Nothing else matters

Written by Stephen Smith (StevieS)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 Mar 2015 at 12:26
Tagged with : , , , , ,

I’ve been writing articles recently on the Sharks performances as seen by those on twitter and the independent Press, but I feel I need to voice my opinion as well.

The Sharks lost on Saturday night, we all know that. However, nobody is stating that one obvious thing, the Sharks are five games (including the Toulon friendly) into a new coaching regime. This is the fifth change of coaches in as many campaigns, dating back to the 2013 Super Rugby campaign, while Allister Coetzee has been coaching at the Stormers since 2008, their game plan is deeply embedded and embraced at all levels in the Western Province setup, and the players know each other well.

The Sharks have brought in a few new players, such as Giant, Botha and Bothma etc and it will take time for these players to be fully integrated into the Sharks setup and for the other players to get used to them.

There are positives to be taken from Saturday’s game; we kept up with the log leaders for 40 minutes; we played an attractive brand of running rugby; we used our forwards as decoys and shifted the ball wider of the contact area, creating space and opportunities; Willem Alberts was introduced back to rugby when he was ready to come back (when last did that happen?).

In our current coaching setup we have coaches who seem to genuinely care about player welfare, who are committed to playing attractive rugby and bringing the fans back, who seek to create a family at the Sharks. These are things everyone has been asking for, but when the team loses then perspective gets tossed out the window and everyone insists we should be winning everything.

All I’m asking for is that we give our team and our coaches our full support and give them a little bit of time. Nobody will be harder on them than they will be on themselves, I promise you.

I’m looking forward to the game against the Cheetahs and I’m sure we’ll see a great game from our boys. Black and white, nothing else matters, remember?


  • Excellent piece Stevie! It is so easy to bash the players and coaching staff, while forgetting that our current set-up is only 5 games old. And yes, certain players do need to pull up their socks, and certain areas definitely needs work, but we need to be patient. However difficult it may be. This is the time where the team needs our support the most. Black and White as always!

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.03.15 12:39:17 by Another Nick Reply
    Another Nick
  • Great article! I feel the same, but I just hope our scurms work this weekend.

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.03.15 12:46:42 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • If you say so.

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.03.15 12:50:07 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Don’t expect much sympathy from the fans Stephen.

    In an age where even banks are drive-thru and half time shows gets more hits on youtube than the actual game, time and patience are the two things coaches are not afforded at all.

    BUT – the Sharks administrators must now guard against making it 6 coaches in 6 years when Super Rugby 2016 starts at all costs…

    Mistakes will be made, what remains to be seen is if whoever makes them will be given time to fix it…

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.03.15 12:52:23 by Morné Reply
  • Perfectly put!! Thank you! I’ve ignored every negative bad comment about the Sharks team, they are my team, my passion. In my eyes they do very little wrong 😉 there is the odd player I look at and think “why?” But at the end of the day, the Sharks play great rugby and #BlackAndWhiteNothingElseMatters

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.03.15 12:54:37 by Debbie Riggien Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 4) : Your Bok specialist coaches still available to the franchises? We could do with some assistance from the scrum coach.

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.03.15 13:21:55 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Very well written piece Stevie! Let’s give the brew a chance to settle, heavens knows it’s been shaken well these past few seasons.

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.03.15 13:24:17 by Die Kriek Reply

  • The only thing that matters at this stage is that Matt Stevens is given the old heave ho.
    The oke is fat and unfit and cant scrum anymore. On a free ride here in Durbs and its costing us dearly.

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.03.15 13:24:23 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • Patience, Patience and some more patience…it will eventually work out! 😎 😉

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.03.15 13:25:15 by JohanDT04 Reply

  • Well done Steven. My sentiments exactly. Remember if you shake a bottle of sparkling wine, the cork will eventually come out.Just need to shake a bit more (time is our enemy). 😆

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.03.15 13:29:32 by markm Reply

  • @John Galt (Comment 8) : Yip Matt Stevens is my “why” player

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.03.15 13:31:42 by Debbie Riggien Reply

  • I think everyone was hopeful for a perfect season, without losing etc. but that’s not reality – rightfully put Stevie – there is no excuse really for losing other than the fact that you were the weaker team on the day. I love the Sharks dearly, but they can only blame themselves. You are as good as your result at the end of the match…

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.03.15 13:32:12 by JohanDT04 Reply

  • @John Galt (Comment 8) : I thought we had a conditioning coach at Sharks? 😈 He will become director of entertainment once he can’t play anymore. 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.03.15 13:33:19 by markm Reply

  • Stevie, I do not really agree with what you said. The Sharks are a professional outfit, and they should have come into their own by now. Although we have changed the coach we still have a core set of senior players from last year and also the assistant coach is still the same.

