robdylan

Options in the pack


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 11 Mar 2008 at 06:30

The imminent arrival of flank-cum-centre Epi Taione from Japan, as well as the return from injury of tight forwards Deon Carstens, Pat Cilliers and Steven Sykes leaves the Sharks brains trust with some vexing selection decisions looking ahead to the upcoming Antipodean tour.

Sykes made his return last week from an off-season shoulder operation, coming off the bench to put in a solid half-hour caemo in the second row. Carstens came through well for the Wildebeest and will certainly look to move into the Sharks 22 this weekend, while Cilliers is still a few weeks away from fitness. The enigmatic Taione should make his way to Durban early next week and should come into the selection frame for the March 29 fixture against the Reds.

Carstens and Cilliers join a pool of props that have already performed superbly in this year’s competition. BJ Botha, Beast Mtawarira and Jannie du Plessis have all been towers of strength both in the tight and the loose, with the latter in particular displaying impressive form out of position at loose head over the last fortnight. Kees Lensing can’t get a look in, his work rate deemed not high enough. Carstens will walk into the squad as he was the first choice loose head last year. One feels that Cilliers (at only 21) is probably the man who will miss out on a tour spot, although the injury cloud over BJ Botha may well have a silver lining for the young Michaelhouse old-boy. If Botha is passed fit to tour, then Cilliers MUST be drafted to another province (perhaps the Stormers) to get some Super 14 gametime as he is far too good to languish in the Vodacom Cup this year.

The situation at loose forward is far less clear-cut. Daniel, Botes and Kankowski were utterly sublime against the Blues and as we predicted, other sides will find it hard to compete with the sheer pace and skill that this combination offers, particularly under the new laws. What the implication of this will be for veteran AJ Venter is not clear at this point, although he may well come to rue his enforced rest against the Blues. Venter comes back into the selection frame this weekend, but I for one would be very surprised to see him preferred at flank over either of Daniel or Botes.

Venter would appear destined for a move into the second row, as the retirement of Johan Ackermann has opened up a ready-made hole next to the skipper. Problem is, Sykes has been earmarked for this position for some time, meaning that one of these two is going to find themselves left out of the 22 completely, as neither offers the same dynamic as an impact player as old man Al van den Berg. Muir and Plumtree will need to use a fair amount of diplomacy here; Venter is a stalwart looking for a final hurrah, whereas Sykes represents the future. Neither will be happy to sit on the sidelines, but they need to consider the long-term future of the franchise and give the young gun the opportunities that he has waited for patiently over three seasons.

The emergence of Jean Deysel as a quality option at 7, coupled with the fact that Taione was procured primarily as a loose forward, doesn’t make the selection of a matchday 22 any easier. Assuming that Sykes, Muller, Daniel, Botes and Kankowski start, that leaves only 4 positions on the bench for van den Berg, Venter, Tainoe and Deysel to occupy. This assumes a 5-2 split, of course and that only three props will make the squad.

Don’t be too surprised to see the Tongan monster utilised on the wing as the season progresses, as this looks to be, quite frankly, the only place where we might actually need him!



93 Comments

  • what a nice problem to have. remember, we have a tour from hell, checked it out yesterday again. 5 weeks on the road, go to and return from nz, no bye directly before and after the road trip.

    this is gonna require good management. see dick wants to rest some guys this weekend, will effectively be 2 weeks rest as we have a bye easter weekend, at this stage it is a good idea.

    perhaps muller should also get a rest. i think he is performing brilliantly as captain and player, we are gonna need him at the business end of the compo.

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.03.08 06:49:32 by knersboy Reply
    knersboyVodacom Cup player
     
  • Resting key players is good as long as we don’t do a griquas again. we have to come away with minimum 4 points this weekend, 5 would be nice.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.03.08 06:55:14 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • agreed KSA, but i reckon we have the depth to rest okes without losing quality. we also don’t want a situation where key players get injured and their replacements have had no game time.

    I can’t wait for ruan to come back, kockott is good but he is no ruan.

