Are we getting the style of play we deserve?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 30 Mar 2016 at 11:32
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“Every nation gets the government it deserves,” according to little-known 17th-Century philosopher Joseph de Maistre. It’s a funny little quite, generally implying that politicians tend to reflect the people who vote for them, a rather sad indictment on politics and democracy in general. While this article has nothing to do with politics, I thought it might be interesting to see if I can adapt this line of reasoning to the Sharks.

It’s five games into the Super Rugby season and we find ourselves once more in rather familiar territory. The “fans”, if we can generalise to such an extent, are unhappy with the way the Sharks are playing rugby. It’s familiar, because this happens pretty routinely every year and it almost seems to happen completely independent of the results. Another famous quote says something about death and taxes being the only inevitabilities in life, but I’d like to add a third. Regardless of the coach, the players, the log position or the results, we can add the perception that “the Sharks don’t run enough – they don’t play Banana Boys rugby any more” to the list of things that are never going to change.

Jake White had this criticism levelled at him, despite actually winning the South African conference in 2014. Gary Gold constantly has the same. Brenden Venter and Brad MacLeod-Henderson had it too, as did John Plumtree in his time. The perception is that the Sharks should always throw the ball around at all costs and that any use of the boot is simply not “the Natal way”. I’m oversimplifying, of course, but if I look at some of the comments made here and in other (less sensible) places over the last few days, I’m not all that wide of the mark.

Another thing that Sharks fans don’t like, though, is losing. I tend to monitor the general sentiment and it’s alarming just how quickly the fans start to ask for a coach’s head when the team loses. Fans are passionate, involved and invested, of course and nobody needs to tell me how bad a loss feels, but I feel that we Sharks fans, in general, take this one to a point somewhere on the far side of hysteria. Vitriol, abuse, denigration – these are lavished with gay abandon on coaches, players and administrators at the first sign of a less-than-perfect result (hell, even a draw!) with various social media platforms often used to vent spleen in the most graphic ways. I put it to you, dear fans, that perhaps the reason that our coaches and players so quickly become “gun shy” and prefer not to take risks is because they know the fans simply aren’t grown up enough to accept that sometimes, in rugby, you lose?

Perhaps something to think about?


  • Well said, and I couldn’t agree more

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.03.16 11:34:14 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • As I have said several times, I would much rather lose and see improvement in the rugby we play.

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.03.16 11:38:07 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • I don’t like your wisdom, reason and being right Rob. Go away. He he

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.03.16 11:38:23 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • Nice read Rob And I agree, for me simply supporters have gotten impatient, So other teams and coaches failed so now the current team in a way gets held responsible for past failures.

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.03.16 11:40:50 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Order of prefrence to clear things up for people who struggle with bigger pictures.
    1. Win with good rugby
    2. Win with improved rugby
    3. Draw with good rugby
    4. Draw with improved rugby
    5. Lose with good rugby
    6. Lose with improved rugby
    7. Win with average rugby

    1000. Lose with bad rugby
    Okay I’m pretty sure even the shorter sighted get the point and I don’t have all day.

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.03.16 11:41:37 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • Interesting thoughts Rob. I have 2 thoughts…firstly-sometimes even good teams lose to other good teams that play better on the day. Its sport, it happens. Secondly, i havent watched a lot of sharks/natal rugby prior to the professional era, its been more stories than anything. However, in this professional era the Sharks play has slightly varied but the over riding constant is that Sharks teams look to apply massive defensive pressure and then look to score off the turnovers they create. I do not recall a Sharks side famous for keeping the ball through multiple phases to score (barring he one CC winning side in 2010 under Plum i think). So basically thats what i have known Sharks rugby to be…big defense and then a quick , ruthless counter attacking team.

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.03.16 11:44:02 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : And the progression of rugby internationally has shown that up to not be the most effective style of play…
    Should we just accept that’s our lot and not look to change with the times?

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.03.16 11:46:13 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 5) : Are you capable at all of expressing your views without being facetious or derogatory?! My word!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.03.16 11:48:00 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 5) : Problem is i dont think all supporters views of good, improved and bad rugby are the same…

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.03.16 11:48:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 10) : Personally for me good is the style of rugby that has been shown to be most effective in recent history….I don’t think I need to tell you what style that is.

    @pastorshark (Comment 9) : Oh I’ll admit that was 100% intentional.

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.03.16 11:50:42 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • Nice write up, Rob…this should turn into an interesting discussion fast… 😀

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.03.16 11:51:05 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 11) : It always is, Seth, it always is…

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.03.16 11:51:38 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 13) : Nope, but after receiving personal insults yesterday, without giving any (at least to other people on the site), I am a bit fired up.

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.03.16 11:53:33 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 7) : Remember there is more than 1 way to skin a cat. And the Sharks have been one of the more successful sides in terms of Super rugby results. Trying to copy the best side will only ever make you 2nd best. Finding your own way to beat them will get you to the top…just a thought

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.03.16 11:53:45 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Nostraseth (Comment 5) : So spell it out for us a bit more…on that scale, how do you rate the Sharks season so far? Seen an improvement? Seen more winning rugby? Does the season overall rate as high as 2 on your scale? Or maybe a 4 so far? Or is it a 1000 because of your perceptions of the last game? I am genuinely interested in your views on this…

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.03.16 11:56:04 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : Yea but there is always the most efficient way.

    “one of the more successful sides in terms of Super rugby results” you mean one of only four of the original 12 to not win the tournament? Yea great…..

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.03.16 11:56:15 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • Guys, please do no post any links to, or discuss the Kyle Cooper incident, in any way.

    My policy on this is here. It is clear and it is not negotiable. Thanks.

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.03.16 11:56:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 11) : So question then. Its obvious that you want the Sharks and Boks to play exactly the same as the NZ and All Black sides…so should the Sharks try to play this high tempo offloading game and make many errors and lose. Would that be good rugby? improved rugby? or bad rugby?

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.03.16 11:56:49 by SheldonK Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 15) : I think our defense is up from last year, but only up to where it was the year before under JW. I haven’t seen much improvement in the rest of our play. Maybe a little better at taking opportunities.

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.03.16 11:57:46 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 16) : Not everyone can win unfortunately. Winning significantly more games than you lose is still a successful team.

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.03.16 11:58:48 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Nostraseth (Comment 13) : I think if you read your comments from yesterday again, you’ll find that your tone to those other people was extremely hostile, repeatedly derogatory and reflected a view that you were 100% right and everyone else was 100% wrong. I don’t condone personal insults and try not to make any (though I, like everyone else, am not perfect in that), but I think that sort of approach will generally attract hostile reactions. Sometimes you reap what you sow…

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.03.16 11:59:24 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : So your argument is that we can’t ever be as good (or better) then them at that game plan so why try?
    Because adopting that style of play totally didn’t help Argentina…..

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.03.16 11:59:25 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 19) : I think that is a fair comment…

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.03.16 12:00:04 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I agree with your sentiments Rob. I guess the some of the frustration comes from a visible difference in style against the under-strength French teams in the warm-up games to the one we employed against the Crusaders. You could argue that the Saders are in a similar boat to the Sharks in-terms of “rebuilding”, had to travel and had to play in the unfamiliar sweaty Durban. Consequently, it was a game that the Sharks should’ve been competitive in in all aspects (not just defense). Although lies, damned lies, and statistics is relevant, and not to belabour points mentioned previously, it does pose interesting questions if we look at the stats below.

    Metres run: Sharks 205-554 Crusaders
    Passes made: Sharks 52-215 Crusaders
    Ball carries into contact: Sharks 49-107 Crusaders
    Clean breaks: Sharks 3-15 Crusaders
    Offloads: Sharks 2-21 Crusaders (another stat site says 1-17)
    Defenders beaten: Sharks 6-14 Crusaders
    Kicks from Hand: Sharks 35-29 Crusaders
    Kicks caught: Sharks 13-26 Crusaders
    Handling errors: Sharks 9-17 Crusaders
    Try assists: Sharks 0-3 Crusaders

    It does the beg the question of where to from here, was it a bad day in the office or a show of “character”? I think we have the experience, eagerness and ability to carry the ball a bit more, keep it in hand, get the back-line going (and not rely on intercepts for tries). Will we see it against the Lions? Or are there other steps to rebuilding what is in my opinion a pretty well built team already.

  • Comment 24, posted at 30.03.16 12:00:53 by PaulyJ Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 21) : Is the bases of an opinion not the belief that its right? And there is a big difference between snark and sarcasm (something a lot of people on here use) and direct personal insult….

  • Comment 25, posted at 30.03.16 12:01:03 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 2) : Well then you must be a happy camper because that was a massive improvemnt on last years game.

  • Comment 26, posted at 30.03.16 12:03:56 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : Personally don’t agree with leaving out FACTS, I do agree with avoiding discussion of the topic. All I will say don’t worry.

  • Comment 27, posted at 30.03.16 12:04:40 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 26) : @Nostraseth (Comment 19) :

  • Comment 28, posted at 30.03.16 12:05:09 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 22) : I was merely asking you a question so can understand your thinking. You mention Argentina- are they better than the All Blacks playing like them? Last i checked they were 6th in the World and the Jaguares have only beaten the Cheetahs very narrowly. But irrespective…i was just just wondering about my question

  • Comment 29, posted at 30.03.16 12:06:19 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Nostraseth (Comment 19) : I would rate us like this:
    – defence is 500% better than last year…you can almost not compare it.
    – our set piece was arguably disappointing in the last game (which I didn’t watch and can therefore not rate myself) but up to this game both our scrums and lineouts were 50 to 100% better than last year. Last year we got repeatedly caned in the scrums and were very poor at lineout time.
    – this year we have, as you say, probably been a little bit better at using out opportunities.
    – other than the Kings game I am still disappointed in the fact that our team in general and our backline in particular have not delivered more in terms of making use of space and creating more (in line with what they showed in pre-season and game 1).
    – in terms of the much-maligned word character, as well as attitude and conduct shown by players, I think we have seen several 100% improvement.
    So for me, the season up to this point is already at least a 100% improvement on last season. I’m not sure I can ask for more and so I am happy up to this point in the season. I am, of course, hoping to see further improvement as we go…

  • Comment 30, posted at 30.03.16 12:08:04 by pastorshark Reply
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  • 5 Rounds in and ‘we’ have no yellow or red cards, won more than ‘we,ve’ lost, defence has improved. I am a happy man.
    All that without fielding the strongest possible team.

