Plumtree offers referee advice

    2012-05-02 19:12
    Cape Town - Sharks coach John Plumtree hopes the way referee Steve Walsh officiates the breakdown, is similar to what Marius Jonker did in the Highlanders-Cheetahs clash last week.

    The Sharks take on the Highlanders in a crucial Super Rugby encounter in Durban on Saturday.

    “They (the Highlanders) are very aggressive at the breakdown and I thought Marius Jonker penalised them pretty hard for going off their feet which was pleasing to see, and hopefully we’ll see that again this weekend.

    "That if they counter ruck, they have to stay on their feet. The referee was also hard on them for slowing possession down and once that area of the game was sorted out, we saw an open game of rugby with a lot of points scored.

    “So we’re hoping Steve Walsh (referee for this match) will also be tough in that area on the weekend," Plumtree told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

    The Sharks know they are in for a tough match after the Highlanders fought back from 30-9 down in the second half to beat the men from Bloemfontein 36-33.

    “The Highlanders are a very courageous side, to come back like that to win in Bloemfontein, even though they had a bit of luck, shows they’re a quality side,” said Plumtree.

    “To travel all the way to South Africa from New Zealand to win their first game up takes a good effort, it shows what a quality, tight-knit unit they are. Their coach Jamie Joseph is a good friend of mine, we coached together at Wellington, I know how he handles a team and you can see his influence there.

    “One based on team culture, tightness, playing for each other, it’s pretty similar to the Chiefs in many ways.”

    The Sharks are currently in seventh spot on the overall log with four wins and five losses, while the men from Dunedin lie fifth with seven wins and two defeats.

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