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Plum happy, but not satisfied

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 24 Apr 2011 at 13:20
Tagged with : , , , ,

It was a somewhat subdued-looking John Plumtree who faced the assembled media in the Kings Park media centre last night – the reason for which soon became clear.

“There are some pretty special boys in that team,” revealed Plum when asked how it felt to beat his former charges from Wellington. “I’ll be honest with you – I get more pleasure out of beating other teams,” he continued, with not even a hint of a smile, “but you have to do the job.” Not that it was all doom and gloom from the Sharks coach, though – far from it. There’d been a lot of talk coming out of the camp during the week about the need to switch on immediately after the bye and from the coach’s demeanour, you could tell that he was pretty relieved that his side had managed to shake off some of the lethargy that saw them held to 13-all at half time.

“In the first half, we were a bit sleepy,” he said, “but in the second half we were a lot better. Some individuals in the team were too patchy, though and I’m going to come down hard on them. We’ll have to have a serious look at it because we know we’ll have to play a lot better than that to win in Cape Town and a hell of a lot better if we want to win this competition.”

There were the obvious questions about John Smit, after the national captain put in a rousing performance at hooker. Plum was fiddling with his phone when he entered and one of the assembled scribes jokingly asked of he were chatting to Peter de Villiers. “John played well – I was really pleased for him, ” Plum quipped. “He obviously enjoyed carrying the ball up and getting involved and he’s got himself in really good nick again.” Asked whether he now had a tricky selection issue ahead of next week (if Bismarck du Plessis is passed fit, Plum was not giving anything away. “On that performance, John can play hooker again this year, but I still think he can also play prop – possibly more loosehead than tighthead. I’ve got some nice front row options now and you can see how they really made a difference and kept the pressure on out there tonight. ”

We asked whether the coach had been satisfied with the performances put in by the new faces he’d brought in (having made five rotational changes to his side for this clash). “Yes, I was,” he replied somewhat curtly, before elaborating ” I want plenty of competition in this squad. There were some guys out there tonight who weren’t so good and we’ll need to have a look at that. We need everyone pushing hard for a spot and that’s what can help us go all the way, instead of this just being another year. ” Plumtree pointed to the impact contributions made by men such as Keegan Daniel and Jannie du Plessis as vindication for mixing up his starting team this week.

Talking about one star in particular, he revealed that he wasn’t blown away by Pat Lambie’s game on the night. “I thought Patty was pretty rusty and we’ll have to look at that. Still, it’s not easy to come straight in at flyhalf after 4 weeks out. He’ll kick better next week, though, don’t worry about that.”

Finally, Sharksworld asked the coach the question that our beloved readers have been bugging us with for the last 2 months. Will Plumtree be tempted to take Jean Deysel with to Cape Town this coming weekend? The answer was again a very short and sweet one. “Yes!”


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