  • Comment 31, posted at 30.03.16 12:08:24 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 29) : The Jags are not the international side mate, completely irrelevant.
    Their improvement with that game plan has been exponential, you can not argue that they have improved a lot (even beating us) and based on current evidence you can’t argue that that won’t continue to improve.

  • Comment 32, posted at 30.03.16 12:08:43 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • I’m not going to discuss the Sharks game or where they are trying to go, that’s not my place, but the Lions are getting a lot of media attention because of their style of play and the result they seem to be getting with it and other SA teams’ fans are demanding their teams and the Boks should play the same way.

    People, however, forget that the Lions had a year under the radar in 2013 where they could work on this. Previously the Lions tried to play an open style but without success and I think it is very difficult for any team to change their game while still getting the results they and their fans want. Even coming back into Super Rugby it was relatively easy for the Lions to improve on previous performances, which weren’t high benchmarks, but even then the improvements have been incremental from year to year.

    Changes could, at best, be done by changing a few things one at a time initially and going further as the changes become embedded. Many of these changes are worked on in training and can only be effectively implemented when they have been perfected on the practice fields.

  • Comment 33, posted at 30.03.16 12:09:12 by Baylion Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 30) : I don’t disagree completely, I do with your figures which are based on nothing at all.

    But yes we have improved in areas from last year, but not past where we have been before.
    And we haven’t improved in others.

  • Comment 34, posted at 30.03.16 12:11:09 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @PaulyJ (Comment 24) : nice to have you here and thanks for the comment.

    I think a lot of the debate is around “rebuilding” and whether that’s a fair justification to use when we talk about the Sharks. Interested in your views as to why you don’t believe the Sharks are in a rebuilding phase in 2016.

  • Comment 35, posted at 30.03.16 12:13:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 25) : Sure…but how you express that view you believe is right plays a big role in how people react to it. And in my view there should at least be some willingness shown to recognise that people with another view are neither be difficult nor being dumb. I said it yesterday…you seem to think that your interpretation of the stats or facts is the only valid one. That is hardly ever true…why not just hear somebody else’s view and respond with a touch of respect rather than just being plain rude? I think that lies behind what got people’s hackles up yesterday. Anyway, I understand that this is not a personal growth forum, so I am happy to leave it there. Use it, don’t use it…

  • Comment 36, posted at 30.03.16 12:14:19 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 33) : I’m really glad to see that comment from a Lions fan. People are quick to label them an overnight success….

  • Comment 37, posted at 30.03.16 12:14:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 34) : The figures were illustrative…nothing more…

  • Comment 38, posted at 30.03.16 12:18:50 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 36) : I don’t disagree that I argue with conviction, it’s just who I am. Also I am not always snarky/abrasive, I guess the more heated a discussion the more I respond to the situation. I disagree that it’s rude though, some people may be more sensitive to it, but I do not target people (like others do). If someone finds me to abrasive they are welcome to avoid discussing with me, I will not go after them.

  • Comment 39, posted at 30.03.16 12:19:58 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @PaulyJ (Comment 24) : there is another stat i would like to see mentioned.had posted it on another thread but this one is perhaps the better many times were sharks players played around the neck at the breakdown?how many passes,off-loads,phases,sharks tackles resulted from that?how much mmentum in play was built?how did this skew the view of “one team wanted to play rugby”?can we truly then say “ultimately the crusaders win was a win for rugby”?because the rugby law book says a strike to a player’s face constitutes a red card.

  • Comment 40, posted at 30.03.16 12:20:37 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 33) : Very fair comment…very few people (or teams for that matter) are capable of changing every aspect of themselves at the same time…”one step at a time” is based on something people have experienced repeatedly. On that basis I am happy with the steps we have already taken and am hopeful that we can take further steps…

  • Comment 41, posted at 30.03.16 12:25:22 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I am not really getting the perception on here that many fans are asking for the ball to be thrown around with abandon. It is true that a well executed kick, set-piece and defend plan can take a team with limited attacking nous a long way (2014). It also helps if you have a couple of game breakers that can turn turnover possession into points through individual brilliance. However the required physicality is impossible to sustain over a whole season.

    The champion Super rugby teams can kick as well as anyone, defend like Trojans when needed, have a good enough (not necessarily the best) set-piece, but they can also build pressure (resulting in tries, penalties) using possession. Unless the Sharks can start working on being able to use possession effectively for longer periods of time, they will remain an also-ran team.

  • Comment 42, posted at 30.03.16 12:26:36 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Nostraseth (Comment 32) : You still havnt answered my simple question. Are you not sure of how would classify it? And yes in terms of their current qualification criteria the Jags are the Argie national side. They beat us once, just once, and we comfortably beat them in the RWC playing boring, horrible HM rugby…so perhaps that 1 win by them shouldnt be blown out of proportion.

  • Comment 43, posted at 30.03.16 12:27:42 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 42) : this article is a call for calm and a call for patience, more than anything else.

  • Comment 44, posted at 30.03.16 12:29:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • Here is my 2c… go back to 2007 and remember how the 10man Bulls game needed to score a huge margin victory over the Reds. And in that week they managed to change te mindset to all out attack… so you cannot tell me it must take a whole season to practice it… there has been several other games where 1 week a low scoring boring game was played by a team and the next weekend a feast of tries are scored…. so stop the BS and play the game

  • Comment 45, posted at 30.03.16 12:31:01 by ebenp Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 42) : This is also a fair comment. I think that a lot of development in the latter area you mention is necessary, is clear for all to see. I just think we have to give them the chance to develop that. They know it too…and they know they need to work at it…let’s see how they go on the way forward…

  • Comment 46, posted at 30.03.16 12:31:03 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 44) : Hear, hear…

  • Comment 47, posted at 30.03.16 12:31:54 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 47) : you can’t build anything on sand (I think there’s something about that in a book we’ve both read).

    So for the Sharks, 2016 is about building a strong foundation. A foundation that comprises character, commitment, attitude, team work…. You can’t start complaining about the house when the foundation hasn’t been built yet.

  • Comment 48, posted at 30.03.16 12:34:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 43) : So you are denying they have improved? Yea the tournament we finished 3rd in…. Personally I am not happy with 3rd, but maybe that’s just me?

    I believe the Sharks have the ability, to be the best team in Super Rugby, anything less to me is disappointing. And unlike some I don’t take it year by year, we have been better before and we should be better now. You don’t have to win it, or even do well every year to be seen as one of if not the best teams.
    The Crusaders don’t win it every year, they don’t do well every year. But ask most people who the best team in Super Rugby is they will say the Crusaders, same goes for the Chiefs.

  • Comment 49, posted at 30.03.16 12:34:49 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @ebenp (Comment 45) : sorry mate, but I think you’re missing the point just a little.

  • Comment 50, posted at 30.03.16 12:36:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : Because over a decade in is when you should be building your foundation? Building a foundation and rebuilding are not the same thing. But personally I disagree with the rebuilding argument to, when you compare what/who we lost, to what/who the Crusaders lost, they seem to be taking it in their stride.

  • Comment 51, posted at 30.03.16 12:37:16 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 49) : “I believe the Sharks have the ability, to be the best team in Super Rugby, anything less to me is disappointing.”

    So what you’re saying is that because something is your belief, it has to be true? Even if there isn’t any real evidence to substantiate it? You come up with an arbitrary benchmark and then slate others when they don’t live up to it.

    Can you not see the issue here?

  • Comment 52, posted at 30.03.16 12:37:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 44) : My perception (and gripe) on the attacking issue, is that the team started well attempting to add a passing and off-loading game to the current arsenal. However as soon as we hit a few snags, the team went back into their shells and relied on the old SA formula. I just hope that the team will actually try to put what the coach has been saying since after the Stormers game into practice. I also am for baby steps – I would just like them to take maintaining possession as serious as they are defending their line.

  • Comment 53, posted at 30.03.16 12:37:49 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Nostraseth (Comment 49) : The Argies were a crap team with a decent scrum, so yes they have improved…are they better than the Boks…well no. You may not be happy with the 3rd place but realistically thats where we should have finished. Sometimes teams are just better. Getting back to my question which you are side stepping better than Mvovo…if the Sharks tried to play the high tempo offloading game of the NZ sides/ All Blacks and they made errors and lost would you say that is Good rugby, Improved Rugby or Bad Rugby?

  • Comment 54, posted at 30.03.16 12:38:25 by SheldonK Reply

  • An interesting superwrap this week, Sharks got slated…

    For me, a merri-go-round of coaches not withstanding, we made the final of Super-rugby a couple of years ago with Plum, playing an outstanding attacking brand of rugby. And it wasn’t also without a good kicking strategy and sound defense. It shouldn’t therefore be so alien a concept to these players, most of whom would have been u19/u21 at the same union. The issue is that only the overall skill level is poor…it does not allow them to execute.

    Unfortunately it does seem like most if not all of the pre-season – and my sources confirm this anyway – was spent on defense and attitude – and we can’t really argue against that being the most identified issue at the end of last year.
    But, a large skills gap also needed to be plugged…if not now then when?

    The frustrating part of this process has been on the off chance that we manage to create – read Ndugane chase of high ball and re-gather, and we have done little of late, the ball gets kicked away. I don’t believe that’s coaching…at some point a player just has to rely a bit more on instinct, take responsibility and just play.

