Plumtree mulls utilising Boks

2012-10-16 22:07

Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree admits it's a fine balancing act when trying to decide whether or not to play his returning Springboks in this week’s Currie Cup playoffs.

The Durbanites host the Blue Bulls here at Kings Park on Saturday after securing top spot in the preliminary rounds.

They played without the majority of the senior players who were away on national duty and all seven are now available, leaving plenty to ponder for the Sharks boss.

"It hasn’t been easy, there’s been a little bit of walking around in the middle of the night," said Plumtree on Tuesday.

"But I’ve been in this situation so many times before.

"It’s about finding a balancing act between breaking up the rhythm you already have and bringing great players back into your side, which the Springboks are.

"We’ve seen it work before and we’ve also seen it fail. So we just have to make sure we pick the 22, which will do the job on the day."

The Bulls and Western Province, two of the major strugglers in this season’s competition, recalled almost all their available players last week for must-win matches, a ploy, which worked as they secured victories over the Lions and Free State Cheetahs respectively.

Only flyhalf Patrick Lambie made the first XV for the Sharks, while flanker Marcell Coetzee was a late inclusion due to injury.

"Generally, from my experience, when the Boks have been successful, they’ve struggled to come back and play Currie Cup rugby," said Plumtree.

"I’m not saying it’s a generic thing, but it’s from my experience."

The Sharks have grafted hard for the right to host a semi-final and a potential final next week after building on their formidable home record, which includes just one defeat in three seasons.

Plumtree, however, insisted that records mean nothing.

"It’s all in the past, we will lose a game here soon, probably," he said.

"Hopefully it won’t be this weekend or this year.

"There’s so much to look forward to after 11 weeks of hard work. We just want to go for two more weeks.

"We know what we’re up against, a very hungry Bulls side.

"They’ll be looking to prove a point after a tough year.

"There’s four teams now that can finish the season on a high and that’s what they will all be talking about.”

Plumtree also brushed aside the much discussed flyhalf duel between Patrick Lambie, one of the stars of their win over Griquas, and experienced Bok No 10 Morné Steyn.

"I haven’t given it too much thought," he said.

"It’s all media talk Pattie did a good job for us last week and hopefully he’ll do a good job for us this week."

On the injury front, lock Steven Sykes (calf), Odwa Ndungane (leg) and Jacques Botes (back) are the only concerns for the Sharks.


  • nico.eksteen.7 - 2012-10-17 04:18

    Spies, lyk my jy is hier 24/7. Minder droom en meer slaap, boet.

      apart1heid - 2012-10-17 10:45

      volgens my het pruim deur hierdie aanmerkings bewys hy is ni 'n goeie afrigter ni?? "...trying to decide whether or not to play his returning Springboks..." As hy enigsins dink dat sy b-span, sonder sy bokke, di Bulle kan wen, maak hy 'n erenstige groot vout- so hoe kan hy as int afrigter so iets selfs oorweeg of net noem?? "...we will lose a game here soon, probably," sulke praatjies bou def ni geloof en 'n wen kultuur onder sy spelers ni?? "We know what we’re up against, a very hungry Bulls side." Hy moet sy spelers honger praat en boost met positiewe woorde ni sy oponente ni?? jammer pruim, maar as ons op jou woorde kan gaan, behoort di Bulle met 'n gallop gemaklik te wen??

      marcel.jones.73 - 2012-10-17 14:03

      hy apartheid: hy doen beter in die laaste twee jaar as wat frans ludeke doen

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-17 05:08

    Deciding whether or not to use the returning Boks is really a pleasant problem for Plums to mull over. The Sharks depth is the reason why they were ultimately the best SA team in the Super 15 and top of the log in the currie cup leading into the semis. A good balanced team selection will put them in a strong position for this huge game on saturday.

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-17 05:29

      Will be a tough contest but im certain the Sharks are more than up to it.

      macziekpk - 2012-10-17 07:35

      Hey Gary were you in that movie mega mind?

  • nathan.davies.1257 - 2012-10-17 06:47

    Play the 2nd string team, the bulls haven't had a semi-final in 2 years, give them at least a bit of a chance.

  • jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 07:36

    Not much is set in stone for this weekend, what we are sure of, its gona be one hell of a battle. Good Luck to all 5 sides for the weekend, just not the Kings!!!

  • alfred.neuman.988 - 2012-10-17 08:48

    Why is there a Lambie/Steyn flyhalf debate? HM has shown that he will play Morne no matter how badly he plays and will leave Lambie on the bench even if he walks on water.

      alfred.neuman.988 - 2012-10-17 14:35

      It's hard to say Blue Raven. It's hard to walk on water when you're sitting on a bench. To say Goosen was a failure simply because of his kicking performance is to totally ignore the way he electrified our backline. The fact that he offers more than just a kick and chase option is reason enough to have him start ahead of Steyn. In the absence of a genuine fetcher in the Sharks team I am hoping that Steyn will be kicking the ball to Ludick the whole game. It is SO much easier to get the ball kicked to you than having to turn it over. BlueRaven even if Lambie makes an obsolute fool of Morne we will still see Steyn start at flyhalf for the bokke, so it is neither here nor there.

  • tim.kilpin - 2012-10-17 09:26

    Cut out the basic errors and giving away silly penalties especially in kickable positions

  • byron.wright.102 - 2012-10-17 09:28

    I would only play the boks where the current player is below the required standard or the bok hasnt played much. Therefore I would play only beast, Lambie and Mvovo-Would be tempted to play Alberts at Lock as we are not that good at 4 but Peter Steph Du toit may be back

  • hans.himmler.7 - 2012-10-17 21:32

    Use Boks: - Mvovo - Coetzee - Lambie - Beast - Burden - Petersen Bench: - Chadwick - Jannie - McLeod - Ndigane Undecided: - Steyn (Talented one - Frans) Keegan, Captain my Captain = CREATE HAVOC. BLACK.WHITE.DYNAMITE

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