by his answers that the coaching staff are having to do a serious rethink as the players below their Boks have very different attributes and qualities which is probably why its looking a bit disjointed. U can also tell that the coaches are a little miffed with the backs and their lack of execution given their experience. Its also good to see that the coaches are looking for continuity and guys have to force their way into the side if they want to play. These guys are pretty fresh so need need to rotation at this stage.

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.08.14 08:24:46 by SheldonK Reply
  • And here I thought I was alone in thinking the Boks were not as bad as many think, specially the Bok front row, people in not understanding front row play are so quick to either shout rest the front rows from the roof tops, or like some clowns on R-T trash players at every chance they get, specially when those players are Sharks players or the likes of JDup.

    I came across this article by Brendan Venter and here is what he had to say….

    While the atrocious weather conditions played a significant role in a low-scoring affair at Loftus Versfeld, I believe Argentina underlined their notoriety as the most negative side in world rugby in every single area of play.

    Not only were they cynical in conceding a plethora of penalties, the way they scrummed, contested the line-outs and mauls, and the number of off-the-ball incidents – in my view the most cowardice of acts – was infuriating to behold.

    I would suggest that the underhand tactics employed by the visitors during the match were entirely pre-planned, with talk of embracing a new era and playing “more rugby” a well-rehearsed ruse.

    Moreover, the Pumas, who are nothing short of a bunch of bullies, were aided and abetted by an average referee in John Lacey who was simply not sharp enough to penalise the culprits in question.

    First and foremost, if we examine the scrum, public opinion will suggest that the Springboks struggled at the set-piece, with tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis destroyed by his opposite number.

    However, upon closer inspection and analysis, I would argue that loosehead prop Marcos Ayerza in fact scrummed inwards – and thus illegally – all game, with the relatively green Lacey overlooking said indiscretions. As a result, Ayerza was transformed from a mediocre player into a world-beater.

    In my book, trying to cheat as much as you can and then hoping to get away with your actions, is tantamount to anti-rugby.

    It invokes my ire when a team resorts to tactics contrary to the spirit of the oval game in order to simply prove competitive.

    Argentina serve as irritating opponents in that they pick a fight at every single breakdown, hold players back, push them into the floor and shove them in the face.

    Reserve scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli’s skirmish with Eben Etzebeth in the 47th minute of the match, serves as a case in point.

    People will say that Etzebeth should mind his temper, but the fact of the matter is that the Pumas have a history of off-the-ball misdemeanours, which points towards premeditated thuggery.

    While I believe the Springboks can expect similarly surreptitious tactics from the Pumas in Salta, Heyneke Meyer’s men must continue to rise above immature baiting and maintain their discipline.

    That said, I have no doubt that Meyer and Chean Roux, in particular, will spend most of their time this week outlining the aforementioned concerns to Steve Walsh who will be in charge on Saturday.

    Based on past performances, Walsh has shown to be unbelievably influenced by a partisan home crowd, which serves as a valid point of concern for the visitors who are physical yet fair.

    Ultimately, the onus rests with Walsh, his assistant referees and the TMO to protect talented players whose sole intention it is to play productive rugby and thereby entertain the viewing public at large.

    As a spectator, are you equally frustrated by the prevalence of thuggery in the modern professional era, and what do you believe can be done to remedy the scourge?

    Now like I said it is easy to blame people for all kinds or rubbish just because you either hate a player, or simply get confused and think you are a rugby FUNDI, Loving the game is one thing, but truly understanding the game and its complex rules another.

    Brendan Venter is known for his smart knowledge and understanding of the game.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.08.14 09:21:35 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld sharks_lover
  • Interesting article, having only watched the Griquas game I can’t comment on the tactic of wanting to play wide more often that appears to have been the gameplan this past weekend. What I can comment on, is that I cringe everytime I see Paul Jordaan kicking or should I say trying to kick. Don’t get me wrong, he’s fantastic with ball in hand and he’s put in some massive defensive performances this year but kicking does not seem to be his forte’.

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.08.14 09:22:32 by Jacques Venter Reply
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 12) : Problem is, NZ play similar tactics, and very few refs are either able to spot it, nor willing to call them on it.

    So as we are set to face two teams every year that rely on similar dirty tactics, we really should learn to combat these tactics…hoping the ref will do us a solid has fallen flat many times before.

    In essence, blaming underhanded tactics or blaming the ref will not win us these games…adapt or die(well, lose)

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.08.14 09:31:22 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • @Jacques Venter (Comment 13) : Unless he shows a big improvement soon I will soon be convinced that he is a wing playing at inside centre. He needs to start setting up people around him after he has found some space else he is just behaving like a wing or showing extreme selfishness.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.08.14 09:33:18 by GreatSharksays Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 14) : fair enough, but why is it so easy for some to trash the Bok front row then for example?

    Question is simple, was the Bok front row outplayed fairly by the Argentine front row? or were they allowed to cheat which gave them the upper hand?

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.08.14 09:38:30 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld sharks_lover
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 12) : Interesting read, but I differ to BV in that in my view the most cowardice of acts on a rugby field is punching an opponent from behind, and in this regard we are still world champs. 😈

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.08.14 11:04:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 16) : I know very little about front row play but Kobus Wiese seemed to be blaming our front row – he also did not see any funnies going on in the line outs.

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.08.14 11:24:51 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 18) : Maybe Brendan listened to the Owen Nkumane commentary road show…in which case he’ll be completely confused as to what the front rowers are supposed to do.

    @sharks_lover (Comment 16) : B & I Lions accused Beast of scrumming in….didn’t change the fact that their scrum was completely dominated – legally or illegally.

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.08.14 11:51:44 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 19) : Well exactly that…if we getting dominated by guys scrumming in then we should do the same ‘if’ that is the sole reason. The Argies scrum as an entire 8 man unit…we only scrum with our tight 5, our loosies are just there for cosmetic purposes

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.08.14 13:29:52 by SheldonK Reply

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