Defence huge factor: Plumtree

2012-07-20 12:10

Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree believes that defence will be the biggest factor when they face up to the Reds in their Super Rugby playoff match in Brisbane on Saturday.

"When it comes down to these types of games, your defence has to be on the money," Plumtree said ahead of the game.

"Defence is a huge factor in finals.”

Although the visitors have a much better recent record against their hosts, with a place in next week’s semi-final up for grabs, the Sharks are largely seen as the underdogs for the clash.

Plumtree’s men have won five out of their last six meetings against the Reds, but the defending champions are starting to peak at the right time as six successive wins saw them storm to victory in the Australian Conference.

The Sharks, who have also shown some good form in the second half of the competition, have six wins from their last seven, with the solitary blip coming in the form of a shock loss to the Lions.

They also showed some patchy form in their last regular season match against the Cheetahs when they had to come back from 15-6 down at half time to win 32-15 in Durban.

“We found ourselves behind the advantage line against the Cheetahs last week and, against the Reds, we can't afford to do that, we can't afford to give them any opportunities,” Plumtree said.

“This is a big game, a knock-out game, and you have to be very accurate in the way you play."

A significant factor to the game is the absence of Quade Cooper – the Wallabies flyhalf was suspended for one week after a high tackle on Berrick Barnes in their 32-16 win over the Waratahs last week.

Plumtree played down Cooper's unavailability and said the Reds would change their attacking plans a bit.

“But to be honest our approach for this game isn't about what the Reds are doing, our focus is on our own game," he said.

“We're without Frans Steyn and Pat Lambie so I guess that evens things out a bit.”

Steyn is ineligible for the remainder of the competition, while Lambie has an ankle injury.

The two sides have already met once this season when the coastal team triumphed 27-22 at Kings Park.

Plumtree felt that result was inconsequential as it happened early on in round four.

“It was a long time ago, they're a lot better now than they were then, but I think we are as well.

“This is a big game, there's home ground advantage for the Reds which is a big factor.

“They play very well at home and we have to make sure that we play to our own game plan, that we play with confidence and really take it to them.

"We don't want to be chasing them all day.”


  • brandon.styles.14 - 2012-07-20 12:16

    Bulls by 10

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-20 12:27

      To the stormers defense is their only factor

      John - 2012-07-20 12:27

      ai tog droom maar verder

      brandon.styles.14 - 2012-07-20 12:39

      Viskop vreter Isak, Jy het nie n' idee waarvan jy praat nie, gaan sit nou daardie files op hulle rak .

      japjapjap.wat - 2012-07-20 13:10

      @sakkie- ja, jy't 'n goeie ou hartji, want jy kry di arme weepee girlyboys jammer en probeer hulle ondersteun, maar om almal te probeer oortuig jy praat nou met jo immm... verstand?? niemand gaan jo glo ni??

      lean.sadie - 2012-07-20 15:14 Read it, and grow up!!!

      jason.children - 2012-07-20 15:30

      @Lean, great article and so true! Kieth is a good chap!

      brandon.styles.14 - 2012-07-20 16:07

      I will lend you a shoulder to lean on.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-20 16:15

      Brandon u r such a good person, everybody needs somebody to lean on

      lean.sadie - 2012-07-20 16:25

      For a guy that looks like a troll, and way too much steriods, sad to say you will never grow up.Bet neither one of you read it. Didn't expect anything from you trolls though. Doesn't matter how much drugs, pumping iron or w.e else you do, you will still be childish. Those things go to your brain and make you small in the pants. But hey maybe that's why you both feel the need to call people names hey. Too insecure. Fact is, everyone just laughs at you. I Am hoping you are really kids. Parents must be so proud of you.

      chester.tobias.3 - 2012-07-20 16:26

      @Lean, Ignore the gay siamese twins.

      lean.sadie - 2012-07-20 16:32

      Lol Yea Chester. I Guess I Live in false hope, that one day people might actually talk rugby. Instead of the childish crap some of these guys spew out. At least there is a few with some knowledge.

