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Sharksworld chats with former Shark Tony Brown at Carisbrook

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Springboks, Super Rugby on 3 Aug 2011 at 12:48
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On a night when Otago recorded its third ITM Cup win of the season (against Counties Manukau) to keep alive their chances of promotion to next year’s Premiership. Sharksworld managed to get an exclusive post-match interview with Otago talisman and former Sharks fly half Tony Brown – about this year’s ITM Cup, and his time in Durban with the Sharks.

Sharksworld: Well done again tonight, you seemed to play the whole match without the ball.

Tony Brown: Yeah, I guess we did. I wasn’t sure about some of the interpretation’s, but every time we took the ball into contact they seemed to either turn it over legally or illegally and subsequently it was pretty frustrating that we could not build any pressure inside their twenty-two.

SW: The possession stakes and the territory was against you, but once again the defence looked good tonight.

TB: Yeah, it’s something we have been working on over the last two or three weeks. We have been pretty focussed on keeping a strong defensive line as well as getting up and making tackles. At the end of the day we did that tonight.

SW: On another night that game could have gone the other way. Like so many of these ITM Cup games they are decided on sometimes very small margins.

TB: I think so, I think most of the sides are pretty even and if you are a little off your game you can be knocked over. Many of the ITM games are not high scoring so most games end up being close and can be decided in the last minute – which makes for exciting matches and competition.

SW: Southland in the weekend, you have played in a few of those before, you must be looking forward to that one?

TB: Yes, the old foe Southland is bound to be a pretty tough match. I have had a few text messages with Jamie Mackintosh over the last two or three weeks, with him saying that he is really looking forward to the match. I have put it to him that a ‘Real Man’ would put the Ranfurly Shield on the line for the last game at Carisbrook. I doubt that he will do that, but it would be great to see.

SW: When you look back on those past southern clashes against Southland at Carisbrook do any stand out in the memory?

TB: Well, they are obviously always tough physical challenges and with both teams from the Highlander’s region there is always a bit extra involved in the games. So for many of the younger guys most of them will want to be pushing for places in the Highlanders side, it makes for quite an exciting game for the last one at Carisbrook.

SW: So as we move towards the end of the season is there any team targets being talked about or are we just taking it game by game?

TB: No, we are still just taking it game by game; this competition is too tough and too long to be thinking too far out of promotion. If we just prepare for the next match and prepare ourselves as well as we can for that match and then the one after that, to be honest I don’t even know who it is! The results then look after themselves.

SW: Many rugby fans have tracked your progress around the world, Sharks fans included – when you think back to your time with the Sharks and at Kings Park, do any memories spring to mind?

TB: Oh yeah, I had an awesome time in Durban and at Kings Park, I don’t think we lost a game there the year I was there. It was a fantastic experience for me, all the players that played for the Sharks at the time are still good mates of mine now. It will always be one of my fondest rugby memories going over to South Africa and playing, because as a rugby player it is one of the best places in the world to play. Those two years one with the Sharks and one with the Stormers are a couple of the fondest memories of my career.

SW: I was going to ask you about your team mates at the Sharks back then – do you still keep in touch?

TB: I really just keep in touch when I bump into them. That to me is what rugby is all about, you meet people from all around the world and then when you meet up with them again somewhere, which is like with the guys at the Sharks, we just pick up from where we left off – being good mates, having a few beers and remembering the good times.

SW: During your travels have you kept one eye on the Currie Cup?

TB: Yes, always. I’m always following and supporting the Sharks along with WP. When they play each other that for me is always a great game to watch. I always like to see the Sharks doing well and I have enjoyed seeing guys that I played with go onto international honours with the Springbok.

SW: When playing in South Africa what did you take away from the experience?

TB: I just thought it was a fantastic place to play rugby, playing in front of crowds of 50,000 plus is a great experience. The way South Africans play and prepare for rugby is a little bit different than here in New Zealand. I like the way South Africans play the game and I believe that if you combine that with how New Zealand teams try and play, it’s almost the perfect formula.

SW: Finally, Tony being a fly half, I can’t resist the opportunity to ask you about Patrick Lambie, you have most likely seen him a few times. How do you think he is progressing?

TB: Well, he is obviously a gifted player. He is still young and has a massive career ahead of him. However, I’m a big Butch James fan – so I would get him back out there (laughing).

SW: Well done tonight Tony, and thanks for taking the time to talk to Sharksworld.

TB: No problem at all.


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