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Plumtree: Sharks not giving up

2012-05-01 13:12

Johannesburg - Sharks coach John Plumtree has refused to give up their pursuit of the Super Rugby play-offs despite losing more games than they have managed to win this season.

The Durban outfit, fresh from a bye over the weekend, host another high-flying New Zealand team this week when the fifth-placed Highlanders come to town on Saturday.

The Sharks last played the Chiefs at Kings Park 10 days ago, with the match ending in disappointment as the home side were beaten 18-12.

Plumtree conceded the next five weeks would be a 'crunch period' for his side.

“We have a massive five games coming up before the June break, although our main focus right now is on the Highlanders,” the Sharks boss said.

“If we want to do something in this competition, we know that we have to be successful over all those games before the break."

Three of those matches are on home turf with this week’s match followed by the Force in Durban, a trip to the Cheetahs, the visit of the Stormers and an away game with the Lions.

Despite the Sharks losing five out of their nine games this season, the majority of losses came with bonus-points and Plumtree believes that will be crucial when the league phase of the competition reaches its closing stages.

“A lot of our games have been extremely close and the bonus points have helped us stay in touch with the teams around us,” he said.

"So we’re not far away, we’ve just got to keep boxing on, believing in each other and working hard. That’s going to be key.

“A lot of people out there will think I’m dreaming, but we believe in ourselves and we want to do well. If we can sort out some things internally, then we’ll be alright.”

Plumtree said his players all knew what was at stake in the coming weeks.

“We have to improve and there are certain things we need to get right for that to happen and that’s what we’re focusing on at the moment.

“Our preparation has to be more accurate – it’s little things like that – we’re hoping will make a difference starting with this week.”

There were also plenty of positives on the injury front for the Sharks with the biggest boost set to come in the front row where Tendai Mtawarira is likely to play his first game of Super Rugby this year.

The Springbok prop, who cracked a bone in his right ankle during February, played in back-to-back Vodacom Cup matches over the past two weeks, while fellow players set to return were Odwa Ndungane (groin) and Ryan Kankowski (finger).

“We’ve got a couple of guys back who could come in for consideration for selection which is good for us,” Plumtree added.

“A few played down in Cape Town for the Sharks XV, so our injury list is getting shorter and shorter and we have a few fit guys coming back into the group.”

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Comments
  • Gavin - 2012-05-01 13:31

    Keep dreaming Plum. There is something not right in that squad and unless the highly paid "Stars" pull up their socks and start earning their salaries Mid Table is the best you will do this year. The Cheetahs with their less fancied "Grafters" are looking more likely to succeed than this bunch of under-performing prima donnas'.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-01 13:48

      It is worrying - he say's some things need to be sorted out "internally". That could indicate something is not lekker with the mentality of the Shark camp. They have the manpower, but they seem a bit disjointed to me - like a bunch of okes who don't really get on with one another. This is disasterous for a "team" sport, it does not matter how fancy the names of the guys playing for you are. Hope I'm wrong.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-05-01 17:45

      Ja, guppies with choke again this season, like they do. Don't think the fishpaste club will be able to do anything more with their season. They might as well give up now and MERGE WITH THE LIONS to make way for Super Kings in 2013

      goyougoodthing - 2012-05-01 19:38

      Plumtree, you've got the wrong Captain mate. Keegan seems more interested in a few cold ones with the house mates than concentrating on the job at hand. Make Lambie your Captain, he will grow into the role and always picks himself on merit. Until you fix that and get rig of a hangover assistant coach you are going to continue to flounder.

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-02 11:30

      ja nee, pruim, "If we can sort out some things internally, then we’ll be alright.” ..ons dink jou maag werk en jo panti is vuil?? met al jo "superster ysters"?? be-dinges elke afrigter homself, maar jo beste, was nog altyd gemiddeld... @sakkie- weepee gaan verloor DI' naweek, watch wat ek se'...

  • Mike - 2012-05-01 14:36

    Cut the players salaries in half and give "win" bonuses.....!!!!

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-01 16:31

      I think more than money is required to motivate team sports.

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