      brandon.styles.14 - 2012-07-20 16:49

      Lean, Your information is incorrect, steroids increases muscle size, even the one in my pants, all it needs together with steroids is exercise, and that muscle gets plenty of that.

      franklyn.davies.1 - 2012-07-20 18:34

      @Brandon...keep your hands off your muscles man,being a sk/laar is not something to be proud of.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-20 18:59

      Check out old Lean , I copy and paste my insults from the internet, trying to claim the high ground . Tell me Lean , is googling for disses what grown-ups do ?

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-20 19:39

      lean....TL DR please keep your posts no longer than one or two lines. any more than that and its hard to take you seriously. so keep it shorter that way it wont take you so much effort to be taken so unseriously

      kobus.gerber.921 - 2012-07-20 20:33

      Tom, lyk my jou konsentrasie is so kort soos jou tr*l

  • jason.children - 2012-07-20 12:19

    Oh now Defense is important..................we been having it!! Out of the two SA teams playing this weekend I believe the Sharks have the best chance to come out with a win! Quade Cooper is out and the Sharks have the Bok front row which was huge against the Bulls! Also if the Frenchman plays well he is brilliant..........if he doesn't pitch up on the day then there will be problems.

      Taurus.Blue1 - 2012-07-20 12:28

      @Jason, defence is a critical part of the game, however it is not the ONLY part of the game.

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-20 12:30

      Blue,where has the Stormers defence got them this season so far.

      jason.children - 2012-07-20 12:41

      Agreed Taurus, my point, although slightly cryptic, was that people have been bashing the Stormers for being boring in their defensive game plan, and as soon as the business end of the tournament comes around all the Coaches talk about how important Defensive rugby is during finals! Jake White said it in 2007 when we went off to the world Cup and to be honest I think that is probably where AC gets the idea from. If you remember he was an assistant coach to that world cup winning team. The whole idea behind it, is play defensive rugby and attack off the opposition's mistakes! The Stormers have, admittedly, battled to finish off from those mistakes...............but the game plan is sound as has been proven!

      Taurus.Blue1 - 2012-07-20 12:58

      @lionel & @Jason, first lift that Super Trophy then I will concur - until then defence is an important part of the game however NOT the only part. But yes your team has had recent success with that game plan, even though it is really boring to watch (for all except the Stormers of course). I do believe if the Stormers can combine attacking play with their current style they will become almost unstoppable, but for now even if your team is in the semi-final, really not fun to watch. Time will tell

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-20 13:12

      Blue,when the Bulls won there titles what kinda rugby did they play,it was 10 man rugby,kick and chase and not attacking by any means,more boring than defence in fact but in all you Bulls supporters eyes playing the 10 man kicking game and winning the title was all that mattered.Correct indeed time will tell.

      japjapjap.wat - 2012-07-20 13:16

      @Jason- Since when did weepee suddenly start to focus on defence?? Since they studied the Bulls 2005-2011 videos and more specifically 2007, 2009 and 2010?? I bet you they will furthermore study the Bulls 2012-2020 videos, to learn something about attack??

      Taurus.Blue1 - 2012-07-20 13:26

      @Lionel, beating the Reds 93 - 3 in 2007 hardly constitutes 'not playing attacking' rugby, furthermore, 2009/2010 the Bulls were amongst the top try scorers in the competition. However the Stormers must do what they feel work for them and good luck to them though

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-20 13:26

      And Jap,where did that get them 2012,a trip to Christchurch to get there backsides kicked??

      Taurus.Blue1 - 2012-07-20 13:30

      @Lionel, yes the guys are in NZ and face a difficult game however NOT bad for a team who has lost 8 key players at one go. Even if they lose on Saturday, most 'true' supporters will still be very proud of the boys.

