Plumtree: Time was a problem

2011-10-31 15:58

Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree says they did not have enough time to fully integrate their returning World Cup Springboks into their structures after they were humbled 42-16 by the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup final.

Plumtree feels things could have been different if the returning Boks had more time to adjust since returning from New Zealand, as they struggled to fit in seamlessly with a different squad and style of play.

“It is always a challenge to get them back, more so with what happened to them in New Zealand, and we could not get there quick enough in terms of fully re-integrating them,” Plumtree told Sharks website editor, Michael Marnewick.

“The same thing happened to (Western) Province, they could not gel quick enough. The Lions have kept the momentum going and the side that is not affected by the Springboks is the side that benefits.”

Plumtree nevertheless acknowledged that they were beaten by a better team on the day and congratulated the men from Johannesburg.

“We were just outplayed by a better side. It's been a long season and there's some wear and tear after a lot of rugby. But I don't want to use anything as an excuse, I don't want to take anything away from the Lions, they deserve the trophy. They're a good side that have learned how to be disciplined and how to defend, and they're good on attack too.

“There are no more excuses, the Lions are back," said Plumtree.


  • Vickers - 2011-10-31 16:10

    Yes it takes at least a few weeks to undo the damage done by the Bok coaching squad.

      Wilbur - 2011-10-31 18:02

      Actually, the Lions would have beaten any team on Saturday. John Mitchell, take a bow. John Dumbtree looked like he had swallowed a lemon the whole game. He obviously had the poorer strategy, and Mitchell's boys outdid the Sharks.

      Devon - 2011-11-01 08:00

      @Wilbur. Classy man. "Dumbtree"?? Really?? Show some respect you misbegotten little man...Let's see you take coach a team to 3 finals and 2 trophies in 4 years.... Idiot...

      Peter - 2011-11-01 10:37

      @Wilbur Clueless unsporting comment, and unnecessary. Agree with Devon ...... you idiot. Well done to both coaches, specially Mitchell, and I just hope he stays long enough to improve his win record to Plumtree's level. I am a staunch SHARKS boytjie but the LIONS were awesome. No complaints about Saturday.

  • Lionel - 2011-10-31 16:11

    That I am afraid is a cr@p excuse,they were beaten by a better team on the day and the Lions deserved it...........

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-31 16:27

      Yeah LioneI think Plum took a few too many knocks to the head when he played.

      Lionel - 2011-10-31 16:32

      Sorry for the loss Saturday Skins......but jees those Lions were absolutely awesome.Plum is still a great coach,what Super 15 next year,Sharks will be in it again!!!!!!!!!

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-31 16:45

      Lionel they were simply awesome and I take my hat off to them. The Lions supporters have every reason to be proud of their guys. They proved that their win again WP wasn’t just a flash in the pan and that they are once again a force to be reckoned with. Tactically the Sharks did everything wrong. I think their strength is in their forwards and their weakness is in their backline and yet that’s where the game was won and lost – not acceptable when you have most of the territory and possession. There were way too many poor decisions taken that didn’t make any sense in the context of the game.

      Grant - 2011-10-31 16:56

      @Lionel - I think Plumtree quite explcitly states that the Lions were the better team on the why the chirp!? I agree that the Boks didnt have time to merge... but then if we didnt have the time to merge them, we should have stuck with the established team. Tactics backfired, and the better prepared team took the spoils. The Sharks werent at their best...the Lions were! Simple as that. ;)

  • rheinhardt.peens - 2011-10-31 16:13

    Cant wait for all the "expert" opinions!!!

  • Shoosh - 2011-10-31 16:15

    Dumb excuse Dumbtree!

      Gerald - 2011-10-31 16:46

      The last time I heard a noise the same as your name was on a plane when I flushed the toilet

  • Kevin - 2011-10-31 16:15

    This is becoming all too familiar (Plumbtree) 2009 you made the same mistake by replacing the core CC side with returning Boks and achieved the same result!!!! Surely after our win at home using the core of the team for 50min and then releasing boks to unleash hell'd have learnt how to win????

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-31 16:33

      If you can’t reintegrate a squad after three weeks and two games then you shouldn’t be coach. The Sharks lost that game on pathetic defence, the inability to cross the tryline and STUPID decisions.

