Android app on Google Play

recent posts

Like Sharksworld?

We'd love a contribution towards the running costs...
How much do you like Sharksworld?
Message to the webmaster

recent comments

Currie Cup Log

Team Points
Premier Division
Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 3 24
Cell C Sharks 10 4 22
Steval Pumas 10 3 17
Eastern Province Kings 10 2 12
ORC Griquas 10 1 8
Full log

Categories

Archives

Copyright

© 2008-2012 Sharksworld.

Originally based on a design by Upstart Blogger.

Sport Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory My Zimbio

Error: Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2019/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

Wanted: a plan, some progress and a whole heap more pride


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 9 Sep 2014 at 09:55
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

I wrote an article last week, after the unexpected loss to the Pumas, calling for calm and patience given the situation the Sharks find themselves in.

I pointed out that the team had lost a huge amount of experience (for reasons that still need to be explained) and that these enforced changes, both at a playing and coaching level, needed some time to bed down. The hope was that we would see improvement as these new players and combinations continued to find each other and we all looked forward to a far stronger showing against Griquas. After all, Griquas hadn’t won yet and there was surely no way we could lose to them at home, right?

A week later and we’re all trying to come to terms with another loss. Sure, we lost to Griquas at home last year too, but the situation then was a little different, given that the Sharks had quite literally come together under a completely new coaching team just two weeks before. We’re now a full year into the “brave new world” that was promised when John Smit swept into the CEO’s office and his penchant for changing head coach for each new competition aside, I think we as fans should by now have a legitimate expectation of a measurable level of improvement.

It’s safe to say that evidence of said improvement is not forthcoming. Saturday’s performance against Griquas did not live up to the proud standard against which we hold our team; a standard based on recent success, including seven successive top-two finishes in the Currie Cup, amongst other factors. While it is true that the referee penalised the Sharks unfairly on a fair few occasions (I’ve already been through an analysis of why I feel ALL of the scrum penalties were wrong), we cannot ever accept refereeing inadequacies as a reason for losing a home game to a Currie Cup minnow.

So what went wrong? If we look at the match stats, we see the Sharks enjoyed 60% possession and were only forced to make 59 tackles (with a 92% success rate). So it’s hardly like the team was constantly on the back foot, under the cosh due to great attacking pressure from Griquas. If anything, the reason the Sharks didn’t win – far more so than anything either the referee or the opposition did – was because they quite simply lacked any sign of a plan with ball in hand. There was zero creativity, accuracy or even real commitment on attack, which ultimately resulted in long periods of stagnation, which turned a game that should never have been a contest into a very tight one indeed.

I’ve already said I’m not going to focus on individuals and individual errors this week – those players who are more guilty than others know who they are – but what’s wrong with the Sharks at the moment seems to be a team problem. I’m honestly hoping that the coaching staff and team leadership are able to look past the “headline” numbers (such as scrum penalties) and rather focus on the deeper issues – I’m going to give them a chance to do just that before being more vocal in my criticism.

Se what do we expect? This is the question I asked last week. This week I will spell out what we expect – and deserve – to see against Free State.

We want to see a plan. Even if it’s not a plan we necessarily agree with, we want to see some evidence that the team knows what they are trying to do, the majority of the time they have the ball. If the plan is to play for territory, then we want to see good execution on those kicks. If the plan is to keep ball in hand, then we want to see fast ruck ball, speedy and accurate service from the base and sensible alignment from the backs.

We want to see progress. What does that mean? It simply means being incrementally better than we were last week. It means fewer knocks, it means fewer (controllable) penalties, it means more of the kicks that are made being good kicks. It might not be a lot to ask at this stage, but it’s the exact opposite of what we’ve seen all season so far.

Above all, we want to see pride. We want a firm commitment from all involved at the Sharks that they will NEVER AGAIN leave us fans feeling the way we did on Saturday night. You play the game for us, after all and we deserve better.



64 Comments

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.