So many questions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 29 Sep 2014 at 14:32
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Has the dust settled yet? Hell no, definitely not, but the news of Jake White’s immediate departure as Sharks Director of Rugby is now at least a few hours old and has had a chance to sink in just a little.

As you can well imagine, there is a huge amount of talk doing the rounds. In the absence of confirmed facts, I’ll not share any of what I’ve heard just yet. however, I have a number of thoughts that I’d like to get down, while they’re fresh in my mind. Most of these are questions regarding the state of things at the Sharks unions – questions I would like to find the answers to.

My immediate thought on reading the press release was that Jake had stepped down of his own accord
I’m now starting to wonder whether this was indeed the case? For any business “transaction” to take place (or continue), you need both a willing buyer and a willing seller. Given the abruptness of this decision, I think we can safely assume that it didn’t come about by mutual consent, meaning one of two things happened:
1) Jake wanted to leave
2) The Sharks wanted Jake to leave

So did he leave of his own accord?
The prevailing theory supporting this alternative is that Jake has landed the prime international coaching job that he wanted, told the Sharks and thus is merely doing what he said he would do all along, albeit a bit early. The Sharks have always been clear that Jake wasn’t going to stay around for ever, with the coach himself again being clear about his aspirations. However, it’s rather unlikely that any of the sort of countries that Jake would want to coach would be looking to appoint a new man so close to the 2015 World Cup. This alternative is possible, but to my mind unlikely.

Based on many things I’ve heard over the last 9 months, Jake has not been wildly successful in terms of getting people in Durban to like him. That’s a rumour, that’s unsubstantiated, but it’s also been said enough times by enough different people that I consider it pretty close to fact.

So did he leave because it wasn’t working out?
Given the above, this seems more likely at present. We still don’t know, though, whether Jake himself decided to call time on the relationship, or whether it was the Sharks who pushed the button. That latter option seems more likely, since the hypothesis here is that Jake doesn’t currently have another gig to go to and would be unlikely to voluntarily retrench himself. We don’t know what, exactly, may have led up to such an eventuality, but it would be interesting to know whether there was one particular incident that tipped the scales.

So what now?
This is a multi-faceted question and one that really is the most important one. If it was the Sharks who made the decision, then unless there was some grounds for dismissal based on breach of contract, there’s the potential of yet another expensive pay-out looming. Again, this is speculation, but it’s rather likely that the Sharks, in the past 12 months, have had to settle financial disputes with both John Plumtree and Jake’s former employers, the Brumbies. If this move ends up costing again – meaning that they’ve had to “pay twice” for Jake – then I’d like to see some honest accountability for those mistakes form the board.

I’m more concerned about the team than I am the finances, though – perhaps naively. Who is going to come in to coach the team in Super Rugby next year? Can Brendan Venter be enticed back? Do the Sharks have a replacement lined up? There simply cannot be yet another short term appointment made – not if we care at all about our players.

Over to you, John. Tell us what’s happening!


  • Ja John, wat gaan aan broer?

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.09.14 14:39:10 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • I wonder if JW’s kid will stick around at the Sharks now…?

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.09.14 14:47:27 by SheldonK Reply

  • Pretty sure we can’t expect the truth. I actually hope they didn’t fire him, just because that payout would really hurt the union financially. Hopefully it was a mutual decision.

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.09.14 14:48:33 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Problem is as rumour would have it he himself is mostly absent,so mow what?

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.09.14 14:50:19 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • aag fok tog!

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.09.14 14:52:11 by R Hayward Reply

  • Hopefully we will get a straight answer from John and a clear plan for the future.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.09.14 14:52:26 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Yeah I reckon number 2 as well.

    Senior players unhappy, management unhappy, coaching staff unhappy.

