Lessons learnt for Sharks

2011-10-23 17:34

Johannesburg - Sharks coach John Plumtree hopes his players will take a lesson from Saturday's Currie Cup semi-final performance against the Cheetahs in Durban after booking their place in the final for a third time in four years.

The defending champions scored 17 unanswered second-half points against their rivals from Bloemfontein to surge to a 20-13 victory, setting up the competition final against the Golden Lions at Ellis Park next week.

"What happened to us out there today could work in our favour next week," said Plumtree, following an error-strewn first-half.

"It shows that unless the team functions as a group then we're not going to get what we want.

"There were too many individual acts out there, but fortunately we managed to turn things around in the second 40 minutes."

Hennie Daniller's 23rd minute try and eight points from the boot of flyhalf Johan Goosen gave the visitors a 13-0 lead after just 24 minutes as they dominated the hosts in most areas of the game.

Frederic Michalak and Patrick Lambie also wasted three penalties in the opening period that went all wrong against a team that have beaten them on the last two occasions they have met in the playoffs.

"There were a number of things that happened that we just found it hard to really get any momentum," Plumtree said.

"So it was all just real frustration and I could see the players were getting frustrated as well.

"We got that try early in the second half and straightaway we got a bit of belief."

The Sharks also fielded all their available World Cup Springboks with two of them, Tendai Mtawarira and Odwa Ndungane, scoring tries.

Apart from Jannie du Plessis, the other national players were mainly on the fringes in New Zealand - a reason Plumtree gave for the poor showing among the forwards earlier in the game.

"You could see in the second half they began to get a bit of a second wind," he said.

"Mtawarira hadn’t played for a while. Jannie’s played a lot, but I think was a bit flat, Willem [Alberts] as well hasn’t played a full 80 minutes for a while and Bismarck [du Plessis] is the same."

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské described his team's attack as being their poorest of the campaign.

"We were unable to maintain the same performance for a full 80 minutes, it’s been like that all year," Drotské said.

"I think the emphasis this week may have been too much on defence, which the guys did well, but our attack I think was the poorest of the season.

"I think for the first time we've got a lot of continuity going into the Super 15 [next year] with a good blend of youth and experience.

"Once we get Coenie Oosthuizen, Juan Smith and Heinrich Brussow back, they’ll bring further quality in, so we can now look to the new year with real optimism."


  • Denése - 2011-10-23 19:31

    Here's to the Sharks for next week. Be strong - mentally and physically - , resolute, and play for each other SHARKS' TEAM. Then you can go all the way.

  • rossallenronnie - 2011-10-23 21:09

    why is it so difficult to predict this game my hard is with the lions my mind say sharks but i know lions can win and will win 21-17

      Chris - 2011-10-24 07:55

      Your hard is with the Lions?

  • SNG62 - 2011-10-24 08:43

    Sharks forever ....

  • mariusvrens - 2011-10-24 08:53

    Sharks!!!!!! I wonder where Blue is??

  • Skinfaxi - 2011-10-24 10:34

    Did anyone notice in the Sharks last game against the Lions how their game improved after Freddie went off. It happened again in the semi. The Sharks battled until Freddie went off and suddenly the whole game turned around again. Maybe the lesson learned is that the Sharks play a better game with the ball in hand instead of kicking the ball away when in the opposition 22.

  • Eben - 2011-10-24 11:07

    Hey guys nice game, but if you are going to beat the Lions, then you will have to get it right this week... Get the kicks over, its final time... GO SHARKS GO...!!!

  • rondee.scherman - 2011-10-24 19:49

    The only thing it showed was that if you have seletive refereeing you will win - like the Aussies. My prediction for the final, who de hell cares. The refereeing farce of 2011 continues. Another Lawrence will mess it up again. The diffrence between him and his mate Bryce is that this ones ego is bigger that any teams? Golf anyone?

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