      Kevin - 2011-11-01 09:56

      Watch next year with no world cup . The Lions will be back to competeing to beat the Leopards. The Bokke properly integrated will eat the Lions for breakfast.

      Hugh - 2011-11-07 14:04

      Me thinks, the Lions would have won no matter what the sharks did. The were starving for this win. The Lions played like demons and pulled off some fantastic rugby. Well deserved. The Currie Cup remains one hell of a tournament. Next time Sharks, you still have our support.

  • Hennie - 2011-10-31 16:17

    this is the most idiotic argument I have ever heard. How can all these super stars be a problem. Feeble excuse. Here is a tip, don't play them next time then. Why don't you just admit that the lions were more consistent this year and deserved the cup. The grandpa's that played in the bok squad were obviously past it and the selection policy of de Villiers were exposed by the fact that the returning boks had zero impact on the performance of the teams they returned to.

      Sam - 2011-10-31 17:09

      Do you idiots even understand how an article like this gets written? Do you think John Plumtree phones up the press and offers some excuse for the loss? If you've ever seen an interview you'll know that articles like this are created from a posed question. So, after Plumtree finishes congratulating the Lions on being deserved victors, a journo will ask something like "Do you think it was an issue that your combinations were affected by returning Springbok players?" Whatever the coach answers will be extrapolated into a full article. Try a bit of critical thinking before frothing at your keyboard.

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-31 18:10

      @Sam – I, as one of those supposed idiots think that John should have answered this hypothetical question with “No. We were simply outplayed by a better team on the day” instead of walking into the trap.

      Grant - 2011-10-31 18:12

      Hennie, you're the idiot. Plumtree makes it quite clear that the Lions deserved the win. In fact, just about every Sharks supporter also agrees fully that the Lions deserved the win. The fact that the returning Boks didnt have enough time to re-integrate properly is a completely separate issue. Why the criticism over the comment?

      Sam - 2011-10-31 19:38

      @ Skinfaxi – being in media, here's the dilemma that faces people who are interviewed regularly by the press. Just keep repeating the same one liners, get labeled as being media unfriendly and the journos will manufacture a story based on the smallest off-the-cuff remark or, you know, stop worrying about what people think and answer sincerely. From what I've read and deduced he was gracious in defeat, acknowledged his opponents success and was candid about his team's mistakes. Of course, I've learned how to form my own opinion rather than having it handed to me by a news article.

      Hennie - 2011-10-31 20:00

      dear sam and grant. I realise me calling the springboks grandpa's and calling your dear coach an idiot might have offended your feelings. skinfaxi hit it on the head. Just because you get asked a question doesn't mean you have to gripe. My comment is still valid. We did not do well in the world cup because we had a coach who quite obviously did not have any fresh ideas and he fielded the most experienced team in the history of the world cup. I think the lions semi and final showed us why that wasn't a good idea, even though those are great players. And furthermore. If you become a springbok you then reach a level where you are expected to be able to adapt to a match situation at a moments notice. That is what makes teams great. So not being able to adapt to the game plans is not a valid reason for a poor game. I simply stated that they are in fact past their prime. don't get me wrong. I am hugely proud of them. They did an amazing job and exited the world cup with their heads held high. They even managed to embarrass the tri-nations champions by outplaying them in the game they lost. Not bad for what was essentially an old team.

      Kosie - 2011-11-01 14:26

      @ hennie if you think that bismarck, jannie, beast, alberts, deysel, kanko etc is past their prime then you will get a moer of a surprise next year. the sharks lost because we couldn't outplay the lions and a factor of that maybe the fact that the springboks wasn't used to the gameplan/team. if you think they must be able to adapt in a week or two, then you know nothing about rugby. why do you think rassie called all the a-listers to a secret camp 6 weeks before the world cup, to tan or what.

  • Pieter - 2011-10-31 16:22

    Then you shouldn't have played them, fatnose

  • Skinfaxi - 2011-10-31 16:23

    What a load of nonsense. A bad coach is a guy who has a world class team and loses and a good coach is one who has a team of unknowns and takes them to glory. I am a diehard Sharks supporter but I will admit that the Lions simply played amazing rugby and deserve their victory. If the Sharks made one stupid decision after another then it is the captain and coach that are to blame not returning springboks.

