“Kick less”: du Preez

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 16 Aug 2016 at 10:24
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Sharks Currie Cup coach Rob du Preez seems willing to applaud the enterprise shown by his Sharks charges so far in the Currie Cup, but is certainly not one to fall into the trap of blowing smoke up anyone’s rear end. In an interview with the Mercury’s Mike Greenaway, the former Bok scrumhalf was less enthused by the performance against Griquas than many of us fans seem to be.

While du Preez was pleased with the way the Sharks went about their task in the opening round win in Nelspruit, he admitted he was “not so sure we built on that against Griquas.” In something of a shift in mindset after Super Rugby, du Preez is clearly not a fan of kicking as a first option, admitting that, against Griquas, “we reverted to our old tendency to kick too much, and that is a big concern to me.”

Certainly, after a sparkling opening half in which the Sharks scored four great tries and largely kept ball in hand, there was a definite reversion to aimless bombs in the second period – a battle that the Sharks didn’t necessarily win either. Far from the established SA blueprint of giving the ball to the opposition and tackling them into making mistakes, du Preez seems to have a radically different path in mind for the Sharks this Currie Cup season – one that will hopefully, in time, bring them closer to the sort of play we’re now seeing regularly from the Lions.

“The Sharks have always been known for attacking rugby, and have to keep ball in hand more often than we have been doing. It just means you make fewer tackles, while the opportunities to score grow.”


  • They showed a lot of character in the Kwas game though 😈

    Seriously though, a coach that is hard to please is pretty much precisely what the Sharks need. One does get the feeling that as long as the coach is less pleased, the supporters will probably be more so.

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.08.16 10:34:26 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : Like.

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.08.16 10:44:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I know its not really relevant here but I thought the Kwas flyhalf, Clinton Swart (I think) had a good game and is someone worth keeping an eye on.

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.08.16 10:47:35 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I also get the feeling that RdP is also not a fan of the big guys looking for contact all day long, there has already been a lot of evidence of the big boys heading towards contact, veering slightly away from contact and then offloading and there mostly is someone on their shoulder to receive the ball….Lions rugby.

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.08.16 10:52:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 3) : he played well. I also thought former Sharks junior loose forward Sias Koen was pretty good when he came on.

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.08.16 10:52:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • Breaking old habits is probably one of the toughest things for a coach, especially when players get tired. If the Sharks truly want to continue to play a ball in hand game for 80min they will need to get fitter. They have the players to do it…

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.08.16 10:55:50 by SheldonK Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : Amen to that.

    @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 4) : And to that.

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.08.16 10:55:57 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Didnt he play as a lock when he was with the Sharks u21?

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.08.16 10:56:56 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Yes, Koen was also good…and noticeable.

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.08.16 11:15:50 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : I hope that this is the coalition between Loubsher and RDP, as we have both of them on the books for a while, and if this is evident to what we see now, it might mean the same thing to us, as what Ackerman and Du Bryun is for the Lions, it will be a perfect fit at the right time and the correct environment

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.08.16 11:31:46 by Henkb Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : @SheldonK (Comment 6) :
    Good points.

    I’m all for a coach cutting down on aimless kicks. Unusual insight in an SA coach – they generally evangelize “percentage rugby” at all costs.

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.08.16 11:40:58 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) :Sounds like du Preez is not taking any nonsense from the players. Coaching these days seems to be a minefield. Need to be strict enough to maintain discipline but still allow that respect to build between player and coach. Just think of what happened to Mitchell when he was with the Lions…players complained about his methods but I still think he had some part to play in where they are today.

    Question, if this season is a success will du Preez remain the man in charge for SR?

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.08.16 11:41:15 by Farlington Reply

  • @Farlington (Comment 12) : I thought DuPreez was meant to coach CC and then continue into Super rugby anyway?

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.08.16 11:54:11 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : Whether he was meant to I cannot say; that he should is a given, in my opinion.

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.08.16 11:57:49 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : Thanks, that will make sense and obviously build continuity. Gold can focus on his role as Director and get our other teams inline with the senior side.

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.08.16 11:59:59 by Farlington Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 11) : By now everyone gets that: good kicks are good. A useful kick is almost always cheered at a stadium. The SA public’s beef is with aimless kicks (and rightly so). As you state, good to have a coach acknowledge this for the supporter’s sake.

  • Comment 16, posted at 16.08.16 12:09:13 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 14) : I agree

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.08.16 12:19:25 by SheldonK Reply

  • Clearly Gold was the one insisting on the kicking game hope that from the 10 kicks per game at least 1 will be accurate. Why did he persist with this game plan? Only he knows. Rob and Ricardo….push right ahead. Need to change our player’s mentality from the get go. Only advantage is that we can continue on this journey during SR 2017 as well. Trying this gameplan against NZ when you are not yet comfortable with it can harm the confidence. At least the Aussie sides won’t be as punishing if you make mistakes.

  • Comment 18, posted at 16.08.16 12:47:04 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Man I even feel guilty for saying this on top of such great comments and mindset ftom the coach. …but Ungerer is not up to it. ..he has had plenty time now…I was Ok let him have game time now I see his style of play and terrible passing and I am like….oh shit it’s Ungerer

  • Comment 19, posted at 16.08.16 13:08:00 by Sharkfinn Reply

  • @Sharkfinn (Comment 19) : We could use a Reinach right about now.. when is he due back?

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.08.16 13:53:30 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @vanmartin (Comment 16) :
    Fully agree. But us supporters are also part of the problem in having zero patience with teams in a rebuilding phase- our SR season this year being a case in point.

