Sharks a well-beaten team

2010-10-10 22:45

John Bishop - The Witness

Durban - The Sharks, lacking intensity and commitment, were badly exposed at Newlands on Saturday evening when Western Province sealed a home semi-final with an emphatic 33-21 win in the final Currie Cup league match.

Province, desperate for a home semi-final, were clearly on a mission and the Sharks, painfully, were not and ended a well-beaten team.

The Blue Bulls, boosted by the return of their muscular Boks, took charge in Kimberley to beat Griquas 48-36. The Sharks now meet the Blue Bulls in the first semi-final on Saturday with Province hosting Free State Cheetahs in the second.

The Sharks’ shortage of hunger, intensity and cohesion was, to a degree, understandable.

Their home semi-final was secured and coach John Plumtree had made nine changes to the regular line-up.

The result was that they were outplayed by Province in almost every area and the most remarkable statistic was that they were still able to share the try count at 3-3 when they applied so little pressure and created very little momentum.

Province won this contest by dominating the contest on the gainline where their physical loose trio of Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw and Schalk Burger kept knocking over the Sharks and preventing them from gaining any frontfoot ball.

The Sharks dragged themselves through a dreadful opening quarter when they gave away penalties, failed to make any headway with ball in hand and scrumhalf Rory Kockott was hesitant behind an untidy scrum.

It set the mood for the game and it was only Province’s poor finishing to the many line-breaks which saved the Sharks from a mauling.

The Sharks clearly missed the physical presence of brawny flank Willem Alberts and the high work rate of Keegan Daniel.

But what was worrying was that the much-vaunted Springbok front-row made little impact while the Du Plessis brothers, Bismarck and Jannie, coughed up both penalties and possession.

With each side scoring three tries, the difference of 12 points came with the four penalties kicked by Province flyhalf Willem de Waal which underlined the home team’s territorial advantage and the Sharks’ poor discipline.

The Sharks were also on the wrong end of a number of referee Mark Lawrence’s calls, and the first WP try (by Gio Aplon) was awarded after a forward pass.

But, in truth, the Sharks can have few quibbles. Their lack of desire showed in the number of missed tackles and in their sloppiness in controlling possession, and Plumtree will be on the warpath this week.

Vermeulen, with his strong defence, the Province front-row, a slighter sleeker Ricky Januarie at scrumhalf, centre Juan de Jongh and a roving Jean de Villiers in the backline enjoyed their day at Newlands while there were few heroes in an untidy Sharks side though centre Andries Strauss again stood up strongly.

Province were 13-0 up after the first quarter following Aplon’s try and De Waal’s touchline conversion and two penalties.

Ryan Kankowski took advantage of a neat grubber by Andre Pretorius and a lucky bounce for a try (13-7), but Province scored on half-time when the Sharks lost a lineout and Vermeulen ended a multi-phased attack in the corner.

De Waal’s excellent conversion gave Province a 20-7 lead at the break and they were never again threatened.

Replacement Louis Ludik scored following a rare Shark attack after 68 minutes (23-14), but Jean de Villiers handed off Lambie to score and take Province well clear (33-14) in the closing minutes.

The Sharks did score after the final hooter with Lambie, back at flyhalf, breaking strongly for Addi Jacobs to cross (33-21), but it was too little far too late.

The Blue Bulls booked their semi-final place trip to Durban with a strong forward showing in beating Griquas 48-36 in Kimberley.

The victory was far more decisive than the final scoreline suggests with a couple of late tries narrowing the gap as the Bulls relaxed.

But Griqua wing did bring some cheer to the home crowd with two tries to stretch his tally to 21 and surpassing the record held by Carel du Plessis for the most tries in a Currie Cup season.

Wynand Olivier excelled in the Bulls team, but it was their strong pack which laid the platform for a good win.

The Witness

  • Makutu - 2010-10-10 23:22

    I must admit, considering the agr of these Western Province players, they are very good! If they continue playing the way they played on Saturday, there is no one to stand in their way. Ricky Januarie surprised everyone with his sterling performance, WOW! Jeeze, Duane Vermeulen, good game... South Africa has a lot more talent than most nations in the world. if these guys are managed well, we can easily win the RWC next year. EASILY, the All Blacks might have beaten us this year, but that Springbok team didn't represent the best SA players... SA to be the only team to retain teh RWC, watch this space.

  • BOKFAN - 2010-10-10 23:48

    I think that playing the Bulls in Durbs is better than playing WP anyway. GO SHARKS

  • Blue Jake - 2010-10-11 04:46

    WP got lulled into a false sense of security. They were made to look very good by a Sharks team that had no reason to be motivated. Oh, and a very below par Mark Lawrence.

