Venter takes blame for Sharks woes
Cape Town - Sharks technical advisor,
Brendan Venter, has taken responsibility for the woes the Durbanites are currently
After winning only four out of nine games,
the Sharks are currently second from bottom in the South African conference,
and sit ninth on the overall standings.
Their discipline have also let them down,
with three players - captain Bismarck du Plessis, utility back Frans Steyn and
loose forward Jean Deysel - currently serving bans for foul play.
But a big problem for the Sharks this year has
been their defence, with the Durban franchise already conceding more tries than they
did during the entire 2014 season under Jake White.
Venter, who took charge of the team in
off-season before new Director of Gary Gold completed his commitments in Japan,
has taken the blame for what has transpired thus far in 2015.
Venter discussed the Sharks’ problems via a
column on the supersport.com website.
He wrote: “In my view, the core problem,
never previously addressed, is that the Sharks defence is just not up to
standard. At this stage of the season, the Sharks have conceded more tries - 22
- than they conceded in the whole of last year’s Super Rugby campaign. Under
Jake White in 2014, the Sharks played a horrible brand of rugby to watch but
defended unbelievably well.
“Owing to the fact I oversaw the 2015
pre-season, I should have had the experience as a 45-year-old coach to know
that success starts with a sound defence and everything develops from that
foundation. I assumed the players would have experience in the bank as far as
past defensive principles were concerned but I’ve learned that is not how the
“Never before had I coached a team where
defence wasn’t my starting point. For instance, when I ventured to Saracens, we
literally left attack and focused relentlessly on defence, set-piece and
territory. This time around, the primary focus was on ameliorating our attack,
and, as such, I went against every single rugby principle I have ever held. As
a consequence, not only have we conceded 224 points, when you look at the way
in which the Sharks are defending - the players are making every single error
in the book in terms of defence.
“However, it’s completely impractical to
blame the poor players, Gary Gold - who has spent eight weeks with the team -
or defence coach Michael Horak who has had limited time to work with the
“I take responsibility for not putting
defensive principles in place from the start. I genuinely thought that the
defensive legacy left behind by White would survive but I was wrong.”
In their next assignment, the Sharks host
the Bulls at Kings Park this Saturday (17:05 kick-off).
CLICK HERE to read Venter's full column on supersport.com.