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Coach Brad’s post mortem


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 21 Oct 2014 at 13:18
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We caught up with Sharks Currie Cup coach Brad Macleod-Henderson earlier today to do a bit of a wash up after the team’s season came to an end on Saturday.

Not wanting to dwell on the negative too much, we had to talk a little bit about that game at Ellis Park, and what contributed to the Sharks suffering a 30-point defeat to the Lions. “You have to take your hat off to the Lions,” says the coach, “I thought they played particularly well. Pretty much from the start they put us under pressure and we struggled to deal with that. From the start of the second half we came back and played some nice rugby, but we probably made too many errors and we missed too many tackles to build enough pressure and stay in touch with them on the scoreboard.”

Missed tackles – up to 30 in the match – were a big concern. We asked Brad what went wrong. “It’s difficult to put your finger on,” he admits, adding “we conceded the least tries in the Currie Cup going into the game and then we allowed six to be scored on Saturday. I think they did put us under a lot of pressure from the set piece and the guys fell off too many tackles and once the guys had missed one tackle, it led to two or three which just compounded the problem. ”

Scrumming was another area that wasn’t up to par on Saturday – an area that’s plagued the Sharks throughout the campaign. “I think our scrums were maybe a little bit inconsistent,” Brad concedes, ” at times we scrummed well and at times we didn’t. It’s certainly an area we need to look at and improve for next year. It cost us on Saturday – we knew going into the game that the Lions had a strong scrum and unfortunately we couldn’t deal with it.”

Looking at the campaign as a whole, we asked the coach to list the positives he was able to take. “There were a couple of highlights: firstly the performance of Tera [Mtembu] both as a captain and player. He’s come on in leaps and bounds – we always knew he was a fantastic rugby player and he’s continued improving and his leadership ability also showed great maturity. He’s led the guys from the front and played every minute of every game and shown what a talent he is. A couple of the young guys have come through – Cameron Wright and Thomas du Toit were still at school last year and they showed what talented players they are. Andre Esterhuizen was at school two years ago, he showed what a phenomenal athlete he is, so from an individual player point of view there were some huge highlights.

“The team were under pressure – we weren’t playing well at the start of the competition and had two narrow losses which really put the cat among the pigeons, but the fight that the guys showed, going to Pretoria and getting a result there, going to Cape Town and winning there, beating a pretty-much full strength Lions team at home, those are all highlights that we’ll certainly take from the campaign. The guys enjoyed their rugby, they always played with a nice spirit, so those were all pleasing aspects to see.”

And what do we think about the depth available to us, having completed the Currie Cup season? “I mentioned those names earlier, then someone like Khaya Majola showed that he can certainly play at Currie Cup level, Etienne Oosthuizen showed that he can play at this level if not above. A guy like Kyle Cooper hasn’t had a lot of chance to play this year, but he got that now and he was fantastic, Monde Hadebe also showed what a talent he was. You don’t really want to mention individual names but a lot of players put their hands up and showed what they can do.”

Talking about the style of play, Brad also finds positives. “I think at times, when we played to our potential and the passes stuck we looked really good – really threatening. That was definitely a highlight to come out of the campaign. You’re obviously always looking to refine things and improve on things, improve your decision-making. There are always area that need improving ahead of Super Rugby next year and we’ve obviously got quite a few players coming back into the squad, as well as those who’ve put their hands up during the Currie Cup and are looking for an opportunity in Super Rugby.

“We’ll get back together on the 17th of November and start working towards a good Super Rugby campaign.”

We’d like to wish Brad and the team all the best and hope they have a good break.



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