Plumtree having sleepless nights

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 16:29
Large johnplumtreeccpresser Large keegandanielccpresser Large tendaimtawarira

Sharks coach John Plumtree’s healthy selection dilemma is causing him sleepless nights ahead of the weekend’s Currie Cup play-offs.

Sharks coach John Plumtree’s healthy selection dilemma is causing him sleepless nights ahead of the weekend’s Currie Cup play-offs.

"It hasn't been easy, there's been a little bit of walking around in the middle of the night," Plumtree said at a press conference on Tuesday on deciding whether or not to play his returning Springboks in Saturday’s semifinal against the Blue Bulls at Kings Park.

"But I've been in this situation so many times before.

"It's about finding a balancing act between breaking up the rhythm you already have and bringing great players back into your side, which the Springboks are.

"We've seen it work before and we've also seen it fail. So we just have to make sure we pick the 22, which will do the job on the day."

Plumtree, in contrast to opposing coaches Pine Pienaar (Blue Bulls) and Allister Coetzee (Western Province), resisted the temptation to stack the deck with returning national stars in the team’s final regular season match against Griquas in Durban last weekend.

Fielding only flyhalf Pat Lambie and flank Marcell Coetzee, the Sharks romped to a 42-3 bonus point win over the semifinal hopefuls to secure a home semi and possible home Final next week.

"Generally, from my experience, when the Boks have been successful, they've struggled to come back and play Currie Cup rugby," Plumtree explained.

"I'm not saying it's a generic thing, but it's from my experience."

Lock Steven Sykes (calf), wing Odwa Ndungane (leg) and flank Jacques Botes (back) are the only injury concerns for the Durban side, who in recent years have re-established Kings Park as a fortress, having suffered just a solitary defeat on home soil in the past three seasons.

Plumtree, however, said their home record counts for little.

"It's all in the past, we will lose a game here soon, probably," he said.

"Hopefully it won't be this weekend or this year.

"There's so much to look forward to after 11 weeks of hard work. We just want to go for two more weeks.

"We know what we're up against, a very hungry Bulls side.

"They'll be looking to prove a point after a tough year.

"There's four teams now that can finish the season on a high and that's what they will all be talking about.”

The Sharks coach dismissed the much-anticipated positional battle between Lambie Springbok veteran Morne Steyn as media hype.

"I haven't given it too much thought," he said.

"It's all media talk. Pattie did a good job for us last week and hopefully he'll do a good job for us this week."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26