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Anthony speaks some hard truths


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 10 Sep 2014 at 08:41
Tagged with : , , , , ,

When I was a young man, going through my school career as a rugby player of no exceptional talent, I was very fortunate to come under the tutelage of one Mr Paul Anthony – affectionately known as “the Lion of Lebanon” – at Pretoria Boys High School. Anthony, aside from having a clearly great rugby brain, could always be counted on to speak plain, leaving us boys under no illusions as to whether our efforts were coming up to standard or not.

I’m pleased to see that the Lion, who is now Sharks forwards coach, is speaking his mind just as forthrightly in his new, somewhat more stressful role (not that coaching me wasn’t stressful, I’m sure). Speaking on behalf of the coaching staff, Anthony, in an interview with Sports24, is a rather direct about the current state of the Sharks Currie Cup campaign.

“Without showing any disrespect, we have to be winning games that we’re losing at the moment,” Anthony told the website. “You have to be saying we’re defending the title and we have to get out there and win the games. I’m the sort of guy that doesn’t want excuses. We need to man up, management and players, and we need to go out there and play. We need to start winning games. The players are good enough and I’m convinced we can do it.”

I find this sort of statement very encouraging; it implies that at some level, at least, the Sharks are prepared to move beyond excuses (we have a young team/we are trying a new way of playing/we have a new head coach/etc) and look at themselves. The reality is that none of the other teams in their pool (Griquas, the Pumas and the Cheetahs) have anywhere near the resources, nor the talent, that the Sharks have at their disposal. While admittedly thinned out, there is absolutely no acceptable reason for a Sharks team containing quite so many good players to be performing so poorly.

Credit to Anthony for what he’s said; let’s see the team back it up with action this weekend.



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