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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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
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Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
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 11 6 0 5 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
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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
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Team P W D L Pts
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Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
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Kings 12 2 0 10 9