Whitehead prefers Sharks style

2012-05-08 20:17

Durban - Sharks centre Tim Whitehead says he relished the freedom given to attack with the team in comparison to the style of play at his previous employers, the Stormers.

The 23-year-old has been a regular fixture in his debut season, with his centre combination with Springbok JP Pietersen, one of the features so far.

"A change was good for me coming from Cape Town because I felt like I needed a new beginning somewhere," Whitehead said on Tuesday.

"In terms of the game plan, I think the Stormers play a bit more defensive than attack.

"And here I enjoy the way that the guys always attack.

"We’re encouraged to have a go from everywhere as long as you back yourself and that’s what we’ve been doing this year."

The Sharks have had an inconsistent first half of the competition, which has been dogged by basic errors, consequently they sit seventh on the combined log - three points outside the playoff places.

After seeing off the in-form Highlanders this past weekend, they welcome the struggling Force to Durban this week.

"They may have been poor, but they’re a good side," said Whitehead of the Australians, who are third from the bottom on the log.

"There are no easy games in this competition and every single team brings something different, so it’s going to be tough.

"We’ll have to work really hard to beat them."

The visitors will be led by David Pocock, widely seen as one of the best flankers in the game.

Whitehead conceded they will have to be at their best to nullify his threat.

"We’ve been working really hard on our breakdown and will have to be prepared for someone like Pocock, who is one of the best fetchers in the world," he said.

"It’s going to be physical and we’ll have to be prepared for that threat."

Sharks coach John Plumtree also hailed the impact that Whitehead has had since his arrival from Cape Town.

"I think Tim’s been great," he said.

"He’s a player I targeted from a fair while ago. Now that he’s here, he’s doing really well.

"I think he’s getting better and better each week and has got a desire to get better, which is important.

"He’s very unpredictable on attack and defensively he’s very sound.

"Hopefully he’ll just grow in our environment and enjoy his rugby."

Plumtree, for the first time this season, also confirmed a clean bill of health in the team.

"We have no-one injured and although we were a bit light in training as some players were being managed," Plumtree said.

"We should have a full complement to choose from at the weekend."


  • RetiefC - 2012-05-08 20:52

    The best franchise in the world is the BULLS, but if you cannot get a contract with the Bulls, the obvious second choice would be the Sharks. At least they also know how to score tries from everywhere. I am looking forward to the clash between the Sharks and the Stormers on 26 May.... Go Bulls!!! Go Sharks! Go Cheetahs! Go Lions!

      Harold - 2012-05-08 20:55

      If you are not good enough to play for the Bulls, then you go to the Sharks. It's the next best option if you want to win silverware.

      RetiefC - 2012-05-08 21:04

      @Isak, Wie is bo aan die SA conference in 2012? Die WP is bekend daarvoor dat hy die bekers in Meimaand wen, maar as ek vir Naas Botha kan aanhaal: "Die Curriebeker word in Oktober gewen".

      RetiefC - 2012-05-08 21:12

      @Isak. In die laaste 11 jaar: Sharks 2 Curriecups WP 0. Blou Bulle groete.

      RetiefC - 2012-05-08 21:30

      @Isak. Jammer vir die fout. Sedert 1990: Curriebekers gewen: Bulls 6 (plus 1 gedeel) = 7 Sharks 6 WP 3 Blou Bul groete

      Blouvitrioel - 2012-05-08 21:41

      Hier gaan ons alweer. Al die Currie cups wat die WP gewen het terwyl hulle alleen deelgeneem het. Bul groete.

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-05-08 22:33

      Isak. You personify arrogance. The Bulls and Titans are currently the best franchises. Look at the measurable stats. You refer to historical data , good for you/ I bet you obtained all films of the WP wins and watch them repeatedly. We Bulls anticipate a S15 title this year and look forward to that. After the S15 we will look forward to another Currie cup tiitle this year. Man it is great to be supporting champions. Champions greetings.

      RealTokolos - 2012-05-09 06:20

      Sakkie.... In the old days you guys only played against Griekwas for the CC. I am willing to bet that you guys lied to them on a few occasions and told them that the final will not be played that year and then silently put your name on the cup. Not a lot of people could read in those days and they most probably did not notice anything fishy. OR... The old story that is going on up till today... getting the ref on your payroll!!! I will go with the latter!!!

