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Dear John

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 27 May 2013 at 10:29
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

The prodigal son returns to the Shark Tank, albeit in a new role altogether. He is seen as the saviour of what is fast becoming one of the worst Sharks teams in recent history.

John Smit will start his second-in-command stint in a months time, shadowing Brian van Zyl until he retires at the end of the financial year, 28 February 2014. Smit will then take the hot seat, and it will be an interesting period in the Sharks’ rugby history.

The question on everybody’s mind is – What will Smit do with the current coaching staff?

John Plumtree and co have been in charge of one of the best Sharks squads available, ever, and have come up with a few Currie Cup victories, and a few lost finals to show for their hard work. Yes, no other South Africa team has achieved three consecutive finals in a matter of a year, but they also couldn’t manage a win in one of those.

To Plumtree and co’s defence, the Sharks have been brutally hit by injuries, some players, after 15 rounds of Super Rugby, are yet to even return from previous injuries. That, along with the injuries sustained throughout the season, has prevented Plumtree and co to select the best possible fifteen, instead opting for the fit fifteen.

Where Plumtree and co are failing though, is with his supreme lack of man management. There have been a few instances in recent months, the Ryan Kankowski issue the biggest of the lot. While a team is struggling with severe injuries, surely a player of Kankowski’s experience, whether in or out of form, should form part of the squad. Whatever happened to cause this unrest, we are sure to not know the details of, but it is the handling of the incident that has caused unrest. Unrest not only amongst supporters calling for Kankowski’s inclusion, but among players who might fear they are next to be omitted.

All in all, a poor scorecard after half of the year’s rugby, and possibly something for CEO Smit to sort out upon taking the reins. That being said, it would not be my first point on John’s To Do list.

My first point of call for the CEO, and although it is beyond his duties, would be to somehow influence the decision for a new captain.

No matter the coach, if your captain clearly does not understand the rules of the game that he is playing at the highest level, he cannot lead by example. If leading by example is something Keegan Daniel aspires to, we can all go on our knees and say thank you that the other have not followed. The Sharks can have all the specialist coaches in the world, but if your captain plays like Keegan has been these last five or so weeks, it is little wonder that the Sharks are where they are on the log.

So whether it is in his job description or not, CEO Smit will do a lot of good to Sharks rugby if he can appoint an actual captain.


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