  • Comment 55, posted at 30.03.16 12:39:38 by neilster Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : Nope.. point is… building is 1 thing. But excuses to build every year is so last decade. Lions always said we are building… and year in and year out they dont achieve anything. Since positive mindset change was made they have looked a good team. Yes I know it just doesnt happen and yes there is lots of work going in… but as rugby fan and Shark fanatic I dont see any progress…. apart from being able to defend better. Whooopy… ask the Stormers how many trophys that won them in SR

  • Comment 56, posted at 30.03.16 12:39:43 by ebenp Reply

  • @ebenp (Comment 46) : didn’t that reds team have a lot of injury problems,though?have a club player or 2 or so in there?last game of their season,at altitude ,at loftus?nothing to really play for and disrupted team against a highly motivated team that had been playing together for a few seasons?

  • Comment 57, posted at 30.03.16 12:40:15 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 54) : Because it’s a ridiculous question based completely on a hypothetical?
    @robdylan (Comment 52) : So you do not believe the Sharks have what it takes to be the best?
    As a fan if you don’t want your team to be the best, then what’s the point? The fundamental basis of competition is the desire to be the best.

  • Comment 58, posted at 30.03.16 12:43:35 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 51) : this is going to sound really harsh, Seth, but you’ve made your stance on this one pretty clear. I’m interested in hearing other people’s views because I know what yours is.

  • Comment 59, posted at 30.03.16 12:45:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 57) : Could have been many factors… but that sort of thing happens a lot. It doesnt require 3seasons to practice… anyway.. Crusaders can do kicking defending an scoring all in 1 game. They dont focus on 1 aspect per game… they play the situation… we lost the game against the crusaders because Mvovo went off and there no other player that looked like scoring a try… sorry Willie(my comment was a bit out of anger)… point is we need to be able to play complete game each game and then will learn to become better. Cannot just focus on 1 aspect for 3 weeks in a row

  • Comment 60, posted at 30.03.16 12:47:54 by ebenp Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 59) : Mate, not harsh at all, I discuss for the enjoyment of discussion.

  • Comment 61, posted at 30.03.16 12:48:20 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 58) : I have a desire for my team to be the best, but a realisation that they are currently not the best.

    More importantly, I have an understanding that going from “not the best” to “being the best” is a process and that this process takes time and consistency.

  • Comment 62, posted at 30.03.16 12:52:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 58) : or maybe im missing the point,too 😀 the bulls did achieve the same thng in ct in the ’06.had to beat the stormers by 30-plus points to make play-off.

  • Comment 63, posted at 30.03.16 12:53:23 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @ebenp (Comment 61) : to be fair,the bulls did it the previous season down in ct vd stormers.

  • Comment 64, posted at 30.03.16 12:55:38 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 62) : It all boils down to a difference in opinion of what is considered an acceptable amount of change over time. Personally I have not seen enough, while others, such as yourself, have. Neither of us is right or wrong because at the end of the day both are just opinions.

  • Comment 65, posted at 30.03.16 12:56:44 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 63) : Bottom line, practice every aspect of the modern game for 4 weeks in a row and you will become better at it. Ask the Crusaders, they normally also loose the first 4 games and then become unstoppable(well in the past anyway). Obviously they’ve also practiced it pre-season, but it sometimes only start to gel on the field after a couple of games. But this loosing culture after 3 seasons is beginning to work on my nerves. 4 games, not 3 seasons….

  • Comment 66, posted at 30.03.16 13:02:14 by ebenp Reply

  • @Nostraseth (Comment 58) : Ridiculous question? You gave those classifications. You said you wanted the Sharks to only play a certain way. I asked how you would classify it if they tried and failed. You clearly love to heavily criticise others opinion yet you cannot stand to have yours questioned and even when I have tried to understand your thinking you become dismissive.

  • Comment 67, posted at 30.03.16 13:03:37 by SheldonK Reply

  • I absolutely detest seeing the opposition kicking to our back three, and me knowing ahead of time that we will merely return the kick….our boys need the ability/vision/skill to draw the opposition into their defensive line, thereby opening acres of grass to kick to.

    Patiently working our way up field with ball in hand is also not the worst idea, effectively doing this will also draw opposition defenders into their defensive line, instead of allowing them to hang back to field our kicks.

    Not an overnight fix, but this is what I’d like to see. (my Sharks wishlist for the immediate future)

  • Comment 68, posted at 30.03.16 13:03:57 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I find your headline as idiotic as Gold’s gameplay.
    How can we get the style of play we deserve???
    The style of play is firstly dictated by the game plan and secondly decided by the ability to execute it.
    If your game plan relies entirely on kicking all possession back to the opposition then you need to have kickers who can execute it.
    I refuse to believe we bought Willie for his kicking ability ,that is the weakest weapon in his armoury..
    One the most exciting running ,linking players in rugby and we turn him into a kick and chaser.
    He is the closest thing we have produced to Christian Cullen or Serge Blanco and we turn him into a ping pong player.
    With Willie,Jordaan,Esterhuizen,Mvovu,Sithole available to us how can you even begin to postulate that we have Gold’s kick and chase
    in place because that is what we deserve.
    Common Rob you are turning into a serious Gold apologist.

  • Comment 69, posted at 30.03.16 13:04:59 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @SheldonK (Comment 67) : I said I want to see us improve, and my opinion of good rugby is stated. You asked a question based on a hypothetical, and I do not work with hypotheticals, as I have stated before.

    Disagreement is not criticism.

  • Comment 70, posted at 30.03.16 13:06:52 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • As this article is about style of play my answer is NO, I am not getting the style of play I want (deserve), not since Jake Whites days. The Sharks that toured France did give an indication that an offloading game was in the offing, so they did give me a whiff of a bit of hope for the future of the style we would be playing. Alas it was not to be. But, I am more than willing to sit back and let the coaches do their thing because I do see improvement – lots of it and I believe that at least the right strings are being pulled to get the team dynamic right and the basics sorted out first before the next steps are taken. What we dont need now is a drastic change of course,

  • Comment 71, posted at 30.03.16 13:14:40 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Nostraseth (Comment 70) : Oh sorry high and mighty, you cant be bothered to answer a simple question. You say the sharks should play a certain way and they will win, thats a hypothetical not a fact…yet you dont deal with hypotheticals. I strongly disagree that you know what you are talking about…but hey its not a criticism

  • Comment 72, posted at 30.03.16 13:16:45 by SheldonK Reply

  • Maybe willie needs to take up no10 position at certain times on attack ?there was discussion about this during pre-season on here-to get willie more involved on attack.or maybe the sharks need the opposition to be penaiised when sharks players are played arund the neck at the breakdown? both?

  • Comment 73, posted at 30.03.16 13:19:34 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 72) : Now you just putting words in my mouth, you asked me what I considered good for us to aspire to, did I say we would win? In fact I specifically said I wouldn’t mind losing if I saw improvement. Insult me, say what you want, but don’t try and change what I said.

  • Comment 74, posted at 30.03.16 13:20:19 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • Jpp should be brought more into the game on attack.he is a strong runner.

  • Comment 75, posted at 30.03.16 13:22:37 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 72) : @Nostraseth (Comment 74) : my feeling is that you guys are unlikely to make much progress here and should rather just leave it be. The tone becomes increasingly nasty as you go and I’m not sure the other readers here are enjoying the banter as much as you are.

  • Comment 76, posted at 30.03.16 13:24:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 73) : A lot of Willies kicks this weekend where at first receiver. Doesn’t matter who is at 10 if they are instructed to kick.

  • Comment 77, posted at 30.03.16 13:24:50 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 76) : Fair enough.

  • Comment 78, posted at 30.03.16 13:26:32 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 76) : I am not enjoying that discussion one bit. And I specifically avoided getting personal, so call it out correctly Rob.

  • Comment 79, posted at 30.03.16 13:27:35 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @The hound (Comment 69) : The headline is underpinned by this:

    “perhaps the reason that our coaches and players so quickly become “gun shy” and prefer not to take risks is because they know the fans simply aren’t grown up enough to accept that sometimes, in rugby, you lose?”

    Not that difficult to understand. 😉

  • Comment 80, posted at 30.03.16 13:27:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 76) : Aaaaah, come on Rob, I was just about to get myself a coke a popcorn!

  • Comment 81, posted at 30.03.16 13:29:22 by Bump Reply

  • Need to fall back in greater numbers,and quicker,on opponents kicks so as to be able to counter-attack. need to switch ball quicker from point of where kick is gathered to point of potential miss-match in defenive team’s chase.

  • Comment 82, posted at 30.03.16 13:29:30 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 78) : thank you

  • Comment 83, posted at 30.03.16 13:32:02 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Nostraseth (Comment 78) : willie was usually at the back as far as i remember.the saders also kicked 29 times and had majority many times did willie recieve the ball at no10?where did he receive the ball?how many would be classified as attacking vs defensive situations?

  • Comment 84, posted at 30.03.16 13:36:16 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • so I’ve refraned from posting for a while due to the sheer volume of outright nasty posts, but figured I’ll just throw my views out there.

    I’ve loved supporting the Sharks ever since my first live game (which we lost to Dispatch.) since then every player and coach has had my support. Doesn’t matter what their background is, once they put on that jersey they instantly and magically gained my support. Same goes for our numerous coaches. Even my least favourites I wished only top success regardless of their style. Jake, Putt, Plum, etc all had it from me.

    I will always be disappointed in a loss, and delighted with a win. However, I will not ever take my disappointment out on coach or player or even CEO for that matter. They’re probably far more gutted in the loss than I could be.

    I also take absolutely nothing for granted in Rugby. While I always back The Sharks to overcome every opponent, I’m keenly aware that our said opposition have a group of players and coaches just like ours, doing their very best to win. I might not like it but they will get the better of us from time to time.

    To end I sometimes wonder how the guys who are constantly baying for the coach to get fired, or a player to be dropped would perform in a job that had that volume of critisism. Every person will make mistakes, and some will directly result in us losing a game. What will help that person get back up, motivated, and with belief in his potential is a bit of compassion and support from fans … not angry vitriol.

