for quality writing

Ken Borland

All is not well in The Shark Tank

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

All is not well in The Shark Tank down in Durban, with the sudden sacking of head coach Sean Everitt, as inevitable as it was, highlighting the pressures that come with having major outside investors.

Everitt is a coach who has grown up in Sharks rugby and they were a final-minute drop goal away from contesting the semi-finals of the United Rugby Championship last season.

But as soon as former Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell was brought in as director of rugby, it became inevitable that one of them would have to go, and the man with the lesser profile, but the greater institutional knowledge, was always going to be the most vulnerable.

Especially since the Board has shown they have an infatuation with big names, which does not always work when one is trying to put together a winning rugby team. So many of those Springbok stars have only been able to play in patches for the Sharks. It is often, as the Stormers and Bulls have shown, what lies in reserve that determines whether the trophy sits in your cabinet at the end of the season.

Powell was initially signed as the defence coach, but when he was suddenly, and without much clarity, elevated to the position of Director of Rugby, Everitt would have known he was in trouble. The talk in Durban is that it was at the insistence of the American investors.

For those with short memories, Everitt had taken the Sharks to the top of the Super Rugby log, after their overseas tour, when Covid struck in 2020. The lucrative equity deal was signed during the pandemic and the culture and vibrant counter-attacking style that Everitt had been building (similar to John Dobson’s success at the Stormers) began to change.

But before Powell’s arrival, the Sharks had given Leinster a memorable battle in Dublin and then produced an outstanding home win over Glasgow Warriors that lifted them to fourth on the log.

Powell then became the face of the team, in charge of selection and apparently very hands-on in terms of coaching.

The Sharks were then flat in going down to the Bulls in Pretoria, followed by last weekend’s traumatic performance against Cardiff, the worst at Kings Park in a very long time and the first time in 50 years the KZN team have not scored a point at home.

One wonders whether Everitt is, in fact, the right scapegoat?

Leave a Reply

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.

↑ Top