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Sharks show due respect to table-topping team

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 13 Mar 2013 at 09:45
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

John Plumtree showed the log-topping Brumbies the ultimate respect when, at a press conference during the week, he pointed out that there were some things in the Brumbies scrum that they thought were illegal and that he was hoping referee Jonathan Kaplan, with all his experience, would be the best ref to pick up on these indiscretions at scrum time.

The Sharks scrum came under scrutiny from referee Jason Jaftha in the second half of their clash with the Kings last week. They received 4 scrum penalties against them in the second half of the game, more than both their previous matches combined. After dominating in the scrum in the first half, especially just before halftime when 3 penalties in a row and then a collapsed scrum seemed sure to lead to a penalty try, Jaftha changed his tune in the second half and the dominant Sharks scrum of the first half was now coming under pressure from the Kings.

Asked whether they let up in the second half and whether this might be the reason why the referee penalised them Jannie du Plessis says: “I can assure you we didn’t change anything in the second half and we gave everything at every scrum”.

“Sometimes that just happens.” Jannie said “If you are dominating and you’re not getting rewarded, you need to adapt and do something else.”

John Plumtree added: “Yeah, sometimes that happens, but referee Jason Jaftha did not have the best day at the office and he admitted that and that’s why we’re happy to have Jonathan Kaplan as our referee this weekend.

“He’s an experienced referee of 100 games and we’ve seen some things in the Brumbies scrum that we’re not happy with and we think he’ll be able to pick up on it.” said Plumtree.

Plumtree went on to say that he also felt that the Brumbies lived very close to danger at the break down and that he thought Kaplan wouldn’t let them get away with any indiscretion in this area, as South African referees are very good at blowing up this area of the game.

Du Plessis who played under Jake White when they became World Cup winners in 2007 went on to show his admiration for the Brumbies coach.

“You don’t win the World Cup if you’re not a good coach,” he said “I think he’s made a massive difference at the Brumbies.

“He’s only in his second season and they’ve really come up in leaps and bounds. I can definitely see the way he coaches in how the Brumbies play. He’s very, very organised and he plans stuff to the ‘T’. We are going to be up against a very well prepared side.

“You can see that in the way they’re playing at the moment, everybody knows where to go and it looks like they have a plan in place and one that everyone of the players follow,” he said.

Although the Brumbies will be the Sharks’ first cross conference game John Plumtree believes that Jake White’s influence has them playing more like South African teams. He agrees that they are a very organised team and that you cannot point to only one area of their game where they are strong.

Plumtree did point out with players like Jesse Mogg, who in his opinion is the form Australian fullback, Nic White, Mat Tamua and Christian Lealiifano all possessing a really good kicking game, that his team will need to be accurate in this area. He also mentioned that the Brumbies emphasise playing close to the contact point and has the ability to hold on to the ball through many phases.

“They’re not topping the Australian conference for nothing” he said.


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