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-20 13:32

      Blue,and I will wish them all the best in the world for Saturday because they are a SA side and SA comes first....good luck.

      jason.children - 2012-07-20 13:40

      Damn it i missed the whole conversation! Damn clients! @Blue the problem is this..........and its a fact.......if you want to play attacking rugby you lose defensive structure. If you want to play defensive rugby you lose attacking structure! Its almost impossible to Defend like the Stormers and Attack like the Saders in the same game plan. The trick is to find the balance............Good luck to Both SA teams this weekend................If i had Sharks and Bulls jerseys I would wear them with pride............OK wait that pushing it...but i will cheer for the boys. SFL

      japjapjap.wat - 2012-07-20 13:49

      @lionel- IF the Bulls lose, there will be NO dif between the Bulls and the girlyboys down under, in 2012, as there are no dif between 2nd or 3th or 4th or 5th or any other position that follows FIRST; and we both have a good sense, that not the stoomers nor the Bulls or any other sa's team will do it this year?? BUT every team have only a few chances to do it and this year was the stoomer’s last chance and should've done it, but it’s not going to happen for you guy’s- to many weak links??

      Taurus.Blue1 - 2012-07-20 13:52

      @Jason & @Lionel, cool now I've got you guys supporting the Bulls tomorrow (Bulls/Sharks jerseys not compulsory) enjoy, keep warm!

      deon.fouche.3 - 2012-07-20 14:03

      To Jason / Lionel / Jap/ Taurus - THANKS for some nice reading WITHOUT personal name calling! I must agree, don't see any SA side lifting the cup this year.

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-20 14:17

      Like I said earlier in the week if a SA side doen not win it then it must be the Saders. Good luck Enjoy the weekend all,stay safe and warm.

      dave.short.102 - 2012-07-20 18:03

      Agreed, Freddie kan of briljant of uiters swak wees, dink die sharks sal wen as die eerste freddie opdaag!!! Sharks by 9, Crusaders by 7. Bulls groete!!!

  • Taurus.Blue1 - 2012-07-20 12:24

    If the Sharks can play the way the played against the Bulls and Cheetahs in their last 2 games, I believe the Sharks will beat any team. Go Sharks - from a Bull supporter, go and thump those Aussies.

      dave.short.102 - 2012-07-20 18:10

      Ja Taurus, I agree fully!!! As a bulls and SA Rugby FAN!!! Not like Tom dipsht!!! I am fully behind the Sharks!!! Bulls Groete

  • maakdiebulle.almalbokke - 2012-07-20 12:34

    Go saaaaaarks

  • Rich - 2012-07-20 12:44

    The Sharks can win if Genia is reined in and not given too much quality front foot ball to work with. Quade Cooper can often be a liability and his defence is still woeful - he won't be missed.

      jason.children - 2012-07-20 13:44

      Quade Cooper has spent a lot of time injured, I dont think he will be missed either! Genia is the danger after typing all of that and re looking at your post I just could have put "agree 100%"

      maakdiebulle.almalbokke - 2012-07-20 14:16

      The Sharks forwards must dominate !

  • julian.brown.5205 - 2012-07-20 13:05

    As a Reds MEMBER I am a little over the "Cant win without QC" mentality. We all know we can and I remember sittng in that Suncorp stadium watching as a Cooperless team put on a quality performance to beat the Chiefs. No doubt Quade is a quality playmaker but he is not the reds and I am sure he will have some pointers for Ben Lucas this week. The Reds are a quality outfit and are in form I look forward to again sitting in the stand at Suncorp to cheer them home. Go Reds!!!!!

      TravieGrif - 2012-07-20 13:32

      I have to say that as a Sharks supporter, I agree with you 100%. Underestimate the Reds at your peril, because it is not QC who makes the team, but 15 players gelling together. He is a great play-maker, but has also been really aweful in recent history. If I remember correctly there was a test match against the Kiwis where he could do no right. There are no easy matches in the Super 15, and even more so at knock-out stage. The Reds are a strong outfit starting to show cohesion at the correct time. Still I believe we can win, but it is not going to be easy. Sharks forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      cavin.snyman - 2012-07-20 16:20

      Like I said in an earlier report, it all depends on the forward play. The game can go either way. If the Sharks pitch up tomorrow in spirit I doubt that the Reds will be able to stop them. That all said and done, we will only know by tomorrow who was the side wanting it more. Go Shaaaaaaaaaaarks!!!!!! Sharks forever!!!!