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-10-11 05:44

    Freestate MUST expect the same medicine on SATURDAY!!! Nothing will stop us from WINNING the MOST wanted cup in SA rugby. It's been a long time, but we want to take our curry cup tally to 33. And remember whatever, whoever say, we are still the team with the MOST(32) currie cup wins. Who can dispute the latter??? Wen Provinsie(WP) groete......

  • Whitey - 2010-10-11 06:38

    Talking crap...the score should have been 26-21... why is this so well beaten you moron?

  • Sharkykzn - 2010-10-11 06:42

    Here is hoping that this is the required wake up the Sharks need, so they can lift their game, take on the Bulls, then bring the trophy home.

  • JR - 2010-10-11 07:15

    O dam and here comes the boks .. sory Bulls.

  • Vernon - 2010-10-11 07:17

    Send the du Plessis brothers back to Bloemfontein and Kokit back to East London Please!

  • KEN B - 2010-10-11 07:28

    game plan in tact 3 tries to two with nine changes?and we kept them sweating.and rested some boys ,you flipping pro province reporters never cease to amaze!!! but believe your own bs and let the mountain goats believe this bs. it is now playoff time.

  • piepies - 2010-10-11 07:48

    Aan al die WP manne onthu ons nie ons volsterkte span gespeel en daar was niks op die lyn vi ons so moenie grootkop kry!kry jul ini finaal op durbs cheers SHARKS fo eva

  • @ToothlessSharks - 2010-10-11 07:56

    What do you guys say now? WP did do the talking on the field on Saturday. Even worse, you are still doing all the talking off the field. Carry on and the Bulls will end up doing the talking this coming Saturday as well.

  • @Blue Jake (Koos Kaap) - 2010-10-11 08:13

    Ek stem 'n slag saam met jou. Die Sharks het swak gespeel en op die dag se spel sou selfs die Boland hul geklop het. Die eindstryd teen die Bulle op Nuweland gaan 'n perd van 'n ander kleur wees met die Bulle as die onbetwiste gunstelinge. Die enigste gevaarlig vir die Bulle is Bakkies se hemeur wat laas Saterdag net-net wou hand uitruk. Verder is die Bulle 'n goeie span met min swakplekke.

  • ockert - 2010-10-11 08:16

    Sharks gave you guys the game - ITS about money, the WP semi will bring in more money than a Bloem semi - makes you think with all the match fixing going on in the world (But maybe it was the atrociously poor Referee), this result certainly reeks of something - WP are definitely not that good and the Free State should win - Up Free State - overcome the small problems!!!!!!

  • lj - 2010-10-11 08:24

    Haai foeitog .!!!Die finaal is op Nuweland . WP teen Bulls.

  • HAHAHAHA @ THE CRYING SHARKS FANS - 2010-10-11 08:35

    You just gotta love all the WP haters hey!!! Get a life people!! You guys were beaten HARD by a SUPERB WP team!! 2 of those 3 tries(kanko and adi) were just luck anyway! And if you talking about "resting some guys and still keeping on the pressure", what about the first choice WP boys that are out injured?? Tiaan, Blaauw, Bekker ... Now stop crying and start worrying about beating the bulls next week!

  • Keyser Söze - 2010-10-11 08:37

    @Ken B- talk about sour grapes! The 9 changes weren't exactly second stringers, so whats your point? Face facts they were beaten fair and square (don't forget, it should have been 33-14 but for some moronic play by Province after the hooter). Province absolutely shredded the Sharks' back line - the Sharks looked like a row of human turnstiles! If Province had Lambie at flyhalf I dare say it could be one of the best backlines in the world at present. Anyone who thinks that Olivier should be in the boks ahead of De Jong, needs to be put in a straight jacket - he was outstanding on Sat. Go Province!!! - A WP v Bulls final in CT coming up - can't wait!

  • sharks4eva - 2010-10-11 08:39

    It seems to me as if the Sharks, of late, can only win when they play in Durban. What's going on????

  • Doring - 2010-10-11 08:40

    The Bulls and WP were strenghtened by their Boks - not the Sharks. I have always been a Bismark and Jannie fan, but they are becoming the Earl Rose of the Sharks. They are worth more points to the opposition than to the Sharks. Did the starting frontrow on Saturday play any better than those that played during the year? - I don't think so! Craig Burden, van Staden and Pat Cilliers can hold their side up against any other team. Hopefully Willem Alberts and Keefan are back by Saturday, Michael Rhodes is a good sort but lacks the speed of Keegan and the driving power of Willem. Bulls - we are waiting for you in Durban!!!!

