Sharks target Loftus triumph

2012-08-20 15:57

Durban - Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards is confident that they have the game plan to go and beat the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld this weekend.

The Durbanites are the only unbeaten team in this year's competition and were impressive in beating the Lions 30-14 at Kings Park on Saturday. The previous week they also beat Western Province at Newlands and currently top the Currie Cup standings.

And Reece-Edwards is understandably pleased with the season's efforts so far.

“We played some really good rugby,” he told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

“We were quite happy with what was happening during the last 20 minutes of the first half, but our ball retention wasn’t good and we made too many loose mistakes. But we knew that with the way we were playing, we could get the result and at the end of the day we were really happy; this is a young side, an inexperienced side. I thought our decision-making was really good, just the accuracy and finishing off of those decisions we battled at times.”

The Lions did dominate at scrum time but the differences between the two packs are fairly vast he explained.

“The Lions have a very settled scrum obviously and our guys have been thrown together again, but they have played together at this level before. However, they were up against a big pack, with a big weight advantage and they took their opportunities against us. We saw that last week as well when they beat the Cheetahs, they came with the exact same attitude. So they came into this match riding high while our guys are still trying to find their feet. That’s certainly no excuse and this week they will have to go back and really work hard because it becomes a big week for us to try and rectify it.”

The Sharks will also have to make do without the services of hooker Craig Burden who has been called into the Springbok squad to tour Argentina following the injury to team-mate Bismarck du Plessis, who is out for the season after injuring his knee.

Despite taking a kick to the face, flyhalf Riaan Viljoen was given the all clear and aside from some minor bumps and bruises expected in a derby game, everyone should be fit and ready to play - aside from Burden.

“Riaan is alright, Meyer Bosman has a slight contusion to his knee, but it looks like he should be ok for next week, everyone is relatively fine.”

There is little rest in this year’s tournament with only six sides and every match a tough game - with this weekend's trip to Loftus just about as tough as it gets against a Bulls team who will be eager to bounce back after losing to Free State last week.

“It doesn’t get any easier, the Blue Bulls away is always a tremendous clash, one of those where we don’t have to motivate the guys too much because they’ll certainly be up for it. It will be an interesting one, they will be desperate to win because they’re playing at home, we want to keep our roll going, we need to win it. And if we improve then we can win it.

“We know we have the game plan to beat them up at Loftus, we just need to challenge the players and cut out the mistakes.”

The clash at Loftus kicks off at 19:10 on Saturday.


  • dave.short.102 - 2012-08-20 16:04

    As a Bulls fan, I think the Sharks might just beat us, hope I am wrong, but i dont see this BB team going places!! Blou Bul Groete!!!

      skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-08-20 16:15

      I don't think you have to worry too much Dave. Burden has been a huge factor in both the Sharks wins. They are really going to miss him.

      Taurus.Blue1 - 2012-08-20 16:21

      Wow Dave, give these guys a break. This BB team will be going places - way too many talent. Only a nip and tuck needed and they will be GREAT. As for the Sharks this weekend, hmmm, might just agree with you. We were very poor against the Cheetahs, sometimes a loss like that is needed to 'catch a wake-up'.

      TravieGrif - 2012-08-20 16:23

      Yeah Dave, as a Sharkie I think this is going to be really tough for us. Bulls at Loftus is always a massive ask, but I think with all the new players in, I think that cohesion is going to be key for both teams. My gut feeling with the loss of Burden and home ground advantage will swing it the Bulls way. Going to be a great game to watch. I love Currie Cup!

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-20 16:54

      @Taurus - I do not think we need a player nip and tuck, the talent is there but they're making selection mistakes and they're playing an outdated pattern. We need a coaching wake-up!

      bernard.ingram - 2012-08-20 17:07

      Sharks have a good record at Loftus! Our nemesis at home, that's for sure.

      nick.mullet.35 - 2012-08-20 18:06


      dave.short.102 - 2012-08-21 10:24


  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-20 16:19

    Easy win for the Sharks - Pine is not a coach's 4$$! The only easy win for the Blue Bulls will be against their own B team because they play the same Plan A style. We will end up just above Griquas if we do not start making changes now! Blommetjies must play 15 and we need a different 10 and 12. And a new game plan please!!!

      TravieGrif - 2012-08-20 16:25

      Rinus, there is no easy game against the Bulls...ever. Underestimate them at your own peril. I hope the Sharks can win, of course, but there's nothing easy about it!

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-20 16:41

      Travie, we were nowhere against the Cheetahs. The previous week we had a few moments but we were suffering against Griquas. The Bulls lost 5 from the last 7 S15 matches. There's a downward spiral and it started the moment Heyneke took the coaching nucleus to the Boks. Neither Ludeke nor Pienaar ever achieved anything else on their own - only on the back of HM and his team. I'm getting a lot of flack from other Bulls supporters but there are more who agrees with me - just look at the comments on the Bulls fb page. The "kick, kick, treintjie, kick, ruck, wait 5 minutes while shunting your forwards" plan does not work anymore. We are selecting the wrong players - CJ is leaving but has proven the last 2 weeks that he is by far the best no 8 we have. The fans are asking for changes but nothing happens. This dark period will only end when we get some new coaching blood. Would love a Nick Mallet! And a pity we could not make Goosen a good enough offer - we are sticking to stereotype number 10's way too much...

      bernard.ingram - 2012-08-20 17:08

      Ek dink nie jy is 'n BB ondersteuner nie rinus. Fake!

