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Give the players a break


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 21 Feb 2010 at 16:34
Tagged with : , , ,

Reading some of the comments – and I dare say some of the articles here over the last few days – one would be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t a Sharks supporter among us.

We all love to give the Bulls fans stick, calling them dumb, uncultured, low class and the like, but the one thing I have yet to see a Bulls fan do – on any blog – is slate their own players or fail to stand up for them. Maybe we could take a leaf out of their book?

The Sharks are playing like utter, utter crap at the moment; there’s no point in denying that. That there is a fundamental problem within the squad is pretty clear to see, but does that suddenly mean that the very same players who won the Currie Cup not 18 months ago, suddenly aren’t good enough any more? Or is it not more a case of them being just as confused and bewildered about he whole situation as we are, only difference being, they are getting knocked around in the interests of our entertainment, while we sit on the couch and take cheap shots.

We all talked about how good the Sharks team looked, before Friday’s game and how, on paper at least, we should roll the Cheetahs easily. It seemed far too easy to blame the Chiefs defeat on individuals, like Bismarck, Monty and Andries and to heave a sigh of release that the right selections had now been made. Fact is – it didn’t make a bugger of difference! So what do we do now? Drop this lot too and go find some others? Where will we find them? Oh wait, that’s right – we’ll borrow them from the Bulls or import them from France. Anything to avoid having to own up to the fact that the coaching and administration are failing to do justice to the players that we already have.

On Saturday, I had the dubious pleasure of being held just a little accountable for some of the stuff that has been said here over the last few weeks. One of the players, whom I won’t name, took me to task for the way he is openly slated here. His point is a good one – the team played no better without him on Friday, so how can it be that he was the problem? He’s more right than he realises, I suspect. The current team environment at the Sharks seems poisonous and it’s a tall order to expect any individual to perform against that backdrop.

Another former Sharks player pointed something else out. Not even the great John Smit seems able to rally this bunch right now and cuts a forlorn figure, standing to one side while the team splinters into cliques and factions around him.

For those of us who care about the Sharks, let’s not kick them while they’re already down. The tour from hell is under way and the last thing our heroes need, in addition to all the other shit that is going on, is to see their so-called “supporters” writing derogatory nonsense about them here – and under a pseudonym to boot. Changes need to be made and we have to do what we can to ensure that those happen quickly, but let’s not alienate the core of our team in the process, lest we have nothing left to rebuild with in the future.

Something to think about, perhaps? Being a true supporter of the black and white means that we need to be there, right behind these guys, through the bad times as well as the good ones.



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