Frustrated Plumtree speaks out

Sat, 04 Aug 2012 14:18
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Sharks coach John Plumtree voiced his disappointment and frustration following his team’s 37-6 loss to the Chiefs in Saturday’s Super Rugby Final.

Sharks coach John Plumtree voiced his disappointment and frustration following his team’s 37-6 loss to the Chiefs in Saturday’s Super Rugby Final.

Plumtree, who in the lead-up to the final said the preceding two weeks were the most memorable of his coaching career, felt the Chiefs got away with underhanded and "illegal" tactics that allowed them to disrupt the Sharks and halt their driving mauls.

"I was a little bit frustrated with some of the off-the-ball stuff, holding defenders and some of the tactics at lineouts were illegal - they were offside all the time so we couldn't get our drives going. We were disappointed it wasn't handled better," Plumtree said.

New Zealand referee Steve Welsh, incidentally, also took charge of the 2007 Super 14 final, the last time the Sharks reached the decider, and missed a clear ruck infringement that led to Bryan Habana scoring a late match-winning try for the visiting Bulls in Durban.

Plumtree was also perplexed by the competition’s Conference system and play-offs schedule that saw his side traverse over 40 000km during the Super Rugby Finals Series despite having accumulated more log points than the Australian Conference-winning Reds.

"They need to look at it, that's probably what the frustration for everyone is,” said Plumtree, adding that a week break between the semi-finals and final would make for a more competitive final.

"Whether you can buy another week (of rest) with the format they've got, with internationals coming up now, I doubt. It would have done us a favour if they did," he said.

Plumtree conceded that travelling played a role in the outcome of the match but admitted it wasn’t the decisive factor. He said his side ultimately let themselves down and praised the Chiefs for their endeavour.

"It would be naive to say the travel didn't take some sort of toll but we were expecting more from ourselves and the Chiefs played very well," he concluded.

By Quintin van Jaarsveld
 

 

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Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
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Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
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Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9