Plumtree: Semi battle open

2011-09-20 14:34

Johannesburg - John Plumtree believes the battle for the top four Currie Cup positions is still wide open, insisting there will be several twists and turns in the remaining round robin matches.

The Sharks coach was preparing his team this week for a home clash against Griquas on Friday, a match that comes hot on the heels of an emphatic 53-32 loss to the Free State Cheetahs at the weekend.

That defeat, coupled with Western Province losing to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria, means the Sharks and their Cape rivals share second place with 32 points.

Province are ahead on points difference while the Cheetahs are now just two points behind.

The Golden Lions are runaway leaders in the domestic competition, having won all but one of their 10 games so far, although they play all the big four unions in their remaining rounds.

"It's hard to really tell (what's going to happen) because everyone's got to play against everyone, so it's still wide open," Plumtree said on Tuesday.

"We're seeing the Bulls and Cheetahs come into some real form, but obviously the Lions are still the side to beat.

"It's coming to the business end of the season and sides are getting better, so it's up to us to make sure we're right up there too."

The defending champions have one of the better draws in the last few rounds before the playoffs, with three home matches and one away game, which will be played against the log bottom Leopards.

"We've got a new challenge this week against Griquas," Plumtree said.

"We're looking forward to it and we have some home games now, so we still have that opportunity (to finish strongly)."

Plumtree's first priority this week, however, is to regather his troops following their crushing loss in Bloemfontein.

"We didn't adapt enough to the referee's interpretations of the game," he said.

"Defensively, we also let ourselves down and on two or three occasions it led to them scoring points.

"At the same time, we played some quite good rugby as well.

"Obviously to get a bonus point was pleasing, and ultimately we played against a side that was better than us on the day.

"The Cheetahs played some outstanding rugby. Some of the tries they scored were pretty hard to defend, their off-loading was fantastic and we were facing a side that probably played the best we've faced this year."

Sharks backs Stefan Terblanche and Adrian Jacobs missed training on Tuesday because of flu, with the former also experiencing a minor hip problem.

However, good news for the Sharks is that lock Ross Skeate has recovered quicker than expected from a broken nose and may feature against Griquas, while scrumhalf Charl McLeod (shoulder) and frontrower Wiehahn Herbst (hip) are over their respective injuries.

Ryan Kankowski remains sidelined with a broken thumb.

Click HERE for the latest Currie Cup odds on BET.CO.ZA


  • jk - 2011-09-20 14:36

    plum- as ek jy was begin ek worry ou maat, jou spannetjie is bra power...

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-20 16:16

      Uiteindelik stem ons saam oor iets! Wil jy nou meer? :)

      gmain - 2011-09-20 21:41

      nie net n bra nie... dis n wonder-bra

      WPBLIKSEM - 2011-09-21 07:47

      No Plum it's not open, it will be Lions, Cheetahs, WP and Sharks, ka ching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • amvu01 - 2011-09-20 14:49

    Must say it is a worrying factor that the Sharks have been blowing hot and cold all season(S15 included) and Plum has been sounding like a scratched CD time and again after each post-match assessment...

  • Johhny boy - 2011-09-20 15:10

    The Sharks can beat any team on any day!!!! They've simply got sublime skill!!! What a awesome team to support!!!!!!

      jk - 2011-09-20 15:36

      they crap...

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-20 16:17

      Looks at last weekends game against the Cheetahs and can not stop laughing!

      JimbOb - 2011-09-20 19:30

      Sorry mate, but without their boks they are weak. This might sound shallow, but the sharks lack depth and are in danger or running aground - perhaps if they spent more time on the training pitcth than on TV they will gain some consistency.Down with the plastic sharks - bring back the Hugh Reece-Edwards and Kabous van der Westhuizens of the past. Banana Boys forever!

      gmain - 2011-09-20 21:34

      I agree Johhny boy.... the tension just overflows...... nothing boring about being Sharks supporter is there?

      Koos - 2011-09-21 13:17

      stop with the bok factor..... now because they dont have depth and no boks so that is the answer? crap! if you wana play with the big men then there is no excuses!

  • Anneleen - 2011-09-20 15:12

    To all our injured and sick players...speedy recovery for you...welcome back, Ross Skeate! and usual ending-off...go Shaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrkkkkkkkkkkkkkksssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mario - 2011-09-20 15:16

    but obviously the Lions are still the side to beat.