      Johan - 2012-05-09 08:06

      Vir al julle absoluet rugby kenners wat op google ingan om tekyk wie die meeste curriebekers gewen het eks seker ds ni waar oor die artikel gan van Tim nie!!!!!! as ek reg gelees het gan dit oor hoe hy dit meer geniet om hardloop rugby tespeel as om verdediging rugby tespeel????????? correct me if i am wrong????

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-05-09 08:14

      Isaak, since the introduction of the playoffs, where best of the best, top 4 qualifiers play through semi-finals into the final, I believe that it's the Bulls who have won more Currie Cup titles than any other team in South Africa.

      Pieter - 2012-05-09 11:20

      Blouvirtril Nou wie se skuld was dit dat die Bulls eers in 1939 goed genoeg was om deel te neem aan die CC? Maar daar gelaat, vergeet van die verlede, dit is nou se seisoen wat tel! Laasterugby span wat goud gevat op Olympics was die USA!!! En dit maak hulle nie die beste die indie wereld nie!

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-09 11:38

      @is ni Johan- alles gaan oor di weepee, maar in weepee gaan alles oor di Bulle en in di Bulle gaan alles oor rugby en in rugby gaan alles oor geniet??

  • Harold - 2012-05-08 20:52

    It was a good move. His chance of winning silverware increased tenfold.

      Harold - 2012-05-08 21:04

      You also don't win silverware by choking in playoffs.

      Harold - 2012-05-08 21:23

      My team is the Bulls. How many playoffs have we reached, and won, in the last decade, compared with you?

      RetiefC - 2012-05-08 21:25

      @Isak. Sedert 1998 toe die Vodacom cup begin het is die wenners as volg: Griekwas - 4 Goue Leeus - 4 Blou Bulle - 3 Vrystaat 15 - 1 Valke - 1 Pampas 15 - 1 WP???? - 0 Blou Bul Groete

      Sean - 2012-05-08 23:55

      @Isak -`` Is die jaar van CUPS vir ons`` For how many years have you been saying this now ?? What a f@cken joke !!

      Sean - 2012-05-08 23:56

      They say tik is not good for you !!

  • Gustav Weich - 2012-05-08 22:01

    @Ampie - sedert 1982 WP 8, Bulle 8. Sien ons almal kan statistieke manipuleer! ;)

      Stephan - 2012-05-08 22:17

      Nice one Gustav. I remember the golden years of 5 in a row while Noord Transvaal was part of the competition.

  • stan.basson - 2012-05-08 22:23

    Ag pleez! As if he would say anything else !! No real news to post?

  • Paddy - 2012-05-09 06:59

    Who cares how many cups have been won in the past? You are as good as your last game. Using the logic of some of the goons posting messages here, one can claim that the Nats were excellent. After all, they won every election for many, many years. Like the Stormers, they haven't won a hell of a lot in the last few years.......

  • patrickjasoncawood - 2012-05-09 08:07

    Look forward to the Sharks vs Stormers at the tank in 3 weeks Lets hope Tim has a blinder

  • Craig - 2012-05-09 08:39

    Guys, just by the way this article was about Tim Whitehead and not about how many cups the bulls and wp have won. Go and discuss that somewhere else. Let's stick to the topic here. I think tim's a great player for the sharks, really happy to see him there. There are some great backline players coming through the SA ranks.

      patrickjasoncawood - 2012-05-09 09:33

      Sound advice, just wish the few would listen. Thats all they can carry on about...

  • Hansie - 2012-05-09 11:23

    Interesting comments Tim Whitehead. Firstly, it is a hell of a lot easier to compete against Meyer Bosman for a place in the side than it is competing against Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jong and even Brian Habana for a place in the side. Secondly, you don't seem to have a lot of success with this "have a go from anywhere" policy, do you? We at the Stormers will watch your success at the Sharks. Just a word of warning: Conrad Hoffman also went to the Sharks for more gametime. And now? On the bench for the Vodacom Cup side.

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