Plumtree: Play full 80 minutes

2011-06-14 17:16

Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree wants his players to be on the alert for the entire 80 minutes in this week's Super Rugby match against the Bulls in Pretoria as they bid to qualify for the playoffs.

"You have to start well and finish well and it has to be pretty good in between," said Plumtree.

The Durban team have played well sporadically rather than continuously and their most recent match saw them overturn a 21-point deficit to draw 30-30 with the Lions over the weekend.

Although it was a spirited comeback, it now leaves Plumtree's men with having to win at Loftus Versfeld in order to guarantee qualification, unless the Brumbies can shock the Waratahs in Sydney.

"We've talked about that (having to come from behind) as a group," the coach said.

"We've struggled in the first 15-20 minutes and it's got better as we've gone on," he said of playing at high altitude.

"But certainly we can't afford that against a quality side like the Bulls. So we need to make sure that doesn't happen this week."

One of the problem areas in the match against the Lions - the third successive match where the Sharks have come from behind to salvage anything - was the poor handling at the back of the lineouts and Plumtree is hoping the problem can be fixed.

"It's a mixture of everything and it's an area which we've got to address as a pack," said Plumtree.

"When the boys concede lineout tries or, for that matter, just metres, then their heads begin to drop. They hate doing it. It's an area where we have to make sure we don't get dominated in this week.

"I'm sure the Bulls are going to go there, you saw what happened in the last game here, so it's not going to surprise us if they're going to have a crack at it again. It's pretty much part of their plan and what they've done all year."

In their previous meeting, just under a month ago in Durban, the Bulls won 32-23 - keeping the defending champions in the competition.

Now, they go head-to-head in a potential knock-out match, providing the Waratahs win their game as expected.

"They're a great side and they've got some great leaders," Plumtree said of the Bulls.

"They've now found some momentum and they'll be enjoying what they're doing.

"Their confidence will be boosted by beating the Stormers in Cape Town so they've got plenty to play for this weekend, which will spur them on, but so have we."

The Sharks' boss will boosted this week by the return of Willem Alberts from a shoulder injury after the loose forward missed out last week, while Jean Deysel returns from suspension.

However, winger Odwa Ndungane (hand) has been ruled out and prop Jannie du Plessis (knee) again faces a late fitness test.

Plumtree conceded his side will be underdogs, but is determined not to let that stop them from ending in the top six.

"I'm sure we're underdogs but the thing is, we do have plenty to lose. We don't want to be knocked out of this competition, we don't want to be worrying about the Waratahs-Brumbies score, although I guess we'll be keeping a close eye on it.

"But we'll know what we need to do before the game. For us, the boys are very proud and we don't want to go out there, roll over and die for the Bulls.

"We want to go there, play some good rugby and that is what our aim is this week. We've just got to get our strategy right, we're working on that at the moment, and make sure everything else in terms of attitude and commitment is there and hopefully we can give them a good go."


  • Ace Ventura - 2011-06-14 17:24

    What great advice.

      WPBEFONK - 2011-06-14 19:40

      Sharks are for REAL. I don't want to predict, but I put my MONEY on the boys from DURBAN!!!! Sharks by 7+!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Makutu - 2011-06-14 17:30

    How can you expect yoru team to play 80 minutes while their so called captain CANNOT play 80 minutes? Sir, with all due respect, we are not fools. We can see that John Smit is not playing well. He was outplayed by Maku on Saturday. What do forwards do? Protect the ball, counterruck, drive malls from the fore/rear... John Smit tackes but takes a muinute to get up from that tackle. Here is an interesting trend. John Smit plays in the Tri Nations 2010, we lose 5 out of 6 test matches. He gets injured along with Habana, we go on and win 3 out of 4 test matches at the Europe tour, Stuart Dickinson robbed us off the Scotland game like he did to the Crusaders two weeks ago. Note the correlation between his absence and the team's success. In that same time, the Sharks got themselves a Currie Cup and got off to a sterling start to the Super 15. Oh, John Smit comes back and the Sharks are back to shambles again. He starts matches and the Sharks lose, the Sharks get to win the matches when he gets replaced. My gosh! I'm sure my 4 month old nephew can also see this. The man is not performing. End of subject. Why are we so soft to these guys? Look at what the New Zealand rugby union does with non-performers? JEry Collins, Christian Cullen, Rodney So'oialo, Carlo Spencer... and others were all dropped as soon as they lacked anything to offer to the All Blacks. Are we surprised of their continued dominance over us? Come on South Africa, we have the talent, let's use it!