  • Comment 85, posted at 30.03.16 13:37:48 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 80) : Did you work that out yourself,that is as insipid as the inference in the headline.
    Players and coaches,who can’t accept fan disgruntlement at losing should move on.
    Do not know of any professional coach or player who took on the job without the knowledge that he might be on the losing side.That is one of the reasons they get paid the money that they do.

  • Comment 86, posted at 30.03.16 13:37:48 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 84) : Why would he receive the ball at 10? He is not the best defender but is good under the high ball, why would you have him at 10 on defense?

  • Comment 87, posted at 30.03.16 13:42:14 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @The hound (Comment 86) : I actually had a whole group of people brainstorm that – so I can’t take credit for this pearl, it was all the work of this fine team behind me. 🙄

  • Comment 88, posted at 30.03.16 13:47:47 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Nostraseth (Comment 88) : you are putting words in my comment.i wrote that willie should take up no10 on attack at certain times.twice i mentioned attack in my comment.i was quite clear that it is about willie playing no10 ..on certain for willie receiving the ball at no10 during the saders match:could you please show how many times he did?

  • Comment 89, posted at 30.03.16 13:51:11 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 89) : “how many times did willie recieve the ball at no10?” Your words…… My questions were in response to that question.

  • Comment 90, posted at 30.03.16 13:52:15 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 88) : Sorry I am not grown up enough to accept that

  • Comment 91, posted at 30.03.16 13:59:13 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • This thing is just going around in circles.

    Firstly, if the environment keeps on changing (coaches/players) you are constantly ‘re-building’. You have a hope in hell to achieve sustained success if the dynamics of the environment is constantly shifting. Sick of always rebuilding? Well try and stick to a coaching and player group for more than 2 years then. The Lions success is largely due to a management team that has been around for more than 2 years (even more if you count the roles as assistant) and retaining their core player group. The Lions surely has the best player retention of all franchises I reckon.

    Secondly, I see stats thrown around quite a bit.

    Before I get into interpretation, the first you need to do is question the source of statistics and how accurate it is. 3 different okes has 3 different stats on the same thing from this game from what I read in the last two days. Organisations pay specialised trained individuals a lot of money to record ‘official’ statistics (which they will not give away to you or me for free, believe me) so I am always fascinated who comes up with some of these stats being thrown around so easily.

    Now there are a lot of clever people on here who will appreciate how easy it is to manipulate statistics to suit a point of view. Having worked with rugby statistics and analysis since 2003 I have a pretty good understanding and appreciation on the importance and role of match statistics.

    There is an old saying on statistics I love: “Statistics is to sport what a lamp post is to a drunk man”

    Basically meaning that the role of the lamp post is to illuminate, show the way, but instead is being used as a support mechanism.

    Now the only way to use statistics effectively is to use it in context.

    I will use this example:

    Statistics will show you how many tackles Player A made and missed. But that in itself is absolutely pointless.

    What must be done with that statistics is it needs to be processed by a defence expert and manipulated into a report.

    For instance, once we have the tackle statistics for Player A, the defence coach will go an look at every tackle individually and rate the tackle in a couple of categories like

    a) Dominance in contact
    b) Staying in the system
    c) Return to action

    It often happens that a player that has made 9 tackles and missed none, gets a tackle success rate of 60% because he was dominated in every tackle, he shot up out of line and although he made the tackle the tackler got a pop away and ran into the gap he left in the system, and/or he takes forever to get back up from the floor back into action.

    Similarly, a player that made 10 tackles and missed 3 can get 90% because every tackle he did make he dominated the collision, got back on his feet quickly and dominated the Kings’ Space behind the tackle and the two out of three tackles he missed was for scrambling back after a line break running 60 meters and although getting to the tackle just being beaten for pace or space…

    You get what I am saying I am sure.

    This goes for every single recorded statistic.

    If I look at this game without seeing actual footage I am not surprised you ran 300 meters less with the ball because you spent 70% of the time in your own half. The Crusaders with 60% of the ball 70% of the time in the Sharks half of the field will of course kick less and run and pass more, it would be silly not to.

    Losing set phases and the inability to get out of your own half cost you this game. Not some fancy formula or playing style.

    And that is me on this.

  • Comment 92, posted at 30.03.16 14:04:49 by Morné Reply
  • @Nostraseth (Comment 91) : i would like to know how many times he received the ball at no10?that was one of the questions i asked for stats about re: willie at no10.the others had ro do with match situation.remember he is a left-footed kicker so in certain defensive plays he could be tasked with kicking.

  • Comment 93, posted at 30.03.16 14:06:57 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 92) : Thats far too much sense and perspective from you Morne 😉 Always a pleasure reading your posts

  • Comment 94, posted at 30.03.16 14:08:03 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 92) : The stats I use are the same ones used by SuperSport, so they are the ‘the organization’ paying “specialized trained individuals a lot of money to record ‘official’ statistics”. And they aren’t given out for free, considering you have to pay for their service.

    I don’t disagree that interpretation of stats could be different. But then again a lot of stats correlate perfectly to something pretty obvious (as you yourself pointed out with running meters).

    “Losing set phases and the inability to get out of your own half cost you this game. Not some fancy formula or playing style.”
    I think you will find a lot of people put the the inability to get out of the half on the play style.

  • Comment 95, posted at 30.03.16 14:18:48 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Morné (Comment 93) : thank you for that comment.

  • Comment 96, posted at 30.03.16 14:27:27 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Nostraseth (Comment 95) :

    Mate, SuperSport use plotters to record stats. It is by far the most inaccurate source of statistics you can hope to get. If you don’t believe me, sit through a game with 4 or even 8 mates and plot tackles, kicks, possession, territory, scrums, line outs, penalties for 30 players for 80 minutes live because that is what they do.

    Full code on 1 game will take two trained coders on specialised software a minimum of 8 hours to complete.

    The inability to get out of your own half is because you are ineffective in your exits and/or do not exit on your own terms. Really is as simple as that.

  • Comment 97, posted at 30.03.16 14:33:00 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 97) : Interesting, I use the Vodacom rugby stats, I presumed since their stats and the Super Sport stats match up that they use the same source. However looking at other sources, I haven’t seen any stats that vary more than small amounts, such as 2 kicks, or 1 offload, that hardly changes the portrait they paint.

    “The inability to get out of your own half is because you are ineffective in your exits and/or do not exit on your own terms. Really is as simple as that.”
    Surely how you go about exiting is by definition a part of the game plan?

  • Comment 98, posted at 30.03.16 14:43:43 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Morné (Comment 97) : Finally, somebody confirms it….never again shall I trust SS for any technical analysis.

    So each team employs their own “coders” for stats?

  • Comment 99, posted at 30.03.16 14:44:07 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 99) : Each team will get the video from the broadcaster in a specific format. The teams analyst/coder will then code that footage based on the program they use as well as what the coaches/management specifically want to ‘see’. The stats then generated still have to be sorted and refined by the analysts for ease of use by the coaches and players. Each stat is also backed up by a video clip from 3 angles usually.

  • Comment 100, posted at 30.03.16 14:47:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 101) : would love 3 angles of review on willie’s disallowed try 😀

  • Comment 101, posted at 30.03.16 14:55:36 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 101) : Thats what the TMO had

  • Comment 102, posted at 30.03.16 14:56:35 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 100) :yes, as @Morne pointed out,the stats dont paint a clear picture.player a made 10 from 10 tackles but never dominated 1.player b missed 3 from 10 but created 1 turn-over,1 penalty in his 7.the 3 he missed was because of other will show player a as being the better defender.

  • Comment 103, posted at 30.03.16 14:58:55 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 100) : Thanks for that info….just once again shows how little insight we actually gain, and what we see is no better than what the so-called tv and print experts use to form their opinions.

    It’s all effectively opinion based.

  • Comment 104, posted at 30.03.16 15:00:52 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Nostraseth (Comment 98) :

    I don’t know who Vodacom use for their stats but to suggest there is no real importance or influence in the accuracy of recording stats where individual player contributions for one team on attack and defence totals around 850 and that on average 1800 specific events are coded in a single game of 80 minutes is doltish. Especially since I see so many arguments and opinions based on stats.

    The mere definition of exit is simple enough, get out, and do it as quickly and effectively as possible. Every additional pass, carry or breakdown in an attempt to exit increases your risk of not only conceding possession, but also drastically decreases your chances of exiting on your own terms (eg. not forced into a poor kick or poor field position to make a kick). An exit is simple, solid platform, minimum of passes, strong kicker.

    @FireTheLooser (Comment 99) :

    Yes, those who can afford it. There are a couple of companies out there that offers this service but only really two or three that operates at this level, Fairplay, Versuco, etc.

    @SheldonK (Comment 100) :

    Spot on mate.

  • Comment 105, posted at 30.03.16 15:02:50 by Morné Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 103) : he only had one review from one angle.

  • Comment 106, posted at 30.03.16 15:04:14 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 106) : carel du plessis is invloved with this,if not mistaken?

  • Comment 107, posted at 30.03.16 15:06:29 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 101) :

    You only needed one to see it was wrong 😈

  • Comment 108, posted at 30.03.16 15:06:42 by Morné Reply
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 107) :

    Honestly don’t know, would not surprise me but can’t confirm.

  • Comment 109, posted at 30.03.16 15:07:51 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 105) : Any of the 18 SR teams unable to afford it?

    Only asking because I’d like to know if any of the teams are able to be successful without all the emphasis on stats.

  • Comment 110, posted at 30.03.16 15:08:04 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 110) :

    No all franchises have analysis software, but not all unions (smaller guys) – it is a very expensive tool

  • Comment 111, posted at 30.03.16 15:09:45 by Morné Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 105) : and quite scary how such superficial data can be manipulated by people on any form of media to proof a point/sway opinion if they have an agenda.

