“We’re Still Not Where We Want To Be” – John Plumtree


The Hollywoodbets Sharks go into round seven of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship full of confidence and morale following their 69-14 victory over the Dragons at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Saturday.

“We were more clinical in parts of our game and finished some of the opportunities we created and that provided scoreboard pressure. From that, we saw the confidence grow and it was good to see the boys enjoying their rugby out there,” head coach John Plumtree said after the game.

It’s been a tough campaign so far, with a couple of narrow losses that could so easily have gone the other way. This time around there was no doubt who deserved the win more.

The victory was outstanding and for that, the role of the returning Springboks cannot be understated.

Plumtree admitted that they expected that it would not be easy to come back from a high such as winning the Rugby World Cup and still perform as well as they did.

“They were all great, some hadn’t played for quite a while, so they were a bit rusty and a bit nervous, but the time they had out there will be good for the Bulls game.

“They were all great during the week as well, they provide that confidence to the rest of the group. Coming back into a new coaching set-up meant it was also a big week for them, hopefully they enjoyed it as well, it’s good to have them back.”

There’s been steady progress over the course of the tournament, but in this game, there was a huge leap forward.

“I think that’s down to five or six class players who came in,” the coach pointed out. “But you can’t underestimate how much the other players have improved as well.

“If you look at the two young locks, the loose forwards who were outstanding, everyone has been working really hard but we just haven’t had any reward for it.”

Plumtree admitted that scoring 10 tries in the game was particularly satisfying. There’s been no secret made of the team’s ambition to play exciting, running rugby and the result and the way they went about it certainly shows that they’re on the right track.

“I’m so happy for [Attack Coach] Dave Williams and the rest of the coaching team, they’ve worked really hard and for us to be able to score some of those tries against a pretty tough Welsh side with a good coaching unit, that was was pleasing.

“It was a case of wearing them down. We had a bit of luck just before half-time with that try that gave us good advantage going into the break, and then it was a case of us putting pressure on them in the second half.”

Although not a warning to other sides, the Hollywoodbets Sharks coach made a powerful statement about this team – after scoring 69 points in one game.

“We’re still not where we want to be, we’re not as clinical as we could be, especially in our own 22. So there’s still plenty to work on.”