    @Sharkfinn (Comment 19) :
    @Another Nick (Comment 20) :
    I actually thought that Ungerer had a very good game and was much better than Classens.

  • Comment 21, posted at 16.08.16 14:16:41 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 21) : as did I.

  • Comment 22, posted at 16.08.16 14:19:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 21) : The “issues I have with supporters” list rivals both the “issues I have with World Rugby and SARU” list and the “issues I have with rugby media” list.

    Issues, I have them.

    @Big Fish (Comment 21) : @robdylan (Comment 22) : I attributed some of our loss of steam in the second half to the subbing of Ungerer.

  • Comment 23, posted at 16.08.16 14:26:33 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 21) : I agree…..sort off. I don’t mind rebuilding but when you start a new rebuilding phase every 2nd year then you’re not getting anywhere.

  • Comment 24, posted at 16.08.16 14:30:38 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 24) : Eish you know this Durban summer rainfall doesnt help with construction…projects often need to get restarted in January/February 🙂

  • Comment 25, posted at 16.08.16 14:38:49 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Sharkfinn (Comment 19) : @robdylan (Comment 22) : Ungerer played well when he passed the ball, but there were still way too many times he kicked the ball away out of pure habit.
    I would take a ruck just inside our half rather that a bloody skop en jag, where it only works once in a blue moon

  • Comment 26, posted at 16.08.16 14:56:22 by Tintin Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 24) :
    Absolutely. And that down to poor leadership decisions. But surely we’ve seen enough from the current lot to given them a solid 2 seasons to build?

    @Tintin (Comment 26) :
    I don’t disagree – but your comment is about refining his game the others were about him not being up to scratch at all.

  • Comment 27, posted at 16.08.16 15:26:46 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I’m liking what I’m seeing from RdP, it seems he will not settle for mediocrity and I doubt we will hear about the character of the team from him. And on a side note, I walked past Gold in the media box on friday, and even though the boys was klapping the Kwas, to me he did look full of smiles.

  • Comment 28, posted at 16.08.16 15:50:06 by KingRiaan Reply

  • I meant to say Gold did not look full of smiles.

  • Comment 29, posted at 16.08.16 16:17:36 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 29) : Of course he didn’t. He realizes that should Rob do well in this CC the fans won’t accept him and his 1990’s game plan and low standards. Teichman must ensure our coaching team delivers.

  • Comment 30, posted at 16.08.16 16:42:12 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 18) : I disagree I distinctly recall Gold wanting them to kick less as well. The only difference is that they probably don’t listen as well to an everybody’s buddy coach as they would to a hard man like Rob. I say he is on the right track with his hard ass, difficult to please stance.

  • Comment 31, posted at 16.08.16 18:31:46 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 27) : I don’t think is the wrong man for the job. Remember a while back all we had was him and hoffman we all said he was the horse to back and then….? He needs a lot of work but then so does Reinach, and I’m not ready to throw Reinach away either.

  • Comment 32, posted at 16.08.16 18:37:56 by coolfusion Reply

  • Isn’t GG DoR and not really “supposed” to coach? If Rob does well in the CC he could take over the SR side next year?

  • Comment 33, posted at 16.08.16 18:55:13 by Baylion Reply

  • BTW, Lwazi Mvovo was released from the Boks for the moment and will be available to the Sharks this weekend, and maybe next

  • Comment 34, posted at 16.08.16 18:56:19 by Baylion Reply

  • It’s early days but why is it that when Rob says something you actually believe him?

    Maybe because he isn’t throwing out platitudes and cliches

  • Comment 35, posted at 16.08.16 19:08:04 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 33) : pretty sure that was the role (DoR) he signed up for at the Sharks.

    Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think he ever intended to be coach but took it up and stuck through it because we were desperate.

  • Comment 36, posted at 16.08.16 19:11:24 by gregkaos Reply
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  • I think what has impressed me most about rdp is more the technical focus on set play so far. Its been chalk and cheese BUT it has given the backs the platform to run with the ball in hand.
    I personally don’t mind a kicking gameplan provided it is constructive. To crisisize the lions a little, of the games they have lost this year and especially in the final, it was their kicking game that let them down. There has to be balance between both game plans and forward dominance is a must. If you look at the first lions match in super rugby this year we got dominated in the scrums which gave them the go forward that ultimately resulted in our loss. Without that kicking game or not we created enough goforward to be competitive.

  • Comment 37, posted at 16.08.16 19:31:16 by byron Reply

  • For sure the first 20 odd minutes of the second half was a kicking duel. Personally I think the Sharks decided to play the scoreboard, don’t take chances play in their half and tackle the snot out of any player that dare run back with the ball. With 15 odd min left they started running again (after conceding some points) to maintain scoreboard pressure.

  • Comment 38, posted at 16.08.16 22:08:45 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 38) : Problem with that is you have to be spot on with your kicks and have a follow up play behind each one. Kicking is part of A strategy it’s not THE strategy. If you cannot execute clinically then stay away from kicks. Else you will create more defensive work not less.

  • Comment 39, posted at 17.08.16 06:18:12 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 24) : It’s hard to build anything that lasts longer than 3/4 years when you are consistently losing key players either through injury or players leaving for the riches of the oversees clubs. That’s why the Lions have done so well this year. They’ve had a lot more consistency in their line-ups than most SA franchises. It’s easier to build a team that way.

  • Comment 40, posted at 17.08.16 07:39:17 by Quintin Reply


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