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.03.08 07:34:11 by knersboy Reply
    knersboyVodacom Cup player
     
  • Give them all a game in the VC first then decide…

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.03.08 07:36:09 by bryce_in_oz Reply
    bryce_in_ozCurrie Cup player
     
  • When is AJ back?

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.03.08 07:36:52 by bryce_in_oz Reply
    bryce_in_ozCurrie Cup player
     
  • AJ retired… :shock:

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.03.08 07:38:44 by Charlie Reply
    CharlieSuper Rugby player
     
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.03.08 07:39:14 by Charlie Reply
    CharlieSuper Rugby player
     
  • Charlie

    Adi Jacobs retired???? :shock: :wink:

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.03.08 08:04:12 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Bryce i read somewhere both he and Ruan were back in training already.

    will try and find the info.

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.03.08 08:04:51 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • KSA,

    Jip, for 65min of the game as usual… :wink:

    He just needs that much of gametime to do more then most players do in a full 80 min… IMO :roll:

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.03.08 08:07:17 by Charlie Reply
    CharlieSuper Rugby player
     
  • Maybe I was dreaming, can’t seem to find anything on it now.

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.03.08 08:14:10 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • AJ and Ruan are back in training. I also saw the article, but I also can’t find it now… how weird!

    By the way, anything less than 5 points against the Lions just won’t do

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.03.08 08:46:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • Further good news for Sharks coach Dick Muir is that Springboks Ruan Pienaar and AJ Venter will be back in the mix this weekend after being sidelined by injury while Bok prop Deon Carstens played for the Wildebeest on Saturday after an extended injury break and, like lock Steven Sykes, now needs only to work on his match fitness.

    From an article on 24.com.

    From the same article

    Team doctor Craig Roberts said last night that the Sharks had suffered only slight cuts and bruises in downing the previously unbeaten Blues 22-17. “We were concerned about the fitness of prop BJ Botha (shoulder) on Saturday night but the injury is not as serious as we first thought and he will be assessed during the week.”

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.03.08 08:50:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • you blood-hound you :wink:

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.03.08 08:52:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Mmmmm. Just like those penguins.

    Now you see ‘em, now you don’t!

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.03.08 09:00:33 by Dawn Reply

    DawnUnder 19 player
     
  • Them penguins – I think its something to do with the Illuminati and Opus Dei.

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.03.08 09:05:28 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Penguins?

    Where?

    I can’t see any.

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.03.08 09:06:21 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • someone’s been reading the VinChainSaw Code… ;)

    The same article mentions that Pat Cilliers will be playing within 2 weeks, by the way

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.03.08 09:13:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • talk about embarrassing riches!

    I’d like to see AJ at lock alongside Muller, Sykes coming on from the bench at 1/2time… Albert’s played a lot more than his usual 20 minutes lately, he could have a break

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.03.08 09:53:56 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • talk about options.

    I see Keo has posted the cheetahs side for this weekend against the Crusaders. And with the Cheetahs site only just running an article from the day after the Lions match, we could expect them to issue this side sometime on Sunday morning i think.

    eight changes made.

    Cheetahs – Hennie Daniller; Eddie Fredericks, JW Jonker, Hendrik Meyer, Jongi Nokwe, Conrad Barnard, Tewis de Bruyn, Kabamba Floors, Darron Nell, Hendro Scholtz (c), David de Villiers, Flip van der Merwe, Kobus Calldo, Richardt Strauss, Ronnie Uys.
    Subs: TBC

    That is actually not a bad side. I would almost sday it looks better than the previous one.

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.03.08 10:00:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • good morning everyone

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.03.08 10:13:08 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • sorry spyker i cant agree

    albert is the best lineout jumper we have and his play in the loose is brilliant
    specially defence

    muller our best alround lock

    id bench aj

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.03.08 10:15:15 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • now cilliers still gonna make big name for himself

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.03.08 10:16:10 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • KSA, I can’t figure out that Cheetahs site. Went there a coupla weeks back to find their match report, but by Wednesday, there was none from the previous weekend. I suppose when you lose, the old “No news is good news” applies in Bloem!

    Site is fairly creatively good, but content-wise it is exceptionally poor.