  • Comment 112, posted at 30.03.16 15:10:48 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 105) : Yeh an old varsity mate is helping out with the Sharks analysis, i saw the coded stats from the Sharks/Lions CC game last year…those guys definitely earn their money sifting through all that data

  • Comment 113, posted at 30.03.16 15:14:45 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 111) : So not just a simple Excel spreadsheet…surely somebody should tell SS. 😈

    @50shadesofshark (Comment 112) : All of this info just proves my disdain for sports media, what they say has as much influence/accuracy/rationale/credit as the thousands of daily comments on the various threads.

  • Comment 114, posted at 30.03.16 15:16:24 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 114) : Look they dont exactly make it up and i dont think they expect you to take it as the gospel truth. Its more just a conversation topic i guess

  • Comment 115, posted at 30.03.16 15:22:40 by SheldonK Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 112) :

    Stats are great, but its application differs hugely from one code to the next.

    I sat in meetings with companies from the US who makes millions coding stats for NFL, NHL, MJB, Soccer, etc., what makes rugby particularly difficult is its dynamic nature.

    The director of this well know multi-national company (they provided the analysis for the German football team when they won the SWC) said what they found particularly difficult with rugby is that in something like NFL only your receivers really score touchdowns and QB’s do 90% of the passing so it is easy to code or develop a programme to code. In rugby every guy has to tackle, pass and score points where only your hooker and kicker(s) to post have ‘specialist’ roles. Other than that, everyone has to do everything from clearing rucks to stealing balls.

    It makes the correct interpretation of stats that much more difficult in rugby because you have to figure out why your lock makes more tackles than your centre or why your flyhalf has more running meters than your wing.

    So in rugby it is not only how you process stats to ‘paint a picture’ as was stated on top, it is how you apply it to your game plan and strategies, what your shape is that you adopt as a team, will it be a 2-4-2 or a 1-5-1 split and do I have the right players with the right skills to slot into your preferred attacking shape and hundreds of other things.

    What we scratch on at the surface with stats is great for conversation around a braai, but there is a reason franchises spend hundreds and thousands of Rands a year on such systems and don’t use SuperSport.

  • Comment 116, posted at 30.03.16 15:23:01 by Morné Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 113) :

    It becomes really cool once you have the data, and start with trend analysis – now that is where you get to play with the cool toys.

  • Comment 117, posted at 30.03.16 15:24:42 by Morné Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 114) :

    I won’t say it is impossible, but we do not have the technology yet to code a game ‘live’. Or rather, the tech is there, but no-one will be able to afford it currently.

    Any event, what will Naas and Breytie have to talk about during the half time break if SS did not give them something? 😈

  • Comment 118, posted at 30.03.16 15:26:23 by Morné Reply
  • Anyone who doubts the value of stats in sport should watch the movie Moneyball.

  • Comment 119, posted at 30.03.16 15:28:03 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Morné (Comment 105) : So who would you suggest the Sharks use as the primary exit kicker?

  • Comment 120, posted at 30.03.16 15:28:15 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 117) : haha yeh look once its all coded and sorted then it is pretty cool to look through…surprising too as you realise some ‘expectations’ are actually quite far off the mark. Gives a whole new meaning to fans asking if the coach can actually ‘see’ whats going on…

  • Comment 121, posted at 30.03.16 15:29:27 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 116) : I don’t disagree that the nature of rugby makes recording stats a lot harder, same as it makes reffing a lot harder.

  • Comment 122, posted at 30.03.16 15:29:48 by Nostraseth Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 120) :

    Two options, exit from source as far as possible (Cobus) or Esterhuizen. Willie and Joe can be options under pressure from primary exit options. I just don’t know how consistent Cobus and Andre are with their kicking game…

  • Comment 123, posted at 30.03.16 15:30:11 by Morné Reply
  • @Nostraseth (Comment 122) :

    Refs are hugely undervalued in rugby, as mentioned, just in the Sharks game there were close to 1800 events (actions on the ball) of which the ref has to make a decision on 90% of those events in an instant, it is bloody hard.

  • Comment 124, posted at 30.03.16 15:32:32 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 123) : That makes sense.

  • Comment 125, posted at 30.03.16 15:35:26 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Folks it has been fun, but I am off. Chill a bit on your team, the curve is definitely upwards.

  • Comment 126, posted at 30.03.16 15:35:45 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 118) : I find it strange that Mallet would be so critical of teams with the limited in-studio resources available, when he knows fully well how much analysis it takes to make proper assessments – or maybe he’s just old-school 😆

    @Nostraseth (Comment 119) : The England cricket team tired the “moneyball” approach in last year’s cricket world cup (heard a commentator make mention of their 100% reliance on stats) – they’ve changed their approach since then.

    Can’t stat a game to death, especially rugby – so many factors to consider…

    Anyways, looking at what Morne says, the stats and interpretation of those stats being used by the teams are far more intricate than the grade 1 crayon drawings that we’ve been given.

  • Comment 127, posted at 30.03.16 15:39:08 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 92) :
    I’m done with this circular discussion – but this is in my opinion simply the problem we had last Saturday :
    “Losing set phases and the inability to get out of your own half cost you this game. Not some fancy formula or playing style.”

  • Comment 128, posted at 30.03.16 15:40:03 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Morné (Comment 127) : thanks for the time and sharing your thoughts and insight.

  • Comment 129, posted at 30.03.16 15:41:46 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 128) : You could say the converse is true for explaining the Crusaders winning- set piece superiority and ease of exit from their half.

  • Comment 130, posted at 30.03.16 15:42:31 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 127) :

    Saw this one and had to respond. Mallet understands the game and its momentum shifts so you will often see him refer to a stat with a video example (poor kick for instance) so I don’t have a problem with him at all.

    And in over a decade in this sort of field I can tell you with 100% certainty that any stat is useless without an experienced human interpretation of it. Rugby will never be able to replace the human element.

    Now I am really off, cheers.

  • Comment 131, posted at 30.03.16 15:43:31 by Morné Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 130) :
    I agree. My huge gripe with the team last week was that we just seemed so under-cooked in those areas, while they executed to perfection. Still wondering if we are doing enough work on areas other than defence.

  • Comment 132, posted at 30.03.16 15:47:04 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Morné (Comment 131) : Damnit…stop making sense 😈

  • Comment 133, posted at 30.03.16 15:47:51 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : Agreed…

  • Comment 134, posted at 30.03.16 15:50:56 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Big Fish (Comment 132) : I have been concerned over the Sharks exit strategy for ages. So fully agree with you. Same goes with the set pieces…it just doesnt look dynamic enough if im going to nit pick.

  • Comment 135, posted at 30.03.16 15:53:53 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 128) : and as @Morne made mentioned,according to someone who gives stats for amerrcan pro-sports teams,it is much more difficult to code rugby.moneyball was about is pretty straight-forward one could argue.ball,balt,toss,hit,catch,steal base?cricket has an added variable one could argue that would make it more difficult to code than baseball,though both are bat and ball games: the pitch.

  • Comment 136, posted at 30.03.16 15:55:46 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • Anyone who “expects” the Sharks to be the best is delusional and probably needs to unpack some personal issues.

    The reality is that we are are an improving team – good and getting better. That’s all.

    @SheldonK (Comment 135) :
    On exits, Joe P must own that one. On set pieces, I think the coaches saw this coming hence signing a chilli. The scrums were a lottery but line outs haven’t been consistentl at all.

  • Comment 137, posted at 30.03.16 15:58:36 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 136) : The biggest difference between baseball and rugby in terms on taking and evaluating stats is that baseball is basically set play after set play where as rugby is a fluid game with set play restarts. Much harder to use stats to pinpoint outcomes in a fluid game

  • Comment 138, posted at 30.03.16 15:58:38 by SheldonK Reply

  • @ebenp (Comment 56) : You could say that the Lions had an attitude change…or you could say that at some stage they actually really started building and now that work is finally paying off? Or not?

  • Comment 139, posted at 30.03.16 15:58:58 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 136) : Exactly.

    @Big Fish (Comment 132) : The trick for the Sharks would be to effectively exit behind a retreating pack – quite a few kiwi teams dealt with the superior streamers pack last year (or the year before) without too much issue.

    There will always be times where our pack won’t be superior, we need to find ways to work around that. I’ll leave it to our coaches to figure out how though.

  • Comment 140, posted at 30.03.16 16:00:20 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 140) : A Kiwi team when their scrum is under pressure, gets the ball out as quickly as possible. We can’t seem to grasp that concept.

  • Comment 141, posted at 30.03.16 16:04:27 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 137) : I think Joe will probably admit he can and has been more accurate with his kicks. He does rely on the ‘setup’ to be effective though. In terms of the scrumming..its generally been good when the guys concentrate-but i have seen too many lapses. Pretty much same with the lineouts, the guys just need to be confident and execute, trust themselves

  • Comment 142, posted at 30.03.16 16:04:46 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 140) : @Bokhoring (Comment 141) : You hit the nail on the head there. When faced with a superior pack NZ teams try to execute the set plays as quickly as possible to avoid the strength surge from the better pack.

  • Comment 143, posted at 30.03.16 16:06:57 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 141) : …and boy, does it grate me 😡

  • Comment 144, posted at 30.03.16 16:07:18 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • With no Sharks game this weekend, I am looking forward to the Lions game for two reasons 1) How the Lions’ game plan works against the Crusaders, and 2) How far Nadolo can kick a ball at altitude.

  • Comment 145, posted at 30.03.16 16:08:11 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 143) : We also negated Etzebeth in the lineout by using a lot of clever variations? Where were those against the even superior Whitelock and Read?

