Currie Cup

Plumtree happy with close win

2012-09-29 14:01
John Plumtree (File)

Playing in Argentina not only presents a challenge on the pitch for the All Blacks, but a challenge off the pitch when it comes to basic tasks such as ordering a taxi or coffee.

Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree described his side’s  victory over the Blue Bullson Friday night as an “arm wrestle” and was content to come out on top, albeit narrowly, in miserable, wet conditions in Durban.

The coastal side moved briefly to the summit of the Currie Cup log with a  13-12 win at Kings Park, in a match marred by swirling rain and a controversial red card for hooker Pieter Dixon.

They dropped back to second position on Saturday after the Golden Lions regained their three-point lead at the top of the standings.

“It was just really an arm wrestle, wasn’t it? A battle of inches,” Plumtree said.

“The Bulls pack were heavy and we had to try and contain them.

“I’m proud of the way the boys really dug it in because we were at times getting manhandled a bit on the gain line and in the mauls, so it was a tough night for them. They’re exhausted.

“Obviously territory was a big thing -- kicking, contestables and set-pieces -- so there was hardly any rugby played.”

The home side, who trailed 9-5 at the break, outscored the Pretoria visitors by two tries to none after Paul Jordaan and Keegan Daniel crossed in each half.

But it was the debatable dismissal of Dixon that emerged as perhaps the most talked about incident of the game after the veteran hooker was red carded in the 70th minute for a kick to the head of Bulls flank Arno Botha -- a call made by the television match official.

“I could understand a penalty because he was reckless. It was stupid," Plumtree said.

“But it was certainty not intended and he’s certainly not that type of guy. It’s probably the first red card in his life.

“Hopefully he would have paid the ultimate price with the sending off and not having to sit out anymore.

"So it was reckless, but whether it deserved a red card, I don’t think so.”

The Bulls dropped to the bottom of the table, with only three wins from eight games, after the Cheetahs secured a much needed victory over Griquas on Saturday.

Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter felt his side adopted the right game plan and had done everything they needed to do, apart from getting the result.

“We played the game the right way, especially in these weather conditions," Potgieter said.

"We created some opportunities but lost the ball at crucial times.

“Congratulations to the Sharks for closing out the game.

“Tactically we did quite a good job, but hats off to the Sharks, they’re a quality team.”

Read more on:    sharks  |  blue bulls  |  currie cup  |  john plumtree  |  durban  |  rugby


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