LIVE

    Plumtree happy with progress

    2012-07-17 22:28

    Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree believes they have made immense strides in recent years and is hoping they can now kick on with further progress in this season's Super Rugby playoffs.

    The coastal side face defending champions, the Reds, in Brisbane on Saturday with a win set to take them one step further than their last campaign which ended at the same playoff stage.

    They narrowly missed out on the title in 2007 when they were beaten by the Bulls, before reaching the last four the next season, while domestically they reached three of the last four Currie Cup finals winning two along the way.

    "We’ve made the top six and the plus for me is we’ve also developed some really nice juniors," Plumtree said.

    "You look at Paul Jordaan, Piet-Steph (du Toit), Marcell (Coetzee), the way he’s come through this year.

    "So I think we’re in better shape than we’ve been in the past and we’re still managing to chase finals.

    "I mean three Currie Cup finals in four years and the playoffs again, which is really good news. The stuff up, I guess, is we have to travel, but that’s what we have to do."

    Last year, the Sharks also had to travel at this stage of the competition, although it was arguably the much tougher proposition of Nelson where they were crushed by seven-time winners, the Crusaders.

    They looked on course to avoid travelling this season when they went on a four-match winning streak prior to the June international break, but their sequence was ended by a shock loss at the Lions.

    "Every side’s got their own stories, people saying ‘you shouldn’t have lost that game and you wouldn’t have been in that position’," he said.

    "Everyone talks about how the Lions game hurt us in terms of travelling, and that’s rightly so, but the Waratahs game was also very frustrating.

    "We were up 26-13 or something, dominating and we lost that game. There’s only one side that we really had a hiding from this year and that was the Hurricanes.

    "The rest have all been close, we managed to score tries and lost by a few points.

    "We were close against the Stormers and Bulls away and we beat both those teams here. We can beat anyone on the day, but we can also lose to anyone."

    The Sharks' progress from sixth-place also meant that three South African teams had made the top six - overall log winners the Stormers, who will host the final if the win their semi-final next week, and the Bulls.

    "It’s outstanding," Plumtree added on the accolade. "That’s a real achievement in itself.

    "It just shows you the depth in this country - I’m sure Heyneke Meyer is really pleased about that. All three teams are gaining great experience at the top level, which is excellent."

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    19 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    03 April 2015
    • Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:40
    04 April 2015
    • Chiefs v Blues, Waikato Stadium 08:35
    • Brumbies v Cheetahs, GIO Stadium 10:40
    • Sharks v Crusaders, Growthpoint Kings Park 15:00
    • Lions v Bulls, Emirates Airlines Park 17:05
    10 April 2015
    • Blues v Brumbies, Eden Park 09:35

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Sharks centre Frans Steyn has been found NOT GUILTY of a dangerous tip-tackle against the Chiefs. Your thoughts?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.