    Most importantly Fans unhappy with a style of play that will certainly not put bums on seats. Which in turn wont please the board members who are trying to entice people back to the tank after a few lean years.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.09.14 14:52:52 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • I know of a coach that will definitely not drop the Sharks!!! Asks Letgo to do the job. She loves the Sharks. I cannot guarantee the success but I can guarantee a coach

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.09.14 14:52:59 by Stef Reply

  • Whoever becomes new coach, I just hope he sees the value in Swiel as our number on tacklebag carrier, with Hoffman And SP Marais as his 2nd and 3rd.

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.09.14 14:53:05 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @PTAShark (Comment 3) : If its mutual there would still be a payout although probably less than if fired. Trust me JW wont leave with nothing

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.09.14 14:53:59 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 6) : To be honest I am only interested in the plan for the future – both for head coach and DOR.

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.09.14 14:54:01 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Very well written article.
    To add to it with the price of a pair of season tickets and a parking voucher going thru the roof.
    The management must stop presuming that the faithful will always be faithful.
    Unless they start playing open cards with us,they could soon be playing in near empty stadiums.
    The Natal supporter has always been loyal,and fiercely defensive of the union.
    The union itself has always been without blemish,but there are too many really unsavoury rumours coming out of Kings Park,financial shenanigans,the retrenching of loyal servants and now this soccer style over paid coaching debacle.
    John needs to apply himself to the job and overhaul a lot of things but be very careful with his next move,who ever he appoints must be for the long run,and be someone that the players,management and most important the faithful get behind.
    Then he needs to seriously overhaul the match day experience.

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.09.14 14:56:05 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 11) : Me too, and I also don’t believe the head coach and DOR should be the same person.

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.09.14 14:56:25 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Step up Robert Du Preez and James Small………….Du Preez looks like a fantastic man manager that believes in work ethic and a no frills approach.

    I say give them the job………they will be loyal and will build from the Acadamy up.

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.09.14 15:00:49 by Lieplapper Reply

  • @Lieplapper (Comment 14) : Agreed!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.09.14 15:07:59 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Lieplapper (Comment 14) : @ChrisS (Comment 15) : Shouldn’t be too hard to get them, as at this moment it seems as though the Leopards won’t be playing promotion relegation, unless the Kwas finishes in the bottom two….

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.09.14 15:12:13 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Lieplapper (Comment 14) : I dont think DuPreez left Durban on the best of terms having been overlook by the sharks management so I cant see him coming back anytime soon

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.09.14 15:14:50 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 17) : It is amazing how much the human heart can forgive when there is a 7-figure contract involved. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.09.14 15:16:35 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • A CEO of a company represent all stakeholders. His board and himself are focussed on delivering a board approved strategy and measured by financial and results performance. If the sharks don’t win – the sponsors and ticket revenue will dwindle.

    The DOR is a key man having to deliver the operational side of Rugby. John the honeymoon was over after the great CC win. Some of your challenges are :

    1. Appoint a Director of Rugby/S15 coach that is acceptable to everybody that can immediately settle things and develop and deliver a long term plan. Personally BMH and his team is not ready to do this. If I listen to the rumours, like Jake he is not respected by many senior players. He might be good at VC or Junior level?
    2. We are sure to loose more senior players after the world cup. my guess at least 6
    3. We have lost 20 + senior support players – We need to replace these players
    4. We currently have great talent and youngsters – They need further time to develop under a good coach
    5. Focus on our junior structures to develop a pipeline of talent

    Make the SHARKS faithful happy !!! We have a great Franchise/Business/ TEAM and don’t forget Sharksworld !!!!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.09.14 15:16:41 by Observer Reply

  • They have achieved so much with nothing at PUK and the Leopards, Du Preez is apparently as tough as nails and will not stand for ego’s or big name reputations. He has also apparently brought alot of structure and innovative ideas. Small will bring the passion back into the lackluster management structure and adds a lot of knowledge.

    Botes to take over the Acadamy end of this year……he will do fantastic. Great guy, great morals and values, a fantastic example for the youngsters and has a lot of knowledge.

    Fleming, Keyser must go. Anthony to take over from Fleming and Everitt from Keyser…….