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.03.08 10:19:16 by hellbent Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • SL

    I’d use AJ as the Starting partner for Muller. and then in the second half bring Albert on as required either at loosie or Lock.

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.03.08 10:20:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • RD, how’s that them poland?

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.03.08 10:20:47 by hellbent Reply

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  • ksa that i can live with i was referring to spyker suggesting they drop albert

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.03.08 10:24:01 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • you can still do the same with aj from the bench he can cover lock and loosie

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.03.08 10:24:33 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • HB

    They have now combined both their URL’s to direct to a single site, so at least they have got that sorted now.

    The only problem I have now is they have ZERO English content now (other than their menus).

    It also seems as if their content is all from the local paper Volksblad and no exclusive articles as a Franchise website should have.

    I was about to start translating the article that says Drotske rubbishes the claims that his side is not fit only to dicover that it may have been posted yesterday but was in fact refering to quotes by Eloff and Drotske from the Lions match. :evil:

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.03.08 10:24:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • either way ur not losing a good player

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.03.08 10:25:06 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Hi sharks_lover

    Albert’s great, AJ too, luv ‘em both, i dont really mind who comes off the bench… looking forward to seeing Sykes back again too.

    bye the way, how’d you like our new lineout jumper Keegan, he he

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.03.08 10:25:41 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • lol spyker i agree
    all i know is the sharks depth is getting better and better

  • Comment 32, posted at 11.03.08 10:26:56 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • I don’t think AJ will be nearly as effective as a sub. He just doesn’t have that speed that Albert has.

    IMO using AJ as a sub would be reverting back to the old system where the subs were they guys who were not good enough to make the Starting XV. In todays game the subs are in some cases better than the starters but have a different duty to fullfil.

  • Comment 33, posted at 11.03.08 10:27:26 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • i just hane a problem with one position and thats hooker

    i dread whenever bismark goes down or is replaced

  • Comment 34, posted at 11.03.08 10:27:52 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • good morning rob you awake??

  • Comment 35, posted at 11.03.08 10:28:59 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • maak die sharks almal bokke se ek

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.03.08 10:29:21 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • :lol:

    With Daniel Jumping in the lineout you need three throwers and three catchers

    1 to throw the ball
    2 to throw Daniel
    Daniel to catch the ball
    2 to catch Daniel on the way back down.

  • Comment 37, posted at 11.03.08 10:30:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • and if the players in the wildebeest team can find their form man sharks gonna be unstoppable

  • Comment 38, posted at 11.03.08 10:30:05 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • I’m here… actually working for a change.

    Poland is nice… a bit dull, though.

  • Comment 39, posted at 11.03.08 10:35:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • KSA
    good point about AJ and subs… and the three throwers :roll:

  • Comment 40, posted at 11.03.08 10:39:26 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • rob how come i cant see the emoticons??

  • Comment 41, posted at 11.03.08 10:39:47 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • s_l… I reckon you have a javascript problem, dude… can you make sure your javascript is turned on?

  • Comment 42, posted at 11.03.08 10:41:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • ican see them by others comments

    but its not showing for me to click on as it was before

  • Comment 43, posted at 11.03.08 10:41:14 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • SL

    can you see the penguin?

  • Comment 44, posted at 11.03.08 10:41:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Rob

    MSN?

  • Comment 45, posted at 11.03.08 10:42:21 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • rob cant me mate i am on yahoo
    it uses jave
    and i have 2 versions of java

    sun java and also microsft vm

  • Comment 46, posted at 11.03.08 10:42:45 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • nope ksa

  • Comment 47, posted at 11.03.08 10:44:13 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • strange though as i always used to see it

    then suddenly not

  • Comment 48, posted at 11.03.08 10:46:03 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Rob, that’s the whole point behind earning a salary :-)

  • Comment 49, posted at 11.03.08 10:46:40 by hellbent Reply

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  • I will look into this tonight, guys…

  • Comment 50, posted at 11.03.08 10:47:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • ty rob

  • Comment 51, posted at 11.03.08 10:47:53 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • nope ksa

    11.03.08 10:44:13 – sharks_lover Edit

    :shock:

    I think my bait just hit me in the face. :shock:

  • Comment 52, posted at 11.03.08 10:49:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • lol
    :lol:

