Blunt Sharks battered in BA

Sans any sort of variation on attack, including an unwillingness to kick, the Sharks came badly short in the face of an organised and abrasive Jaguares defence.

It certainly wasn’t flashy from the home side at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani (offloads, tackle breaks and line breaks were in short supply, and split evenly), and they made 22 FEWER carries than the Sharks, yet it was good enough to deliver a five-try-to-one, 34-7 victory!

The home side missed only 7 of the 122 tackles asked of them for a solid 95% success rate, and while only 4 were deemed dominant, it was an in-your-face defensive effort that delivered 4 turnovers in the tackle and 10 elsewhere.

Seemingly intent to not make use of the boot (Rob du Preez only kicked once, while Louis Schreuder kicked 4 times), the visitors just kept on hammering away with ball in hand. It was a blunt attacking effort that saw the Sharks make 11 handling errors and concede 13 turnovers.

As with the Lions at Ellis Park, a lot of this damage was done at the breakdown, where the home side reigned supreme – the Sharks had to live on slow ball as they lost 7 rucks.

In comparison, the two Jaguares halfbacks made as many kicks as the entire Sharks team in making better use of both their territory and possession. It was as convincing a win as one gets in rugby, and a result that should have the powers that be in Durban very worried indeed.

A look at the match stats from the Estadio Jose Amalfitani:

Match information:

  • Points: JAG 34-7 SHA
  • Tries: JAG 5-1 SHA
  • Goal kicking %: JAG 44% – 100% SHA
  • Possession: JAG 50% – 50% SHA
  • Territory: JAG 48% – 52% SHA
  • Ball in play: 35 minutes

Attacking stats:

  • Ball Carries: JAG 86-108 SHA
  • Metres run: JAG 483-630 SHA
  • Metres per carry: JAG 5.6-5.8 SHA
  • Line breaks: JAG 3-3 SHA
  • Tackle breaks: JAG 5-3 SHA
  • Passes: JAG 147-144 SHA
  • Good Passes: JAG 140-134 SHA
  • Offloads: JAG 6-8 SHA
  • Rucks won: JAG 66-82 SHA
  • Rucks lost: JAG 1-7 SHA
  • Mauls won: JAG 4-6 SHA
  • Turnovers conceded: JAG 7-13 SHA

Defensive stats:

  • Tackles made: JAG 115-127 SHA
  • Tackles missed: JAG 7-10 SHA
  • Tackle success: JAG 95% – 93% SHA
  • Dominant tackles: JAG 4-4 SHA
  • Tackle turnover: JAG 4-0 SHA
  • Turnovers won: JAG 10-3 SHA

Kicking stats:

  • Kicks from hand: JAG 22-13 SHA
  • Metres kicked: JAG 624-346 SHA
  • Metres per kick: JAG 28.3-26.6 SHA

Error stats:

  • Handling errors: JAG 5-11 SHA
  • Penalties conceded: JAG 10-11 SHA
  • Yellow cards: JAG 0-0 SHA
  • Red cards: JAG 0-0 SHA

First phase stats:

  • Lineouts won: JAG 7-11 SHA
  • Lineouts stolen: JAG 3-0 SHA
  • Scrums won: JAG 6-9 SHA
  • Scrums lost: JAG 0-0 SHA

- Tank Lanning

Let's chat

  • Barry

    The stats tell a story of a side with an astute and strategically minded coach on the one hand and a bunch of rank amateurs on the other – this coupled with bouts of arrogance and stubbornness.

    It is not the loss that irks, a win would have been a tough ask, but rather the attempted implantation of a ridiculous game plan that had already failed a few weeks back. Did they learn nothing from the previous encounter?

    The question that Sharks supporters will be asking is whether their administration have the grit to end this tenure?

    • Chris Mouton

      I think the sooner both Rob du Preez’s leave the Sharks, the better. He’s such a bad coach and Rob du Preez jr. has his focus on a different Sharks team it seems. Once again we’re sitting with a season that could’ve been so much better. There’s nothing we can say anymore…


    And yet again stats (Barry) tells you nothing! Lol statsman!