  • The Box - 2010-10-11 08:50

    Well I think that the problem started with Andre Pretorius looking very short of game time against quality opposition. Lacking on attack and defense, but the Sharks did look very flat, but still managed 3 tries! I am sure it will be a different story this weekend!!

  • AA - 2010-10-11 08:51

    The Sharks team was about the best they can field at the moment. They were also very lucky not to get some yellow cards for the off the ball antics of the Du Plessis brothers. Then a young JC Kritzinger came and destroyed Jannie du Plessis. WP threw away at least 3 tries. I would say that the Sharks will have to improve a lot to beat the Bulls on Saturday. Let's wait and maybe see a final at Newlands.

  • Sharks Fan - 2010-10-11 08:57

    I seem to remember a similar situation in the Super 14 with the Bulls sending a below par side to Newlands when they also had nothing to play for. We're top of the log for a reason... I'm looking forward to a final in Kingspark.

  • Noitol - 2010-10-11 09:01

    How sporting of the Sharks to give my team a home semi - thanks guys!

  • Voice - 2010-10-11 09:01

    As someone who spent 14 years in Durbs and know a few of the ex players very well, I have to say that this is par for the course with Sharks. Year in & year out they play sublime in the league stages, peak too early and then bomb in the knock out stages. I think that this will be the case again. They import way too many players and dont grow the local boys. The du Plessis brothers are the rot in that team and Bismarck is way over rated and has zero discipline- Burden can hold his own in the team. I think the Sharks fielded a below par team on Sat but the problem is they take that into the semis.

  • Piet Verdriet - 2010-10-11 09:13

    Hmmmmm...... me thinks the final will be in .........Bloemfontein!!!!!!!!! Onthou - ek is 'n Lions fan, so my opinie is objektief en nie besmet met my Provinsialisme nie. Go Bulls and Cheatahs!!!!!!! terloops die Bulls sal die genoemde eindstryd WEN!!!!

  • StuartW - 2010-10-11 09:14

    @ piepies....wie het nie gespeel nie? Dit was 'n vol springbok voorry gewees wat hulle gatte gesien het.....aanvaar dat julle op die dag deur 'n beter span gewen is....was 'n baie goeie wedstryd gewees.....

  • RQ - 2010-10-11 09:16

    It was a closer game than the score suggests. Any of the final 4 can beat each other on any given day. Not to impressed with the article to be honest, it smacks of something written in the heat of the moment... Anyway, the semi-finals are going to be epic...

  • Sh@rks Fever - 2010-10-11 09:21

    @ Balsak. I can dispute the latter. WP won the currie cup when WP was the only team playing Currie Cup. How many times have WP won the Currie Cup in the last 20 years? WP looked better than they actually were because of a weak performance by the Sharks. Not saying WP isn't a class side. I say, for the Sharks or WP to take the Currie Cup we are going to have to bring alot more to the table against the Bulls. We have beaten the Bulls 9 out of the last 12 games yet they have lifted the trophies so much more than us. They have BMT and it will take alot to take the cup of them.

  • sheldon - 2010-10-11 09:23

    Please sharks supporters how much different will the 22 look on saturday . First time i hear that bringing in springboks makes you a second string team . Does the boks in the sharks know you call them b- team players . Province was good , just admit it and start thinking about beating the bulls.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-10-11 09:26

    This report makes it sound like the Sharks gave it to Province! Don't you believe it! As much as anything, the Sharks did not want to play the Bulls....knowing that it is likely to be the end of their Curry Cup campaign this year. Their team was chosen on the basis of what they thought would beat Province....just like Januarie was chosen for Province because Coetzee felt that he was the right choice for the occasion! Coetzee's strategy worked....Plumtree's didn't! The final will be at Newlands although the Cheetahs must not be taken lightly. They will be highly motivated and very dangerous. I just think that Province, on the day, will have too much for the Cheetahs to handle!

  • GW - 2010-10-11 09:35

    So were all those kak gappies supporters huh? They got hammered by a better team. As for Mr wonder boy playing #14 he was exposed by the lack of defense. Jean ran circles around him and lets not forget that jean is much older. What forward pass? that was not forward that was a border line case.The gappies ran back to urban with there fins well trimmed and gills folded back. Go Province.

  • KEN B - 2010-10-11 09:51

    @ KEYSER and the rest of you billy goats .. when last did we start kokket,and when last did anybody start pretorious? were was daniels,alberts ? we are not making excuses just facts , hey! but carry on believing !!! confidence will do you good!!! just don,t run back up the mountain when the cheetahs bring you back to planet earth.....

