Anthony speaks some hard truths

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 10 Sep 2014 at 08:41
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When I was a young man, going through my school career as a rugby player of no exceptional talent, I was very fortunate to come under the tutelage of one Mr Paul Anthony – affectionately known as “the Lion of Lebanon” – at Pretoria Boys High School. Anthony, aside from having a clearly great rugby brain, could always be counted on to speak plain, leaving us boys under no illusions as to whether our efforts were coming up to standard or not.

I’m pleased to see that the Lion, who is now Sharks forwards coach, is speaking his mind just as forthrightly in his new, somewhat more stressful role (not that coaching me wasn’t stressful, I’m sure). Speaking on behalf of the coaching staff, Anthony, in an interview with Sports24, is a rather direct about the current state of the Sharks Currie Cup campaign.

“Without showing any disrespect, we have to be winning games that we’re losing at the moment,” Anthony told the website. “You have to be saying we’re defending the title and we have to get out there and win the games. I’m the sort of guy that doesn’t want excuses. We need to man up, management and players, and we need to go out there and play. We need to start winning games. The players are good enough and I’m convinced we can do it.”

I find this sort of statement very encouraging; it implies that at some level, at least, the Sharks are prepared to move beyond excuses (we have a young team/we are trying a new way of playing/we have a new head coach/etc) and look at themselves. The reality is that none of the other teams in their pool (Griquas, the Pumas and the Cheetahs) have anywhere near the resources, nor the talent, that the Sharks have at their disposal. While admittedly thinned out, there is absolutely no acceptable reason for a Sharks team containing quite so many good players to be performing so poorly.

Credit to Anthony for what he’s said; let’s see the team back it up with action this weekend.


  • Now this is the type of thing we were waiting to hear, a straight up look at their performance, without excuses.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.09.14 08:46:42 by KingRiaan Reply
  • Talk is cheap.

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.09.14 08:52:23 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 2) : it is cheap, but at least this is better talk.

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.09.14 08:55:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • I will probably be crucified for this but here goes: Tera, good player – and so far the best forward in this CC campaign but I dont think he was/is ready for the captaincy. Unfortunately JD and KD aint here to do that.
    I reckon KD was let go way too easily but he fell out of favour since JW joined the Sharks for some reason..

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.09.14 09:09:14 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Yes he is saying what some bloggers have said while others prefer to go the rebuilding from scratch route.

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.09.14 09:11:23 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 4) : I think the rest of the team needs to be working that much harder to support Tera. Appointing him as captain was a bold, forward-looking move and one that I continue to fully endorse. We knew there would be some initial challenges.

    He’s doing no worse as rookie captain than Teichmann or Daniel did at similar stages of their careers.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.09.14 09:14:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 4) : I would have gone with Botes, it looks as if he steps in when the going gets tough as it is.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.09.14 09:16:32 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Daniel was plain terrible at a stage. There were fans here that would call for his head on a weekly basis. I don’t see the same thing happening with Tera which implies that while he has a way to go yet, he’s actually off to a better start.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.09.14 09:21:10 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Rob what ever happened to the ” Sharks being open to the media”?

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.09.14 09:45:10 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : True – the rest of them need to do much more which will make his job easier. I would have gone with Botes with Tera as vice capt, but as you mention he isn’t the first rookie capt with a rough start. Lets hope things get better this weekend.
    @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 7) : yeah I would have too

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.09.14 09:56:49 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 7) : Botes was doing all the talking to the troops for most of the match.

    However long term no point making him captain when he retires end of the year anyway.

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.09.14 10:07:24 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Can anyone tell me who the Sharks talent scout is now that Rudi has left?
    Please don’t tell me its Ettiene Fynn.

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.09.14 10:13:56 by John Galt Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 11) : Well as long as all are happy with their roles at the moment and Tera doesnt feel that Botes is usurping him.

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.09.14 10:35:20 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @John Galt (Comment 12) : Apparently its Butch James, when he is not busy with other things.

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.09.14 10:36:45 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 4) : We seem to have lost a lot of players since Jake White joined the Sharks.

    Wian Herbst
    Tim Whitehead
    Justin Downey
    Edwin Hewitt

    These were all good players. It feels like there’s a lot of unhappiness and animosity down in Durban.

    @robdylan (Comment 6) : Just how bad are things at Kings Park, Rob?

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.09.14 10:51:38 by ChrisS Reply
  • Glad to see some sense being spoken. It’s a matter of pride for us as Sharks. We are a class union and we have certain standards.

    I know you can’t win every game, but at least be in with a chance of winning and play like you love the game. Use the backline, create chances, have fun.

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.09.14 10:52:40 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 16) : Good point! The fun has gone out of Sharks rugby.

    We seem to be recruiting no-name players because all of our stalwarts have shipped out en mass!

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.09.14 11:00:22 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 14) :
    Yeah ive heard Butch is involved with in the process but I don’t think he’s heading up the scouting division.
    He’s under someone apparently.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.09.14 11:00:31 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @ChrisS (Comment 15) : not lots of happy people, I can tell you that much.

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.09.14 11:13:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @John Galt (Comment 18) : nope, Butch is in charge since they chopped Gavin Melville.

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.09.14 11:14:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : How much can you reveal and will you have an article about it?

    As fans I think we deserve to know what’s happening and what we can expect.

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.09.14 11:19:06 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 21) : I’m not blowing my wad just yet…. doing my research to try and figure out what’s really going on.

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.09.14 11:25:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : ja it’s a good start and really glad to see he’s talking about management and players. Maybe I will watch the first 20min and see how it goes!?!?!?!?

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.09.14 11:54:03 by JD Reply
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  • Well, let’s see…

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.09.14 12:44:09 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) :
    Ah, thanks.

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.09.14 12:58:27 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : What is Gavin doing these days?

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.09.14 13:03:04 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I matters little for a man who is not in charge to have a big voice. It would be welcome if he was the chief decision maker. Sharks management please beg Brendan Venter to step in. Henderson is all over the place. Nevermiond that his team is young, they are playing a game they can’t hope to win they have no tactical kickers no real fetchers and yet we play arial? Its not working and we are losing anyways, what have we got to lose by getting back to basics? Secondly there is no chance of gaining continuity if you keep changing (injuries allowed for) especially with what you KNOW is a young team who need stability. I would rather lose but work towards stability than lose and gain nothing.

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.09.14 13:23:54 by coolfusion Reply

  • Rotate Mtembu and Botes at captain. Then at least you will see if Mtembu is to blame or if it just general poor performance by the sharks. The Sharks are not afraid of pioneering change so this shouldn’t be such a far fetched idea?

  • Comment 28, posted at 10.09.14 13:39:45 by coolfusion Reply

  • BMH is poor in my humble opinion. He does not seem to be able to instil confidence in the team. Hence the team are without direction!

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.09.14 02:40:31 by [email protected] Reply


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