Plumtree: Too many derbies

2012-02-26 15:42

Cape Town - Sharks coach John Plumtree believes there are too many derby games on the current Super Rugby schedule.

"We're playing way too often against the other top South African teams," Plumtree told the Rapport newspaper after his side went down 18-13 to the Bulls in their season-opener at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

"It wears the players down to play against each other so often. For SANZAR it's obviously fantastic because it boosts revenue.

"Just look at the crowd that was here tonight," he said, referring to the 46 000-strong Loftus crowd.

"You'll never achieve that with the derby games in Australia and New Zealand. The standard of their derbies isn't nearly as intense as ours here in South Africa."

Plumtree feels the South African players play each other into the ground during all these games, and by the time the international season starts, the players are either injured or burnt out.


  • James Parker - 2012-02-26 15:54

    Sounds like hes scared to take on the Stormers.

      AdriaanAdams - 2012-02-26 16:34

      He lost his first and now all is too much... shame, the poor sharkies...

      Jack - 2012-02-26 17:11

      Come on guys - he has a point! I really think it's time to rethink this whole business. I say play all the derbies first and then take the top 3 SA, Oz & NZ teams. Add 2 from Argentina and 1 from Oceania and you have a Super 12 that promotes top rugby right across the Southern Hemisphere. This means that each country can decide the number of teams that play in the local edition (provided that only the points gained from the other top opponents get carried through) and all 12 teams then get to play each other. We could then even combine the currie cup with the local super rugby conference. This way we keep our derbies, strength plays strength and our players have a better chance of being fit come test time.

      Emile - 2012-02-26 21:04

      @ Bootman. Must agree with you on the Stormers/Hurricanes game. Must have been the worst game of incompetence I've ever seen. Both sides were really poor on the weekend and I hope it was just first game jitters.

      Gungets - 2012-02-26 21:07

      Schalk is probably out for the entire S15 - and it was not even a derby. I think the point has been made.

      Shane - 2012-02-27 01:54

      Seriously James. You beat a below par Hurricanes team, with plenty of help from a ref who wanted to make up for the time he blew you of the park against Freestate a couple of years back. Remember the 16-1 penalty count?

      Selma - 2012-02-27 08:29

      I hate the Super 15 and the Conferences. Innitially the Super 10 was about the best of the best from NZ,SA,and OZ doing battle. Over the years greed has broadened the base and undermined the integrity of the competition. The addition of the Kings will make it even a bigger farce. And our players are being ruined.

      Stephen - 2012-02-27 11:42

      @ Jackblack: Really good comment. I couldn't agree more!

  • J.D. - 2012-02-26 16:06

    What John between the lines is that SANZAR is miliking the SA teams for financial benefit and while doing so compromise international winning ability. I agree 100%

      Francois - 2012-02-26 17:42

      Thanks for your comment JD, it should win the rugby comment of week prize as the rest of the comments, disregarding the subject, is usually a banter between the provincial supporters. It goes further than the international ability to win , it means the sacrifice of the Currie Cup for SANZAR's pocket so that they can have people like Bryce Lawrence trained.

      Paul - 2012-02-26 21:16

      I blame SARU for allowing the slick Oz and NZ rugby execs to get their way time after time. Not only with fixtures and competition schedules, but also with rules and refereeing.

      Lara - 2012-02-27 07:35

      Add to that the threat of losing your spot to the Southern Kings and you have fear coming into the mix as well. It's like playing against a team you cannot beat, no matter what.

  • Michael - 2012-02-26 16:10

    Cant deny SA derbies are much bigger than Aus and NZ. Blues/Crusaders looked like they barely had 20,000 at eden park.

      AdriaanAdams - 2012-02-26 16:34

      their stadiums are also much smaller than ours...

      Jack - 2012-02-26 17:14

      Barely 20000 at Ellis Park!

      Michael - 2012-02-26 17:20

      true, but the standard of lions cheetahs rugby is slightly below Blues Crusaders!!!

      Emile - 2012-02-26 21:07

      @ Jackblack. True, and that was a record crowd for the Lions. I remember the last game of last season's Super 15 at Ellispark. I'm sure there was less than 2000 people in the stands.