  • WP - 2010-10-11 10:10

    It is bulldust that there was a lack of hunger from the Sharks otherwise they would have played a B-side. The Sharks came to Newlands with a full strength side to break WP down mentally before the semis. WP were however up to the task even in the scums with the Sharks having 3 Springboks in the front row. A beaten WP team would have been ideal for the Sharks as WP would have had to play in DBN after a loss to the same team. I think the Sharks are %$#* scared of meeting the Bulls on Sat.

  • Jay - 2010-10-11 10:11

    Say what you like, province were very good. Up front they dominated the Springbok front row, our loosies tackled the sharks backwards all day. Jean's handoff against Lambie - Priceless and Mlovo couldnt catch him, i thought he was fast? OK! thats mean, Jean de Villiers is deceptively fast. During 2007 WC he was the fastest Bok over 100 meters. But not many people know that. If province can stay calm and do the basics well, then hey, maybe we got a chance!!! PROVINCE 4 LIFE!!!!!!! P.S That number 12 for the Sharks is a seriously good defender, his tackling was impressive.

  • jona - 2010-10-11 10:26

    why cant you people just face it,Province won,you are bad losers and too full of yourself just like the bloody bulls supporters. you were beaten by a better side,with or without keegan and willem. Go Province! this is your time!

  • Colin - 2010-10-11 10:31

    it sounds like the Sharks planned to play the Bulls in the semi's. You guys just stick to that story. Perhaps you'll get someone to believe you.

  • Byron - 2010-10-11 10:41

    The sharks were well beaten - but then they should have been! They brought an effective 'B' team to newlands and rested their top players. They did not play their two best loosies, scrumhalf or flyhalf. They played players a handful of players with just one or two games of matchtime (Pretorius, Mostert, Jacobs + boks) and it showed. I think Province will need to improve by at least 25% if they plan to be in the final. They were second best in the scoring dept in the second half. They scored two lucky tries - the first being a very big foward pass and they were given the go foward by a match rusty tight five of the sharks (6 penalties in the first 20 minutes). They're not going to have the same priverlage when they play the cheetas this weekend.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-10-11 11:32

    Well, well Byron! I don't think you are on the same page as everyone else here....but good luck anyway!

  • REALITY - 2010-10-11 12:13

    Whether province won or sharks won , doesnt matter. Only thing that matters is that Sharks and Province win this weekend...Then I am off to Durbs

  • WPFOLIFE - 2010-10-11 12:23

    I dnt know what game the Sharks supporters was watching on Saterday, because there was only one team on the field, WP!!!!!!! Stop all your crying about forward passes etc you guys were beaten by a far superior team go WP!

  • WPFOLIFE - 2010-10-11 12:25

    I dnt know what game the Sharks supporters was watching on Saterday, because there was only one team on the field, WP!!!!!!! Stop all your crying about forward passes etc you guys were beaten by a far superior team go WP!

  • Voice @Jay - 2010-10-11 12:37

    @ Jay - buddy I could not agree more. Jean de Villiers is world class and is a very deceptive player- period. Does not matter where you play him - class is permanent. The sharks were at 6`s & 7`s as soon as Jean moved into the midfield on set piece ball.

  • Brad - 2010-10-11 12:54

    Province vs Bulls need to say anymore

  • @Byron (Blue-Is-True) - 2010-10-11 12:58

    I do hope you can substitute the "B" front-row with “A”-class players. The way the Du Plessis brothers and Beast struggled against the youngsters of the Province was mind-blowing. I always suspected that the Du Plessis brothers and the Beast are overrated. Now I, and the whole of South Africa, know it. The “hardebaard” Bulls front row is going to kill them.

  • Bomskok @ KenB - 2010-10-11 12:59

    "you flipping pro province reporters never cease to amaze" The reporter is John Bishop from The Witness (KZN paper), so it seems that the Sharks' play has been lambasted by their own reporter!

  • Ja - Nee - 2010-10-11 13:28

    The Cheetahs are very quiet. Is this an omen

  • KEN B - 2010-10-11 13:28

    @byron .you are 100% on the right page . we are not saying we did not want to win or did not try and win (would have been nice) , but look at what we sent , but they need to boost there own ego's

  • KEN B@DOMSKOK - 2010-10-11 13:34


  • Byron - 2010-10-11 13:42

    @True is Blue I didn't say they were bad players - just rusty. Beast actually outscrummed his oponent.

  • wynand - 2010-10-11 13:44

    WP beat the Skarks. If history is anything to go by (and with the help of the Cape press), their heads' diameter will have increased by a couple of millimeters. That's why they will loose against the Cheetah's.

  • @Ken B - 2010-10-11 14:21

    What is your point, Beast is not even from Sa let alone from Kzn. Morne Steyn from Fs. So what!!!!!!!!!