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-20 17:15

      En ek dink nie jy dink baie nie. Jou Vrydag comment as 'n bewys: " I always said". Altyd baie om te sê, min wat dit enigsins sin maak: ek is al 'n BB ondersteuner vir langer as wat jy oud is so karring op 'n ander plek asseblief.

      bernard.ingram - 2012-08-20 17:16

      Dark period? Getting to the SR playoff when losing so many players? How many young players not blooded by HM is getting Bok colours? BS, man. You just like to badmouth the Bulls. Hope they prove you wrong faker.

      nick.mullet.35 - 2012-08-20 17:22

      There will never be an English speaking coach at the Bulls. Nick Mallet was born in way they would hire him. We looked pathetic against the Cheetahs

      bernard.ingram - 2012-08-20 17:28

      Jy is die mees negatiewe BB kommentator hier. Kan jy nie maar jou bek vir 'n slag hou nie? As jy nie die Bulle wil ondersteun nie, fine. Die res van ons wil.

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-20 17:45

      Jy is waarskynlik reg Nick. Ek kon nog nooit verstaan hoe ons Frans Ludeke kon kry om oor te vat by HM net nadat hy by die Lions weggejaag is nie. Pienaar is ook 'n redelike nobody - dink hy het van Cheetahs se o/21 of o/19 strukture hiernatoe gekom. Afrikaans is dus belangrik. En kerk.

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-20 18:12

      Philander: 61 en 35. 48/2 en 30/5. YSTER! Must be Man of the match. Hehehe....

      nick.mullet.35 - 2012-08-20 18:16

      I am starting to wonder myself about this Ludeke chap. I couldn't understand why we took him after he was kicked out of the Lions, but then he wins Super rugby trophies and I'm thinking wow maybe they were wrong there, but what I saw the last few games of S15 and beginning of the Currie Cup is not very reassuring. We have some of the most talented youngsters around but it seems they are directionless. They look so dangerous at times but then when it counts they look pathetic. We have so many opportunities to score tries but do not convert them enough. Watch the old games from a few years back and see how guys ran straight, drew defenders and then offloaded to keep the drive going - no fumbling, no turnovers lost. Now it is just pass to a pod of forwards, crash, forwards, crash, spread wide, run sideways, cut off the wings space on the outside, drawing all the defenders to the outside so old Basson and Ndungane are swamped by 3 or 4 guys. Inside ball is used so much that the guy running onto the ball just gets nailed by the awaiting TWO defenders - both the flyhalf and the centres channel defenders shifted and wait for the guy to smash him. What in the hell was Louis Fouche doing kicking a drop goal after we just kicked it out for a lineout. Attacking play ended with a missed drop goal. It just shows the offence is not effective as it should be. I did not enjoy the game on Friday and if this continues it might be more exciting to watch Stormers rugby. Ok, not quite but close.

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-20 19:23

      EXACTLY my concerns Nick! We "headhunted" Ludeke after HM won the S14 in 2007 with Matfield as Captain. Ludeke started us off with 10th place in S14 in 2008 with Fourie du Preez (Matfield went to France that year). In 2009 and 2010 we won S14 again BUT Matfield was back. So we took a dip when Heyneke left but his coaching team and the "old manne" carried us. 2011 we ended up 7th and 2012 5th, but we lost 5 from the last 7 games after HM's coaching team joined him at the Boks. No "old manne" left (and I count Spies as a liaibility) and no decent support team - I see us going downhill. And why can we see "the signs of the times" as you explain their typical gameplan but Ludeke (or Pine Pienaar) cannot? He coached the Cats into rugby oblivion - hope "the powers" fix it before we are there!

      TravieGrif - 2012-08-20 20:20

      I have to say that I hear your concerns. I think that a lot of SA rugby is stuck in a bit of a non-creative rut. We have such depth of talent but are seriously lacking at coaching level. I agree that CJ is a great loss. I think he has a huge future. This type of rugby you talk of is not a Bulls thing at all. It is everywhere in SA, and until players can learn to have a foundation game plan, but to be able to play the situation in front of them, we are going to stagnate. Being aware of space, being able to create space, and put other players into space is where we will start seeing SA rugby take control. You want to know why NZ have such great players from such a small pool? They play games that develop the "space creation" skills like touch rugby. This is the rugby we need to teach the youngsters, and watch them come through the ranks.

      nkambazyofaninikuphelidakwa.chiliza - 2012-08-21 07:24

      agreed rinus, pine pinaar must make a move very quickly instead of swearting for i don,t care wat going on the other side my might shark they luking gud althogh ther were outclass by lions vilioj,s boot is right on the money mcleod as well.

  • hans.himmler.7 - 2012-08-20 16:51

    Well let's all please support our respective teams instead of "Rugby" Should be a close one now that Burden is out the Sharks Pack.

      theunis.botha.96 - 2012-08-20 19:02

      True,but I just have a feeling that this is going to be a good currie cup year for the Sharks.They have already torn the WP & Lions appart with what can be considered as purely their B team.If there is any rugby supporters that prefer to be part of a winning team,now is the time to cross the floor.Making it a habbit to ruff up the Bulls in their own backyard over the last few years,same as they are starting to infringe on WP turf in the same manner,and under the current state of affairs Bulls rugby find themselfs held captive to,a win for the Sharks this weekend is only a mere formality and all in a days work.

  • lodewyk.fred - 2012-08-20 17:10

    Few years ago I would have said "Dream on!".

  • tyrone.jacoby - 2012-08-20 18:26

    Seriously Bulls should not be losing this match! Sharks have 16 players out, As much as i want my Sharks to win i just can't see it, Well unless we perform another little miracle.

      gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-08-20 20:56

      Have some faith bru 8)

  • gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-08-20 20:55

    Well, you are all correct about losing Burden being a big loss, but I still think the Sharks should win comfortably considering the first two rounds results. Burden's replacement should be highly motivated shouldn't he?

      skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-08-20 21:03

      I'm seriously worried about the Sharks scrum. I said before they Lions game they were going to battle and I think that was a bit of an understatement.

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