      Richard - 2011-06-14 17:48

      The question is, why was John Smit played in the 2010 tri nations last year when he needed neck surgery? He definitely looked out of sorts then and seems to still be nursing it.

      radar - 2011-06-14 18:11

      Makutu you raise very valid points- why can't the selectors and coaches see this, particularly when they are paid for their work - it seems so obvious to everyone - including your 4 month old nephew. Somehow our coaches are hanging onto 2007 as if we ripped through the world - reality is we did not have to play any of the super powers to win 2007 RWC AND THE FINALS WAS THE MOST BORING GAME OF RUGBY ONE COULD EVER WISH TO WATCH - another version of AERIAL PING PONG!!!

      Zip23 - 2011-06-14 18:26

      Amen Makutu, I feel for the guy, but winning the Cup is more important than John Smit's legacy.

      Zip23 - 2011-06-14 18:28

      Oh, and radar is still pissed about saturday. Live with it boet, the Bulls are simply better.

      mike - 2011-06-14 19:04

      What a theory, the reason the Sharks are losing is because of John Smit... bwahaha... I guess the fact that there backline can't defend for life or money and that specially in saturdays game they had no effective ball carriers means nothing. Why are the Sharks battling, my opinion anyways; 1) They don't have ball carriers, Beast, Biz, Alberts and Deysel are there ball carriers and this season only Alberts has been effective in that role. 2) There locks are second rate at best and have failed to dominate or even gain parity with any of there top opposition this season. 3) There midfield just seems incapable of being effective in attack and on defense. You guys recon if Biz started all the games they would win, really, anyone else noticed how poor Bizmark has been playing this season. In fact I would not rate him as the number one hooker in the country at the moment let alone the world. To me Strauss from the Cheetahs has been the best form wise but hey keep blaming it on John if that makes you guys sleep better at nights.

      BardofAvon - 2011-06-14 19:06

      @Makutu. Beautifully put. SA needs to learn from the USA about objective choices. The real problem is that Smit is also the Bok coach. The puppet coach does not have the skill, and thus the confidence, to make tough choices. As a Bull, though, I'd like to see Smit on the field for 80 minutes on Saturday.

      Ron - 2011-06-14 19:47

      Well said... take that SARU

      Makutu - 2011-06-15 09:07

      Mike! How can you then explain the correlation between John Smit's presence and absence on the field and the Sharks success? The fact is that there is a direct correlation that needs to be explained. People are so so quick to hail John Smit for his successes but when we highlite his failures they get on the defences. If he can help a team win, like he is said to have done in the past, that also means that we can blame him for the losses. To be fair.

  • wpfan - 2011-06-14 17:31

    If John Smit DOES NOT play for 80 minutes there might be a chance for the Sharks

      Makutu - 2011-06-14 17:52


  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-14 17:44

    Even as a stormer supporter I have to say there's no way the sharks can take the Bulls the way the've been playing the last 6 games. For that matter, who can stop the Bulls now?? My heart is with the stormes, but my money on the bulls

      radar - 2011-06-14 18:17

      Stormers will be back when they have a srum half and a flyhalf. Duvenage and Grant will take them to the title. No great team can expect to win without these key positions filled by talented and experienced players. It is testimony to how good the Stormers are that they can win with 4th ad 5th string flyhalfs and second rate srum half in Januarie. Also have a passenger in Habana - worst buy that Stormers could have made - Bulls are laughing today as they unloaded him at the right time and replaced him not too long after with Basson.

      Zip23 - 2011-06-14 18:23

      You are either getting ahead of yourself, not the real SAFFA, or you smoked something. Who are you, and what did you do with our SAFFA. Also, kinda unlikely that Saffa would miss-spell Stormers?

