RE: Has the backline plague now been passed to the Sharks?
March 27, 2013, 08:06:16
I was initially thinking that the Shark backline was starved of ball and not producing anything of substance because of it. I think what happened in the match on Saturday was freakish and at the same time problematic.
The forwards were so dominating that from the word go the tune seems to have been to pass the ball back to the forwards. It happened virtually from the start. Lambie's first pass was forward to Botha. This continued virtually throughout the game and since the Forwards was so dominating a number of loosies were constantly standing around in the backline.
In essence that meant that a player like Jordaan got the ball thre times during the whole course of the match and the wings in fact never got the ball from a full backline move. Insofar as the forwwards standing around in the backline are concerned - they seems to have white line fever and crashballed - never passing the ball to other players.
As I said the situation was freakish and is unlikely to happen in future games. The one real backline move was leading up to Ludick's first try. That was fluent and effective - with the defenders concentrating on Jordaan and leaving a gap for Ludick to run through.
Talking of Lambie - he had the worst game on Saturday he had thus far this year. He kicked too many times and his apossing game was erratic as well. In essence he had a poor game - and that is also likely to change back to his standrad game.
Despite all the negative comments - Bosman did well in distributing the ball. He got the ball 10 times and passed the ball 6 times - making a run with the ball four times. However - he did create some space for players - but also created some space for players to run into. He was not a negative in the backline as Saffex says - but he also did not pass the ball wider out - preferring to use the method that worked on the day, nsmely passes back to the forwards.. Only one of his six passes went to Jordaan so as to make distirbution and ball usage possible. Jordaan got three balls passed to him on Saturday - two of which were flat passes by Lambie. He made some progress in all three cases - two of whiich ended up in penaltiess for the Sharks.
If the forwards are forced to play a tighter game - as is likely with the Crusaders and the Stormers - the situation is bound to change and we are likely to see proper and better ball distribution .I think after the Steyn saga there was already some improvement noticeable on Saturday with Bosman creating space for other runners to run into on two occassions - so that in itself was a good sign. Incidentally the two occassions I referred to would never happen if Steyn was at 12 - he would have crashballed in both cases - hence my comment.
I think the backline should be given more chances and hope that things will turn for the better in future.