South Africa

Plumtree wants ‘maximum effort’ from Sharks against Munster

Sharks Plumtree 3 1

“We are going to make mistakes but I don’t want the players to become predictable.”

Sharks mentor John Plumtree is expecting maximum effort from his troops when they take on Munster in Limerick in their opening match of the United Rugby Championship on Saturday (6.15pm).

The Durban franchise will kick start their campaign with a four-week tour of Europe with their first game being a date against the defending URC champions. The match will put to test the work that Plumtree, along his backroom staff, has done in the off-season.

‘Maximum effort’

Plumtree, who is back at the Sharks as coach for the second time, knows that the team won’t hit the ground running against Munster but wants them to give it their all in attack and defence.

“I just expect maximum effort. We have talked about the team we want to become and we are going to make mistakes,” Plumtree told the media on Friday.

“I spoke about us being more ambitious with the ball, we have worked hard around our attack, Dave (Williams, attack coach) has done a great job there, so we feel like we have some really nice structure, we have worked hard on that, hopefully, you’ll see what we are trying to do.

“Within that structure, you need to have quality skill sets, that’s where we are growing. We are going to make mistakes but I don’t want the players to become predictable.

“I think if we are going to grow as a team and be better over the years, we have got to become a side that’s an attacking threat. We are on that journey.

“I expect us to work hard for 80 minutes, it doesn’t matter what the scoreline is. I expect everyone to work hard off the ball to make sure Curwin’s (Bosch) got options, from an attack and defence perspective.

“Joey (Mongalo, defence coach) has done a good job on the defensive space. We will slip off tackles but how we back each other up, how we work and scramble, that will define the team spirit we are trying to create,” he said.

International players

Like his predecessors, Plumtree is faced with the conundrum of not having his internationals at his disposal at key times during of the season. The Sharks have seven players on duty for the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup in France, with four of them in Bongi Mbonambi, Eben Etzebeth, Ox Nche, and Vincent Koch all playing in the semi-final against England on Saturday night.

Sharks team: Boeta Chamberlain, Werner Kok, Murray Koster, Francois Venter (capt), Marnus Potgieter, Curwin Bosch, Cameron Wright, George Cronje, Phepsi Buthelezi, James Venter, Reniel Hugo, Emile van Heerden, Coenie Oosthuizen, Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu. Bench: Dan Jooste, Dian Bleuler, Hanro Jacobs, Vincent Tshituka, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Zee Mkhabela, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Aphelele Fassi.