  • Comment 146, posted at 30.03.16 16:11:01 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Nostraseth (Comment 58) : 😯 Your definition/vision of “support” is very different to mine. I have a friend who grew up and still lives in Coventry, UK. He supports Coventry in football. They are currently third tier in the UK and it is probably safe to say they will not win the Premier League in the next 20 years. So he doesn’t support them because they are the best…he supports them because he loves them and identifies with them. Is his support really pointless? For me it is similar regarding my support for Newcastle United in the UK and Hannover 96 in Germany. I also support the German rugby team…and there is a “no hope of winning the World Cup” story if ever there was one. I support the Sharks because I am KZN born and bred and I love them and identify with them. I supported them when they were in the B-section, I supported them last year, I will support them this year and every year until I die. Do I want them to be the best? Sure. Do I stop supporting them when in a particular season or decade it is clear they are not the best? No chance. Am I happy with the progression shown this year after a poor season last year? Yes, I think so. Am I happy that they have chosen stability on the coaching front after 3 years of utter chaos, which arguably led us to where we are now? Definitely. If I don’t fit your definition of a sensible supporter…well, I might just take that as a compliment! 😀

  • Comment 147, posted at 30.03.16 16:14:49 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 146) : Very true indeed

  • Comment 148, posted at 30.03.16 16:16:27 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 145) : Pity Mark Richards isnt playing…could have compared the distance he bounces off Nadolo compared to Alberts. Shame its harsh i know but a little funny

  • Comment 149, posted at 30.03.16 16:17:35 by SheldonK Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 147) : Newcastle…Hannover 96…you sir have a lot of patience…or a beeeg bar fridge to numb the pain 🙂

  • Comment 150, posted at 30.03.16 16:19:31 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 71) : I think I am pretty much in agreement with that…

  • Comment 151, posted at 30.03.16 16:19:43 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @SheldonK (Comment 150) : Or both… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 152, posted at 30.03.16 16:20:09 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I would much rather see them having a go, and trying to play more expansive rugby and have to figure how to do this and still get the results, than ‘win at all costs even if it is rubbish rugby to watch’ scenario.

    Case in point is the Lions, they always had a go, and I valued this, even when they where still losing. They have successfully shown that you can play this way and still win games.

  • Comment 153, posted at 30.03.16 16:22:18 by stevovo Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 80) : Well played…

  • Comment 154, posted at 30.03.16 16:23:09 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @gregkaos (Comment 85) : Thank you for that…thank you very much indeed…

  • Comment 155, posted at 30.03.16 16:27:17 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 88) : Careful of the eye-roll… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 156, posted at 30.03.16 16:29:05 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 92) : I too thank you for that comment…

  • Comment 157, posted at 30.03.16 16:36:01 by pastorshark Reply
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  • From all the comments on all the different Sharksworld articles, it’s obvious that we detest losing to the Crusaders.

  • Comment 158, posted at 30.03.16 16:40:33 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 105) : As far as I know Vodacom uses Opta’s stats. It is obviously a public version and the detailed stats a team would get

  • Comment 159, posted at 30.03.16 16:43:12 by Baylion Reply

  • The Sharks have done very well so far this season and exceeded expectations. I have watched both the Bulls and Stormers games. My main concern is Joe Pieterso, he is a solid player with tons of experience. But the sad truth is HE IS NOT A FLYHALF. I dont believe he has the ability to spark our backline the way we would like him to. Ive seen that his exit play is quite terrible. He is the reason we play so much of our rugby in the wrong half.

  • Comment 160, posted at 30.03.16 16:49:19 by AYA11 Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 146) : One thing about experience and inexperience (and this probably applies to both players and management re: where the Sharks stand now):
    1. Inexperience often comes with the tendency to focus on one area or the other so much that the ability to see beyond that area of focus is compromised. I get the feeling we really focussed on that area for the Stormers game and had great results. In the Crusaders game we seem to have focussed strongly on defence…and that was really good…but it came at the expense of compromising a few things beyond the main area of focus. In my work and even in a few areas of expertise in which I train people, I would recognise that as coming from inexperience.
    2. Experience will increase the ability to focus on one thing in particular and yet still see and not compromise other areas. It should, however, be actively addressed with management and players – that is one element of improvement…

  • Comment 161, posted at 30.03.16 17:01:01 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @stevovo (Comment 153) :
    I’m just speaking in my personal capacity here, but I’d rather not follow the Lions route to rugby success if that’s OK.

  • Comment 162, posted at 30.03.16 17:01:03 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 162) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 163, posted at 30.03.16 17:03:01 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 142) :
    Personally, I don’t think Joe can do much better in terms of his distribution and kicking game – this is his limit. He’s done fantastically well after being asked to play 10 on short notice and in the absence of our captain and general, but he is not an SR starting flyhalf and he wasn’t signed as one.

    I thought a lot of Peyper’s scrum calls were iffy at best. The dramatic turn around in terms second half’s seems to confirm that – Adriaanse is not sooo much better at the set piece than Coenie and Crockett ain’t no slouch.

  • Comment 164, posted at 30.03.16 17:07:14 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 164) : Saders 1 was scrumming in allllll first half and Jaco didn’t spot it. Wonder if somebody told him that at half time.

  • Comment 165, posted at 30.03.16 17:13:14 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 166) : thanks for calling that.was the clearest on the penalty they received that ultimately led to first try..

  • Comment 166, posted at 30.03.16 17:50:58 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 35) : Thanks Rob, enjoying the coverage and debate on your blog so far this season. Maybe my rebuilding comment was made in jest but here is my late reply to your question. – (there might be overlap to some of the comments above, but unfortunately haven’t got through them all)

    Yes, we are rebuilding from the view point of new faces, new leadership, new coaches and hopefully a new off-field culture (which I think is on the right path). And yes, rebuilding takes time and requires patience from a fans perspectve I sometimes feel that the rebuilding notion is often used as a scapegoat for a lackluster performance (which I know there are differing views, but for me last week’s performance is not where we should be heading). But at the same time I feel like the Sharks have been rebuilding for a number of years, or at least have been purported to be so. Maybe this is what a real renovation in today’s rugby looks like, but will it end? Are we in a state of constant flux in our structures (across the unions (with exception of the Lions perhaps))? What foundations did we lay last year and were they the wrong spec?

    The other question is what are we rebuilding our on-field gameplay too (ie from what to what)? Is the kicking strategy our remodeled game play? I think a part of all of us wants to see exciting running rugby, hints of which were shown in France, and if you look at the Leopards the last two seasons, scoring tries wasn’t an issue. So I would tend to suggest that the new blood in the team (players and coach) want to play a running game and if we are rebuilding then we should be rebuilding our on-field play towards that. So win or lose in the name of development we should be practicing that philosophy this season (like what the Lions have been doing the past few seasons (also, granted they have had decent player retention). Maybe I have missed something, but 35 kicks from hand doesn’t lend itself to a running game philosophy.

    Alternatively, if a kicking philosophy is the preferred on-field rebuild then we have some work to do (stats* would suggest this is our route as after Round 5, three of the top 10 spots for kicks out of hand are occupied by Sharks players). Our kicking protagonists on Saturday (two of which are Springboks) have to be more clinical and if they are having an off day then between the captain, scrumhalf, flyhalf, and fullback a consensus is made on the field to change it up a bit (or make a tactical substitution if you are the coach). All four of those positions are experienced players so I don’t think rebuilding is to blame. I feel Cobus is a bit out of form at the moment and was hoping to see Claassens come on earlier in the second half to see if that sparked more backline movement. My theory on why Claassens did not come on earlier is that he doesn’t enjoy playing a kicking game and might be underutilized this season.

    (*right so I know there is contention around the stats (based on the many comments above), but since I only have one source lets indulge me on this one. I also know that stats need to be taken into context and it is much more complex than just one criteria, but after enough input from a constant source trends will start to appear, so maybe its not the specific number but the trend)
    Sharks vs Kings (a): Kicks from hand: 12
    Sharks vs Jaguares (h): Kicks from hand: 24
    Sharks vs Stormers (a): Kicks from hand: 25
    Sharks vs Bulls (a): Kicks from hand: 29
    Claassens: 3
    Joe Pietersen: 11
    Jordaan: 1
    Mvovo: 1
    Le Roux: 6
    Reinach : 7 (sub on at 52min 9 passes in that time)

    Sharks vs Crusaders (h): Kicks from hand: 35
    Reinach: 12
    Joe Pietersen: 11
    Esterhuizen: 1
    JP Pietersen: 1
    Le Roux: 10
    Claassens: 0 (passed 7 times in his 7 min played – granted, maybe we were chasing the game a bit)

    Sharks vs Lions: ?

    Is this a decent trend to indicate something about our new attacking philosophy? Or is it horses for courses and part of a bigger process. Maybe the Saders game will be an anomaly of the season.

    So there comes a point in time to say yes, lets all calm down and acknowledge that there are many elements and facets of rebuilding and these things don’t happen overnight, but in what direction are we going towards on the field, running (as indicated in France (although I don’t have the stats to back that up)) or kicking (as the last few games have indicated). Have the management changed their minds to the philosophy and intentions that we started with in pre-season and are we now rebuilding the semi-rebuilt? Is there a clear strategy behind our tactics employed in the last few games?

    Guess the challenge comes that rugby is just not about rugby anymore. People look at the NZ teams and say why cant we do (play) that as if a kicking game or crash ball game is antiquated and dull. The administrators and sponsors want to attract as much people as possible to view these matches and I would imagine, want high scoring and running rugby, as it is viewed by some as a more exciting brand of rugby. This notion trickles down to the average fan who says: “yes, why aren’t we doing that?”. So when the Sharks revert to the ‘antiquated’ brand of kicking ball away, there are some upset people. I think the game against the Lions will be a fascinating one. From the outside it is set to be a battle of contrasting styles or will we see something different?

  • Comment 167, posted at 30.03.16 17:56:12 by PaulyJ Reply

  • In short, no I don’t think we’re getting the rugby we deserve. I realise it’s easy to be an armchair critic and though there is visible pride in the jersey et cetera, the guys are training all week long and the coaches have a strategic goal but we looked Ill prepared, especially for a home crowd of that size.

