Sharks enter vital period

2012-03-06 18:37

Durban - John Plumtree has conceded that the pressure is mounting on his Sharks side as they look to turn around the battling start to their Super Rugby campaign in round three over the weekend.

The Durban franchise lost their opening two matches of the season to the Bulls and Stormers respectively, both away from home.

This weekend they come up against the Lions and it's a clash the coach described as “a massive game” in the early context of the campaign.

“It’s a massive game for us, both these home games are really big,” Plumtree said on Tuesday, referring to the match against the Currie Cup champions and the one to follow at home to the Reds on March 17.

“If you want to do well in this competition, you’ve got to do really well at home.

“We’ve picked up two points away from home, which could prove to be valuable at the end of the day, but winning home games are vital in this competition.

“We know it’s hugely important for us.”

Plumtree said he expected the Lions, who beat the Cheetahs and lost to the Hurricanes in their two games, to also come out strongly in a match that is a rerun of last year’s Currie Cup final that was won by the men from Johannesburg.

“We’re two zip down and are looking for a win and they’ve got a win and had a loss,” he said.

"It’s a conference game as well, so it’s important for both teams, but I guess they’ll know there’s a fair bit of pressure on us.

“So they’ll expect us to be desperate.”

The availability of Springbok duo Willem Alberts and Odwa Ndungane (both suffering shoulder injuries) is still unclear, while Tim Whitehead (groin) will also only discover whether he will be fit to play later in the week after further medical assessments.

The Sharks boss felt his current squad was stronger than the one that did so well in the Currie Cup last year, insisting they were yet to hit top gear.

“I think this side is a better one than we had in the Currie Cup, but we just haven’t had a result,” he said.

“I’ve got a lot of faith, belief and confidence in them.

“It’s just important that they do it for each other as well. We’re not far away from clicking.”

After losing 18-13 to the in a dour opening match, the Sharks looked much better in their 15-12 loss to the Stormers.

Plumtree added that he was much happier in that game, saying: “Our discipline has let us down in important parts of the game.

“Some of the things that we could control, we didn’t in Cape Town and Pretoria as well.

“So we realise that there’s vital set-pieces or vital moments in the game that we’ve got to nail. If we can do that, then we’ll be better off.

“We’ve just let ourselves down by putting ourselves under pressure and that hasn’t helped our course. Hopefully it will all work for us this week.”


  • Nico - 2012-03-06 18:41

    Don't think the Lions will win by more than 7 this weekend, so at least there is another bonus point on its way :) GO LIONS!!

      Ken - 2012-03-06 22:00

      I like the way you think Nico! Go Lions! Go Lions!

      karsten.kaminski - 2012-03-07 00:15

      I'll watch this space on Sunday morning dude.

      Nico - 2012-03-07 09:12

      hahaha, no problem karsten :) but pls, let the loosing team (whoever) not blame the ref or the weather or this or that, just accept the defeat to a better team on the day :)

      Sean - 2012-03-07 10:11

      Nico you're more confident than I am. The Sharks will be hurting after the past two weeks which makes them dangerous. But I'm hopeful...go Lions

      Penny - 2012-03-07 11:43

      This won't be a repeat of the CC final. Will shout for Lions, but it will be Sharks by 8+

  • Bulldozer - 2012-03-06 18:47

    Go Lions!!!

  • Ron - 2012-03-06 19:59


  • Penny - 2012-03-06 20:02

    Ag Plumtree, Stop talking, no-one cares about the choking sharks. Useless guppies !!! They will be relegated, and rightly so, at the end of the season to make way for the Kings.

      Gungets - 2012-03-06 21:33

      Yaaaaaawnn. Every year someone says that, then comes back trying to buy tickets to watch them either win the final or at least play in it. Blob - you support who, exactly. Not sure if the Trolls have a team?

      Garth - 2012-03-06 21:41

      Penny you are displaying ignorance and your Rugby knowledge is dodgy, rather watch some Netball or something, the Kings belong in the Sunday league and are only getting a slot because of Politics and that Watson egg roll from EP. Sleep tite now.

      jtkuther - 2012-03-06 22:00

      Ignorence is bliss, Penny, you are a chop . . . .

      Johan Coetzer - 2012-03-06 23:43

      @ penny, No one gives a #*!@ about ur 5 cents input.

      karsten.kaminski - 2012-03-07 00:20

      I want, I want, I want... Typical behaviour in this country these days. The kings do not deserve to even be in the Currie Cup but demand inclusion in Super Rugby??? IT IS MY RIGHT!!

      Timothy - 2012-03-07 08:12

      How can a team get included in the super competition when they are not even in the Currie cup comp. Luke Watson along with his father are both ###### idiots. If the Kings are included it will be the demise of one franchise, i.e the Cheetahs or who ever comes last. The players in that franchise will look at overseas teams to play for. I can not believe any rugby supporter can approve this madness. I.e penny

      Gareth - 2012-03-07 08:54

      Hahahaha you clearly dont know a thing about rugby. what a chop

      Sean - 2012-03-07 10:13

      There's one born every minute! Are the Kings in the Vodacom Cup this year? Will give all the EP guys something to watch at least.

  • Pieto - 2012-03-07 07:33

    Sharks will hammer the lions 28 - 17.... Go Sharks!!!....and I can't wait for the lions and stormers to come down to loftus to get their @sses handed to them on a silver platter, go Bulle!!! Sharks en Bulle Bo!!!

  • jtkuther - 2012-03-11 11:31

    Nico, the lions came, they saw a brilliant team and left with their tails between their legs, AGAIN . . . .It sure looks more and more like the lions are going to be replaced by the Kings this year . . . .

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