  • Denise - 2012-02-26 16:22

    I agree 100% - it has all become on how to make the most money out of the players like they are a commodity. They are not robots and by the time the internationals come round - then it is all the players fault when they don't perform. Look at Schalk Burger - out for 4-6 weeks - if we had an international in that period - we would lose out as a nation. Two examples of overuse - Juan Smith who is still struggling - and Heinrich Brussouw who is now trying to get back to strength. I don't like the Super 15 - I find it boring - would rather have Super 14 for the shorter period and then enjoy Currie Cup.

      Jay - 2012-02-26 16:39

      If I was still married my wife would have been chuffed, didn't watch a single game this weekend. Last season I watched 3 S15 matches. Time the rugby bosses look at cricket. All rugby is played to the same rules etc (forgetting 7s, don't take it seriously), while cricket has three formats, different rules etc.

  • Geoff - 2012-02-26 17:14

    I think we could be in trouble without Schalk. We were always told that the Stormers had great depth. It appears not in the loose forwards . Well we can only hope and pray fro the next 4 weeks or so.

      Francois - 2012-02-26 22:31

      Well Geoff, do you have anything to say about the article? Should your comment not have been on the one of Schalk himself? (If you do go there, don't forget to remind Allister of Francois Louw). Even if you do have the luxury of depth or the perceived luxury of depth, the S15 derbies can put down a lot of your players and you only need a couple of critical injuries like Juan Smith last year to loose a lot in an international game. A 2 points loss is sometimes only the bounce of the ball.

  • hc12345 - 2012-02-26 17:40

    1st time a Shark has ever said something that makes sense. They should have 2 divisions and let the top guys play each other. And please keep the Kings out as they will be a disgrace to the SA teams, they can't even win their own division?????

  • ckrohne1 - 2012-02-26 19:14

    And here I was told by NZ'landers that rugby is bigger in NZ than in SA.

  • luvuko - 2012-02-26 19:18

    I don't know about you guys but im still enjoying my cricket. Will probably start watching the rugga at the end of April. Couldn't even bring myself to watch the highlights of this weekend games.

  • Marius - 2012-02-26 19:38

    fact remains that our top players are being played to death. S15, currie cup, vodacom cup. 5 top teams, bulls,cheetahs, lions, sharks, stormmers/wp. utilising the same core group of players for the S15 and then the currie cup. then the best of this lot still have to do the internationals, tri-nations incomming tours and the year end outgoing tour. hell, thats alot of rugby. why not have these unions who have the depth to do so build 3 teams one for vodacom, one for currie cup and one for S15. a player can then only play one comp a year. and the bok coach needs only look at the players in the S15 for tallent, as players will only be moved to that level when they are good enough. it will also make the currie cup les of a piss and moun comp, with no returning bok debate....

  • rosemary.gowans - 2012-02-26 19:40

    Exactly what I thought when I saw the itinery. Players will be worn out before the tri-nations and careers will be shortened.

  • Dianne - 2012-02-26 20:14

    Jay, you really should try watching 7's. Fantastic SA team and fantastic format! LOVE MY 7's!

  • Hennie - 2012-02-26 20:15

    The voice of reason at last. The competition format favours Aus due to the lower intensity of their conference. The travelling that disadvantaged SA teams in the past has been more or less been evened out but replaced with the derbies. I cant however see how they are going to sort this one out. SA teams will have to adjust quickly by ensuring greater depth in all positions, a good case for player development if ever there was one.

  • Emile - 2012-02-26 21:01

    Wise words from a wise man. Every single competition format thus far in Super 10, Super 12, Super 14 and now Super 15 suited AUS/NZ teams. Why is it that SARU always sell our players out?

      Dok - 2012-02-26 22:27

      SARU is and always has been afraid of NZ and AUS! I think money is more important to them than the well being of SA teams and players! If they can get an opportunity to screw us over to boost their own standing with NZ/AUS they will do it! Have been doing it anyway since the start of the Super 10 competition! But they forget that we are more resilient than they are and that we truly have the best well being of our players and teams at heart. The question now is how to get through to SARU and tell them to stop this back stabbing they are busy with!

