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Kicking a dog when he’s down…

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 23 Apr 2013 at 09:24
Tagged with : , , , ,

You will all have gathered, I’m sure, after my post-match rant, that I was far from impressed with what was dished up by the Sharks this past weekend. In fact, having almost expected the result, I had a whole string of articles lined up for this week aimed at pointing out exactly what I thought was wrong and asking searching questions of all concerned; players, coaches, administrators and even fans.

Three things that happened on Saturday changed my mind and I’m sure you can all guess what they are. While the loss to the Cheetahs has left the Sharks in an indescribably worse position in terms of their 2013 season prospects and while that loss was completely of their own making (regardless of what the ref-bashers will tell you), three further serious injuries ahead of their tour departure have left the Sharks squad basically hanging together by a thread and seemingly without much realistic chance of redeeming themselves after two very bad weeks in a row.

Let’s be clear here – the squad that departed Durban on Sunday is a patch-work one, with a few Lions loan players and a hoard of juniors expected to do the job that, I’m sure, John Plumtree and co would have expected his seniors, his veterans, his Springboks, to be doing. Given how depleted the unit is, I must say that the decision to axe Ryan Kankowski does appear even more ridiculous, but that’s by the by. It doesn’t change the fact, though, that the Sharks have gone, for the most part, from a squad full of experience and talent, where competition for places is the order of the day, to a bunch of hastily assembled fit players, without any real thought to any factor other than availability to tour.

We can bemoan, at this half-way point, yet another lost season. We can ponder how exactly we’ve managed to play so poorly in all bar two of our matches, even without injuries factored in. One thing we can’t do, though, is lay any blame at the feet of the coaches, or anyone else in the union, for the staggering injury toll that has frankly decimated the squad ahead of the tour and my view is that we should shelve the recriminations at this point, in the interests of backing our desperate boys on their seemingly impossible mission.

Take off, in other words, the armchair expert hat and rather don your supporter’s cap. Being part of a team is a two-way street and right now, I think the Sharks need us and our support more than they ever have. Let’s give them that leeway and not comment too harshly. There will, I’m sure, be time for that later.


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