All we need is just a little…

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 18 Apr 2016 at 08:54
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Come on, Guns’n’Roses fans – complete the title for me!

The magical word, of course, is “patience” and I’ll admit that for Sharks supporters this year, we’re going to need more than just a little of it. Saturday’s loss to the Blues was disappointing, not so much because a developing Sharks team failed to pick up an away win, but more because it was a game that we felt they really did have in the bag, after scoring a great try early in the second half. These Sharks are clearly learning a great deal of lessons this season and Saturday’s one, I hope, will be “how not to close out a game”.

Not that there wasn’t reason for some positivity and a little bit of hope. Certain aspects of the Sharks play were a lot better; they protected ball better at the rucks (for the most part), stood firm in the scrums and were generally quite well disciplined. Handling was also better, for the most part. There were clear signs, to me, that at least some form of an attacking game is starting to come together; while finishing was still a problem, there was definite evidence of a desire to do more with ball in hand, particularly when Willie le Roux was asked to operate at first receiver. While individual lapses and a clear sense of fatigue worked together to ultimately undermine the effort, I did note that the Sharks were again pretty solid on defence for most of the match – perhaps fledgling signs of the fabled “balanced approach” to the game?

Some will tell me I’m grasping at straws here and I will admit that the positives I did see were rather faint, but there all the same. Individuals stood out with great performances, but one feels that team cohesion is something that is still building. It’s a fragile thing and a hard one to get right for Gary Gold – he needs to keep combinations together in order to see them develop stronger bonds; however, it is clear that fatigue is setting in for some of these players, particularly the ones who have played close to 80 minutes each week of the campaign so far.

An area that remains maddeningly frustrating is the line-out. We’ve seen just how good the Sharks can be at this phase, taking into account the magnificent display against the Stormers in week 3, when the underrated Sharks pack dominated their Springbok-studded opponents. Since then, success percentages in the set piece have varied wildly and there remains a shocking propensity for a key attacking line-out to be lost, due to a poor throw or a player being bested in the air. This happened three times within just five minutes on Saturday and effectively ended any chance of the Sharks scoring to retake the lead, after the Blues had scored their second try.

Gold and his team will have some big decisions on their hands as the next two weeks loom. One feels, with the best will in the world, that the Sharks on current form are unlikely to seriously challenge either the Highlanders or the Chiefs and would perhaps do better to keep their powder dry ahead of a run of more winnable fixtures, beginning with the Hurricanes at home in three weeks’ time. With the likes of Pat Lambie, Jacques Potgieter and Ruan Botha targeting that game for their return from injury, there could well be hope of a mid-season revival, providing the Sharks can get through the remainder of this “tour from hell” with other key personnel intact.


  • Agree that we must look at the positives 100%. At the start of this season all I personally wanted to see was credible progress week on week. I think we are seeing that. I think if our line outs had fired correctly we would have won that game easily.

    A lot of people have remarked on the need for an out and out fetcher after Marcel’s injury and all I can say is that Cloete is going to be receiving a lot of offers at the end of this season. I think we may have to cast a wider net.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.04.16 09:01:07 by KimFurber Reply
  • I thought the intend was there. Could have been different if this was the 8th go at it. Defense do tire those legs and after 4 weeks of just defending you could see it. Ref also did not alloe us to steel some ball. Overall a big up, now keep at it and in 2 ot 3 weeks we can win all our games going forward

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.04.16 09:03:25 by ebenp Reply
  • @KimFurber (Comment 1) : Graham Geldenhuys

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.04.16 09:04:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • I found it sad that Gold didn’t back April in the last 15 mins. He was obviously worried that the game would be decided by a penalty kick and that April might have a bigger chance of missing than Pietersen, but I think he needs to give the kid a chance. It’s the only way he’s going to grow into that position. Pietersen also looked tired at the end. Surely, now, after this loss he can throw caution to the wind and start Garth, and maybe a couple of other more rested players?

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.04.16 09:13:29 by jakkalas Reply

  • Week one on tour and you have how many references to fatigue in your piece.
    We still need to play two more tough sides over there come home to play the Hurricanes and then carry on moving to Argentina the next week.
    So I think your missing word could be REST.
    Those two stupid unnecessary games in Europe are what has come home to haunt us

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.04.16 09:15:22 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Is it realistic to even see if someone like Majola (who seems to have the right build, for it) to grow into that role?

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.04.16 09:17:06 by KimFurber Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : I think before they through the poor guy in the deep end, they should at least play him on a couple of CC games als, but a very good prospect of what I have read about him so far

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.04.16 09:17:34 by Henkb Reply
  • @KimFurber (Comment 6) : I’m a big fan of Khaya too, great flanker, but to me GG is more of an out-and-out fetcher,

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.04.16 09:19:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 5) : hmmm…. All we need is just a little REST. You sound like a Cloud Architect.

