The Starship Enterprise is a complex beast full of flux capacitors warp drives and doors that open by themselves, much like those you find at most shopping centres these days. When everything is working Captain Kirk has the most advanced, spectacular spaceship Earth has to offer. When something is out of sync however, or too many circuits are blown, or the engineer simply doesn’t have the power, then the ship becomes a bit of a lame duck and has to rely on shields to defend it from the inevitable Klingon attack.
The shields take a beating from phaser blasts and all manner of things, but because of the ships technical issues, the Enterprise and its crew cannot fight back, and must content themselves with defending their ship until such time as a moment of ingenuity or engineering magic saves them from the certain doom they face. Inevitably, the shields lose power and the ship takes some hits. Vital pieces of the ship are damaged and all seems lost. The Klingons are going to blow them to smithereens; Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Sulu, Checkov and McCoy are all that stands between survival and total devastation.
Somehow, between them, they manage to gain respite long enough to mount a counter offensive. Scotty gets the warp drive fixed with a spanner and some chewing gum. Kirk puts the ship into a cloud of something obscure, that just happens to be right where he needs it to be, that the Klingons can’t shoot though. Chekov says something funny and Sulu radios Star Command for backup while McCoy fixes Spock’s injuries so that he can once more contribute to the saved day.
To my mind, the Sharks are currently in the same spot as the under fire Enterprise, the shields are up and they are taking hits from all sides. They’re on the defensive. The ship is damaged, the engine room is on fire, major crew members are down and all that stands between them and certain doom is the ingenuity of its coach, captain and players. On the horizon is a moment of respite, the Starship Sharks have a bye after which they will get some of their key components back, not all of them, but enough, one hopes, to stay the tide of battle and turn things around so that they may survive another day. It gives them an opportunity to assess, to decide their next move in a moment of clarity in amongst the chaos of weekly battle. The flawed captain has a chance at redemption. He can show those that have written him off as a hot-headed man prone to violence that he is more than that, that he can lead men into battle and come out the other end with his honour restored. The under fire director of rugby can show that he has the strategic and leadership capabilities to lead his charges to victory against all the odds. The crew have the opportunity to come together and say, “we will not go quietly, we will go down swinging. We will not simply succumb to this circumstance that would have us sitting in the bottom five. No, we shall stand up! We shall fight! If we lose, we will go down swinging and the rugby world will know, we are the Sharks! Write us off at your peril!”
Or, they won’t… And we’ll be disappointed…