How motormouth motivated Sharks

Sun, 30 Mar 2014 14:53
Large sharks v waratahs2

Michael Cheika's propensity for pre-match outbursts is what motivated the Sharks in Durban at the weekend.

Michael Cheika's propensity for pre-match outbursts is what motivated the Sharks in Durban at the weekend.

In a spiteful match - which saw Waratahs captain Dave Dennis yellow carded for a childish shove on Sharks counterpart Bismarck du Plessis - it was the home team that came out on top in a lopsided 32-10 scoreline.

As it is, the Tahs' scoreline was given a touch of respectability with a 78th-minute Bernard Foley try - that after their only other points came in the fourth minute.

In between the Sharks dominated on the scoreboard and also strangled the visitors in a game that at times threatened to boil over.

Late in the first half Sharks captain Bismark du Plessis was clearly heard asking New Zealand referee Mike Fraser to stop the ongoing foul play.

"Every time pulling, punching in the scrums - we're not going to take it anymore," the burly Bok hooker, Du Plessis, told the Kiwi match official.

Fraser responded by asking the Sharks captain not to react to it, to which the hooker replied: "No we're not going to react to it, but you can't keep punching, punching, punching."

Fraser told him: "I agree."

And inside the first 10 minutes of the second half the referee reacted by issuing a yellow card to Dennis, when the Waratahs captain, without provocation, pushed Du Plessis right in front of him.

And in the post-match wash-up it emerged the Sharks had prepared by using Cheika's pre-match statements as motivation.

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White labelled the win - which cemented the side's spot at the top of the Super Rugby ladder - a "huge result" and thanked Cheika for handing him the ammunition.

"We had to front up, they are very abrasive, they've got big, strong ball-runners, they bashed the Reds, so we knew we would have to front up," he told a post-match media briefing.

"There had been a lot of talk in the media about [going] toe to toe and intensity and aggression, so I suppose I must thank Mike [Cheika] for making my team talk easier, I just put it all on the [message] board [in the team room]."

When Cheika's assessment that the match had been close was put to White, he retorted: "Whatever Michael Cheika says, we believe, don't we."

Cheika suggested the game, despite the scoreline, was "tight", tilted only by a massively lopsided penalty count.

"It was only two tries to one in the end, it was not like we were chasing tries everywhere," he said.

"It was a tight game in many aspects and we finally got a try in the end."

White also dredged up the infamous broken door incident from the Brumbies-Waratahs game three weeks ago.

Cheika shattered the pane of glass in the Canberra Stadium facility at the end of the match -  the Tahs' only other defeat this season.

White was asked for his take on the penalty count, which grew to 20-9 against the Waratahs and was questioned by Cheika in his post-match comments.

"I just want to see if our [the Kings Park Stadium] coaches box is still alright, because I have to get [Chief Executive John Smit] to get some insurance for it," White quipped.

"Hopefully it's not too damaged."

Sources: SAPA & Sydney Morning Herald

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 May 2016
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
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
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Connacht v Leinster 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
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 12 9 0 3 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
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