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Toothless Sharks


Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 May 2013 at 09:23
Tagged with : , , , , ,

A team with Springboks in most starting positions on the field (and the few that haven’t played for the Springboks is probably equal if not better then the one who is currently playing in that position), and yet they struggle to get any sort of momentum or win behind them. The were outscored 4 tries to 2 by the Reds on Friday night in Brisbane Australia.

You cant blame anyone for thinking this would be the year of the Sharks before the start of the Super Rugby season. The Sharks showed great character and fight when they reached the Super Rugby final last year beating the Reds and Stormers against all odds to play the Chiefs in Hamilton. The traveling could have been a fair excuse for failing in the final.

They also managed to reach the final of the Currie Cup last year but failed to beat Western Province, something they did so well 2 years prior. They have always been a team that would do enough to reach the finals but lack what ever they need to go the final 80 minutes. A team that has failed in 2 Currie Cup finals and 1 Super Rugby final in as little as 24 months. Quite an accomplishment but overshadowed by the fact that there are no trophies in the cabinet.

Surely the players and management would have learned a heck of a lot and would know where its gone wrong in the past. Welcoming back some old faces and some new ones, in Francois Steyn, Butch James, Ryan Kankowski and Franco van der Merwe on loan from the Lions. Only losing Steven Sykes and Frederic Michalak.

Unfortunately the Sharks were swimming in unfamiliar water as they started losing some of their first choice players and also their captain Keegan Daniel in the warm up games. Everyone knew it would be a challenge for the team to regroup and manage with some second choice players until they recover from injury but no one expected this. Well Keegan Daniel did return and so did Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel, but with their team already on the back foot they have very little to offer.

Many are saying its Plum and Co. Many are saying that he has reached his cap and has nothing more to offer the team, we need someone else to take us to the next level. Fingers are pointing to Daniel, he is off the pace and as the leader of the team seems to be leading them further down the log with poor decision and just poor over all form.

Super Pat is also not looking so Super anymore, could it be influenced by national selection? Not even a shadow of the player that could spark something from nothing and had everyone talking about this young exiting fly half as the new Springbok fly half. There is no creativity, no spark and the backline is running aimlessly across the field. With speedsters like JP Pieterson and Lwazi Mvovo being ineffective and losing form with every game. Don’t be fooled by the team’s 22 tries, 10 were against the Rebels. If you take that out of the tries count they’re only on 12, 5 less then the Stormers and the Southern Kings, who have scored 17 apiece.

So what needs to change, the coach, team selection, captain or do we yet again need some French flair to think for us on the field? The danger you will face if this carries on is, players will become unhappy and would possibly start to look for contracts elsewhere or seek contracts overseas, or even worse they will be playing themselves out of the Springbok team. Are the Sharks swimming in the same direction as the Lions did with John Mitchell?

Plum is desperately trying to change the team every week, that is not working. As Daniel is out of form, maybe its time to look for a new captain? But who? Plum has tried Steyn and Deysel, do you go to Lambie? Kankowski was dropped from the team, Jacques Botes and Bismark du Plessis are out injured and all potential captains. Are you so desperate that you turn to an outsider in van der Merwe at least hes been showing more heart than some of the Sharks players.

Many will be hoping that new CEO John Smit will rectify the current situation at the Sharks. Will he be able to, I suppose only time will tell. But for now if Plum wants to keep his position as coach he needs to put this Super Rugby season behind him and start planning towards the Currie Cup, cause if we reach another final with no trophy and Plum stays ill seriously question the ability of the decision makers at Sharks Rugby.



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