    Time to shake up the shithouse…….

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.09.14 15:17:01 by Lieplapper Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 18) : haha yes fair enough

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.09.14 15:18:07 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 13) : I second that. Look at what a massive difference that distinguishing factor made in the Stormers/WP rugby union. Wasn’t that the main idea though when we introduced this DoR thingy last year? let’s leave Coaches like J.Mitchell and Mallet alone. Their track record with player’s and management sucks. I tend to agree with having coaches who knows our rugby and culture, like plum did. Whatever happens though. I really hope JS will make a truly grand move here. We don’t necessarily need a HUGE name (their egos are generally to much to handle anyway) but we do need someone who can steady the ship, someone who has vision for the union’s success and the perseverance to stick it out for at least the next 5-10 years.

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.09.14 15:18:37 by Stiko85 Reply

  • @Observer (Comment 19) :
    Fantastic comments…….

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.09.14 15:18:38 by Lieplapper Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : Correct, as the Kings is mos the sacred cow……

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.09.14 15:22:31 by Lieplapper Reply

  • Fuck, the more I think of this the more de Moer in I get……this Jake White came and really screwed us over……..

    My word, he let our good players go, brought in average, below average players, caused friction. Did not fix the current structures which is clearly not working and just casually carried on, on this mediocre path that we are on.

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.09.14 15:26:52 by Lieplapper Reply

  • I very recently spent some time with Sean Fitzpatrick,and he reminiscence about how wonderful and innovative the early professional Sharks experience was,not only the after party which was legendary,but the on the field entertainment and the general match day experience.Natal reinvented rugby,but this has gone so stale.We are still doing the same crap we did 20 years ago.
    John is the type of C.E.O. who is perfectly positioned to reinvent this,he is young and only played in the professional era,he is not constrained by an amateur blazer mentality.
    Sean claims that there was nowhere like that 90’s Kings park vibe, why can’t we get it back.

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.09.14 15:32:29 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • Fuck and there goes Oosthuizen also as he most follows JW around where ever be goes!!!!!!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.09.14 15:36:46 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JD (Comment 27) : I hope you are just speculating?

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.09.14 15:40:17 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Lieplapper (Comment 25) : If we pay Jake to go know after we paid a “six figure number to release him from the Brumbies as per the press to releases ” and we paid Plum to go, my estimate would be this will be at least a three million + (speculation). Surely the Shark shareholders should be very unhappy ?? In the interim we also paid Brendon some good money – He is actually the only one that deserves whatever we paid him.

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.09.14 15:47:36 by Observer Reply

  • @Observer (Comment 29) :

    Agreed, the only one worth his pay, was BV. Fuck I am so upset……..hope we get a coach with succession planning high on the priority list, good solid morals and a great work ethic. We don’t need to get a clever ass again that wants to re-invent the wheel again.

    We are turning into the Jerry Springer show………. Our players are going to leave, youngsters even more so.

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.09.14 16:03:51 by Lieplapper Reply

  • Im not too fussed, at least Jake left uswith a working line out and we can now get out of our 22…now to find a coach who is will to play some rugby

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.09.14 16:04:07 by Tintin Reply

  • @JD (Comment 27) : Hope Oosthuizen and his clan that followed all go with him”………..clean the sludge.

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.09.14 16:05:16 by Lieplapper Reply

  • @Lieplapper (Comment 32) : Don’t quiet agree on the Oosthuizen part though. Admittedly, I didn’t like the guy when he came and he definitely wasn’t a wow factor in S15, but he’s been quite good during this terrible CC for us and I have a feeling he will grow some more. By clan, though, who are you referring to?

  • Comment 33, posted at 29.09.14 16:17:16 by Stiko85 Reply

  • @Tintin (Comment 31) : ja a good lineout but a kak scrum?!?!?!