    I personally think that there is some of the players who unfortunately have become bigger than the game. This is the first step to a crap season.

    The other thing that is extremely striking to me and the fans is the trend of ill discipline that is coming to the fore. The bottom line is, if you don’t have discipline (irrespective of who you are) then you must face the consequences. The issue of the ill discipline starts and ends with the captain. Twice now in two games Bissy has had issues with other senior players (Springbok team mates) and foul language was exchanged.

    In addition to this I believe that the pressure of captaincy has tainted Bismarks game. I also believe that the captaincy role should go to Pat Lambie, as he was his school’s 1st team captain, captain of the Craven Week team and SA Schools captain….. I think this says something about his leadership.

    Many might not agree with me on this but I am very passionate when it comes to rugby and there are certain thins that do not mix (drinking and driving…..and rugby and ill discipline).

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.03.15 13:40:40 by Kaygee Reply

  • @Kaygee (Comment 14) : I don’t necessarily disagree with what you say about the captaincy

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.03.15 13:46:48 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 15) :
    what’s the latest with Timotei Swiel?

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.03.15 13:48:28 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 16) : fknose – hasn’t appeared at training and the kid is ignoring my messages.

    Usual story. They get all bent out of shape when it’s not glowing praise about them from start to finish, but the relationship seemingly only works one way,

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.03.15 13:50:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • “while Allister Coetzee has been coaching at the Stormers since 2008, their game plan is deeply embedded and embraced at all levels in the Western Province setup, and the players know each other well.”

    Uh… I see…

    And how many Super Rugby titles has he won? 😆

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.03.15 13:53:59 by Dewald Nel Reply

    Dewald Nel
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) :
    That’s just sad.

    I thought SP was very good last weekend, but watching guys like Le Roux, Kolbe and especially Kriel makes me long for a true game-breaker at 15.

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.03.15 13:54:56 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 19) : one thing we need to acknowledge (and I will cover this tomorrow) is that recruitment has broken down. This isn’t the fault of Gary/Brendan but it is something that they are saddled with.

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.03.15 13:57:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : Maybe John’s broom swept a little wider than initially required 😳

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.03.15 14:00:02 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 20) :
    Really looking forward to that article!

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.03.15 14:03:20 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 21) : the broom that swept the likes of Herbst away wasn’t Jonh’s, it was Jake’s. But John should have been stronger.

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.03.15 14:04:15 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 6) :

    Of course, pick up the phone or drop me an email!

    @robdylan (Comment 20) :

    I said this last week;

    60% of your resources needs to be spent on your feeding structures, 40% at your top team.

    Once the bottom is sorted, the cream will rise at the top without any effort.

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.03.15 14:05:51 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 24) : yeah but try doing that when you have a corps of rabid “fannabies” who start throwing hissy fits and demanding the DoR’s head a month into the job.

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.03.15 14:14:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • So where was all this together forever ,break out the acoustic guitars and sing ,feeling for Jake.
    it was alright to climb into him and assassinate him,even when he gave us some of our finest hours.What amazes me is that the biggest Gold apologists here are the very same ones who are still putting the boot into Jake.
    One rule for all if it is alright to crucify Jake then its just as alright to kick Gold.
    Hell there awesome huge hippocrates here,the same guys who frown on at the slightest criticism of the abject S.P. are the one’s who post the most personal insults against Stevens.

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.03.15 14:17:52 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @Morné (Comment 24) :

    Agreed re the resources.

    If you’re only ever trying to recruit mercenaries, then you cant complain when they leave.

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.03.15 14:48:52 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Who’s in charge of recruitment these days?

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.03.15 14:53:29 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 26) :

    I supported Jake until the moment he left and still feel that he would have done a good job here if he stayed longer. However, he left and left us in a lurch. I don’t know what happened there so I have never commented any further on the Jake situation.

    I still don’t mind the way we played last year. Solid, structured rugby and without our top play makers due to injury, we were never going to set the world alight. I really thought if Jake stayed he would have worked from that base and built to a more expansive game, now it seems that everything is being thrown out the window, to restart – I don’t think that is needed. Where is that base and structure Jake built? I don’t know.

    I can’t see why we need to become the Cheetahs (running rugby only), before we can become the Crusaders – solid base and running rugby combined.

    Having said that, I cannot see the point in climbing into our new coaches. They need time.

    As for criticizing specific players. People will always have their favorites.

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.03.15 14:54:33 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @The hound (Comment 26) :

    I think both Stevens and SP have been criticized the same amount, probably by the same people. I personally feel that SP has made a bit of a comeback, although I wouldn’t mind if we find someone in his place. Stevens looks out of shape. That never sits well with supporters. These guys are paid, too at the very least, work hard of field. Players who looks out of shape have always got some criticism on this site.