  • Comment 168, posted at 30.03.16 18:47:05 by SeanJeff Reply
  • @PaulyJ (Comment 168) : yes,stats is a strange thing.last year’s winners,the highlanders,on 2015 superrugby stats see them placed 10th for passes and 2nd for kicking.

  • Comment 169, posted at 30.03.16 19:10:10 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • I think Gold is getting the rugby he deserves.
    He is playing a game plan without the players to achieve it.
    His plan would work well with Pat or Frans Steyn or even Viljoen from the Sunwolves to execute it.
    The little pop gun boots on Willie and Joe are never going to win you that game.
    We have a devastating back line and a scrum half who never feeds them.

  • Comment 170, posted at 30.03.16 19:13:43 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • If I hear that &*%[email protected]#* humidity excuse again!

    I swear King’s Park should be torn down piece by piece and rebuilt in in the Kloof/Hillcrest/Waterfall area where there is no *&^%$#@ humidity.

    Just off the N3/M13 in this major population growth area. It will pull in people from PMB too. Make it nice and accessible with easy parking.

    But then it would probably be “too misty” or “too temperate” up there for decent handling. 🙄

  • Comment 171, posted at 30.03.16 19:29:00 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 169) : Yip agree, with the right execution it can be an effective strategy. They are ahead in the kicking stats again so far this season (according to one stats source)

  • Comment 172, posted at 30.03.16 20:22:29 by PaulyJ Reply

  • Evening all. Sorry I have been MIA for a while but do still read and enjoy all the comments and write ups daily. Just a quick one on stats. I do think that in the modern age too much emphasis is being put on stats and analysis. Sometimes its just getting on with it and coach the team. A very wise man once said to me “Rugby is a simple game, do not complicate it”. I know there is a place and there should be a place for analysis but it should be to support and not the be all and en all.

  • Comment 173, posted at 30.03.16 20:35:13 by Lieplapper Reply

  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 171) : I agree these guys train every evening in the humidity,if anything it should be an advantage especially against New Zealand teams most of whom probably can’t spell humidity.

  • Comment 174, posted at 30.03.16 20:45:25 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 171) : Yes please… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 175, posted at 30.03.16 21:20:04 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @PaulyJ (Comment 167) : One of the points made about the Sharks inability to rebuild properly in the last few seasons is the ridiculously high turnover of coaches. That would be one reason why we constantly had to rebuild…

  • Comment 176, posted at 30.03.16 21:21:19 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @pastorshark (Comment 176) : although as we discussed yesterday some coaches – the best coaches have a knack of coming straight in and getting success in their first or second seasons.

    Let’s just look at the last 5 years of Super Rugby for examples.

    Close to home, remember Jake White? He coached the team to 10 wins from his first 13 games… sure the wheels fell off from there with that senior player revolt and we then came up against the Crusaders in a semi….. but it was the first (and only time) the Sharks finished first in the SA conference. That’s pretty immediate success…

    Yesterday we spoke about Ewan McKenzie and Michael Cheika coaching their respective teams the Reds and Waratahs to first ever Super trophies in only their second seasons at the helm… that’s pretty successful…. Cheika had already won Heineken Cup with Leinster so he certainly had a track record for winning big regional competitions…

    So the bench mark is high for Gold to emulate this success in this his second season :mrgreen:

    One a separate note, SA teams love excuses. And they always seem to be “rebuilding” in some way.

  • Comment 177, posted at 31.03.16 00:11:24 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 177) : Your point is valid…but it confirms mine, though…all of those gentlemen, including White came into those unions after protracted periods of stability at the union…my argument is definitely not that a coach cannot have pretty immediate success, just that the coach himself is not the only factor in the equation…the main factor I can identify as having a major influence is stability at the union. My article should be finished this week and the facts seem to point in that direction…

  • Comment 178, posted at 31.03.16 06:44:20 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Well my vote is with the people who say we are trying to play a plan in which we either have no skill or the guys executing do not show the form in that aspect of their game for it to be an effective strategy. 3 things for me 1 breakdowns need more agressive players wanting to secure posession. 2 our kickers are poor at kicks from hand or they are off form they need to lean less on it. 3 the handling simply must improve.

  • Comment 179, posted at 31.03.16 06:51:46 by coolfusion Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 174) : might want to check out weather news sites in NZ before claiming they don’t know humidity. Very quick Google shows Christchurch with around the 80s and 90s for humidity over the next 3days.

  • Comment 180, posted at 31.03.16 07:29:20 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @The hound (Comment 170) : Agreed

  • Comment 181, posted at 31.03.16 08:17:33 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @coolfusion (Comment 180) : the breakdown becomes difficult when players are being played around their neck.

  • Comment 182, posted at 31.03.16 08:32:09 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 164) : I agree on Pieterson, he is a 15 playing at 10 and plays it like a 15. Sharks management and a lot of fans put all their faith in Pat Lambie just like last year and well he got injured again. So last year we had make shift 10s and again this year. Management dont seem keen to entrust the role to a youngster so stick with a steady player like Pieterson. The way scrums are reffed these days its a definite lottery so very tough to have a go at the guys in the front row…unless its clearly their error. Id love to see Paril or even Radebe given a chance to run the team from 10. Id also like some of our big chaps to get themselves fit and start contributing..the likes of DuToit and Potgieter etc

  • Comment 183, posted at 31.03.16 09:10:40 by SheldonK Reply

  • Annoys the shit out of me when I read the Crusaders saying the Sharks are a typical, prescriptive ‘African’ team.

  • Comment 184, posted at 31.03.16 12:13:47 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @pastorshark (Comment 178) : it does seem that some teams can enjoy the status quo a little too much when too stable, entertain a lethargy. It does also seem that something small like a fresh face and fresh ideas, minor tweaks can be the spark needed to ignite a team where a foundation has already been laid.

    But lets look at the wider picture of the Sharks here….

    Plumtree was in charge of the Super Rugby campaigns from 2008 – 2013. That’s 6 years. You can’t get more stable than that. Jake White was in charge for 2014. Gary Gold is now into his second year 2015 -2016.

    It’s hardly the big upheaval some are making it out to be? Especially when Jake White himself laid down a pretty solid platform of overhauling the defensive pattern, ‘winning’ the SA conference for the first time and reaching a semi final.

    Sure, there is also the Currie Cup when we’ve had other coaches. But I don’t think that is necessarily such a big factor considering
    (i) we won the Currie Cup in 2013 under Venter (can’t get more positive than that)
    (ii) the Union actually seemed to want to pursue a course of having different coaches for the Currie Cup and not the director of rugby – it was by design and not forced upon us (why we had McLeod-Henderson in that role in 2014 regardless of White leaving)
    (iii) our main players don’t even play in the Currie Cup so what is the big deal?

    So the wider picture of Super Rugby is hardly an unstable period of upheaval: 2008 – 2013 under Plumtree, 2014 under White and 2015 – 2016 under Gold…..

    Question: seeing as Jake White worked so hard on defence in 2014, what happened to it in 2015 when it seemed to disappear completely? We had the same core of players in those two seasons.

    I think SA sides are just so much more prone to look for excuses precisely because we are big under achievers. 7 of the 8 Super Rugby winners are from outside SA, that is a massive underachievement no way around it. Travel, ref bias, rebuilding, humidity and now stability…

  • Comment 185, posted at 31.03.16 12:19:07 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 185) : I think when people refer to the lack of consistency and upheaval at the Sharks they are referring to how Smit came in, Plum was fired, Jake in and then abruptly out, stories of financial mismanagement, player unrest, then Gold arriving late from Japan, Venter being semi involved, uncertainty over DOR and coaching roles…that all adds up and can take its toll. So whilst Gold may not be everyones cup of tea he has at least kept continuity going for this year, he has recruited well both in coaches and players. So will they be world beaters this year…unlikely…but i think they good be laying a good platform again and giving themselves a great shot at it

  • Comment 186, posted at 31.03.16 13:48:17 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 186) : especially next year.

    When we will:

    1. Only play Australian teams
    2. Have 3 Australian teams at home and only a 2 match tour of Australia
    3. Play the Bulls and Stormers at home

    We will never have a better opportunity to finish 1st on the combined table, get a home smi and final and win Super Rugby.

  • Comment 187, posted at 31.03.16 14:45:54 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @SheldonK (Comment 186) : and finally, can you imagine if we had a coach we all believed in?… We sure would all bitch and moan less.

    Gold is no McKenzie, Cheika, White or Rennie but we all hope for miracles, don’t we?

  • Comment 188, posted at 31.03.16 14:48:57 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 187) : Geez when you simplify it like that then hell yeh!! Wow when summarised it just shows how badly composed this tournament is

  • Comment 189, posted at 31.03.16 15:05:32 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 188) : Look even those guys have their downfalls..McKenzie bombed badly with the Reds as well, Cheika is 1 bad ref call from throwing a tv at a player, White’s gameplan is well hated, And well havnt heard anything bad regarding Rennie so good on him haha One thing you have to give Gold credit for is identifying weakness and looking to change that…he got rid of meddling Venter, Got a defense coach thats been needed for ages, and in came Rob DuPreez to be attacking coach…so if he builds on those decisions we may get somewhere

  • Comment 190, posted at 31.03.16 15:09:03 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 189) : that is precisely what the Stormers have this year…

  • Comment 191, posted at 31.03.16 15:11:17 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @SheldonK (Comment 190) : in other words, if he can appoint the right people to do the important coaching stuff and go hide away in a windowless office somewhere and do “director of rugby” things, we may have a chance?

  • Comment 192, posted at 31.03.16 15:12:53 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 191) : Im impressed you managed to sift through all those fixtures etc. Lucky Stormers. They should comfortably top their group then.