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.04.16 09:20:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 5) : birdy tells me that the Sharks made a lot of money out of that trip (as in, more than one meeeeelion ZARs). So I think it’s safe to assume it was arranged by the suits upstairs, rather than the tracksuits downstairs. See what I’m getting at? Ginger, not gold….

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.04.16 09:21:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :You are far too clever for me that went straight over my head {grey head}

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.04.16 09:23:06 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : maybe time to start with Chili and see how he goes!?!?

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.04.16 09:29:17 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 5) : Haunt and taunt us, haunt us in the fatique issues and taunt us into believeing that there may be something new for us fans to get excited about.

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.04.16 09:37:35 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Our basic skills are letting us down. Simply holding on to the ball in a tackle, proper passing, line-outs, clearance kicks. We’re doing some really good things that we haven’t seen the Sharks do in a while, like keeping the ball alive and not dying with possession in every tackle, supportive running and quicker clearance from the rucks, but we are unable to string together a couple of phases and this is letting us down big time.

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.04.16 09:52:09 by Letgo Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 12) : Kyle has been so disappointing and something seems off with him so Chilli on bench? Also I hope Lewies learns from this game regarding the calling of lineouts to read where we are stronger in lineups and matchups. Franco is getting much better but consistency when tired drops off. Also pleased with with scrum improvement and this makes it clear Coenie is a 1 or super sub 3.

    Pretty sure we can expect quite a few changes as quite a few looked dead on their feet. Especially Beast, Ettas and Joe.

    Would love to hear Morne’s take on what went wrong with def setup that allowed Beast and Franco to be matched up against the wing for that winning try.

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.04.16 09:59:29 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 14) : 100% on your mark with your comment. The Sharks are trying to get some good stuff going but the numerous errors both handling and silly penalties are killing any momentum or sustained pressure they can apply. As they say its the little things that count and at the moment its those little things that are badly affecting the Sharks.

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.04.16 10:05:38 by SheldonK Reply

  • Sharks need to get rid of Reinach, Joe P and Esterhuizen.

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.04.16 10:07:17 by Loosehead Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 15) : Nothing really wrong with the setup for Beast and Marais…think they were involved in a ruck etc on that side of the field when play was cleared up so they just followed that line up. Marais was fine and in line but Beast was too slow/tired to get in line and the 15 went through the gap. We had cover defense but the 15 made Claasens look like was stuck in the mud

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.04.16 10:14:37 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : thanks! well spotted and executed by Blues then – give credit where it is due – fair play

    yip KD tried hard to catch up but MC did look his age there…. It did remind of the days when Adi Jacobs created havoc as scrummie from ruck or first receiver attacking the blind side in open play. For all his issue he did have a lot of vision – something I am hoping to see steady but quick improvement on the tour.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.04.16 10:30:21 by Kabouter Reply

  • @KimFurber (Comment 1) : agree re:cloete.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.04.16 10:32:48 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 19) : Yeh look the Blues guy did well to spot that Beast was a bit out of line- so def credit there. It did come from a clearance kick under pressure where if we had kicked it out it wouldnt have given them that chance. But yeh from what i saw it wasnt a system error but rather a player effort error.

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.04.16 10:33:23 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 21) : Beast needs a break asap and GG will have to mange his load and captaincy. Unfortunately at this level no team can afford any player at any stage of the game not up for it mentally or physically.

    I see Mitchell is advocating that Willie be considered for FH both at SR and Bok level.. thoughts?

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.04.16 10:39:21 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 14) : A number of the good things you describe I would call team skills, and all the bad issues (apart from lineouts) individual skills.

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.04.16 10:46:47 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Kabouter (Comment 22) : Yes agree on your Beast point. The NZ commentators made reference to Beast age and he clearly cannot play 80min anymore. So would it not be wise to start the young Thomas and then let Beast play the last 30/35min etc? I have seen a few people now call for Willie at 10. It has been a little while since he has really opened things up from 15 and he doesnt have express pace or is very physical. Id be very happy to let him run at 10 and have a look. Sharks seem intent on saying April is a 15 so why not play that combo then.

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.04.16 10:52:31 by SheldonK Reply

  • Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.04.16 10:56:11 by Henkb Reply
  • @Kabouter (Comment 22) : interesting call,but lambie could be back for the canes game.think willie at no10 and rhyno smith no15(attacking player and good goal kicker),could be an interesting option.but smith is not there.

