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Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 17 Apr 2013 at 13:46
Tagged with : , , , ,

Simple title for a simple principle in the game of rugby; If you cannot get the basics right the most talented player will look dead average”.

Who remembers the 2010 Currie Cup season?  Stupid question to ask on this blog I know so let me be more specific… Who remembers the 2010 Currie Cup season where the Sharks game was likened to that of New Zealand for their continuity and brilliance with ball in hand?

Memories refreshed?  Good.

Now imagine for a second a team being able to play that kind of game the Sharks played in 2010 if they are tackled back, having to work with static, slow ball or unable to cross the advantage line and allowing the defending team to be on the front-foot going forward rather than the attacking team… Not likely hey?  And that ladies and gents is called the simple basics of the game and where the Sharks with all their superstars are being made to look like rookies.

Aaahhh! But you are the bastard that continually tells us that the Sharks coaching or management team is not up to scratch and that they are mentally unprepared… Indeed I am!  But my contention with the Sharks lack of a proper manager and mind-coach has always been that something like that would add the dimension they currently lack from being a champion team in the mould of the Crusaders of old, rather than the perennial bridesmaids they are so well known for – not the criticism that is currently being leveled against them or players like Pat Lambie, Paul Jordaan, Beast, Jannie, etc.

I understand it is frustrating for fans to see such talented players reduced to average plonkers, but we forget so easily how rugby is a team sport reliant on multiple dynamics to be in synch for individuals like those mentioned to shine.

Ever heard the phrase in sport “He has so much time on the ball”?  Simple equation here ladies and gents, is that individuals and players make better decisions the more time they have.  In rugby, you can add the space dynamic where special talents like Lambie and Jordaan quite simply becomes more dangerous the more space they have to weave their magic – add some time to that formula and you will get rugby brilliance.

John Plumtree made mention of the fact that the team really missed players like Deysel and Alberts in the game against the Stormers.  And I know the old Stampkar rugby ideology is much loathed amongst SA supporters but there is a helluva difference between brain-dead Stampkar rugby and winning collisions.

To create momentum and speed on the ball and in plays you have to deny the other team that very thing.  In other words, if you deny opposition defenses time to set and attack the ball in tackle situations by forcing them onto the backfoot you will have more time and create more time with each passing phase for your players to make the magic happen.

You will not win a tackle or collision if you are back-peddling and the other guy is coming at you at 100km/h – similarly, if you gain an extra meter in collisions it is a meter, and two seconds you provide for the next guy who plays the ball.

Rugby is a collision sport, even if there are some pretty faces out there – win those, and you will see momentum rugby or the type of rugby that had all of you in ecstacy in 2010.

To end of and my point with all this; The Sharks or certain players within the Sharks team have not suddenly become poor or average players.  Injuries are a certainty in rugby as tax for you and me, and it is unfortunate that the Sharks are missing some of their most valuable players in order to play the game, and add the dynamic, that will have all of you demand for the whole Sharks backline to be made Boks again!


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