9-9 problems for Rob du Preez

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 24 Apr 2017 at 08:32
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Things can change pretty quickly in a week and while Sharks coach Rob du Preez might have been feeling pretty ebullient going into last weekend’s match against the Rebels, given the state of the conference log, he certainly won’t be feeling that way any more.

The Sharks were lucky to record a 9-all draw against a rank average Rebels team on Saturday night and frankly the less said about that game the better. With the Lions looking less than wonderful against the Jaguares – and the Argies themselves having lost three times in as many weeks – du Preez may well have felt that a decent run in the fixtures to come could have seen his side perhaps even challenge for the conference lead.

Picking up maximum log points in gimme fixtures against rubbish Aussie teams would have been a key pillar in that strategy, though and when the players cannot seem to be bothered to pitch up for what should have been a regulation win, it’s hard for the coach to really have lofty hopes of success this season.

That the Sharks suffered disruptions ahead of the game is not disputable, but surely a franchise with a squad quite this big should be able to absorb the loss of Jean-Luc du Preez and Kobus van Wyk without needing to fall apart? The coach himself minced no words at an angry post-match press conference where he described the performance as one of the worst he’d seen from the Sharks – EVER – and declared that the players should refund the public after a shocker like that.

Time for wallowing is short, though. The Sharks now hold a slender lead over the Jaguares in second place and face those very foes – in Argentina – this weekend. Du Preez will name a squad for that clash this afternoon and they will leave tomorrow, but the coach somehow has to figure out how to approach selection for that clash when his natural instinct, I’m sure, must be to drop virtually every one of the players who let him and the fans down so badly over the weekend.

Andre Esterhuizen will not be on the plane, with the inside centre’s petulant and frankly stupid tip tackle after the whistle on Saturday sure to see him banned for a number of weeks. Others were guilty of unforgivable disciplinary lapses as well, with Ruan Botha’s neck grab, which resulted in a try being disallowed, clearly also rankling with the coach. This was not the first time this season that a failure to keep the arms down has robbed the Sharks of legitimate points.

Victory in Argentina is now non-negotiable if the Sharks want to make the knock outs this season. This team has generally responded well after poor performance, so there’s room for some optimism. One feels, though, that this is now pretty much last-chance saloon for these players. It’s time for them to very quickly get over whatever their issue is and start to deliver consistent and proud performances for their coach and their fans.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not prepared to watch another performance like that one.


  • I’d like to add to this…but I can’t. bitterly disappointed.

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.04.17 08:37:43 by Sharkfinn Reply
  • @Sharkfinn (Comment 1) : you know, I genuinely feel like there’s nothing more to say at this point. I honestly want to just give up now and go and do something useful with my time. It’s like these guys are sending me a message.

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.04.17 08:47:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I have difficulty putting together one sentence to sum up Saturday’s game, without resorting to a fair amount of swearing. It was a terrible one to watch and I think the key word here is simply frustration. From the players, from the coaches and most of all the fans. We KNOW this team is much better than what we saw, and I am hoping we get to see the quality this weekend.
    We simply have to. No more excuses.

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.04.17 08:53:10 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Talk about dramatic,I think I’ll go eat worms.
    Cmon, man up to what the real problems were,I agree with Esterhuizens serious brain fart,but when he left there was absolutely no defensive cover fo ra frail flyhallf.
    How we underrate the work that man does single handily in defense.
    Secondly with the A Plan shattered, what was immediately required was on field leadership and that was non existent.
    You feel disappointed,think of us who so far this year have had, the Warratahs,beaten by the Kings,the Cheetahs beaten, by everyone else, the Kings and the Jaguars and then we draw with the abysmal Rebels.
    Hardly champagne rugby more like mampoer rugby.

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.04.17 09:07:07 by The hound Reply
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  • Is no one going to mention the poor decisions made by our captain?

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.04.17 09:12:44 by Quintin Reply

  • Seems as though the only consistency is the frustration towrads the fans

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.04.17 09:13:57 by HB Reply
  • @Quintin (Comment 5) : I think its fair to say we need Pat back.. sooner rather than later.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.04.17 09:15:40 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • The old adage of pride comes before a fall seems to ring true here – even the SuperSport panel retorted that the odds of the Sharks losing to the Rebels was akin to the odds of winning the Lotto! We saw it against the Kings and we saw it this weekend again – arrogance will not do us any favours!

