News24

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."

SAPA

Comments
  • tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 22:38

    sharks to win by 2 points i am first again

      Konrad - 2012-07-17 23:03

      Amazing. First. What an achievement. Really quite something. Your mother must be extremely proud of you. Go Sharks. Go Bulls. Go Stormers, but please try to score a try - pretty please...

      theunis.botha.96 - 2012-07-18 00:31

      I am late again,but who won the race,the tortoise or the hare?Sharks also had a slow start but now they are hell on wheels.If they maintain their form,or even step it up a bit they can beat the Reds comforta'bly.

  • skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-07-17 23:58

    I am astounded when a coach takes a team packed with world class players and manages to achieve mere mediocrity with these resources. He then leans back and brags about his near success. The almost coach and his amost results. Please Plum ask Mr Freddie not to kick the ball away when we are in the 22 with a two man overlap. PS you cannot play the modern game without a fetcher (despite what HM thinks) with us that means Biz.

      LeonTheShark - 2012-07-18 05:34

      True skin

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-18 08:03

      hm won't admit that he would rather say he got a new type of player a breakdown specialist to secure ball. and skintaxi in modern hand you ideally need two players to work as a fetch and grab team and it works well cause the daylight sue won't apply to the non tackler and the tackler just need note away tighp way you won't have that not release or daylight stupid rule from ref.

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-18 08:04

      hm won't admit that he would rather say he got a new type of player a breakdown specialist to secure ball. and skintaxi in modern game you ideally need two players to work as a fetch and grab team and it would work well cause the daylight rule won't apply to the non tackler and the tackler just need roll away that way you won't have that not release or daylight stupid rule from ref.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-18 13:48

      especially with the lack of players of colour in the team. im disgusted. thieves, nick mallet!!! disgrace!

  • LeonTheShark - 2012-07-18 05:26

    So ol plum when do we actually win the super series I've been waiting 20 years I'm still waiting

  • maakdiebulle.almalbokke - 2012-07-18 07:36

    Go saaaaaaaarks !

      cape.maori - 2012-07-18 08:25

      @Isak - "That means that if the Sharks win on Saturday, they will face the Stormers. If not, the Stormers will host the winner of the Crusaders/Bulls qualifier" - Supersport. Do you think the current stormers can stop the Saders provided the Saders klap the bulls and Sharks lose against the Reds? Isak, dink nou weer met jou gesonde verstand en nie jou hart.

      cape.maori - 2012-07-18 08:52

      @Isak - point taken. Vermeulen will come back from an injury and will not be the same in a high intensity game and Eben will be rusty. The Saders combination will have played together for some time and hopefully Read will be back by then. I think the stormers need to start with Schroeder who offers more around the fringes and varies his game. The stormers front row might be in for some stick - hopefully they learn some lessons from last year.

  • craig.tyson.146 - 2012-07-18 08:32

    Haha, good one!

  • craig.tyson.146 - 2012-07-18 08:33

    Finally, we can all support the SA teams for one round!

  • tim.kilpin - 2012-07-18 08:52

    If the sharks maintain their focus and concentration the game is ours for the taking. Go Sharks and will also be hoping the Bulls take out the Crusaders in the earlier game

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