Avatar photo

By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Sharks coach John Plumtree far from getting sacked

Any other coach’s head would have been called for if they had had the results that Plumtree has produced.

So, will the Sharks management lose their patience and let go of the team’s coach, John Plumtree? Probably not.

Despite results not going his way and the Sharks probably going through one of their toughest periods in the professional era, Plumtree enjoys the support of the Sharks management as he is central to their rebuild project.

On Saturday, the team suffered their ninth loss in 10 United Rugby Championship games in front of 30,000 fans in Durban as they were defeated by the Stormers 25-21.

Galacticos mission gone wrong

The side from Durban are at the bottom of the points table, and on paper, the Sharks, who were building towards an era of being rugby’s galacticos, are not a bottom of the table side.

Any other coach’s head would have been called for if they had had the results that Plumtree has produced, but he has the grace of being a favourite in Durban.

Plumtree has admitted that the troubles they are experiencing have been because of him arriving with new coaching staff who are getting to know the players and introducing a new playing style, which takes years in rugby.

Can’t judge on season results

Judging him on this season’s results would be unfair as he found players in Durban, so he needs to be given a chance to influence recruitment and build depth to lessen the dependency on the Springboks. Plumtree needs to be given time to build the team to his liking.

This is one of the reasons why the front office management will not sack him this season.

But, the management’s patience with Plumtree does not mean the house is in order.

From the outside, it does not look pretty; the team are not playing as a cohesive unit, and there’s been little to no rotation. It seems as if the coaching staff have found it hard to put their trust in the fringe players.

Those inside are said to believe in what Plumtree is doing in terms of establishing a new culture, as they all have bought into his vision.

Rugby though is a results based business, and Plumtree is not getting them at the moment. He’ll survive this season, but make no mistake he will be under extreme pressure to deliver next season.

Read more on these topics

Sharks rugby team United Rugby Championship