  • Comment 34, posted at 29.09.14 16:19:21 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @Lieplapper (Comment 32) : @Stiko85 (Comment 33) : ja must say Oosthuizen was not my favourite player but he sure proved me wrong and is a solid player that would leave a hole if he goes.

  • Comment 35, posted at 29.09.14 16:21:26 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Swiel, Cronje, Oosthuizen, Hoffman, Astle, sommer SP also…….
    How many players left while he was in charge, numerous very good ones including a shocking swop deal where Du Preez was swopped for Swiel???

    Cronje and Ootshuizen had 2 above average games in a watered down CC and now they are rated. Mark my words, they will let us down and they will only be, average or just below average at best.

  • Comment 36, posted at 29.09.14 16:39:57 by Lieplapper Reply

  • @Lieplapper (Comment 36) : problem is Oosthizen is better than a lot of the others we have so he will be missed!!

  • Comment 37, posted at 29.09.14 16:46:42 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • According to news reports Jake wanted to go back to Cape Town. So if thats true then he is leaving because he wants to and not because he has to.

  • Comment 38, posted at 29.09.14 16:48:02 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Oosthuyzen had a couple of reasonably good games in the Super 15 as well

  • Comment 39, posted at 29.09.14 16:48:29 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Why all the hate towards Jake. He is doing what we all knew he would do. This should really not come as a surprise as we had been warned by any number of people in the know. Maybe we should be more annoyed with those that welcomed him with open arms.

  • Comment 40, posted at 29.09.14 16:56:48 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • There is nothing wrong with Oosthuizen,in fact he is a very good player,Lionel Cronje in his last two games has been outstanding and I personally prefer him to Swiel and ,Zeilinger.
    I prefer him to Jaques Louis Potgieter and Marius Bosman,in fact he is the best 10 we have had in years apart from Patrick.
    Astle has put up his hand every time he has played,and Marco Wentzel showed his true worth on [email protected]Lieplapper (Comment 36) :

  • Comment 41, posted at 29.09.14 16:58:35 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 40) : I agree he has done nothing that Brendon Venter didn’t do,he also buggered off mid term,no hate for him here.

  • Comment 42, posted at 29.09.14 17:00:38 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 40) :Agreed he has laid the a brilliant platform off which to build on. More like Stephen Hester at RBS

  • Comment 43, posted at 29.09.14 17:08:19 by durbsguy Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 41) : must say sometimes I think we expect to much from players. None of us do our work perfectly day in and day out but we expect it from the players!

  • Comment 44, posted at 29.09.14 17:09:15 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Used and Abused,Sharks need to select a coach that wants to coach and actually enjoys the job.

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.09.14 17:39:45 by Baldi Reply

  • Gary gold? Meh

  • Comment 46, posted at 29.09.14 18:55:05 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @PTAShark (Comment 46) : the name is being mentioned. I don’t know if it’s true, or how I feel about it.

  • Comment 47, posted at 29.09.14 19:19:58 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : Very experienced but also seems to have a tendency to bounce from one club to the next so it’s hard to point to an established record after an extended stint. Don’t think the Sharks need more of that right now?

  • Comment 48, posted at 29.09.14 20:01:22 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @PTAShark (Comment 46) : That name does not really excite me at all.

  • Comment 49, posted at 29.09.14 20:04:11 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Gary Gold? Ag nee man. πŸ™„

  • Comment 50, posted at 29.09.14 20:06:44 by Feather Reply

    Gold's Member
  • 1 short comment. Please Jake keep far away from Newlands…..thank you.

  • Comment 51, posted at 29.09.14 21:01:10 by grant10 Reply

  • IMO this could not have happened at a better time,BMH now has potentially 4 games to state his case for the top job,I reckon he hasn’t done too badly with a team that has over the whole CC consisted of only a max of 3 Bokke in the matchday squad(Wentzel,Lewies and recently Mvovo). It would be great to see what he does now without Jake looking over his shoulder,feeding him what gameplan is required and the such.Since Mvovo has come in we have improved,so imagine what he might do with a whole host of them next year?Just a thought

  • Comment 52, posted at 29.09.14 21:14:50 by BarendL Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Jeez I really hope Gary Gold is not in the picture. It seems we are recycling old coaches over and over in SA, which leads to nothing but stagnation. The best thing that happened to the Lions was Ackerman with new ideas and a fresh outlook. Now they are at least semi competitive. Getting an old coach to try out his old ideas does not work, we’ve seen this.

