Plumtree frustrated with Sharks
Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree, despite having seen his team notch up their fifth win of the current Absa Currie Cup campaign, felt a little disappointed at the way in which they went about securing their 23-3 victory.
Having conceded no tries was always going to be a positive, although the down side was the fact that a bonus point try could not be scored in a game that battled to get out of second gear.
“It was a frustrating affair for everyone,” Plumtree told Sharks website editor, Michael Marnewick, as he summed up his team's feelings after the match.
“We were impatient in the first half, our 9 and 10 couldn’t get our game going and we were too lateral against their drift defence. When we built up some momentum and got going, we just didn’t finish the opportunities that we created.
"The whole game was pretty much dominated by reset scrums. We wanted to play an up-tempo game but just couldn’t get it going - there was just no flow in the match. It was one of those nights you want to just put a line through and move on," said Plumtree.
Keeping their home record intact was a positive, but the Sharks coach felt the pace of the game did not suit his team, but he did praise his side’s defence, whilst acknowledging that the attack wasn’t as penetrative as they would have hoped.
“The Leopards didn’t look like they would score a try and our defence was pretty good most of the time, but really, we wanted to get the bonus point, we had opportunities. Really, it was just a night you want to take the points and move on.”
His frustration was evident when he added that, “It’s hard to come away with any positives when you get a performance like that. We’ve been poor against the minor unions and I’m not sure if that’s mental or not.
“Certainly you have got to be careful in saying we were poor, that we weren’t that great, without making mention of the opposition, you have to hand it to them, they defended well and when we got behind them, they scrambled well. They clearly came here wanting to prove a point. Against the big teams this year, they’ve been pretty competitive and good on them. We weren’t accurate enough to put up a big score.”
Looking at partnerships, Plumtree was unwilling to place the blame on individuals for things not falling into place, saying that as a collective, the team will feel they didn’t deliver to their potential.
“I don’t think the team will be happy as a group. It’s hard to feel happy as an individual or a partnership or a combination when we didn’t click.”
Having taken off scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann at halftime, Plumtree explained that, “I wanted to give Conrad as long as I could, but I just wanted to get Charl on to see if we could get our game going a little bit better. Again, I don’t want to single any individual out, it was collectively not a good enough performance and I had to make some changes to see if we could get across the try-line.
“We’ve had these nights before, we wanted to see some good football, didn’t get it. It didn’t help with the stop-start, scrum resets, knock-ons…”
The Sharks travel to Johannesburg this weekend to take on table-toppers, the Golden Lions, and a tough top of the table derby is to be expected.
“We won’t beat the Lions if we play like that, but we won’t play like that, we’ll be a lot better than that," said Plumtree.