Easy on the fodder, Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks on 16 Oct 2014 at 09:51
Tagged with : , , , , ,

I guess the problem with the sort of organised “media scrums” that teams do these days is that pretty much every journo and every paper gets to interview the same players – and generally ends up writing the same story.

This week is no exception – and already this morning I’ve lost count of how many different variations on the “Stephan Lewies says Sharks line-out is a weapon” theme I’ve seen splattered across the rugby websites of the world. I’ve got no real issue with what Lewies said, of course and it is obviously true that the Sharks have performed well at line-out time, particularly on opposition ball, in the last few weeks.

I am rather concerned at the (perceived) amount of “own-trumpet-blowing” at the moment, though. Again, I don’t think this necessarily has anything to do with what was actually said during the media session, but rather the way that one or two quotes have been turned into what feels like an avalanche. If ever the Lions were unaware of the threat the Sharks pose at line-out time, they certainly won’t be now and what’s more, coach Johan Ackermann certainly now doesn’t lack for motivational material if he’s going to ask his charges to step up and deliver an extra-special performance at this set piece.

Perhaps this is all a smoke screen? I certainly hope that the emphasis on one rather small story is more a reflection on falling standards of rugby journalism than it is symptomatic of what would be a very naive game approach on indeed on the Sharks’ behalf. I may not be an expert here, but I will make a very bold prediction that the Sharks are need to do a lot more than just win a few opposition lineout throws to be in with a shot at Ellis Park on Saturday.


  • Yep, I think most of the journos are crap and lazy, and that by putting their focus on our line out – which they and the lions know works pretty well – it takes some focus from our scrums which doesn’t look too good.

    And I expect us to run the crap out of the ball we get.

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.10.14 09:59:26 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @PTAShark (Comment 1) : and most of them are copy and paste articles

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.10.14 10:09:18 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • Hear hear!

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.10.14 10:19:23 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • We will take them on in midfield; you read it here first.

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.10.14 10:22:25 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 4) : That’s probably our best option. The Lions scrum has dominated against every CC side so far and in general they have a very solid forward pack. They do like to throw the ball around and at times that can be costly, especially when they do it in their own half. The injury to Stokkies Hanekom, meant they had to rejig backline a bit so I expect Esterhuizen and Sithole to take on the Lions midfield. Cronje is also an attacking flyhalf so likes to utilise his outside backs.

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.10.14 10:31:34 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • Going to be a cracker. Sharks are in the right mindset for this… Lions are in the right form

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.10.14 10:45:21 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @Villie (Comment 5) :
    Stole my thunder! 👿 😉

    Spot on; with the Lions power pack, it wont make sense to take them on upfront, while Boshoff at 15 means they will play territory very well, and the outside backs they field can also run at you well in broken play.

    The key is that we need to control the territory by effective kicking and lineouts, and then making gains on 2nd and 3rd phase ball. If we get through the defensive lines, the likes of Tera, Mvovo and Chavanga can get opportunities to run into space.

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.10.14 10:56:23 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I doubt either team needs will get extra motivation from silly press reports. Coaches on both sides will know by now the Sharks lineout (especially on opposition ball) is very strong. Likewise the Lions scrum is probably the strongest in the competition. I am pretty sure they would have worked on counter measures where possible.

    It is a semi-final. Do or die time.

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.10.14 10:58:16 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 7) : We need to cut down on turnovers though. The Lions punish you immediately on turnover ball.

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.10.14 10:59:44 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 7) : Boshoff isn’t at 15. He’s at 10 with vd Walt at 15.

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.10.14 11:18:32 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Unfortunately the sports sites that provide original content are becoming less and the major sites share the same stories. For original content one is “forced” 🙂 to come to blogs like Sharksworld. Even sites like R365 is becoming more C&P sites.

    @Big Fish (Comment 7) : Boshoff played at 10 against the Cheetahs with van der Walt at 15 and it’s the same for Saturday’s match. Different kettle of fish to the team that played in Durbs with Whiteley and Boshoff providing better game management

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.10.14 11:19:48 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 11) : I won’t begrudge Marcell Coetzee his well deserved rest but the Sharks could have really used him to counter Whiteley’s work rate.

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.10.14 11:50:35 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :
    @Baylion (Comment 11) :
    Dont think it will change the tactics too much though. Perhaps vd Walt is a better attacker from deep though – argues even more heavily against not kicking out.

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.10.14 12:02:28 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @vanmartin (Comment 12) : I bet Marcell himself would give anything to be on the field on Saturday, despite his recent heavy workload.

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.10.14 12:03:03 by jonnow Reply

  • Ja Rob I think the media is just trying to provoke a response from Ackers and co to sell more papers or get more hits. Doing stuff like Sharksworld for the love of it is almost gone now it’s all about sales and hits!!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.10.14 12:24:20 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator

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