Michalak Sharks' weapon?

2011-06-16 07:51

Christo Buchner

Johannesburg – Will Sharks coach John Plumtree have an ace up his sleeve to catch the Bulls off guard in Saturday’s Super Rugby match in Pretoria?

The Sharks can’t dream about beating the Bulls if they perform like they have in recent weeks – and especially not with the kind of play they produced in the first clash between the teams in Durban.

There has to be an element of surprise.

Something out of the ordinary has to be done to get the victory that many supporters believe is out of the Sharks’ reach.

The broken hand that will sideline Odwa Ndungane for another week or two is a major blow for the Sharks. Plumtree could have picked him as fullback to get more strike power from the back.

Louis Ludik is solid in the No 15 jersey, but is not offering that little bit extra on attack that Jaco Taute and Riaan Viljoen provide at the Lions and Cheetahs respectively.

The fluency that suddenly appeared in the backline when Frederic Michalak was sent on at flyhalf and Patrick Lambie moved to fullback may prompt Plumtree into picking that combination for his starting line-up against the Bulls.

Plumtree was full of praise for the experience that Michalak showed and his maturity in a crisis situation.

Lambie started his Super Rugby career last year as a fullback and while the youngster has not yet played there this year due to Ludik being in the team, it’s now a situation of desperate times calling for desperate measures.

Springbok wings JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo are in excellent form and another attacking player in the back three may just be able to provide the spark that the Sharks will need at Loftus.

The Sharks attacked from everywhere on the field in the last quarter of the match against the Lions.

Up front the return of Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel will be a boost and their ball-carrying ability can test the Bulls.

“We will have to be a lot more clinical and ensure that we win our lineout ball. We had to make 30 tackles inside six or seven minutes against the Lions just because we conceded lineout possession. That is the kind of thing that hurts you,” said Plumtree.

“The Bulls will also use lineout drives against us and we need to be aware of that. The guys hate conceding tries like that (two against the Lions) and we will have to ensure they don’t dominate us in that area.”


  • JJRR - 2011-06-16 08:22

    Pateties, wonder waar val hy in met quota rugby? Wil jy my se hulle kan nie n SA speler kry nie!

      scipio - 2011-06-16 08:31

      Quota? Where. Is jy seker jy het nie afgeluister waar daar by jou werk area oor jou as Quota gepraat word nie? Eina tjom. Sterk Staan

      Oukoos - 2011-06-16 08:36

      @JJRR, die Stormers het klaar Earl Rose (how low can you go?) opgeraap. Daar is niks meer losskakels oor nie, ook nie in die kwota groep nie. Die Sharks het duidelik 'n probleem op beide losskakel en heelagter. Soos in die artikel genoem, Ludik is is bloot gemiddeld. Lambie is 'n briljante speler, maar nie op losskakel nie. As heelagter sal Lambie dit nag maak vir die Bulls - glo my.

      BardofAvon - 2011-06-16 09:10

      @Oukoos: Kan wees. In elk geval hoe harder die Bulls moet speel om te wen hoe beter. Na die Sharks game is daar drie verskriklike wedstryde wat op ons wag, twee van hulle "away" games (die derde een, by Nuweland, is 'n "home" game) om die beker te verdien. Let op "verdien" - nie soos die beker wat Weerprobeerpie nou kry omdat hulle "baie punte" opgeteken het.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-16 09:20

      @William Shakey: if I fed off your confidence in the Bulls (the guarantees you are making that they will win the S15) and I bet my house on it - would you pay me out the value of my home if the Bulls somehow did NOT win the whole shebang? You sound very confident...........have you put your money where your mouth is yet?

      JJRR - 2011-06-16 11:21

      peanut, Hy is nie Wit of Swart nie, hy is n "Kolonialis" uit Frankryk! Feit is dat julle kan niemand kry in SA om no10 te speel nie!!!! Shame smaak my julle het nie soveel diepte as wat julle voorgee nie!

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-16 21:17

      @Oukoos - as ek jou moes geglo het, was die Bulle lank al uit! Ons sou weer teen die Stormers verloor het. Ek weet die manne van al die SA spanne skree teen ons - die prys van te veel wen.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-06-16 09:03

    And the Bulls' secret weapon is John Smit.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-16 09:21

      @Shakespeare - I know who you are JimC.