    Top 8
    Lions or Landers

    • Herman

      I trust that you factored in matches ‘won’ not ‘points difference’ if log points are equal. The Landers win without a try bonus point the Lions go though. The Stormers lose with a losing bonus point the Lions go through. The Chiefs win without a try bonus point the Lions go through. The Sharks lose with a bonus point the Lions go through.

      I’m assuming that the Lions get nothing from the Bulls game as well. Of course if they win they’ll finish top of the SA pretenders but then will finish fifth, not ideal. So nothing from the Bulls game and we could still go through. Revenge is however sweet so beating the Bulls will be our first priority. The loser of the Sharkettes / Stompies match will probably bow out. Forget draws we’ve had enough this year. And try bonus points of course is beyond their abilities as well.

      Either way both their coaches should be sent packing. Cheers.

    • Barry

      If you’re trying to make a point, you’re not quite getting there. Maybe try again?

  • Herman

    Barry, astute and strategically minded should never be used to describe RdP ( if I read this correctly ) unless it was sarcasm then I totally agree. He has learnt nothing in his three years if truth be told. The occasional defence based miracle does not him a competent coach make I’m afraid.

    Lets be honest here. After three years he still cannot get that backline operating properly. Scoring only 38 tries in fifteen games ( 4th lowest in the comp ) is testament to his lack of coaching skills. How can a team that were ‘sublime’ on the attack against the Lions not repeat that week in and week out. It doesn’t make sense.

    Your frustration with the team is understandable and it’s time the fans made a statement of sorts. Your qualifying for the playoffs hangs on a thread but it may be better to miss out because it might just hasten his demise. Another year of that guy will be unbearable IMO.

    Looking ahead it looks like you or the Stompies may not go through so I don’t know whether to wish you good luck for Saturday or not. Cheers.

    PS : The Lions second half implosion will be dealt with shortly so hold your horses.

  • Barry

    I was referring to the Jaguars coach Hermie.

    At 36, I suspect the Bulls have enough to go through, but Lions Stormers and Sharks will have to play for a spot, remembering that the Lions have a poor points dif.

    Good luck to you – I am not sure though that it matters, we are pretty much making up the numbers this year!

    • Herman

      Barry, like Gavin Rich, you haven’t read the SR rules on teams ending on equal points. First they look at games won then points difference. The Lions have won 8 so have the inside lane with the Stormers and Bulls 7 each and the Sharks 6. The Landers with 5 wins and the Chiefs with 6 wins also in trouble winning without a try bonus point. The Rebels in similar position with seven wins. Might have to throw the Bulls game to finish maybe 6th and play the Brumbies, lol. Cheers.

  • Dean Bright

    There seems to be a lack of planning according to the opposition they play. No enterprise on attack, same problem plaguing all of our franchises. The Lions are probably the best in this department but they suffer in defense. No doubt if they still had Franco Mostert, Ruan Ackermann, Faf de Klerk, Ruan Dreyer and Jaco Kriel they would still be our premier franchise. How can you have 50% possession and 52% territory and only score 7 points over 80 minutes. Bring our best players home Rassie, it’s our only chance to become competitive again. We’ll have to wait and see if this new contracting model bears fruit. If we had our best 60 players playing Super Rugby, we would be challenging again. Where’s the funds going to come from though to compete with European contracts?

  • Nick

    Sharks with individual good players offer almost nothing on attack. With the available talent available, surely the coach needs to take some blame? Up front Nick Easter has actually added value in my opinion, But with what they have I am seeing nothing consistent in the attack. I’m not a fan of running down individual players, but jeeeezzzzzz……..Some of the decisions and execution are really poor.

    Mpimpi the best wing in the country. Imagine what he would achieve on the end of a decent line.

  • John Comyn

    I had a “super” relaxed weekend having not watched a single game. No real surprises other than The Bulls who have done well. For the Stormers to miss a bonus point against the Sunwolves at home is as bad as their worst performance this season. The Sharks should win comfortably next weekend. I will, like I have done the last 25 years, say next year is going to be our year. With the WC coming up there is absolutely no value in any of our sides going any further in this flawed competition. Rassie needs to step in and pull all his contracted players before next weekend.