  • Comment 53, posted at 11.03.08 10:53:35 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • i have spybot and adware on my system i wonder if that might be the problem

  • Comment 54, posted at 11.03.08 10:54:42 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Howzit s_l…

    There is no doubt that the Sharks have the squad to do it this year, but they need to pickup bonus points…from this weekend :!: The Blues and Saders have 4 and 3 respectively and the Sharks 1. The top of the table is gonna be jammed and bonus points will make all the difference. Max log points for Lions, Reds, Canes and Highlanders games will do just nicely :smile:

  • Comment 55, posted at 11.03.08 11:02:53 by shark-tank Reply

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  • good to see you got your smileys back sl.

    shark supporters are seeming to find it hard to take the lions game seriously, with some good reasons… i hope the team is taking

    good to see you got your smileys back sl.

  • Comment 56, posted at 11.03.08 11:14:04 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • sorry, hope the SHARKS are able to focus

  • Comment 57, posted at 11.03.08 11:15:18 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • hb, what an outdated concept ;)

  • Comment 58, posted at 11.03.08 11:15:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • s_l… try turn your ad-blocker off (if you can)…

  • Comment 59, posted at 11.03.08 11:16:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • didnt get smileys back
    i am just typing in those i can remember lol
    like : mr green )

  • Comment 60, posted at 11.03.08 11:17:21 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • thats also off rob lol
    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 61, posted at 11.03.08 11:18:02 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • ok… so not a simple problem.

    I’ll look at it when I get back to the hotel this evening

  • Comment 62, posted at 11.03.08 11:21:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • ty bro

    hiyas sharks tank ^5
    i agree, infact we should have had one aagainst blues

  • Comment 63, posted at 11.03.08 11:23:08 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • we should have had one agsinst the Blues. That try just after half time scared the shit out of us, though and sucked us into playing their game.

    Very dangerous.

  • Comment 64, posted at 11.03.08 11:43:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • I watch a bit of the Beeste match and think its time for Halgreave to make the next step. His lineout work was tops.

  • Comment 65, posted at 11.03.08 12:25:13 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • PB – you are making the problem worse, not better ;)

    Joe Snyman is another youngster who needs to start showing his worth.

  • Comment 66, posted at 11.03.08 12:34:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • robdylan
    Are you in Warsaw?

  • Comment 67, posted at 11.03.08 12:37:39 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Paarl

    that is a BIG step and besides we have enough cover there at the moment. next season or very soon therafter Aj and Albert will be gone and he will get his step up.

  • Comment 68, posted at 11.03.08 12:37:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • #

    Joe Snyman is another youngster who needs to start showing his worth.
    11.03.08 12:34:22 – robdylan

    Is he by any chance related to Os Snyman? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 69, posted at 11.03.08 12:45:07 by wpw Reply
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  • Seems to me the youngsters cope better with the ELVs (that is supporters and players) Halgreave a hell of a talent and I rate him higher the Albert. Anyway just my thought but watching the Beeste and seeing fatties like Carstens & Lensing playing Vodacom, I got jealous as a Stormer man.

  • Comment 70, posted at 11.03.08 12:52:02 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • salmo – I am indeed.

  • Comment 71, posted at 11.03.08 12:59:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • Paarl – you can HAVE Lensing. I also really mean it… you can BORROW Pat. In fact, BORROW Ali H as well. Just be sure to send them back.

  • Comment 72, posted at 11.03.08 13:00:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • PaarlBok

    Any news on why Rassie didn’t select Shimange and Melck for the Stormers squad?

  • Comment 73, posted at 11.03.08 13:02:00 by wpw Reply
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  • Nah we already have Luke Watson from you lot. :wink: Better watchout we’ll get that farms as a bonus for it. :cool:

  • Comment 74, posted at 11.03.08 13:03:07 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • wpw Jessie no news that I know of. Think the amount of loosies from Maties is just unbelievable and the hooker they flew over (NamBoers school broer), dont know him at all.

    Think Shimange needs gametime. Not sure but the Shimange / Rassie partnership comes from BlikOorland as far as I know.

