Let’s just win

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 28 Aug 2015 at 12:06
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Approaching tomorrow’s game against the Kings with much fear and trepidation, I do take a fair bit of comfort from the fact that victory (a non-negotiable one) is very much in the Sharks’ hands.

Not that it’s going to be easy, but in the way they played against the Kings last time around, the Sharks have a foolproof blueprint of how NOT to approach this week’s game. On the other hand, there was much to take from the performance last week (at least the first hour) to suggest that the team is turning the corner at last. This week, though, is the week in which they simply have to get it right from a basics point of view, or else risk their nascent Currie Cup campaign dying a very premature death indeed.

All talk of “attacking rugby” and “bums on seats” aside, the Sharks have to win this week and they will win if they get their basics right. With due respect to the Kings, they do not have the fire-power to beat this Sharks team unless said Sharks team implodes again, the way they did at Kings Park two weeks ago.

The commitment and attitude was questioned after that performance, with Gary Gold bemoaning a lack of intensity. That, for me, is a no brainer and if we still are battling to get the team to play with intensity at this stage of the campaign, then I give up. Let’s assume that the Sharks approach this game with the same intensity that they showed against the Lions, because there’s really no reason to doubt they they would.

The next most important thing is defence (and it is related to intensity and work rate as well). Defensive accuracy and tackle completion has been shockingly bad so far this season and even though the team defended well for 60 minutes against the Lions, they still emerged with a 20% missed tackle rate by the time 80 minutes were up. Face with this sort of statistic, I’m sure Gold and his assistants have been working tirelessly on defence as a non-negotiable basic that simply HAS TO come right against the Kings. In fact, if the Sharks do nothing other than make 90% of their tackles this weekend, they will win the game, regardless of how much they work on their attack. Defensive pressure creates turnovers and turnovers lead to tries – we’ve seen this time and again.

The decision to bench Thomas du Toit this week and start with a more seasoned tight head in Gerhard Engelbrecht is the right one. I have huge respect for Thomas and understand the process he’s trying to go through – one made incrementally more difficult by the fact that the Sharks’ have been exposed by Lourens Adriaanse’s injury. There’s a balancing act in play here – developing du Toit as a tighthead cannot come at the expense of winning this game and while it’s fair to say that Dale Chadwick also needs to seriously pull up his socks at scrum time, the Sharks have made the right selection call in order to shore up a key set piece this week.

Win the scrums, win the lineouts, make your tackles and you really don’t need any luck to ensure a win against the Kings. Let’s get those basics in place, get ourselves into knockout contention once more and then we can decide how to further build on a more solid platform.


  • Sad state of affairs to be just looking for a win. Weather forecast is not great so it might be a bit of an arm wrestle in another empty stadium.

    Hoping hard for the 5 points

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.08.15 12:24:34 by Kabouter Reply
  • @Kabouter (Comment 1) : got to start somewhere boet. I’d be happier if they grind out a decent win based on getting the non-negotiable things right.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.08.15 12:30:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Yip, it is unrealistic to expect the perfect 80 after the nonsense we have seen this year to just happen.

    Okay, I am hoping the perfect 80 is saved for Bulls game ????

    Tackles up, errors down and 5 points will make us all happy

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.08.15 12:38:36 by Kabouter Reply

  • I really hope for the win also, my feeling is that there is more wrong at our beloved team than what we see on the surface, they are not gelling as a unit, and this translate to the field on game day

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.08.15 12:39:07 by Henkb Reply
  • @Henkb (Comment 4) : What is most dissapointing is that I cannot remember the last time the guys just looked like they are having fun on the field. Just that, will be huge step forward.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.08.15 12:52:56 by Kabouter Reply

  • Chadwick to give away multiple scrum penalties again and Hadebe to cock up all his lineouts …… I’m hoping our backs play most of this game to keep those 2 chops away from their blunders as much as possible 🙁

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.08.15 13:03:07 by Mephisto_Shark Reply

  • Eish the rain will def not suit the soft Sharks pack. Its not easy playing at that stadium in PE- the Kings and crowd get very fired up. If the Sharks arent hungry and put away the Kings early it could cause trouble at the end.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.08.15 13:08:24 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : would have like Thomas to start at loose head as he’s scumming is way better than Dale’s!!!! Put as much pressure on the home side as possible!!!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.08.15 13:13:21 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @ Kabouter – very true words that, if they again start to have fun on the field, our old team will come to the fore, and mind you although we are missing a lot of players due to the boks, with the team we have they will be a real force and poeple will take notice again, the fact that we have had the amount of changes in coaching staff the last while would not have assisted in the “fun”for the game being there and being part of them, I really just hope they go out this weekend and can play without any worries about what if’s and what not, and just hammer them

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.08.15 13:27:25 by Henkb Reply
  • I’m hoping the boys focus on and get the basics right before trying anything too flashy. That alone would be a huge step forward.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.08.15 14:32:18 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Not to belittle the Kings. But intensity be damned. If we van just get the basics right for 80 minutes I predict a win. And for me that’s first prize. Intensity later. Gold has failed in the basics he should deliver his side first then focus on player intensity.

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.08.15 16:12:22 by coolfusion Reply

  • What’s the news on players like Reinach coming back to CC? Would be great if him and Marcell can play.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.08.15 20:23:41 by T-Shark Reply

  • @T-Shark (Comment 12) : I asked that question too. You won’t get an answer since no one knows.

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.08.15 09:56:07 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 13) : I don’t think it’s true that nobody knows or that you won’t get an answer.

    Let’s just think a little and apply what we already know.

    Any player released from the world cup squad is obviously available to the team he’s contracted to. Looking at the guys from the Shark who missed out, only Reinach will come back, since both Marcell and Frans Steyn have commitments in Japan.

    So, we can summarise:
    Reinach – comes back to Sharks for Currie Cup. Expect him to be in the selection mix next week already.
    Coetzee – still injured, but will presumably head to Japan once fit to play, then return to the Sharks for Super Rugby.
    Steyn – presumably on his way to Japan already (assuming family commitments allow). Will then head to Montpellier, meaning he’s played his last game for the Sharks.

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.08.15 10:12:59 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I think we’ll feel better with Reinach available and Classsens and Ungerer in reserve. The small things can be worked on but I remember a saying somewhere the the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The sum of the parts can be analysed and accounted for and fixed but the whole is greater than that and that is where an undefinable something is missing from the Sharks. Is it coaching? belief? fun? vocation? or is this just a job and that explains it? If the Sharks just get a good game or if they can’t do that then an ugly win it may be the spark that adds something.

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.08.15 12:30:33 by SeanJeff Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : thanx for the info. Would have preferred Marcell to recover from his injuries during this time rather than go and play in Japan.

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.08.15 13:02:45 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @SeanJeff (Comment 15) : forwards need to hit form as I can’t see them winning a lot of games if they don’t find their form soon!!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.08.15 13:04:37 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • u/19:
    EP Kings 26: Tries by Michael Brink, Thango Balekile, Keanu Vers, SF Nieuwoudt; three conversions by Brink.

    Sharks 7: Try by Willem Badenhorst; one conversion by Tristan Tedder.

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.08.15 15:38:10 by Gerhardt Reply

  • u/21 :
    Early in 2nd half : Sharks 12 Kings 10

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.08.15 15:42:08 by Gerhardt Reply

  • u21 Kings ahead 22-10 with 10mins to go

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.08.15 15:57:10 by Gerhardt Reply


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