    I for one wouldn’t mind a new guy, clean slate. BMH is there, he knows the players. Or Stonehouse. The first SR campaign might be a little rocky, but too be honest, when last did we not have a rocky one? 2001?

    Could John Call Sir Graham Henry and ask if he’d like to come chill in durbs for a year or five?

  • Comment 53, posted at 30.09.14 07:19:30 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 39) : really and he wasn’t key in the defeat of the Crusaders hey,how quick do you forget?

  • Comment 54, posted at 30.09.14 07:58:45 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @PTAShark (Comment 53) : Well the Kiwis does seem to enjoy Durbs…now wouldn’t that be epic

  • Comment 55, posted at 30.09.14 08:35:15 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Having a Sharks supporters blog must be the easiest job in the world these days….there’s just no shortage of controversial subjects…. :mrgreen:

    The Sharks sure know how to keep things exciting.

  • Comment 56, posted at 30.09.14 09:06:58 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @benji (Comment 54) : Huh? I said overall he was good in the S15. What did I forget?

  • Comment 57, posted at 30.09.14 09:10:50 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 56) : makes it hard to hold down a regular job….

  • Comment 58, posted at 30.09.14 09:21:48 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • strong rumors linking Jake to Maties……thank heavens I support the Ikeys.

  • Comment 59, posted at 30.09.14 09:29:15 by grant10 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 58) : …and a regular family life I would imagine

  • Comment 60, posted at 30.09.14 09:36:49 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • To me the last bit is the pertinent bit. So what now? Brendan Venter may be an option but what about John Mitchell? Will he be willing to step up to the majors? I know I haven’t given him enough time but something tells me BMH is not of caliber that can coach a s15 winning side?

  • Comment 61, posted at 30.09.14 09:49:12 by coolfusion Reply

  • @BarendL (Comment 52) : BMH has not faced a top performing team neither has his consistency really stretched for 4 games more like 2 games now. I think its a bit early to say he has staked a claim for the top job.

  • Comment 62, posted at 30.09.14 09:51:43 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 62) : Well if he wins the CC he’s a shoe in.

  • Comment 63, posted at 30.09.14 10:04:31 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @PTAShark (Comment 53) : I am sure you just said, no old coaches? mmmm

  • Comment 64, posted at 30.09.14 10:17:26 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 57) : apologies,knocking wrong person

  • Comment 65, posted at 30.09.14 10:30:50 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • What did Gary Gold do before he was the deVillier’s forward coach.Did he work under Solomons at province?
    Does he have any playing credentials,not that that is essential.

  • Comment 66, posted at 30.09.14 10:35:30 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @PTAShark (Comment 63) : If he wins the CC he has my vote, no arguments.

  • Comment 67, posted at 30.09.14 10:43:54 by coolfusion Reply

  • I don’t begrudge Jake for Leaving. He was a good stop gap and introduced some structure. He also doesn’t coach the type of game we now require the sharks to play. His style territorial, marginal victories. It will probably let us down in the long run. What I will miss is his ability to select talent. Although I think with 1 exception Tim Swiel. I think he is more Jake’s choice than BMH’s. Time for the re-appearance of Fred Zeilinga, which is not a bad thing at all.

  • Comment 68, posted at 30.09.14 10:51:27 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 62) : πŸ˜† I said he has potentially 4 games to make a case for the top job (Lions,WP,Semi and Final) I am trying to see a positive in all this,I just dont believe some or the other top coach will be the answer again.

  • Comment 69, posted at 30.09.14 13:25:03 by BarendL Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.