Gold upbeat ahead of Currie Cup

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 17 Jul 2015 at 15:28
Tagged with : , , , ,

I was lucky enough to catch up with Gary Gold for a quick chat yesterday and managed to get some of his thoughts ahead of the Currie Cup campaign that kicks off next month.

Gary was in the middle of catching some of the Craven Week action, a key part of his role that involves overseeing rugby at all levels in the province and ensuring a steady pipeline of talent from the junior teams all the way through to the Super Rugby side. “Wonderful talent here,” he tells me – “all quite young, though”, an indication that immediate solutions to Currie Cup problems will need to be found elsewhere!

Talking about the Currie Cup, there’s been a lot said about style of play. Gold is perhaps a little more cautious, having been burned by this sort of pre-season talk before. “First and foremost the fans have an expectation that we’re going to win”, he tells me. “We’ve realised that we need to get the Sharks back on track in a big way and we need to be winning and I don’t really want to be making too many comments on styles of play at this stage – although you know enough about my philosophy to make assumptions!

“The style of play cannot come at the expense of getting results and we didn’t really get that right in Super Rugby – basics suffered, like our defence. The Sharks need to get back to a brand of rugby that’s allowing us to be winning predominantly. That said, if you look back at Super Rugby for the last ten years, the team that’s won it has been the team that’s scored the most tries and that’s definitely going to be a focus point of ours.

“Our focus in this season is on working incredibly hard on those basics and ensuring that we always put in an effort of which our fans can be proud.”

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. “While Super Rugby wasn’t a successful campaign for us and we’re certainly not expecting any pats on the back, I do genuinely believe that on tour and in the last four games we started to turn the corner,” says Gary, “so there’s something positive to build on from that. We’re going to put in a lot of effort to get a lot better.”

Is he concerned about the amount of talent that’s been lost ahead of the campaign, whether to the Boks or elsewhere? Not overly: “I think we need to look at where our strengths, are, not where they aren’t,”he tells me. “If we’re lucky with injuries, we’ve got some very exciting backs and that unit is pretty much unchanged from Super Rugby. We’ve got a pretty good backline and it’s the same combination that we’ve had for the latter half of Super Rugby. If we can get the ball into their hands, we’re going to create some problems for opposing teams. That’s going to be our focus, but we definitely don’t have a bad pack, with guys like Lourens, Kyle, Dale, Etienne, Jean and so on all very experienced players.”

Gary confirmed that Etienne Oosthuizen will operate at lock, given that there’s no shortage of back row options. “We’re very excited about Etienne as an athletic 4-lock with the work rate of a back row!”

“In fact, I have to say I’m just really excited about the upcoming campaign,” he tells me. “This is my first pre-season with the Sharks and the enthusiasm and energy is amazing. I couldn’t have asked the players to work harder – for the first time I feel like I’ve had a proper start with the Sharks and I just hope we can follow that up with decent results for you guys.”

Thanks to Gary for his time. I’ll share a few more of his thoughts next week.


  • β€œWe’re very excited about Etienne as an athletic 4-lock with the work rate of a back row!”

    Wait, what? He looked pretty darn average to me in the back row.

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.07.15 15:36:25 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 1) : I’d rather have him play at 4, with the so-called athleticism of a back rower – as apposed to having him play at 7 with the athleticism of a 4 (which is what he offered during SR) πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.07.15 16:18:37 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Ben (Comment 1) :He’s not a bad 4 at all. Pity he wasted his SR at 7. He could have improved his ability at 4 and given us a proper option there next year.

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.07.15 17:34:12 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 2) : @GreatSharksays (Comment 3) : I have no problems with him at 4. But Gary saying that is like moving Lionel Cronje to wing, then it fails miserably and he moves back to flyhalf and Gary says “We’re excited about Lionel at flyhalf with the agility of a wing.” πŸ™„

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.07.15 18:24:10 by Ben Reply
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  • wow so many negative comments. Come on guys. I’m not thrilled about our super rugby performance either, but atleast we’re taking steps in the right direction.

    My new is this: In plums last season in charge it became obvious that even though his a great coach and good guy, if we kept in on with the exact training staff structure we would continue to float from mid table to losing finalists year on year, so a change was made

    their after white took over for the next SR season and we started winning with a structure and some would say boring (I hadnt noticed, nor did I care all that mattered was the results) game plan. We could have build on that had white not run off

    now we have gold and a few other passionate young coaches, lets pool these guys stregths, abilities and experience (however little) and work on creating a winning culture.

    We hav a exciting CC squad with decent depth and a nice balance of youth and experience

    only down side for me is we’re missing tera as he was really starting to come along and develop into a force at the back of thes scrum

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.07.15 20:27:15 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @Ben (Comment 4) : Yeah…well put and I get your point.