      BardofAvon - 2011-06-16 11:01

      @saffa: what are you talking about? This is a rugby forum

      JJRR - 2011-06-16 11:21

      Oupa Smit!

      Stan Ipkiss - 2011-06-16 11:31

      O.k SAFFA, now I'm confused.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-16 11:40

      I am not confused, you chaps might be. No problems, the charade must continue. Smokinnnnnnnnnn LLoyd.

  • Met Uysh! - 2011-06-16 09:09

    Like we said on Monday, play Michalak at flyhalf, put Lambie either FB or IC. Personally would play Lambie at IC where he gets more action. This Sharks squad needs him there, he will be under utilised at FB.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-16 09:18

      Agreed. Lambie at 12, Fred at 10. Two playmakers. I am keen to see what Plumtree does with John Smit this weekend. Bissie HAS to start at 2. John should really be on the bench.......(if they start him at either prop or hooker the Sharks chances of an upset fall dramatically)

      Met Uysh! - 2011-06-16 10:09

      I think Smit at 2 or 16 will be fine. He is crucial at the lineouts especially against the Bulls. Bismark struggles with the lineouts and Matfield will steal the Sharks ball. I still believe both are good quality players with different strengths. With the Bulls tight game you need a guy like Smit to win you the lineouts and later on bring on Bismarck. Either way, as I said, either can start in my opinion.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-16 10:39

      @Uysh - the hassle the Sharks will have by starting John at 2, is that they lose out on Bissies brilliant general play. Bissie is an additional loosie for them, and with the loos trio they will probably start with on Saturday, it's essential that they have a player competing on the ground. Alberts, Deysel and Kanko are not scavenging loosies, so Bissie kind of makes up for that from the hooker position. If they start John at 2, they should play Keegan at 8 and drop Kanko. Starting John at 2, and a loose trio of Alberts, Deysel and Kanko would be a huge mistake IMHO. (And yes, Bissie's lineout work has not been great this year but I would still select him over John at this stage)

      Met Uysh! - 2011-06-16 10:42

      @Saffa. Agree with you regarding the loosies and hooker combo. I guess it comes down to "horses for courses."

  • BLOODY AGENT - 2011-06-16 09:27

    Whatever,bring it on....Bulls by 21!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Grant - 2011-06-16 10:45


      Ace Ventura - 2011-06-16 11:03

      Grant, go sleep some more. You sound tired.

  • wolverine - 2011-06-16 09:43

    Ek dink die sharks hoef nie eers moftus toe te gaan nie,want die grootbek bulle het die super15 en curriecup reeds in januarie gewen. onthou die wiel draai,julle nulle se luck gaan opdroog

      Carl Muller - 2011-06-16 14:03

      Die Bulle het nie luck nodig nie. Hulkle speel om te wen...

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-16 20:04

      @wolverine - julle se dit al vir jarre. En julle wag en wag. Shame.

  • Mikey777 - 2011-06-16 10:04

    The sharks have been mediocre this season, and definitely not capable of challenging for Super 15 honours.The Lions ( a team at the bottom of the log) ran riot against them last week. All the Sharks can hope for is that they do not end up on the wrong side of a cricket score.

  • Martin - 2011-06-16 10:06

    THE SHARK FISH HEADS/BREATHS ARE THE CANCER OF SA RUGBY!!!! Why not develop Lambie as 10 further or bring in another SA youngster for crying out loud!!!! Same thing is happening again here as when they messed up careers like Brent Russell by shoving him around in the backline until he moved to France. Also when they bought Hernandez when they had Francois Steyn en Ruan Pienaar to develop as youngsters... I am just glad Daniel Carter is not a South African, otherwise he would have been bought by the Fish heads, changed into a flanker and played for some French club now!

      radar - 2011-06-16 16:54

      Now imagine if the sharks had kept Frans Steyn, Ruan Pienaar (flyhalf) and Johan Muller (lock) and signed Jacque Fourie who was coming to Sharks before management cocked that one up. They would be top of teh Super 15 standings Backline - 9 McCleod, 10 Pienaar, 12 Lambie, 13 Fourie, 14 Mvovo, 11, JP Pietersen, fullback Frans Steyn. And Johan Muller would stll be running the lineouts as effectively as ever. Just think about it. Maybe time to fire management who seem to find a way to shoot themselves in the foot by allowing such prodigious talent ot leave the Sharks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!l.

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-16 21:22

      @Radar - but, the reality is......

