Time for new tactics

2018-04-17 16:35
Pietermaritzburg-born Joel Stransky believes the Sharks have to find a quick solution to their lack of consistency in Super Rugby.

Pietermaritzburg-born Joel Stransky believes the Sharks have to find a quick solution to their lack of consistency in Super Rugby. (Gallo Images)

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Super Rugby wrap: Week 4 studio analysis

2018-03-12 15:34

Week four of Super Rugby saw South African sides losing ground, with all but the Sharks suffering defeats. Sport24 editor Garrin Lambley and chief writer Rob Houwing review the weekend's results. Watch. WATCH

Former Sharks stars Mark Andrews and Joel Stransky have called on the side’s coaching staff and players to carry out serious introspection following their disappointing start to the Super Rugby season.

The Sharks are halfway through the campaign and find themselves in the wrong half of the log table after five defeats, two wins and a draw in their eight matches to date.

Andrews and Stransky fear that if the situation doesn’t change soon, the Sharks may not make the quarter-finals of the tournament and their loyal fans would be hugely disappointed.

Andrews, who turned out as lock or No. 8 for the Sharks during his heyday, said on Monday he had expected way better from the current crop in Durban.

“My expectations were that they were going to play a lot better and be a lot more consistent this season because of the pack they currently have,” he explained.

“I think they have got a great coaching staff and great leadership under Gary Teichmann as the CEO, they have got good structures in place. They seem to have all the endurance, they have the experience in players such as the Beast [Tendai Mtawarira] and have some great talent coming through the youngsters, especially in the backline.

“So, by all means, the Sharks should be really disappointed by their inconsistency. I mean, how do they lose with dignity to big sides, beat some fairly strong sides and then go down with 40 points at home to the Bulls?

“Even if you go down, go down with respect — at least with a seven-point difference, I didn’t expect them to go down with 40 points.”

He said the main issue at the moment was inconsistent performances by the team, which “the players and the coaches have to ask themselves about”.

Stransky, a famous son of the Maritzburg rugby soil and a former flyhalf, also said there’s a need for Shark coach Robert du Preez and his men to dig deep to find a way out of their troubles.

“What stands out for me is the lack of consistency. They have played very well at times, like when they smoked the Blues and lost to the Hurricanes in a game that they probably should have won, but then to come home and be that poor against the Bulls! To lose by 40 points at home is not on,” said Stransky, who works as a TV commentator.

“I don’t know what the cause of that is, because if you look, there is talent in that team.

“At times they play a great brand of rugby, really wonderful rugby, but you have to be consistent. Right now, they are not.”

The Maritzburg College old boy said the Sharks had a similar problem to their next opponents, the Stormers, and he challenged coach Du Preez to work as smart as he could.

“At times you got to think a little bit differently, think out of the box as a coach. You’ve got to be more proactive and I think at times both those teams are very predictable,” he said.

“Teams that are smart — John Mitchell [Bulls] is undoubtedly one of the smarter coaches around, if not the smartest — are able to analyse well and get their players to deliver, find the way to overcome the teams and find the way to win. From the Sharks’ perspective, it’s really disappointing.”

The Sharks play the Stormers at King’s Park on Saturday at 5.15 pm.

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