  • Bootman - 2012-02-27 07:20

    I bet, had the Sharks won this game, Plum would have been singing a different tune.

      Morné - 2012-02-27 08:14

      I tottaly agree, one lost and Plumtree already trow in the towl by complaining about too much playing of our own teams. This is is absurd as the sharks has got the worst record of playing overseas. An if we can keep South African revenue why not ?? It sounds as Plumtree is scared of playing against the South African teams as he refferes to injury and players being weard out. The season only started now, it is the first game and if the sharks players are injured and weard out there is defnitly a problem within the Shark team or management. What is Plumtree going to say when we play Currie Cup ??? How is the Sharks going to fit and not weard out than. All I can Think of is that Plumtree is defnitly a Bad looser and that's the only reason why he would say something so early in the S 15

  • Bronwen - 2012-02-27 08:12

    common on john plumtree the sharks were just not up to it they had better up their game at this stage albeit early they are the worst side in south african conference

      Selma - 2012-02-27 08:35

      If the Sharks had played Botes and McLoed from the outset the outcome could have been very different. Plumtree's tactics were wrong and to the advantage of the Bulls.

  • pete.rudder - 2012-02-27 08:29

    What makes Plumtree believe that the standard of NZ & Oz derbies is not as intense as ours? If this is the case, he must think that our sides are better than theirs and shouldn't have any problems in the competition - I don't think so somehow.

  • Selma - 2012-02-27 08:31

    I hate the Super 15 and the Conferences. Innitially the Super 10 was about the best of the best from NZ,SA,and OZ doing battle. Over the years greed has broadened the base and undermined the integrity of the competition. The addition of the Kings will make it an even bigger farce. And our players are being ruined.

  • Liam - 2012-02-27 08:35

    Its simple... if you had the choice which conference would you prefer to play in?? The answer will be the same every time - Aussie conference. The Force, Brumbies and Rebels will all finish below 10th place!! New Zealand and SA are both tough conferences!!! Reds won last year's final fair and square, BUT only because of home ground!!! They revised the log according to the previous format and the top 4 were as follow: 1. Crusaders 2. Stormers 3. Reds (no gift 5 pointers from Brumbies, Force, Rebels) 4. Blues Who here thinks the Reds would have beaten the Saders at home in a final???

  • Gerald - 2012-02-27 09:06

    Hey John Dumbtree, I am a Sharks supporter but you and your team were pathetic. Each year you keep persisting with that useless Michalak and now you try and play him at scrum half. What a joke. Another joke is playing Pietersen at center. He can barely hold his own at wing but you want him at center? You carry on this way and we will go another year without any silverware in the cabinet. I think you have reached your "sell by date" and should now do us all a favour and go back to NZ

      Jay - 2012-02-27 13:51

      Hi Gerald, I Totally Agree with you about the USELESS OVERATED JP Pietersen. As a Bok Player too he has ALWAYS been suspect in defence. Do not be fooled by one great line tackle he made in France WC 2007. Just see ALL the British & Irish Lions Tries that were scored around the field that JP was slipping tackles and watching from the sides. Plumtree is a good coach, but he too has persisted with some lacklustre players - Michalak & JP. SAD

  • Brigitte - 2012-02-27 09:32

    I'm not a fan of the current setup. I'd prefer to have 2 pools or 4 pools. Playing domestic teams home and away...gets a bit boring...although I do love the rugby at Newlands.

  • darryl.sandler - 2012-02-27 09:53

    This is the problem with Super 15 rugby, the SA teams play their heart out, no matter which sides are playing and no matter the scoreline, our local derbies take it out of our players. I am a sharks supporter but the last thing i want to see is no SA side performing or being competitive because the side are burnt out. There was nothing wrong with Super 12 except for the Greedy corporates sponsering rugby and this is why rugby needs to take the driving seat and the focus instead of fate greedy businessmen who havnt seen anything except the dollar signs in their own eyes.

  • Jimmy - 2012-02-27 10:31

    I agree. I want to see our teams against the other countries teams.

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