      Kosie - 2011-10-31 16:40

      and last year when they won he was the best coach. you people a a bunch of hypocrates.

      jannie.wagner1 - 2011-10-31 16:45

      Plumbtree is long past his sell-by date. Even in the Super series he had excuses after every game the Sharks lost. Pity to see such talent going to waste. The Lions were awesome. Time for a new coach, please, Sharks Management!

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-31 16:47

      Kosie. When the Sharks win it is in spite of him not because of him.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2011-10-31 16:23

    Sorry John, you ARE making excuses now. Basically you are admitting an error you made - like some of us Sharks supporters. Justice has been done, you should have let the guys that got you to the semi's play in the final - and maybe use some Bokke as impact players off the bench. Come on, you guys are the experts, you should have known better than mere plebs like us armchair experts. We probably still would have lost, but in a less humiliating fashion. Proves yet again how important the team is over individuals. Anyway, its good for the game that the Lions won, so I don't feel too bad - our exit from the world cup was a lot harder to swallow given the circumstances - that was NOT good for the game!

  • Cliff - 2011-10-31 16:30

    what a joke. The Lions were a winning squad and these pathetic excuses are for losers!!

  • Johan - 2011-10-31 16:38

    why didn't he stick to the side that played the whole season?

      Lionel - 2011-10-31 16:40

      Because just like all the other Provinces he thought he's Boks would make the difference.

      Tjaart - 2011-10-31 17:24

      The poor guys that played their heart out the whole season got dropped for what should have been a very special game for them

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-31 17:37

      Why do people talk like the returning springboks aren’t even Sharks players? They started off there. They played an entire season of S15 rugby there! You’d think they had been beamed from another planet!

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-31 17:58

      When the Sharks played the Lions WITHOUT their bokke on 27 August the score was 28 – 19 to the Lions. When the Sharks played the Lions WITH their bokke on 15 October the score was 53 – 9…. What coach in his right mind wouldn’t have included the bokke?

  • Alan - 2011-10-31 16:43

    Then why play them!!!!

  • franz.kersten - 2011-10-31 16:43

    What ever Jhon, you lost...

  • Warren Kilian - 2011-10-31 16:44

    That's why the springboks if returning from a tour or RWC should not be allowed to play in the playoffs of the CC... Disrupts the system and also now the guys that have got you that far get booted to the bench for a bunch of head swollen boks!!!!!! Sharks need some young signings for 2012

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2011-10-31 16:52

    Maybe some of you didn't read the whole article. He has said on more than one occasion that it is not an excuse and that the Sharks were beaten by a better team. Quote: “We were just outplayed by a better side. It's been a long season and there's some wear and tear after a lot of rugby. But I don't want to use anything as an excuse, I don't want to take anything away from the Lions, they deserve the trophy". He is acknowledging that the better team won and the reason they won. If the Sharks had won everyone would have said how great his decision was. (and Mitchell would have probably said that the "returning Springboks made the difference" Give him credit, he got them to the final ffs!

      Shoosh - 2011-10-31 19:42

      @martin.gee.godfrey perhaps you should quote correctly. The 1st 4 paragraphs were references about the returning Boks in one way or another.

  • Storm - 2011-10-31 17:01

    Mmh Plum, best comment would have been there are no excuses. Of course in the changeroom your comments and suggestions to the contracting powers I hope were a lot different. They're extremely well paid professional rugby players, they needed to be professional to compete. They weren't. Don't hear of singers using non-assimilation with the orchestra if they don't perform well as an excuse.

      Gungets - 2011-11-01 20:10

      "But I don't want to use anything as an excuse, I don't want to take anything away from the Lions, they deserve the trophy. They're a good side that have learned how to be disciplined and how to defend, and they're good on attack too. “There are no more excuses, the Lions are back," said Plumtree."

  • Jeff - 2011-10-31 17:02

    No John. Your proteas played like blommetjies.

  • Khoi - 2011-10-31 17:31

    I no that the lions will be the winners before the kickof because they was more hungry then any other team for victory and for the sharks wel we not playing rugby in the water maybe use this as 'n excuse the lions is better on land. Weldone lions from wp supporter.