  • Sunray33 - 2011-09-20 15:17

    Go Sharks ! at the end of the playoff's we will be placed 2nd on the log and ultimately win the cup again.

      Red Lion - 2011-09-20 15:37

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...........Oh but full of confidence hey!!!! Remembver what tyhe LIons did to your guppies on the 28th of last month. Gonna do it again soon :)

  • Johhny boy - 2011-09-20 16:03

    No I really think they can end first!!! The Lions need to play tough away games in Durbs and Bloem! On top of that they face a Bulls team starting to show glimpses of the champion team they are!! And add to that a game against Province, who the Lions hate playing (Province simply outclass them everytime!), and the Lions could end up dropping down a few places!!! And when last did the Sharkies lose a currie cup game on home soil? Maybe two season ago!! So realisticly they could end up winning all three home games, with not so tough away game against the Leopards. The future is looking bright!!!!

      InternetMan - 2011-09-20 16:10

      Ja nee i agree. Frans by 8

      Baylion - 2011-09-20 16:14

      Just a pity your opinions aren't based on facts LOL 1. The glimpses the Bulls show won't help them if they can only do it for 15 minutes of a game. 2. WP last won in Joburg in 2005. They just hate coming to visit us. 3. The Sharks are useless. Even the game they won against the Bulls were only won because of the indiscipline of the Bulls players and not because the Sharks played well. So the Lions will win at least 2 from 4 games they need to finish top of the log. And then the fun starts. The Lions haven't been in a play-off in ages so I hope they can keep it together. At least they will be playing at home.

      jannie.wagner1 - 2011-09-20 17:22

      Time for the Sharks to get a new coach. They also need to be more disciplined.

  • Dazbo - 2011-09-20 16:35

    WP supporter myself but received this via email this morning and thought it was brilliant.... Bakkies Botha is so sterk, hy kan 'n bladsy uit facebook uit skeur Bakkies Botha bel nie die verkeerde nommer nie, jy antwoord die verkeerde foon Bakkies Botha has already been to Mars; that's why there are no signs of life. Bakkies Botha doesn't flush the toilet, he scares the …… out of it Bakkies Botha can strangle you with a cordless phone. Death once had a near-Bakkies Botha experience Bakkies Botha can slam a revolving door. Bakkies Botha doesn't need a GPS. Bakkies Botha decides where he is. The sheep on Bakkies Botha' farm are the ones that give us steel wool. Bakkies Botha will never have a heart attack. His heart isn't nearly foolish enough to attack him. Bakkies Botha can speak Braille. When Bakkies Botha throws a boomerang it doesn't dare come back Bakkies Botha does not fart, nothing escapes Bakkies Botha Some kids pee their name in snow. Bakkies Botha pees his name in concrete. Bakkies Botha can tweet from a pay phone Toe Alexander Graham Bell die foon ontwerp het, was daar reeds 3 missed calls van Bakkies Botha af The Vredefort dome was not created by a meteorite, Bakkies Botha decided to put his foot down Die enigste tyd wat Bakkies rustig raak is as Riaan die nuus lees om 7 Wanneer Bakkies melk op sy rice crispies gooi, bly hulle tjoepstil Die eerste ding wat Bakkies doen wanneer hy by die see aankom, is om twee lengtes te swem

  • JimbOb - 2011-09-20 19:23

    As wide open as those holes the cheetahs tore in the sharks defence.

  • Fleckie - 2011-09-20 22:38

    Pretty easy to predict actually. Lions vs Bulls and Cheetahs vs Sharks in semis

      BulvanBulle - 2011-09-21 02:25

      Resulting in a Bulls-Cheetahs final And another, yes ANOTHER CC to the Bulls

      jk - 2011-09-21 08:31

      fleckie- jys in elk geval so mal soos n haas...

  • Marius - 2011-09-21 08:34

    Ag, waarvan droom die klomp Sharks ondersteuners....CC in jul drome, na wat die Cheetah's saterdag met julle gemaak het, sal dit n wonderwerk kos vir die Sharks om selfs teen Pampoenkloof stasie se 2de span te wen.....Leka - leka Leeu-loop!!!!

  • boerbull - 2011-09-21 14:05

    referee's interpretations of the game,no wonder who the ref was Maruis bloubul hatesharks Jonker

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