    • Herman

      Sorry to rub it in old chap but for years now Rich has been beating the drum of the Stormers and Sharks to no avail. Every year is their year is the clarion call. Every year they are told by plebs like me and many others to get rid of their coaches but these journalists keep making excuses for them.

      We know Fleck is not going to be there next year but should have been bumped two years ago. I watched him in the coaches box against the Jags (I think) and there he was arms folded, no mike and standing to one side chatting away not even looking at the game. Heaven knows how much he earns but he sure has taken the Stormers for a ride. Not helped of course by the poor administrators guiding this Titanic.

      As for RdP and the Sharks, well the less said the better. Cheers.

  • Jay

    I still believe that “on paper” the Sharks have the best team in SA and probably top 3 in the competition. The problem, to echo much of what has been said, lies in the coaching. I do hope they have the backbone to end RdP’s tenure as I cannot see the reasoning of starting an out of form player, even if he is your son?

    I remember that during Jake White’s tenure there was a lot of grumbling about how hard he was drilling the team but at least we got to see a semblance of structure. Where we had tries scrored from 1st or 2nd phase ball. Tries that split defence due to the shifting of the ball and angles. This season it seems the backline is relying on individual talent to make a break and then play from there.

    My question is who do you replace him (RdP) with?

    • Whynger

      On paper. That we hear year after year. Therefore it is always the coach. It probably is, generally.

      South Africa has at least seven world class locks available in country, although at least half of them are usually injured. The Sharks have one and he was injured for quite some time. We have four world class loose head props in the country. The Sharks have one, who is currently injured. Unfortunately, after this dismal season, I have to admit that we have but one good and potentially future world class tight head prop and he plays with the Lions. We have four or five good fetchers in SA and they all play north of the Vaal. Our No 7 flanks are of such a poor standard, that our best lock now occupies that spot. Our eighth men are not world class. Even Thor looks like he is not up to it any more. We have no proven international quality scrumhalves, one world class flyhalf, no inside centres, two adequate outside centres, one whoplays for the Sharks, some reasonable international standard wings (two at the Sharks) and no fullbacks of that standard.

      Lot of potential around, but many of our players are quite far off the pace. You can probably blame the coaches for that. How do you get the Sharks in the top 3 of the competition?

      • Herman

        It starts at the top and the Sharkettes need a total overhaul. Ditto the Stormers. There are no world class coaches in SA and the only one we did have was Ackers who has recently been nominated for Coach of the Year in the Gallagher Premiership. Whether Rassie would consider him or if Ackers would even contemplate coming back to coach this circus is anyone’s guess. He’d be foolish to come back imo.

        I agree with a lot of what you’ve said including the overrated Thor. Our problem is we have so many players who are just average at best and many of them do not have the mental strength to be consistent over any period of time. Basic skills and smarts also in short supply. When the derby games come around where three of our teams play a similar conservative game plan the boys ‘shine’ and I use that loosely. When we face teams who play with smarts, skill and at pace we generally crumble, a few draws aside.

        No we are in deep trouble my friend but then again we’ve been that way since 2009. We should be used to it by now but it still rankles. I’m holding on for a hero. Cheers.

  • Nick

    That’s proper harsh Wynger. Not totally untrue but harsh. On the bright side, if we look at emerging players we are seeing new players come through that most countries would love to have. Let’s see what becomes of them.

    I’m thinking here of Cobus Wiese, Carlu Sadie, klein Jaintjies, [I’m happy to cop abuse on this one,]Andre Warner, Jaco Coetzee, Fasi,
    Although we can’t be completely happy with the super rugby results, this year has shown an upward curve, particularly against the NZ sides. I also think we are playing better rugby generally.
    Ahemmm…..With the exception of the Sharks. Let’s face it, they’re tone deaf to general catching and passing rugby.

  • Whynger

    It comes down to coaching again. Cobus Wiese and Kyle Brink are real No 7’s. The Stormers play their best No 5 at No 7, at the national coach’s behest. So their best No 7 has to help out at lock. Stupid verby. Brink, unfortunately, seems to be part of the permanently walking wounded. Real pity. At scrumhalf we have potential, but it will only be realised when our coaches stop picking players on their potential as box kickers and look for someone who has the ability to give his flyhalf time and space.