  • andrew.cooks.5 - 2012-07-20 13:33

    High time the Sharks play some consistent rugby... 1st half against the Cheetahs proofs the fact that they fire like a loose cannon. They played 80min of exciting rugby against the bulls BUT just continued their poor laid back Durban surfers’ attitude the next weekend against the Cheetahs, to be lifted again in the 2nd half. They have the power, skill and players to win anyone in the S15, but do they believe it, would be another question… Come on SHARKS, it’s time to show those Ozzies that your there for business. Sorry for the Bulls supporters. It’s going to take a huge effort from them to beat the Saders, and I don’t think they have the manpower of confidence to pull through.

  • lean.sadie - 2012-07-20 15:14

    Some of you folks should really read this, and think for a minute,

      chester.tobias.3 - 2012-07-20 16:08

      The bogus doctor,Must read this.

      brandon.styles.14 - 2012-07-20 16:09

      I will lend you a shoulder to Lean on

      lean.sadie - 2012-07-20 17:51

      Oh thx , although It would be weird to have an inbred who looks like a troll anywhere close to me. Don't forget to buy some viagra, and growing pills for your p.... too, to counter all the drugs you do.

      brandon.styles.14 - 2012-07-20 17:59

      Lean, I,m also leaning towards the fact that you might be female. I tell you what. Inbox me your tel number and when I go down to Cape Town for the semi's, I might just drop in to tag and release you for a fee. then you can also say that you've been tagged by Brandon, You will be the envy of your friends and you can have your 5 minutes of fame. PS. The drugs I use also increases the muscle in my pants.

      lean.sadie - 2012-07-20 18:04

      Cool story bro, good for you. I Don't have that problem though, don't need to do that crap to make me bigger. But hey if you need it, more power to you. Then I Don't live in CT, and grow up sometime. You are funny though, trying to look all macho with a huge ego, yet you look more like a bunny with an egg for a brain. Take care bro, may happiness find you one day.

      brandon.styles.14 - 2012-07-20 18:30

      Now you confuse me, You sound like a man now. I think my first assessment that you might be a bit of both stands correct. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-20 19:10

      What happened to the 'grownup' lean ? "trying to look all macho with a huge ego, yet you look more like a bunny with an egg for a brain" .. tut-tut

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-20 19:43

      i seriously cannot see how lean on me is any older than 14 years old. no way no how.

  • dave.short.102 - 2012-07-20 18:30

    As a BIG Bulls fan I need to say. This looks to be a bridge to far my team! I just cant see the bulls pull this one off!!! Spies @ 8 has been crap to say the least, Morne has had better seasons in his life and most of all, the 'strenth'of the bulls, our tight 5 has really under performed this season. @ the start of the comp nobody gave the Bulls a chance, never mind them making the play offs, So all in all, I think we did as good as that can be expected and can stand outside and say "we did the best we could"!!! Bulls for ever!!! O and GO SHARKS!!!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-20 19:48

      go bulls. i am really not looking forward to this game, similar to the feeling i had before the sarks game. i might not even watch that is the magnitude of the petrification in my bones.

  • hans.himmler.7 - 2012-07-20 19:46


  • skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-07-20 23:03

    It's not about defence because you need to score your own points and it's not about attack because you can't let the opposition score too much. It's about how QUICKLY you can move from defence to attack when the opposition makes a mistake and how soon you can reorganise your defensive structures when you make mistakes of your own. This where you need experience, good communication, fitness and a rugby brain. This is why rugby coaches who have picked their players using size and power as yardsticks have never succeeded.

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