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.07.15 21:01:36 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 2) : Yes…

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.07.15 21:16:32 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • I hope it will be a Currie Cup to enjoy!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.07.15 21:18:45 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • “If we can get the ball into their hands [the backs], we’re going to create some problems for opposing teams.”Β 

    Say what? Why ‘if’? What’s the problem? You get the 9 to pass it to them. Even easier from first phase. But it means you have to work out what to do with the ball when the backs have it. I’ve seen no evidence to suggest that anyone at the Sharks has thought this far ahead or has any clue. How else can you explain the constant kicking away of position?

    It should be abundantly clear by now that teams which try to win without the ball do NOT win Super Rugby. At least Gold acknowledges this. I would like some more insight on who will be responsible for developing and honing our desired ball in hand approach?

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.07.15 22:05:51 by Orlok Tsubodai Reply

    Gold's Member
  • Ja must say hope he’s right. Good luck guys!!!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.07.15 00:26:46 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Going to be an interesting clash in the Junior structures today. Cheetahs u21 hammered the EP Kings, and the Sharks pipped the WP. Now I have no idea how strong the EP u21 team is, but the WP should be a big scalp. So I look forward to see how the two teams match up in Durban today.
    MJ Smith is coaching the cheetahs at u21, he is Franco’s brother. Interesting moves in Cheetah land.
    Good Cheetahs!!! πŸ˜†

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.07.15 08:38:23 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 11) : I think you have made a mistake there. The Sharks u21s played against the Bulls at Loftus and just, just lost 24-23. The Sharks play against the Cheetahs u21 in Durban next Friday…

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.07.15 08:58:25 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • That’s next week no? U21 lost by 1 at Loftus yday – their prop scored a late converted try…

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.07.15 08:59:02 by JR Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 12) : Close one for the boys…almost pulled it through!

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.07.15 09:03:33 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 11) : Young Cheetahs played the Lions in Jozi yesterday, lost both u/21’s 36-33 and u/19’s 53-10. Sharkies played in Pretoria, also lost both u/21’s 24-23 and u19’s 39-21. Next weekend games could be pretty close.

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.07.15 09:34:21 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 11) : One mans interesting moves could be another mans nepotism. 😈

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.07.15 09:35:29 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 16) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.07.15 09:41:35 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 15) : Last week the Lions u21 beat the Blue Bulls u21 55-15 but the u19s lost 15-31

    Bulls u19 looks to be the strong side and the Lions and Cheetahs u21s

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.07.15 10:19:27 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 18) : From that result the Lions u/21’s seem to be one mighty team.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.07.15 11:14:20 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @revolverocelot (Comment 5) : What would have changed from two months ago to now? Our coaches couldn’t get guys to manipulate defences or at least create an overlap on the side. I would like to know how they think they will get right in the CC? To be able to score lots of tries you need a 9 that does not take longer than 3 seconds to clear a ruck and a 10 and 12 combo that offers you a lot on attack in terms of being to cross the gainline at will without killing the ball. I just wish that our management could actually understand what comes out of their mouth. Semi final finish will be difficult under this coaching team. Sorry.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.07.15 11:35:26 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @Orlok Tsubodai (Comment 9) : Thank you. I think Gold is dreaming. Absolutely clueless. We will wait or hope for individual brilliance from Paul. I have not seen any evidence of a team working together to create havoc for the opposition the entire year.

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.07.15 11:39:20 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 20) : Maybe you’re reading too much into Gary’s comments? I thought he was being quite reserved, not wanting too much and yet understanding what is necessary. What he describes is necessary…we’ll have to see whether the players we have are capable of delivering or developing that aspect of play…

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.07.15 11:40:16 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 12) : Oh brother! My bad! Thanks Bud, well it will still be interesting to see.

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.07.15 14:35:43 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 23) : Absolutely! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.07.15 14:39:39 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 15) : Thanks. Seems the u21 competition in particular is going to be tough. Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks and WP all seem to have strong teams.

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.07.15 14:44:00 by KingCheetah Reply

  • Well I’m reserving comment till I see our form in the first 2 or 3 games. Too unpredictable at the moment. WP been buying like their a french side but whether or not those expensive boys will find form soon enough and adapt to their style is another question. I have a sneaking suspicion that WP might be the benchmark this season though…

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.07.15 17:14:41 by coolfusion Reply

  • Anyone knows when the warmup game is played and when the Currie cup starts?

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.07.15 22:40:34 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • I saw that Province lost their warm up game against the Pumas. I don’t know what our warm up plans are!

  • Comment 28, posted at 20.07.15 08:26:40 by pastorshark Reply
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