    Yes, we did remarkably well against the NZ sides, to a point, but even when we did reasonably well, we played incredibly stupid rugby. If the other side has better running, catching and passing skill than you, don’t gift them the ball through badly directed box kicks, just because your national coach has a fetish for that.

    • John Comyn

      Jaco Coetzee is looking like the real deal. He’s primarily a 8 but has also been outstanding at 6 but I think will be even better at 7. He’s a carries well and does not miss tackles. Great player in the making.

      • Whynger

        Coetzee is a six. In SA terms, he is too short for an eight or a seven. Good player. Only plays eight because the current Springbok 6 and 7 occupy those spots for the Stormers (I will not comment again on whether either belong in the side in those positions). Like Marcel Coetzee did, he should work at fetching. That is the only way in.

  • Nick

    Whynger, I was going to name Brink, and then I remembered how average he was this weekend. Maybe he needs time to get back in the swing after injury. But as you say, him and Wiese are genuine 7’S.

    • Whynger

      Brink was close to devastating at the end of last season. He just needs game time. This is probably not his season. Let’s hope he has a long off season (no Japan or Europe) to recover for next year.

  • Nick

    Burger Oodendaal is also looking good recently.

  • Herman

    I beg to differ here a bit Nick. The Aussie Conference as always has been piss poor. The NZ Conference has been below par this year no doubt with three teams in the bottom half of the overall log probably a first for them. Our Conference ( Jags excluded of course ) as usual is a huge dose of the good the bad and the ugly. Gross inconsistency by most of our teams ( some with valid excuses ) which is duly reflected in the four points separating the four teams after 15 matches and reflective of our average to poor coaching.

    Unless you consider draws as a ‘win’ we have not fared that well against NZ teams this year despite their ‘down turn’. The Bulls never beat a single NZ team the Stormers beat the Highlanders and the Sharks beat the pretty woeful Blues. And ahead by a country mile the Lions with 2 Wins, Chiefs and Highlanders. lol.

    In fact the Lions won 7 of their 10 games against overseas teams the Bulls 3, Stormers 4 and Sharks 4. Not bad for a ‘cub’ team in a rebuilding phase if truth be told. Home derbies not quite so rosy but most of those losses were early in the season when at times we had 7+ U21 lighties in the squad. Beat the Bulls this weekend and we will be leading the SA Franchises at the end of the round robin. Oh boy that will upset some.

    As I pointed out in another post we have too many average players in our SR teams and not enough world class players who would prove to be worthy Springboks in the RC and WC.

    Good players coming through and I admit I liked the look of Jaco Coetzee. But it will take time for them to mature and next year looks like it’s heading for a free for all. Big changes ahead but coaching remains an ongoing nightmare and must be resolved once and for all. Cheers.

  • Barry

    I think we need to be a little clearer on the issue of the Sharks. They primarily have a good squad with good depth and they have managed to hang onto their players (or most of them) for a three year cycle. They should be in the pound seats.

    The problem is that they have not done the same with the coaching staff and have managed to shed the good ones and keep the cr..p. All of this with RdP at the center of the controversy.

    It started with Ryan Strudwich being unseated, at a time when their scrum was really working well. He was replaced by Pienaar, a mate of RdP, who is basically a college coach. The scrum has not worked properly since.

    In 2018 Dick Muir was brought in to sort out their attack, he managed to blood six Springboks in that time and Sharks backline did well – remembering in 2018 they hardly had any first phase ball because they were busy retreading Thom Du Toit. The Sharks try tally is 24% down on last year – same players!! This surely demonstrates that it is a coaching issue not player related!

    Of course Du Preez did not get on with Muir (he probably felt threatened) so exit Muir with 25 years of IP and enter Easter with two years of IP and what do you know, no attacking game this year!

    If the Sharks begged Muir to return held onto Ricardo and Braam they would be a far better team than they are at present

  • Chris Mouton

    I can’t disagree with you there, mate.

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