  • Magoo - 2011-06-16 10:32

    We got to keep Bosman off the field - that is the "missing link" in the Shark's backline play. He is not even CC material and it would be better for Sharks to send him back to Bloem and get Straus back - there is a top-quality centre. Bosman has single-handedly cost us position in this S15.

      Ace Ventura - 2011-06-16 11:04

      Did you say the same thing when he destroyed your 2009 Curriecup dreams?

      Martin - 2011-06-16 11:21

      Both Strauss and Bosman are of Free State/Grey Bloem stock! No local breed Banana daggakoppie surfers around????

  • Grant - 2011-06-16 10:50

    Who writes this cr@p!!? Christo Buchner...come on! The reason Lambie has not been playing fullback is NOT because Ludik being in the team - its because he's being groomed as a FLYHALF! And that's where he should stay! The Sharks' attacking problems have NOTHING to do with the flyhalf...nor wings or fullback. We have 2 centres who are B-Team players at best! Even Carter wouldnt be able to do anything with Terblanche and Bosman on his outside. Moving Lambie to IC would be the most logical move for the team, as it would give our midfield some talent, but bad for the lad's career. Poor, poor planning by the Sharks to go into the season without ONE decent they gonna mess with Lambie and effect next season now too!

      Jason - 2011-06-16 11:49

      This is the most sensical thing I've read all day! Spot on Grant! Sharks have the worst centre pairing in SA! Ludik and Charl Mcleod are wastes of space too.

      radar - 2011-06-16 16:47

      Well said Grant. Problem is they have to play Lambie out of position (Inside Centre is a no brainer given how bad Bosman has been) if they want to proceed in the Super 15 comp this year. They aslo need to move Terblanche to the bench and play Knkowski at outside centre. big strong fast sidetsepping centre who will run riot given half a yard of space. Come on Sharks coaches - pull your finger out of your butt!!!!

  • Marcell - 2011-06-16 11:01

    Die Sharks lyk altyd goed as die ref toelaat dat hulle onkant of die bal op die grond speel.

      JJRR - 2011-06-16 11:22

      Weet, Hulle en Wie Pie kan speel soos hulle wil!

      JJRR - 2011-06-16 11:22

      Ons skuld hulle mos n Cup, onthou!

      Rowan Gillbanks - 2011-06-16 11:32

      Die bulle doen n beter job as die sharks Marcell. By the way is that not a girls name???????

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-16 21:27

      @Rowan - Correct - the Bulls are doing better than the Sharks. Marcell can be a man's name, and I have met many. Rowan isnt the greatest name iether. Sounds a bit, you know...

  • J10 - 2011-06-16 13:24

    SA's TOP 5 nr 10's 1. Morne Steyn 2. Peter Grant 3. Butch James 4. Pat Lambie 5. Sias Eberson where do you think Frederic Michalak would fit in?

      Frik - 2011-06-16 14:12

      Wat van Earl Rose? Hy is nommer een vir die stoffers...

      MacRight - 2011-06-16 15:19

      Michalak is a better flyhalf than lover-boy Steyn and watch him prove this point in Steyn's own backyard come Saturday.

      Frik - 2011-06-16 15:46

      Macwrong Frans Steyn plays fullback!! Get your facts right twat!!

      TrueSaffa - 2011-06-16 16:34

      Frik, he meant morne steyn, idiot...

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-16 21:28

      MacRight is hoping this French hasbeen is better. It is the Shark's last hope.

      Frik - 2011-06-16 22:12

      @Trueidiot stop stealing nicknames

  • Tools1 - 2011-06-17 08:46

    I dont get how the most promising young flyhalf in the country is put on fullback to be replaced by MitchelKak. But hey we need to put 50 on them to lead the confrence table because the stormers will no doubt lose to freestate. Go the Bulls.

  • LOLWUT - 2011-06-17 10:18

    With all the talent in the Sharks camp it is bloody disgraceful that they bring in international players - this goes for any other South African provincial team Looking forward to a cracker this weekend though :) :)

      Block8 Strahov - 2011-06-19 11:06

      what a visionary you are...

  • georgemtem - 2011-06-17 12:16

    if only the "pocket rocket" was still with the sharks and seating on the bench this coming satday....we need impact players lyk him to tire the bulls forwards.........sharks gona win by 6 points.....

  • pages:
  • 1