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.04.16 11:02:17 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • I dont think you are clutching at straws Rob. We really just need to be patient and realistic. I am seeing some good things from the guys, but we will probably only hit our straps after the play-offs are lost.

    The main risk I am worried about is the mental resilience of the team; they need to come out of a tough patch maintaining their belief in themselves and the team. If they dont (even for a single game), then we will get walloped.

    Until we get guys likePat, Chilli and Ruan Botha in, we are playing back foot rugby with no terrtorial kicking supremacy and no reliable set piece. We have actually managed reasonably well in those (awful) circumstances.

    @Henkb (Comment 25) :
    I like that – nicely put!

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.04.16 11:02:35 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 26) : Having played so many minutes doesnt excuse the fact that it was an effort error. He didnt make the effort to get in the line properly. If Marais had shifted in then he would have been covering Beasts line and there would have been a big space outside and even further for the cover defense to get there which they couldnt do already. So its definitely an effort error in that moment. fact is he should have been subbed prior to that. Beast doesnt have the legs to play more than 50min max.

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.04.16 11:07:56 by SheldonK Reply

  • I have been saying for a while now that Willie needs to be at 10. And when he did our attack looked quite potent. Also am i the only one that thinks that JoeP had a shocker on defence? My MOTM was with out a doubt the Ninja. He had a absolute cracker. He was everywhere. Agree with everyone re: Beast. He looked stuffed after 60mins. My line up for Friday would be:
    Tank, Franco, Adriaanse, Ettas, Lewies, Keegan, JLDP, Ninja, Claasens, Willie, Mvovo, Esterhuyzen, Jordaan, Sithole, April. And my bench would be :
    Chilliboy, Beast, Coenie, Hyron, Dan, Reinach, JoeP, Odwa

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.04.16 11:12:03 by Fox Reply

  • I think Cooper is a no go, I would love to know what his line out success rate is, I also think Reinach is a big problem for us, he give us a good game every now and then and is sh!thouse for the next few, we need quick ball and a 9 that is not scared to kick from the base in our 22 and while im at it, im getting a bit tired of JP and his slip tackles!!!

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.04.16 11:26:18 by Tintin Reply

  • Rob maybe the line is ”ALL WE NEED IS A LITTLE ……..BLOND LIONS SCRUMHALF”

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.04.16 11:32:19 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : haha which one? All of DeKlerk, Cronje and even Smit the 3rd choice are all blonde…

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.04.16 11:52:11 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 32) : know which one I’d choose 😀

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.04.16 12:20:37 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 33) : Must be Faf – ironically, he will probably be considered too flash to play for the Boks 🙁 Funnily enough, if you look at a player like Jantjies, he played his worst rugby under Coetzee for the Stormers – some players can’t be boxed, they need freedom of expression.

    Sincerely hope we go to an offensive orientated game plan.

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.04.16 12:23:54 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @The hound (Comment 33) : we all know you rate Dillon Smit 🙂

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.04.16 12:27:36 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 35) : the prop?

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.04.16 13:11:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : Same name i think, different guy. The scrummy that was/is contracted to the leopards i think. Young guy but going a bit bald. Played for Pukke wen Rob DuPreez coached

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.04.16 13:18:41 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 15) : think Franco needs a bit of a break. Remember his still a youngster and they need to manage him.

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.04.16 15:19:47 by JD Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 23) :

    Yeah, I would agree with that. It does seem like we’re doing a couple of things skills wise as a team that I haven’t seen the Sharks execute well in a while. However, the line-out is a team skill we’re struggling with.

    Joe Pietersen is one of the guys, that for me, has become one of the biggest culprits. I just don’t know if his calm, experienced head is enough any more. Not considering the basic errors he seem to make every game. I would like to see Garth April given a start.

    What’s really sad to me is that the Du Preez bros, who to me have excellent ball skills, seem to try to much or lose concentration or something, and lose the ball in contact way to much. I really rate them both, but they need to really fix that part of their game.

  • Comment 39, posted at 18.04.16 15:44:49 by Letgo Reply
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  • Those three lineout messups at the end killed us. Our guys were tired, but remember that we flew halfway around the world 6 days before the game and lost a day in travel time, so it makes sense that the okes were blowing hard in the last 10 minutes. Beast did what he could to bring that youngster down, but a wing should always be able to run around a prop, so I’m not bothered by that. I hope we have some rotational changes for this saturday, the guys have been playing a lot of rugby. Chilli must be chomping at the bit after his two year hiatus from the game, so I’m hoping he gets at least 40 minutes on the field.

    And to all the people saying Willie should be 10, it;s idiotic to make your best full back an ok flyhalf who can’t tackle. The opposition will run at him all day and he’ll keep missing them or trying and getting injured. Leave him at full back.