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.04.17 09:16:10 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 8) : Odds of Kings beating Warratahs away must be the upset of the decade, big up to Kings.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.04.17 09:37:57 by The hound Reply
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  • @Quintin (Comment 5) : I mentioned the constant going for the corner opposed to kicking for goal decision. It’s like we refused to respect the Rebels and thought we would rumble over for a try regardless of the fact that they countered our maul every time. To me we seemed to arrogant to accept that they were good enough to deny us a try. We came into this game far to arrogant. Since the Lions game this teams seems to think they’ve achieved something.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.04.17 09:42:29 by Hulk Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Fully agree, After this weekend it feels as if South Africa should only have 1 team playing in this league. On this last weekends performances they could have a valid argument for dropping 4 of the 5 teams.The can also drop all the Aussie teams.

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.04.17 09:50:33 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : That’s exactly how I feel Rob. Should rather find something better to do with my time than support these dishonest fellows. Only word to discribe them. They promise one thing and do the opposite. That is dishonesty.

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.04.17 09:58:30 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 10) : If we played with the intensity we had against the Lions, we would have murdered the Rebels. This is a rubbish team full of no-names, who never even looked like scoring against fourteen men.

    However the Sharks could not catch a ball if their lives depended on it, were murdered at the breakdown because of slow and poor cleaning out, and had the usual issues with discipline.

    We should have bagged a bonus point, but the players never looked like they even turned up mentally for this game.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.04.17 10:01:18 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Hulk (Comment 10) : I would understand if Terra was playing good why they chose him as captain, but to me, he’s been under the radar pretty much the whole season and now he goes and drop us points by very poor decision making, he’s not a good captain. We have enough proof of that now. We need Keegan or Pat back or we should have a look at someone else.

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.04.17 10:01:38 by Quintin Reply

  • @Quintin (Comment 14) : Keegs was actually back at training last week, so I think he was very close to being selected. Hopefully is is fit and ready for selection this week. Keegs, Ginger and Dan duP to start.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.04.17 10:14:25 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @Quintin (Comment 14) : We’ve seen Beast as captain, also a train smash, which leaves Lwazi and Ginger as the only other senior members, or a little younger we’d have to go for Lewies.

    For me, it should be Ginger…..Lwazi has also been decidedly average this season.

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.04.17 10:18:16 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I know it’s an old and boring comment at this stage but still: we need a full-time mental coach.

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.04.17 10:20:24 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : Either that or the threat of relegation

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.04.17 10:21:41 by Bokhoring Reply
  • The Sharks have got a very big problem that I feel they are not going to fix soon, Bosch is a very good prospect for the future, but sadly he is simply not ready for SR. His defence is a problem and it is not doing his confidence any favours protecting him. He needs to learn to tackle with confidence. Our handling is the worst in the competition, and will not be fixed overnight. What I don’t understand is they train in Durban and there for should have the advantage over the visiting teams when it comes to their handling.

    I will always support the Sharks, but they don’t make it easy.

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.04.17 10:26:05 by Sagroup Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) :Ryan Botha,would be my choice for captain, he has a lot of Matfield about him, not so much in the way he plays but in the way he handles himself on the field.

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.04.17 10:27:14 by The hound Reply
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  • If we want to know how to handle Bosch,look at how the N.Zealanders have introduced Jordy Barrett and Damian Mckenzie into the series, both at 15,both playing with steady established 10,both have long careers ahead of them.

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.04.17 10:30:39 by The hound Reply
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  • Hindsight – Odwa was on the bench – why was he not brought on to relace Tera, who was playing in the backline anyways. He would have brought the necessary leadership and experience…

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.04.17 10:37:01 by T-Shark Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : compare this with the team we had in the nineties and it makes me want to give up as well. I’m betting most of your readers can name a significant portion of that legendary team without having to Google it.

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.04.17 10:41:27 by josefgremlin Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : Fully agree on Ginger as captain. I hope our guys uses this match as an example of how they are never going to play a game again, but, we said the same thing after the Kings match only in that game we were lucky not to drop any points. Well except for the bonus point…

    Let’s see if we can bounce back in Argentina. We’ll need to start earning bonus points to make up for this.