      BardofAvon - 2011-06-14 19:08

      SAFFA-CAT, it's with comments like that, that you redeem yourself. Good on you.

      Brannas - 2011-06-14 19:22

      SAFFA, at last you see the light, never too late mate, The Bulls already got their eye on that trophy, no body will stop them now.

      Brannas - 2011-06-14 20:05

      @PureStupidness, and when you woke up, your glass will be empty. Dream on boy

      MaestroX - 2011-06-14 22:07

      Stormers to play Bulls at Newlands in semi final,Stomers to take it by 2 points!

      Niekie - 2011-06-14 22:37

      Sounds like last week all over again! Predictions on how the Stormers will beat the Bulls on Newlands in a possible semi!? FFS morons! Will you ever learn! Wait till the game is played and then you run your mouths! For supporters of a team that was beaten less than a week ago, you surely have short memories, or is it small brains?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-15 07:39

      That comment was not made by me.....At least ZIP23 noticed that.

      smarti - 2011-06-15 16:27

      The bulls dit not play that good against the stormers The try was Janjies not in possition and bad choices on the coach side from the stormers Playing Januarie and coleman. Look what almost happend to the bulls when duvenhage came on also Jantjes was not there anymore with oneman band. So If the bulls play the way they dit the stormers and the sharks play the way they playd the lions the second half. Sharks to win by 10.

  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-06-14 18:48

    Selection, selection, selection, Plum - and too late but bonus points, bonus points, bonus points

  • jock van wyk - 2011-06-14 19:03

    with the same backline the sharks will struggle as they have been doing week after week

  • 420 - 2011-06-14 23:34

    I dont like moving players around in a team, but Michalak at 10 and Lambie at 12 looked like, given time could shred defence to pieces. Bosman has finally been playing better, and so I dont think there will be any massive changes. A Deysel, Alberts, Kanko loose trio could give the Bulls nightmares... Sharks by 6. With Lambie showing Steyn what a complete flyhalf looks like...

  • Riaan - 2011-06-15 05:30

    The Sharks performance has decreased under Dumbtree and it is time for him to step down. If he cannot see that the main problem in the Sharks lies in the centre pair then he is not fit to coach the Sharks. He replaces the centres with 10 - 20 min of play left, then they have to try and save where the other two had missed tackles, knocked the ball, passed behind other players, passed forward, tackled with the ball and lost possession etc, etc, etc. Bosman passed one ball last Saturday and the Sharks scored a try. I say this again, put proper centres in the centre positions and do not blame the Sharks that they did not play for 80 min.

  • Riaan - 2011-06-15 05:33

    Do NOT do the same to Lambie that was done to Gaffie, Bosman and Steyn. He is a flyhalf and a good one at that. Do NOT sacrafice him for a import.

  • greenpea - 2011-06-15 07:19

    I agree, if you ppl remember correctly, Lambie is actually a fullback so moving him to centre would just be idiotic. I say put Jaques Louis Potgieter on inside centre and Adi Jacobs on outside, Start Bismark and play Botes instead of Daniel. Peace!

  • Durban Dave - 2011-06-15 07:31

    Bulls are a has been pensioners team - who can only bully SA teams

      Whatever - 2011-06-15 07:46

      And Stefan Terblanche is a spring chicken. Wake up - the has been pensioners team bullied you into the ground in Durban.

      Makutu - 2011-06-15 08:41

      LOL! Listen to that... Wnad what happened to the Crusaders last year? What happpened to the Waratahs, Chiefs and the Rebels? ooooooh!

      Chadwick - 2011-06-15 11:42

      Bulls suck.

  • smarti - 2011-06-15 16:19

    Gaan maak die bulls se naweek n baie suur een.

  • Spartan - 2011-06-18 19:46


  • Spartan - 2011-06-18 20:06

    I hope Joel "one-hit wonder" Jew is silenced for once. Never has a good thing to say bout the Sharks. Poor excuse for a rugby commentator. Poor excuse for a rugby ambassador.

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