Plumtree pleads for patience

Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:12
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Sharks coach John Plumtree has asked the fans to remain patient with his side as they head into a tough four week long overseas tour.

Sharks coach John Plumtree has asked the fans to remain patient with his side as they head into a tough four week long overseas tour.

The Sharks play their first game on tour against defending champions the Chiefs, in a repeat of last year's final, in Hamilton on Saturday.

"As long as we are somewhere close when we get our players back, we’ll still be in it.

"It will come to a stage when we get our players back, but we need to have enough points and if there aren’t enough games to get enough points, we’re going to be in trouble," Plumtree explained.

With the loss to the Cheetahs over the weekend, the Sharks are under some serious pressure to come out of the tour with a chance to make the play-offs.

"It’s tough times ahead for us and I just hope that everyone is patient with us.

"I’m being really patient with the players, there were selection changes this week that perhaps didn’t show that, but even though we weren’t accurate, there was a lot of effort put in and I can’t fault that," the coach added.

It has been said that getting on a plane after a loss is difficult but the Sharks hopped on the plane with two consecutive losses under the belt which must have made it that much more demoralising.

"There has to be a grieving period following the loss to the Cheetahs and we will do that, and then slowly go about picking everyone up, players and management ahead of the weekend’s match," Plumtree mentioned.

The Sharks, by their own standards, have been poor for the majority of the season and if there is a positive, it must be that they are still in the running.

With 15 players out due to injury the Durban side have to hang in there and make sure that they can remain in sight of the others as their players return from an array of different injuries.

Plumtree said: "It was good to have Jean [Deysel] back, he is a big player for us. And it’s nice to have a guy like Derick Minnie on-board as well, he’s a similarly destructive player. Those type of characters you need in New Zealand."

The Sharks face the Chiefs, the Highlanders, the Reds and the Force on their tour and all of the games are going to prove to be difficult because the Reds and Chiefs are top class sides with the Highlanders waiting for that one complete performance and the Force will be difficult to beat at the end of any tour.

"We can’t afford to look at the tour as a whole, we need to get a team selected and target every game on its merits," Plumtree added.

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Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 10
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 3 1 0 2 5
Waratahs 4 1 0 3 4
Rebels 3 0 0 3 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Crusaders 4 4 0 0 16
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Highlanders 4 1 0 3 5
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 3 3 0 0 13
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 9
Bulls 3 1 0 2 5
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 4 3 0 1 14
Lions 4 3 0 1 14
Sharks 4 3 0 1 13
Kings 4 1 0 3 5