Sharks 'not at their best'

2012-05-23 11:43

Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree has played down the notion that his team are peaking at the right time, insisting they still have plenty of work to do if they want to make the Super Rugby playoffs.

The Durban side beat the Cheetahs 34-20 in Bloemfontein last week to make it three wins in a row and consolidate their sixth place in the overall standings.

Their impressive run comes after an inconsistent start to the season in which they lost five of their opening nine games.

They face arguably their biggest challenge this season when they host table toppers the Stormers in Durban on Saturday.

While many have praised their change of fortunes, Plumtree said each game posed a different threat.

“We have to make sure we remain focused on each week," Plumtree said on Wednesday.

“Our preparation has been good so far this week and we’re just looking forward to this one on the weekend.”

Looking back at the win in the Free State, which was their third in succession over the Cheetahs, Plumtree conceded it was one of the best this season.

“That was definitely a pass mark,” he said.

“Every time we go up to Bloemfontein and win is really good for us. It’s a tough fixture.

“I thought the boys played some lovely rugby. To get five points up there is outstanding.

“Defensively, we let ourselves down a bit at times, but there was some really good attacking play.”

Though the win was pleasing, Plumtree added that an injury to centre Tim Whitehead, who has become an integral part in their midfield this season, was a major set-back for the Durban-based outfit.

Plumtree confirmed that Whitehead did not train earlier in the week.

The former Stormers midfielder has a groin problem and is a doubtful starter against his former franchise, but flyhalf Patrick Lambie, a late withdrawal against the Cheetahs due to flu, is expected to return.

Plumtree believed his side would have to be at their best to get the desired result against the Stormers.

“They’re top of the log, an outstanding side and very clinical in what they do,” he said.

“They have enjoyed a lot of continuity in selection and they’re a very efficient outfit, so we know that we’re going to have to play very well to beat them on the weekend.”


  • Denése - 2012-05-23 11:47


  • Cavin - 2012-05-23 11:51

    Yes the Sharks have to play very well, but all the Shark supporters trust that you can do it. Keep the mistakes to a bare minimum and take the oppertunities that are there and we will come away with a win. It is going to be a very tuff game but we have the know how. Time to give the Big Guns a wake up call. SHARKS forever!!!!

  • Chris - 2012-05-23 12:39

    I'm flying up from Cape Town to go watch my Sharks on Saturday!!!

  • Slick - 2012-05-23 12:55

    You so right Plum. No team or player is bigger than the game itself on a game to game basis. Start grandstanding and bragging about who is the better team and this Game will come back and bite your backside. Harder than anything else, as many teams have found out the hard way, so many times. To you and the team enjoy the game and to winner goes the spoils!! Hopefully the Sharks will be the team providing the Sparks on the day!

  • Tokolos - 2012-05-23 12:58


      Jonathan - 2012-05-23 13:03


  • malcolm.molver - 2012-05-23 12:59

    This game will be a massive test for the Sharks. They've been playing some great exciting rugby the last few weeks. The forwards have really stepped up and it doesn't surprise me that the resurgence coincided with the return of Beast. He really is a Beast! The midfield combo of Whitehead and Jordaan looks very promising, and with time they will be potent. Having said that, the Stormers have lost only once this season. They haven't been setting the world alight in terms of their play, but they know how to win, and that alone makes them formidable opponents. The Sharks will have to be on top of their game, watch their discipline and play for the full 80 minutes. I know they can do it. They are my pride and passion, and I will support them 100% for as long as I have air in my lungs and a beat in my heart! Black and white. Nothing else matters. SHARKS FOREVER!

      malcolm.molver - 2012-05-23 13:48

      Thanks blueraven. Good luck for Friday's game. SA needs a Bulls win.

      Hans - 2012-05-23 13:55

      Yip, Sharks are actually looking like a rugby team for a change. Blueraven, I had it wrong, though Bulls are playing Loftus they must win, good luck!!!

  • Steve Elske - 2012-05-23 13:08

    Personally I think it's not the team but a mediocre coach. The proof is in the empty trophy cabinet. Down with Plumbtree.

      Wynand - 2012-05-23 16:16

      And you would know...

      Marcel - 2012-05-24 09:15

      2 currie cups in 4 years, it aint great but it aint empty.

  • Julie - 2012-05-23 13:09

    ...and Mcleod will still be doing a hop, skip and a little dance before passing the ball which slows the WHOLE game down. Urgghhhh

      Raymond - 2012-05-23 14:24

      Did you watch the last game Julie. I think he may have sorted that out.

      Willie - 2012-05-23 15:07

      Agreed Julie and that is one aspect of his game that will keep him out of any Springbok side.It also gives the oposition a 8-10 m headstart on defence!

      Hugh - 2012-05-23 15:58

      Hougaard (Bulls) has that thing going as well. Scares the kr@p out of me everytime. Sharks need this win. Will go far in the confidance game.

  • Schalk - 2012-05-23 13:15

    I am a Stormers supporter and cant say one thing only about this game - whoever wins, will do so by less than 4.

  • ErikMagnetoMaier - 2012-05-23 13:45

    'his team are peaking'. haha nice English

      Raymond - 2012-05-23 14:25

      So what should it be, Mr grammar police?

  • tuckytatham - 2012-05-23 14:20

    Massive game in the context of the overall psychological run in to the play-offs. With an outing against the Bulls to come after just over a months break (which includes incoming tour and a bye) we are going to have to take advantage of this and next weekend - away to the Lions, in order to give ourselves a chance going into the break. This momentum has to be carried through to the siesta because this gap is something that is new to teams and the adjustment after could prove to break strides. Luckily we do have an extra week to get together to prepare for the Bulls. Our future in the competition hinges massively on Saturday! Sharks Forever!!

  • Sharksfever - 2012-05-23 14:23

    Pitty Whitehead is out. He only finding his feet now. However say what you want I have no reservations about bosman. every time he plays he has a good solid game. The hungrier team will take this one. I just hope its the Sharks.

  • Nathan - 2012-05-23 15:19

    Tough one to call...but I think if Sharks loose this one it will be due to ill-discipline...if discipline is sorted out I think we should take it:)

  • Hans - 2012-05-23 20:06

    If they perform like last week victory over the Stormers is certain. Are you ready for a Shark Attack!

  • Bernadette - 2012-05-24 11:49

    Can't wait for this Game!! "Go Sharks!!!!"

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