It’s all about Quality

24 November 2015

Yes, your player quality is vital, but ultimately, what you do to prepare the players for a competition can be the difference between success and failure, and this is a thought paramount in the minds of the coaching staff.

Not only identifying areas that need working on, but having the time to sort any issues out is, quite literally, a massive bonus that faces the Cell C Sharks coaching staff as they spend the next three months plotting, planning and preparing for the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

“It’s a fresh start after a few weeks away, although there was a lot of work done in that time, where a lot of plans have been taking place off the field,” explains Director of Rugby Gary Gold. “So with all the preparation behind the scenes, it is quite literally a new start for us.”

He arrived after much of the 2015 Super Rugby pre-season had already been concluded following the completion of his Japanese commitments, and then again had very little time to prepare for the Absa Currie Cup, but feels that the time he now has is sufficient to ready the team for next year, something that provides a lot of confidence.

“The transition from Super Rugby to Currie Cup was just a short turnaround, but we have just over 100 days now before next year’s Super Rugby competition,” he explains. 

“And I feel I can pull the strings a little bit more now; we can focus on things I believe we need to focus on. People possibly underestimate just how difficult it is to inherit a team, especially because all your weekly preparation is for the game, whereas now, it’s about changing body composition, improving technique in certain areas, and so on.

“I feel we can coach, we can get involved and we can make a difference.”

Much was made of the All Blacks’ recent Rugby World Cup success, and the manner in which it was achieved. Few rugby fans can argue that they embrace high skill levels, and for Gold, worth taking note of.

“I think that from a coaching point of view, we have a responsibility to skills and upliftment of skills and we’ve spoken at length – particularly because we have the time – about developing levels of skills. 

“This covers a wide range of areas, like attention to detail around the breakdown, and the speed and efficiency there – how quickly you recycle the ball. The game is about numbers, mismatches and momentum and the quicker we can recycle the ball, the quicker we can outnumber the opposition. That’s something that the All Blacks are outstanding at and something none of us take cognisance of.

“So that’s the kind of thing we’re going to embrace although I’m not making outlandish statements about how we’re going to play. What we are currently doing is looking at the squad of players we have and adapting our game plan around where I believe our strengths are.  

“The game has moved and there is a responsibility for us to score tries. The days are gone of being able to just defend yourself to a win because there are too many teams out there who will outscore you. Attacks are getting better.” 










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