  • Comment 40, posted at 18.04.16 15:48:07 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 39) : The problem is that they always look for the offload and do not protect the ball well enough. And Dan really needs to work on his hands, he’s dropped quite a few ones all on his own without anyone bothering him.

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.04.16 15:50:06 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • You know I was watching the game on Saturday and was thinking someone must of told these guys that having the ball (i.e possession) is a bad thing and we need to try and get rid of it as soon as possible.

    I just think the: kick, defend, defend defend – kick, defend, defend, defend, – kick, ……. game plan is not only unpleasant to watch it is also not very effective.

    We really need to start playing with ball in hand more, and valuing possession if we going to trouble teams more.

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.04.16 16:00:31 by stevovo Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 37) : yeah, the prop is Dylan Smith. I was just messing around.

  • Comment 43, posted at 18.04.16 16:02:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan: not seen graeme geldenhuys play yet.if he is an out-and-out fetcher type no6,that would be great.sharks need to play him then.otherwise imo they should try and get cloete (back).was at the sharks but let go.

  • Comment 44, posted at 18.04.16 16:05:38 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : hehe cool…thought they had same name but perhaps different spelling….could be interesting selecting the wrong guy by mistake haha

  • Comment 45, posted at 18.04.16 16:08:23 by SheldonK Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 44) : Cloete was overlooked twice by the Sharks…cant see them going there again. Kleinhans and Majola preferred over him.

  • Comment 46, posted at 18.04.16 16:10:01 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 47) : was surprised the sharks let cloete go.

  • Comment 47, posted at 18.04.16 16:20:22 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 47) : I can see why. He doesnt carry the ball much and isnt an abrasive flank which is the mould they were after if you look at the flanks retained.

  • Comment 48, posted at 18.04.16 16:24:04 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 49) : cloete seems like a tireless competitor.think it is wrong to see his use to the team only in ball carrying(smashing into defenders) -and line-out -ability.brings other skills to the team.needs to just work on his enthusiasm at the breakdown.does a lot of work on defence.

  • Comment 49, posted at 18.04.16 16:39:08 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Dragnipur (Comment 40) : Yeah I too think it would be madness to switch Willie to 10.

    We’ve got Garth on tour as a 10 so I don’t see why we shouldn’t back him to do the job regardless of the opposition. Besides, we’ve got better cover for 10 and 15 with Joe on the bench.

    Also I want to see Willie and Paul combining more often. Those two seem to be on the same wave length and I’m sure it’s own of the primary reasons we’re seeing such good things from Paul.

  • Comment 50, posted at 18.04.16 18:21:57 by gregkaos Reply
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  • ……….Wand , to give us superpowers so we can win every game

  • Comment 51, posted at 18.04.16 19:27:22 by shrodingers cat Reply

    schrodingers cat
  • To start willie at no10 or to let april gain experience?willie needs to come into a 1st/2nd receiver ,or left/right 1st reeiver (optins to attack both sides) at broken play april at 10 and use both as 10/12 playmakers on attack.continue this with lambie back in the team.

  • Comment 52, posted at 18.04.16 20:11:57 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • Guns and Roses?

    I thought is was a Beetles reference:

    All You Need Is Love
    There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
    It’s easy

    (Love, love, love)

  • Comment 53, posted at 19.04.16 04:11:04 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 50) : I think they see April more as a 15 and only a 10 if absolutely needed. I think if Radebe hadnt been injured he would have toured. I think the Sharks looked a lot better when Willie was at 10 taking the ball to the line and distributing etc. Pieterson is a good 15 and April they seem to want to be a 15 as well. And as you say you do want Willie and Jordaan combining more

  • Comment 54, posted at 19.04.16 07:56:56 by SheldonK Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 49) : Look i think Cloete is a good player- i watched him play for Rovers for years. But he is pretty much a good defender and turns over a couple at the rucks. He isnt the best ball carrier, doesnt offer a lineout option and has been known to give penalties away. So yes i can see the benefit of getting him but i can also see why the Sharks werent that interested at the time

  • Comment 55, posted at 19.04.16 07:59:14 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 56) : with deysel and alberts there,seemed enough ball carrier options in the loosies.

  • Comment 56, posted at 19.04.16 09:12:21 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • Just busy watching replay of the game.around the 70th-71st min the sharks had possession and position to play the drop goal.did not attempt it.

  • Comment 57, posted at 19.04.16 09:15:47 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 56) : That is the type of loose forward they were looking for. Cloete didnt fit that mould

  • Comment 58, posted at 19.04.16 10:16:01 by SheldonK Reply


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