Plumtree playing it cool

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 14:12
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Sharks coach John Plumtree is happy with his side’s solid start to the season but is determined that they focus solely on their clash against the Kings.

Sharks coach John Plumtree is happy with his side’s solid start to the season but is determined that they focus solely on their clash against the Southern Kings this weekend.

The Sharks recorded victories over the Cheetahs and Stormers in their first two matches this season, which is in stark contrast to their start last year when they did not win either of their opening two games.

With a positive start under their belts Plumtree is making sure that his side keep their focus purely on the following game.

"If your feet come off the ground and your head is in the clouds, then this competition just bites you.

"We've seen that with us and other teams in the past, so we've just got to regroup and prepare for the next contest," Plumtree said.

The coach has made sure that the side is aware of the mistakes of the past and is hoping that his side have been able to learn from their errors.

Plumtree mentioned: "It's up to the players to understand that they've let themselves down in the past and we've got to respect everyone we come up against, because when you don't, that's when you get hit."

After an epic clash against the Stormers last weekend Plumtree feels that his side is starting to find their feet in the tournament.

"We've had two big games and the boys are feeling battle-hardened," the coach said.

With the upcoming fixture against Super Rugby rookies the Southern Kings, the Sharks will feel that this is the opportunity to open up their attacking game a bit more.

"We're not entirely happy with where we are from an attacking perspective. Obviously our defence is coming on and I'm really happy with our kicking game.

"We're not there yet with attack and we're taking our time in that area, but that will grow and just get better. We'll work really hard on it this week," Plumtree explained.

Last season the Sharks showed some great attacking abilities but were a little bit porous on defence and they will hope that this weekend they will be able to combine both elements of their game.

The Sharks mentor is hoping that his players can remain positive and understand the rigours of the tournament.

"We always feel that pressure to win because you want to win all your games.

"It doesn't really happen in Super Rugby, but we just want to make sure we talk about and maintain our standards," the coach said.

The fixture this weekend will be by no means a walkover for the Sharks with a partisan crowd behind the Kings and point to prove against their former franchise partners.

With that said, the Sharks have tightened up their defence and have arguably the best scrum in the country which means it could be a difficult 80 minutes for the hosts.

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Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
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Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
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Sun, 29 May 2016
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4