  • Johan - 2011-10-31 17:31

    and if they won? sure, then the quality of the incoming boks were great as they integrated without any problems, as if they never were gone...LOL Come on man, you were beaten by a superior side on the day. dont deny the great legacy of the sharks by making such stupid remarks

  • Worsie - 2011-10-31 17:48

    That is what you get when you replace very good players with the "Bok squad players". The Sharks were greedy and paid for it. It is typical of letting down your stars in order for someone else to shine, except this time they did not shine unfortunately for the original players and hero's who ensured the Sharks a final were left out. Justice have been served.

  • Donald - 2011-10-31 18:02

    We will see the lions with the wooden spoon again next S15

      Derrick - 2011-10-31 20:51

      First real suurgat Sharks Supporter I 've come across today both here & in KZN -to the rest of you gracious Shark's Supporters- you are a credit to the game

  • Errol - 2011-10-31 18:19

    Mr Plumtree.."Bok-style"(dumb) rugby do not win games in the modern era.Your game plan/style is SO PREDICTABLE,even my 8 year old daughter can work it out.Viva la Kiwi coaching thinking at the Lions!!Viva la brave determined players.Well done Lions(from a Bulls supporter)

      Wilbur - 2011-10-31 23:01

      The Sharks played together in patches, but for the most part attacked one man at a time. Lions shut the Sharks predictable attacks with intelligent, brave defence, and the Sharks failed to turn territory advantage into points. Well done Lions (from a WP supporter).

  • Kristiaan - 2011-10-31 18:23

    It was a great game on Saturday. Hats of to the Lions. What came out of this season and proved by the result is that this country have lots of talent on the field but unfortunately nothing in the boardrooms and on the coaching side. This , virtualy the same pride of Lions were the laughing stock no longer than 18 months ago and now champs. Same applies to the other teams and unions. We are so stuck with history and names that if possible coaches will select blasts from the pasts because they havent got the skills to develop young rough talent . Exuces galore Plum but the fingers point back to us - coaches

  • ockert.lotriet - 2011-10-31 19:32

    Twee weke terug toe hul die Leeus se B span gewen het toe was daar nie n "probleem" nie. Teen die Cheetas laas week was daar nie n "probleem" nie. Die ware "probleem" was dat die Leeus ver te goed was vir die Sharks. Arrogansie was hul probleem. Voor die wedstryd was hul selfversekerheid duidelik te sien. Leeus bo !

  • Justin - 2011-10-31 20:21

    Bottom line is the top two CC teams are lead by NZ coaches. SARFU please stand up and take note. Our outdated brand of Bok rugby needs an overhaul, and who better than the likes of John Mitchell...

  • Kevin - 2011-11-01 07:33

    three week ago when shartky beat the LIONS 52-9 it was because of the returning boks why the excuse now

  • Kamal - 2011-11-01 08:15

    @Wilbur - Really mature dude. Do you anything about Rugby...more so, did you read the article properly. He gave the Lions the credit they deserve and mentioned how well they played. Yes the Sharks were outplayed and yes the Lions won the game BUT it takes a great coach to give the winning team the credit they deserve as well as provide a reason to the Sharks fans for doing so poorley... catch a wake up man...

  • Jed - 2011-11-01 08:16

    I'll judge the Lions during the Super 15 not the Currie Cup.

  • Stephen - 2011-11-01 08:31

    Typical. The BB supporters are now becoming vocal Lions supporters as they have nothing else to shout about. I think most of the "rent-a-crowd" at Ellis Park was BB supporters. Plumtree quite correctly states that the side was affected by returning Bokke not slotting into the team as expected. He has every right to say that if thats what happened and it did. The Bokke in the team were lost and probably also suffered from NZ hangover. He had hoped above all that it would work out but it didn't. If he had not played them then everyone would have said how dumb not to play them. WP suffered the same problem, Bokke who did not fit into the game plan and were not interested in a CC. Nobody said the Lions didn't deserve it. They played well all season and were consistent and deserved to win. And he said that too! Perhaps some of you should learn to read first and then comment. Wait for the s15 to see how you really perform against motivated sides that have been together for longer and against overseas teams.

  • Brian - 2011-11-01 13:54

    Boo hoo, that's not what you were saying before the match, somebody give this guy a tissue to dry his eyes

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