Sharks win revives old flyhalf debate

2010-05-11 00:00

THE excellent weekend Super 14 win over the Stormers, and the form shown by halfbacks Rory Kockott and Ruan Pienaar, has revived the old Sharks’ flyhalf debate.

Head coach John Plumtree switched Pienaar to flyhalf on Saturday night to provide the competitive Kockott with a rare start at scrumhalf and the pair excelled, bringing energy and enthusiasm to the Sharks’ backplay.

They were, of course, playing off the most solid of platforms and behind a superb pack, which bullied the Stormers in most areas and created space for the backs. This allowed Kockott, in particular, to snipe dangerously around the fringes and keep his side going forward.

The halves, linking well with the loose forwards, also created a host of openings for the outside backs.

Again, however, the Sharks’ lack of finishing power cost them. Handling errors and poor decisions cost them tries on four occasions.

After the victory, Plumtree was again back defending his decision to select Pienaar at scrumhalf for most of the season.

“The halves went very hard against the Stormers and Rory at nine [scrumhalf] really stressed them. But it must also be remembered that we have also won a string of our recent games with Andy Goode at flyhalf.”

The Sharks coach said that with Kockott at scrumhalf “you got good and bad, but Pienaar is a really class act at nine.

“Rory was very good against the Stormers, but he does not always take the right options.”

Bok coach Peter de Villiers is not alone in believing that Pienaar should play all his rugby at flyhalf, but Plumtree does not agree.

“Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but I believe Ruan is a better scrumhalf than flyhalf. And the important thing is that Ruan himself believes that,” he said.

Plumtree said that job satisfaction and the player’s happiness remained a major consideration and it had been a case of rebuilding Pienaar’s confidence this year.

“I think playing him at scrumhalf again in this Super 14 has allowed him to settle and relax. You can see that he is now excited about the game again and enjoying himself. The confidence is back and it showed even when he went to flyhalf.”

Plumtree said that burly loose forward Willem Alberts, who left the field after 30 minutes on Saturday night with a knee injury, would be sidelined for about three weeks, and was the only injury concern ahead of Friday night’s final round game against the Western Force at King’s Park.

Alberts, along with Jean Deysel, has brought a strong physical presence to the Sharks back row, but Plumtree has excellent backup in Jacques Botes and Keegan Daniel.

Friday’s game kicks off at 7.10 pm.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.