  • Comment 75, posted at 11.03.08 13:07:15 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • Robd

    You can borrow TGHMEA. He can play on both sides of the front row.

    :roll:

  • Comment 76, posted at 11.03.08 13:07:21 by wpw Reply
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  • Deon Fourie?

    He played well when he came on last week.

    Was involved in Chavangha’s try.

  • Comment 77, posted at 11.03.08 13:08:36 by wpw Reply
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  • Yeah, EA is just as good at loosehead as he is at tighthead ;)

  • Comment 78, posted at 11.03.08 13:11:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • :mrgreen:

  • Comment 79, posted at 11.03.08 13:12:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Ja thats the one Fourie. Look like the youngsters make the step up now big time. Here I try to get Keegan Daniels a place in the sun and just look the way he performed.

    These coaches worried about size :idea: , they’ll rather listen to their Mrsse, size dont matter with the EFLLe!

  • Comment 80, posted at 11.03.08 13:18:07 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • PB – I reckon Keegan Daniel owes you a beer

  • Comment 81, posted at 11.03.08 13:24:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • Shimange needs some game time, he was off for a year.

  • Comment 82, posted at 11.03.08 13:39:29 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • Are the Polish ladies still so alluring.
    I spent some time there when it was’nt at all fashionable to be in an Eastern European country. There were some really good looking women around Poland in those days.

    While in Warsaw try find out about their annual rugby tournament – apparently it ends off with a mass strip off and streak across the fields.

  • Comment 83, posted at 11.03.08 13:45:59 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Sounds good.

    There are lots of fine honeys here – make no mistake. It’s a pretty depressing place otherwise… everything is grey and ugly

  • Comment 84, posted at 11.03.08 13:50:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good afternoon all.

  • Comment 85, posted at 11.03.08 15:44:05 by Nessa Reply

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  • hello Ness… you feeling better?

  • Comment 86, posted at 11.03.08 15:48:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hi RD – getting there thanks. Don’t know when last I have felt so awful. Managed to drag myself out of bed to see who is still out there. Tired of talking to myself.

  • Comment 87, posted at 11.03.08 15:52:20 by Nessa Reply

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  • shame man… is it flu?

  • Comment 88, posted at 11.03.08 16:20:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • Sharks are looking very good, very good indeed and this will be a huge boost.
    HOWEVER, it is my opinion that they might struggle on this tour with two very light flankers and without a no 4. i know its n opinion likely to be shouted down, esp in light of the performance, but i believe the durban humidity played a very big role in that game and continues to do so for all sharks home games.
    on dee udder hand, imo Bismarck Du Plessis is the best hooker in the world, even better than Mealamu.
    the sharks whole front row with replacements is the best in the comp, Carstens is the fittest prop in SA and these ELVs are right up his street.

  • Comment 89, posted at 11.03.08 16:45:04 by cab Reply

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  • Sykes will moer you if you tell him he’s not a number 4, cab ;)

  • Comment 90, posted at 11.03.08 16:51:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • I think my bait just hit me in the face. :shock:
    11.03.08 10:49:45 – KSA Shark ©

    Woowsers! You carrying some big bait!

    You sure you white? :wink:

  • Comment 91, posted at 11.03.08 17:06:33 by Big Fish Reply
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  • hehehe … ja they say he’s good, but i still believe you need that blend of at least 1 or 2 older meneers in the pack to give you the balance for championship material and good results on tour…we shall see.
    must say they did very well to turn it on in last 10 mons of bulls game…but just saying we better prepare ourselves for tour, i dont think it will be as good as last year. The one hugely positive difference this year is Bismarck who has come into his own. I cant recally a better half of rugby from a hooker then last week v the Blues.

  • Comment 92, posted at 11.03.08 17:06:48 by cab Reply

    cabVodacom Cup player
     
  • I agree with you… but BJ, Deon and Johann M are pretty old and hard themselves by now… they’ve got 6-7 seasons each behind them by this stage.

    We still have AJ available to play 4 as well. He’s done well there in the past and he’s bloody tall (1.98). In fact, he’s taller than Ackies.

  • Comment 93, posted at 11.03.08 17:14:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     

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