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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19