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.04.17 10:47:18 by Quintin Reply

  • Ok here’s my 2 cents and must say this might make me unpopular but so be it:
    The team lacked focus way before Andre left the field! Him leaving just made it worse! I personally think they expected to win the game by 20-30 points by just running onto the field. In Super rugby there is no easy games! Even games that is won by 50 points the winning team still have to produce the good by playing solid rugby to score the points!
    Terra is a good player but in reality is not a captain. Of what I could see on TV he should have gotten the team together way more than what he did. Problem is currently I don’t see other options. May be way out but how about Marais as captain. Clearly he’s the first choice hooker so way not try him?!
    Dan du Preez is not doing it at the moment! He’s playing on reputation! How the hell do you replace the Ginger ninja and leave Dan on the field!?
    To be 100% honest I believe half time Dan or Terra needed to be replaced by Claasens and Reinach should have shifted to wing (reason for this is Odwa already played a full game so would only play him for 20 odd min). Forwards did good enough to play with 7 and still be effective.
    Maybe time to give guys like Andrews and Deysel a chance in Super rugby and let players like Botha “rest”a bit! Use some players that’s hungry to play!!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.04.17 10:54:30 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • We seamed to lack leadership ?
    What news of Pat Lambie return ?

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.04.17 10:59:45 by conrod Reply

  • @conrod (Comment 26) : I was about to say the captain or lack there off was a big issue in this game. In fact, its showed Tera is not the guy to lead the team, as with the Beast captaincy this is a flop.

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.04.17 11:01:36 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 25) : Firstly Eesterhuzen went in I think the 17 th minute I, his departure dramatically altered things secondly Dan is a number 8 or a lock he is not a 6,or a 7. Play him in his rightful positiond then judge him.
    Philip is fresh back from a head injury thats probably why he was replaced, then the other thing is nobody is prepared to give the Rebels any credit they played out of their skins just like the week before, which we all never notice .

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.04.17 11:05:40 by The hound Reply
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  • We need to stop this picking a captain, then the team. Put the best 15 on the field, then choose a captain from them.

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.04.17 11:18:10 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Also our scrums were once again much improved when Thomas came on, and that vs 101 cap Weeks.

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.04.17 11:19:16 by Die Kriek Reply

  • All of a sudden people are waking up to the fact that Terra really is a below average player and captain, we are carrying dead wood with him. A few of us mentioned it a few weeks ago and the powers that be said we were criticising him for reasons outside of rugby… Time to smell the coffee. Apart from the absolutely stupid play by Esterhuizen and Botha, Claasens taking a tap and running instead of taking the 3 points was mind boggling. Perhaps a few of these blokes like Ward need to spend some time in club rugby to hone their skills and actually earn the right to wear that jersey.

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.04.17 11:56:05 by RuckingFun Reply

  • @RuckingFun (Comment 31) : Bit rough on Ward. Think he did admirably under the circumstances. Remember an hour before the match he was supposed to be on the bench, started 13, then had to play 12.5 for most of the match thanks to Andre’s brainfart

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.04.17 12:10:02 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 32) : Agreed, Ward is one of our more promising signings for the future. Granted he needs some work on some of his skills and decision making.

    I am much more annoyed with some of our senior players.

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.04.17 12:19:48 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @The hound (Comment 28) : OK then tell me how many points did the Sharks score in the first 16 min before AndrΓ© received the red card!? Team was out of sorts from the first minute!
    Please check the team sheet again and then tell me again to judge Dan as a lock or no 8!?!? What do you think he played on Saturday!? Come on old chap your memory can’t be that short!? Anyway does not matter what number you have on your back you must still catch a rugby ball even if you’re playing out of position!!!
    Don’t get me wrong Dan is a good player but he has not been playing near his best since returning from injury!
    As for the Rebels I really don’t think they were that good. Only phase that they did any good was the breakdown where they totally out played the Sharks. The rest of their play at was average at best.

  • Comment 34, posted at 24.04.17 12:24:51 by JD Reply
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  • What is very frustrating for me as a fan – is the hype that is being made to the build-up of a game during the week and come game day, it is totally opposite – I always watch a match from start to finish if we get hammered or if we win – but this game was just one too much. I watched first half and that was it…I’m a full blood Sharks supporter and will be for life – this was just horrific. We have two talented teams and neither could impress on Saturday – that is concerning and very difficult to digest. When will Durban/The Shark tank be a fortress again??? πŸ™ πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜• 😐

  • Comment 35, posted at 24.04.17 12:40:20 by DuToit04 Reply

  • Esterhuizen getting a 6 week holiday. .

  • Comment 36, posted at 24.04.17 12:42:24 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 36) : 6 weeks?! Moer…

  • Comment 37, posted at 24.04.17 12:43:52 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @JD (Comment 34) Granted I thought Terra was playing 8 and Dan was 7,you are right, but he wasn’t the only one who had a shite game,EO looks too scared of being carded if he lays a hand on anyone Lewies was invisible and Philip was rather ineffectual.
    From where I was sitting the only player who got a pass grade was Smith.