    Reinach is probably one of the least liked players on this site. Granted he makes infuriating mistakes, but I hardly think he is nearly as bad as people here describe it.

    I actually thought he was good for most of Saturdays game. Quick to the rucks, quick service, sharp around the fringes. Then came the errors. So I don’t even defend him.

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.03.15 14:59:08 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 29) :

    Letgo, Id agree with you, but then we’d both be wrong.

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.03.15 15:05:41 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 28) : Jacques Botes and John

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.03.15 15:15:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Cheer up people. English cricket supporters feel much worse than us at the moment.

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.03.15 15:17:25 by Bokhoring Reply
  • My disappointment comes from the fact that this is the last Super Rugby season before it gets ruined by the SANZAR bosses. From next year onwards, I don’t think winning this competition will hold as much value as it always has. This would have been a good year to finally get to the end. It’s not over yet, though! Hopefully we can really pick ourselves up this week.

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.03.15 15:20:46 by David12246 Reply

  • I think I brought this up last week as well, but certain players, including Coetzee and Lambie need to be rested after 5 games, which means resting them either this week or next week against the Chiefs! I am inclined to say that we should rest Lambie this week. What do you guys reckon?

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.03.15 15:21:11 by David12246 Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 33) : 😈 Now that right there alleviates a lot of pain 😆

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.03.15 15:27:24 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Another Nick (Comment 1) : @PTAShark (Comment 2) : @Debbie Riggien (Comment 5) : @Die Kriek (Comment 7) : Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments.

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.03.15 15:28:17 by StevieS Reply
  • @Dewald Nel (Comment 18) : I think with their DoR, Gert Smal, forcing them to embrace certain new ideas and combining these with Allister’s methods, this has made them a very strong force.

    The Sharks are starting from square one. Gary and Brendan are implementing a whole new system.

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.03.15 15:31:54 by StevieS Reply
  • @Kaygee (Comment 14) : Kaygee, I get your point about the players, but the whole gameplan comes from the coaches, in this case from Brendan and Gary. Our assistant coaches have all been there for a while, but they are also learning and trying to implement a whole new philosophy, therefore they are also ‘new’.

    As to your point about players being bigger than the game, Gary, John and Brendan firmly believe in a family environment, so I’m sure they’ll work to get the players’ heads in the right place mentally.

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.03.15 15:41:03 by StevieS Reply
  • Agreed – Nothing Else Matters – but bloody hell its painful to watch at the moment..
    Whats your twitter handle StevieS?

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.03.15 15:41:53 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • @markm (Comment 10) : Thanks Mark

  • Comment 41, posted at 09.03.15 15:42:09 by StevieS Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 4) : I agree 100%. We need to show patience and back our systems, not tear them apart.

  • Comment 42, posted at 09.03.15 15:43:04 by StevieS Reply
  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 40) : @StevePaul84

    It is painful, but I’m focusing on the good points from each game. I really liked our forwards offloading more and the fact Frans didn’t just bash it up all the time.

  • Comment 43, posted at 09.03.15 15:44:45 by StevieS Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 33) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 44, posted at 09.03.15 15:48:07 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : Surely the two of them are adequate, JS had the ability to convince PSdT to stay instead of running to the bulls.

    What happened to Butch?

  • Comment 45, posted at 09.03.15 15:50:36 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @StevieS (Comment 39) : Stevie, I agree…. I really hope that John, Brendan and Gary figure this out really quick though. I mean they are all three very professional and this is not their first encounter with this type of issue.

    Then again I would like to stress that discipline issues needs to be addressed very sternly if the Sharks want to have that Esprit de Corps and family environment.

  • Comment 46, posted at 09.03.15 16:01:12 by Kaygee Reply

  • @Kaygee (Comment 46) : Couldn’t agree more. It’ll take a while to get it entrenched, but then watch out 😉

  • Comment 47, posted at 09.03.15 16:04:13 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 43) : Thanx.

    I agree there were a few positives – we didn’t play that badly in the 1st half actually but yes the 2nd half was disastrous to say the least.

  • Comment 48, posted at 09.03.15 16:05:46 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 48) : First half I thought we’d win the way we were playing.

  • Comment 49, posted at 09.03.15 16:07:22 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 49) : Black and White nothing else matters all the way!!!!! but you will not catch me near a tv watching a Sharks game for a while as the potential for having to buy a replacement tv on Monday is waaaaaaay to big!!!

  • Comment 50, posted at 09.03.15 16:17:30 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JD (Comment 50) : LOL!!!

  • Comment 51, posted at 09.03.15 16:27:54 by StevieS Reply
  • @JD (Comment 50) : Eish I tried that once to stay away from a tv while the Sharks play. But I found myself glued to my Twitter checking score updates 😮

  • Comment 52, posted at 09.03.15 18:49:26 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply


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