  • Comment 193, posted at 31.03.16 15:17:36 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 192) : The appointments show he can probably be good at the DOR role thing. He is a pretty good forwards coach and bar the odd lapse in concentration our forwards have been pretty good this year. They have had stern tests from the Jaguares, Stormers and Crusaders…and i still dont think he has had his no.1 choice pack out there yet.

  • Comment 194, posted at 31.03.16 15:19:18 by SheldonK Reply

  • Sarugby should appoint just one foreign-based assistant to help the new bok coach,and that person should be:

  • Comment 195, posted at 31.03.16 15:24:03 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 195) : You do realise the article says he has moved back to be closer to family? So thats a definitely no to any idea of Bok assistant. As much as id like it i really really really cannot see a foreign assistant being appointed..well unless he is a Zimbo

  • Comment 196, posted at 31.03.16 15:29:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 195) : 3 paragraphs stick out for me there.

    Of particular note was the dramatic improvement he oversaw in the All Blacks’ ability under the high ball after they were exposed there in three losses – one at home and two away – to the Springboks in 2009. Two years later, it formed a focal strength in the 2011 World Cup triumph.”

    The All Blacks are very smart at identifying a weakness and turning it into a strength. How long have the conserative, slow thinking SA teams bumbled along with the same old, same old?

    “Byrne’s role in New Zealand rugby is often underrated but not by those within the All Blacks camp. At the beginning, he and set piece guru Mike Cron travelled the country more than 200 days of the year – working at all levels of the professional game through specific coaching.”

    Do the assistant Bok coaches fulfil a similar role coaching the rest of the country for almost 2/3rds of the year?

    “During his time with the All Blacks, he went to three World Cups and had a hand in winning two; playing a key role in developing technical abilities – ranging from kicking to passing and tackling.”

    Who is the coach who is responsible for developing these technical abilities for the Boks? Do we have one?

  • Comment 197, posted at 31.03.16 15:32:26 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 182) : Are you referring to the crusaders game? If so our breakdown problem reared it it’s head with the stormers jaguar and bulls games already. It can’t all be their or the refs fault. We need to shape up.

  • Comment 198, posted at 31.03.16 15:38:16 by coolfusion Reply

  • I love reading international opinion of South African rugby. It is so illuminating and prevents you from thinking everything is all rosy. It’s also highly embarrassing.

    This is what has to say about last weekend’s performance by SA and Aus.

    South Africa:

    Two from five is about as good as it will get for these guys this year. The Stormers and Lions aside, the South Africans are in strife. And of those two, only the Lions are worth watching.

    We really have become an international farce.

    Re Australia, there is big talk there about either dropping the Force or replacing them with a side based in Western Sydney, based in Parramatta. While it’s becoming obvious to everyone that Australian can’t have 5 teams…. hello, how about SA with their stupid number of lets-shoot-ourselves-in-own-feet teams?


    It now seems clear to most pundits that Australia has too many teams. The Force are a shambles and if it’s not them it’s someone else. The Reds sacked their coach after two weeks and the Rebels, widely suggested to be making big improvements, couldn’t get near the Highlanders at home. The state of the pitch at AAMI Park summed up their performance. The Waratahs have gone backwards, too. Sure the Brumbies are genuine contenders but Australia doesn’t have the depth to support five teams.

  • Comment 199, posted at 31.03.16 15:38:50 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @SheldonK (Comment 197) : yes,i did read the article 😀

  • Comment 200, posted at 31.03.16 15:41:08 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • The thing is, the Australians are smart. They have to be as a minority sport in a sports mad country.

    Their press is littered with the debate surrounding the Force and the ability to sustain 5 teams.

    Why do we read nothing critical in SA – seriously critical not just old Robbie Houwing being polite – about the Kings and whether we should have 6 teams? Where is the debate about the future of our game?

  • Comment 201, posted at 31.03.16 15:41:55 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 200) : Ah ok…thought you were really suggesting him as an option

  • Comment 202, posted at 31.03.16 15:46:15 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 201) : Being overly critical in SA papers etc and bordering on the political will get you in a lot of trouble. Perhaps thats why? Lot easier to be critical in NZ and OZ

  • Comment 203, posted at 31.03.16 15:47:38 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 184) : Would probably annoy me as well if I could understand what it meant.

  • Comment 204, posted at 31.03.16 15:49:45 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @SheldonK (Comment 203) : i wonder how far and how deep sarugby casts the net sometimes.interesting that eddie jones wanted to get mick byrne involved whilst still in aus,but it didnt year later the all blacks came and held a meeting in the same hotel and it did happen.on such things do the fortunes of (rugby)nations turn?

  • Comment 205, posted at 31.03.16 15:53:23 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 204) : oh trust me, it has negative connotations. The word prescriptive was used. So think dumb, boring, no creativity, conservative, inflexible or you can just go with the word coined by their coach “kickfest”.

  • Comment 206, posted at 31.03.16 15:56:54 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 205) : Look reading articles and comments from the sports ministry i dont think that net will be cast any further than our sa citizens but cant discuss more than that. There is a lot that goes into a person accepting a job and whether it is right for them or not. I really wish it was as easy as pointing a finger at someone and saying yes we will have you and that person comes running…if only

  • Comment 207, posted at 31.03.16 15:59:18 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 204) : Does it mean most SA players are qualified doctors / pharmacists, or that they keep telling the ref what to do?

  • Comment 208, posted at 31.03.16 16:03:33 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 206) : Its with the prescriptive bit where I get lost – to me it means “my way or the hiway” and I just dont see where that fits in with rugby. My understanding of English is limited though, but not as limited Kiwis knowledge of geography.

  • Comment 209, posted at 31.03.16 16:05:51 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 208) : Yeah, now if they said the refs were prescriptive then it would make more sense (to me).

  • Comment 210, posted at 31.03.16 16:07:25 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 209) : If they used formulaic, that would have made sense, but prescriptive?

  • Comment 211, posted at 31.03.16 16:09:51 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 208) : fair enough.

  • Comment 212, posted at 31.03.16 16:11:21 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • Lions and cheetahs have a go with ball in hand.heard william small-smith say how strange it was for him to hear a coach,franco smith,tell the players they should not be afraid of the 50/50 pass/off-load.rather,he wants the players to do it.

  • Comment 213, posted at 31.03.16 16:15:43 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 213) : It is a bot easier to say that at the Cheetahs when nobody expects you to win…so if you pull it off and win people are glad but if you make mistakes and lose people just accept that as it was expected beforehand. I think the supporters at the Sharks, Bulls and Stormers are a lot less forgiving than the Cheetahs and Lions supporters…

  • Comment 214, posted at 31.03.16 16:23:15 by SheldonK Reply

  • Apropos of the discussion regarding stats lately, it makes me think of a scene from Executive Decision where Kurt Russel’s character is taking flying lessons and runs through a checklist and asks the instructor what he’s missing and the instructor smiles and says, ‘just relax, and fly the airplane.” I appreciate strategy and tactics and a team can really take that sort of stuff up the Wazoo however I get the impression as an almost-know-nothing TV warrior that the guys are on the field like cadets doing a drill and not confident of their skills in making quick decisions. I look at the earlier games and when the Sharks made a break there were runners on the tail of the guy who made a break, ready to finish it off. I haven’t seen that lately, and of course the paucity of running and prevalence of kicking. At its basic element of reduction, its simple: in the opponent’s half: get the ball, find a gap and run like a herd of zebra or something. In your own half: keep it structured and close. I know Gary Gold and the coaches know this and there is some element that is getting progressively less that gives the team the confidence in executing it. And also, when you’re at home, be a little rowdy and don’t take a step back.

  • Comment 215, posted at 31.03.16 16:25:10 by SeanJeff Reply
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 209) : @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 210) : @Bokhoring (Comment 211) : no problem at all with the word prescriptive in this sense, which means ‘relating to the imposition or enforcement of a rule or method.’ In this context it means rigid, inflexible, inability to think or do anything ‘out the box’. Kick even when you have an overlap type stuff because that’s the plan.

  • Comment 216, posted at 31.03.16 16:26:37 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @SheldonK (Comment 215) : could be so or could be coaches views on the not defending the style of coaches or any coach.just saying it is not like every sa team plays 10 man rugby.and that expansive rugby here means passing to the no12 to kick 😀

  • Comment 217, posted at 31.03.16 16:29:41 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • If the overlap in question is passing to the 120kg prop in own 22 with the opposition loosies coming across in cover defence,and no support on the inside,or coming across quicker than said 3 of the opponents,then yes,kick it.chances are prop will be tackled,isolated and penalised for holding on in a goalkicking/attacking line-out position.

  • Comment 218, posted at 31.03.16 16:43:07 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 218) : mate, are you on the good stuff today? Who passes to a prop in the 22m in the magical fairyland circumstances you just created?

  • Comment 219, posted at 31.03.16 16:56:15 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 220) : who passes to the prop in their own 22m?not those kiwi and assie teams?think about that question of yours for a moment..who passes to a prop in the 22m?

  • Comment 220, posted at 31.03.16 17:03:50 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 216) : I speak English very deliciously, so I stand corrected. 😆

  • Comment 221, posted at 31.03.16 17:14:20 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 221) : I’ll throw you with a rock. Anything but that and you’re ok in my books. 😆

  • Comment 222, posted at 31.03.16 17:32:15 by Character_Schmarachter Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 222) : Haha

  • Comment 223, posted at 31.03.16 18:17:27 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 222) : There is nothing wrong with that English sentence, granted you have to be a very strong bugger to throw someone with a rock, even a small someone. Afrikenglish is a language right? 😛 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 224, posted at 31.03.16 18:37:24 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 185) : Let me think about all that and get back to you…you make some valid points…

  • Comment 225, posted at 31.03.16 23:41:41 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 201) : I could venture a reason why it is not discussed in SA…but I won’t… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 226, posted at 31.03.16 23:47:49 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Character_Schmarachter (Comment 222) : 😀

  • Comment 227, posted at 31.03.16 23:51:55 by pastorshark Reply
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