  • Comment 38, posted at 24.04.17 12:45:00 by The hound Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : This…
    Said it a million times…

  • Comment 39, posted at 24.04.17 12:45:33 by pastorshark Reply
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  • 6 weeks is harsh

  • Comment 40, posted at 24.04.17 12:56:41 by SeanJeff Reply
  • @coolfusion (Comment 36) : @Another Nick (Comment 37) : and with that there goes his chances for Bok selection!!!

  • Comment 41, posted at 24.04.17 12:58:30 by JD Reply
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  • @SeanJeff (Comment 40) : He did drop the guy straight on his head. That was a very dangerous tackle.

  • Comment 42, posted at 24.04.17 12:59:41 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Another Nick (Comment 37) : According to SANZAAAAAR it should have been 10 plus 1 as he had a similar transgression in 2015,but was reduced due to him pleading giulty and that he showed remorse on the field by the on field apology to the player

  • Comment 43, posted at 24.04.17 13:00:02 by HB Reply
  • @JD (Comment 41) : As if Alister would have given him a chance to begin with. I’m pretty sure Pierre Spies has a better chance of playing 12 for the Boks this year

  • Comment 44, posted at 24.04.17 13:01:04 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 38) : hahaha Ja what might have fooled you into thinking he was playing 7 was that he shifted to flank on Rebels scrums as Terra covered in the backs. You’re also spot on in saying a lot of other player did not perform and Smith was by far the best Sharks player!
    Think the quicker we forget this nightmare the better!!!

  • Comment 45, posted at 24.04.17 13:03:16 by JD Reply
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  • @HB (Comment 43) : That’s heavy. So.. Ward to 12 or…?

  • Comment 46, posted at 24.04.17 13:03:30 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @Another Nick (Comment 46) : I would like to see Am at 12 and Ward @ 13

  • Comment 47, posted at 24.04.17 13:08:45 by HB Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : True, and while they are addressing that they may as well set up trauma counselling points at all the exits for the paying public to get some counselling before heading home in a daze.

  • Comment 48, posted at 24.04.17 13:10:28 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : @pastorshark (Comment 39) : at least one maybe even two!!!

  • Comment 49, posted at 24.04.17 13:13:41 by JD Reply
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  • @Die Kriek (Comment 44) : There are reports in the papers that AC has been in contact with Montpelier to release Frans Steyn and Bismarck for Bok duty. If that is the case, I assume Steyn would be first choice 12.

  • Comment 50, posted at 24.04.17 13:15:06 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Die Kriek (Comment 44) : don’t know who is left to play 12 for Bokke?!?!?!

  • Comment 51, posted at 24.04.17 13:15:26 by JD Reply
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  • Agree with the coach and most comments mentioned here. Apart from Smith the rest of the team seemed like they were still on break. Reinach was bad ( and I’m a big fan of his) but Claasens was just plain stupid! An experienced player like him should know that with time running out and no lead yet you take the points on offer not a quick tap! And once we got the lead kick the damn ball down field or out. Any team can win on the day. No team should be underestimated because of their log position. We should have lost on Saturday and never once looked like a team that would win. Bosch made some mistakes but he and Smith executed a couple of try saving tackles that kept us in the game. So much for Bosch not being able to tackle.

  • Comment 52, posted at 24.04.17 13:19:47 by sudhir Reply

  • I actually couldn’t believe my eyes on Saturday. It was so disappointing…all the good steps forward shown this year just evaporated…

  • Comment 53, posted at 24.04.17 13:24:37 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 53) : Pastor as the headline to this article says Nein/Nein.ya ya

  • Comment 54, posted at 24.04.17 13:35:53 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 54) : My headline would read “Rubbish against the Rubble”

  • Comment 55, posted at 24.04.17 13:50:47 by T-Shark Reply

  • I was shown around the stadium a couple of days before the Rebels game and there seemed a pall of gloom about the place. Some of the academy guys were wandering around, all with swagger and not one friendly glance to a guy who is past his rugby playing days. It’s an arrogance I’ve never seen in Kings Park, and entirely without substance. Disappointing.

  • Comment 56, posted at 24.04.17 14:51:46 by Flashman Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 54) : Kakaka…good one… πŸ˜†

  • Comment 57, posted at 24.04.17 15:04:49 by pastorshark Reply
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