robdylan

The continuity curse


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 6 May 2008 at 10:05
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A lack of continuity in selection at all level in KZN rugby is hurting and the “policy of rotation” needs to be changed now, before any further harm is done.

There are two factors at play here. In a previous article, I outlined why I believe the emphasis on versatility, rather than on specialisation was hurting the Sharks. The second issue, one which really goes hand-in-hand with the first, is that of continuity in selection. Picking the same combinations of players week after week and allowing them to develop an understanding of each other’s play, under a variety of different conditions.

We have spoken at length about how this has affected the senior team and in particular has lead to a dearth of try-scoring opportunities converted by the backs. The guys hardly know what number they have on their own backs, most of the time, much less do they have the luxury of forming a stable partnership with those around them. The curse, though, seems endemic within the province and the same madness prevails week after week at all levels of rugby.

We have just witnessed the Wildebeest, a team full of talented players and Sharks reserves, dumped out of the Vodacom Cup at the quarter-final stage. They were pretty fortunate to get that far, having won only 3 of the 8 matches played. During the course of the campaign, it became routine to announce a side featuring 5 to 7 changes from the side that played the week before. Rotation seemed the order of the day, which is fine if you have a large squad needing match practice, but not such a good idea if you are actually trying to win the competition. On this last point, I must say I battle to actually fathom whether the KZNRU do ever actually try to win the Vodacom Cup, or if they just consider it a waste of time. The latter would seem far more plausible, given the performances to date. The empty trophy cupboard remains, though, unless you count the Provincial Womens’ Competition that we won last year.

More worrying, though, is the number of guys that have been rotated through several different positions within the team. Andries Strauss, Riaan Swanepoel and Tiaan Marx have all been playing merry-go-round for numbers 10, 12 and 13. Scott Spedding is alternated between flyhalf and fullback. Neil de Bruyn plays at either scrum-half or flyhalf depending on the coach’s mood at the time. In the forwards, Nikolai Blignaut has been used everywhere from lock through to all three positions in the loose trio. Justin Downey can’t work out if he’s open-side, blind-side or sunny-side up anymore! About the only position where there has been any continuity is at tighthead prop, where Robbie Harris has started every game.

Looking at the team sheets for the under 19 and under 21 sides last year, much the same sort of pattern emerged. The teams changed markedly from week to week and guys were regularly played out of position.

To my mind, the madness has to stop now. Each player needs to identify his primary position. The union should identify “mentors” for each position, former players who understand the intricacies involved in that position and can work with the players to ensure they have the basics of their position well sown up. John Allen could help the hookers with lineout throwing, while Mark Andrews can teach the locks how to be hard bastards and not get carded. Craig Davidson could work with the scrum halves and Henry Honiballs with the number 10s. For any player to be considered for a secondary position, he needs to spend time with the mentor for that position to ensure that he possesses the basic skills necessary, before he can be selected. This doesn’t need to be a huge exercise either – it could literally be a half-hour one-on-one session where the mentor assesses his readiness to play in the new position.

With this system in place, we can then get to the position where we know who our first, second, third, fourth and even fifth choice player is in each position. It will also give Rudi and his procurement team a far clearer picture in terms of the depth available and where money needs to be spent in terms of bolstering the squad.



121 Comments

  • I think the sharks have a good team, but not a great one.
    The weakenesses are not so much in player selection, but in that they are missing those 1 or 2 senior players that give them that balance.
    The scrum has been fantastic, the best of the SA sides, but its at the breakdown and collisions they are losing out. Bismark is key, but when he is out the tight 5 is light and the backrow is too.

    I always thought Ackerman was the biggest loss to the sharks. What I liked about the sharks was they played a NZ model, a very strong tight 5 (not focusing so much on the lineouts), which allowed them to get away with a lighter more mobile backrow, but i dont think the ELVs have changed the game that much, its still a game of collisions….i think the sharks were beaten badly at the collisions/breakdown by both Brumbies and Tahs.

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.05.08 10:37:16 by cab Reply
    cabVodacom Cup player
     
  • I like the idea of the mentors, especially the names mentioned but would they be willing and available.

    As a respected journalist what are your chances of getting answers from the abovementioned teams coaches on their selection policies.

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.05.08 10:40:31 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • but not by the Crusaders… Would you agree?

    Look, I think there is another aspect here. We should probably have been a little bit more realistic in our planning this season, or at least in our expectations. We now have virtually an entire team aged 23 or under. We probably are going to go backwards a bit before we go forward. But it’s more a case of making sensible decisions now and giving the youngsters the structures they need in order to be successful. Right now we’re just throwing them out there and expecting them to come good.

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.05.08 10:43:33 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Salmo – you are confusing me with a somebody else ;)

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.05.08 10:45:27 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • very much agree with 3 robd, you guys are a passionate bunch of supporterss that demand excellence, but it has not been a bad season at all and you are very much still in the running…bearing in mind the loss of Acerkmann, Smit, Monty, Skinstad, Epi and AJ being a year older…its been a very good season imo…the brumbies 2nd half would be my only regret as a sharks fan, perhaps should’ve nailed that one down especially after the 1st half, but the 2 yellow cards didn’t help.

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.05.08 10:48:40 by cab Reply

    cabVodacom Cup player
     
  • but there is another side of the coin… the youngsters all have a lot of experience already. Frans, Ruan, JP… they all have World Cup Winners’ medals… where is that maturity now? I remember last year, all the talk was about “see how much better the youngsters will be next year, now that they have this extra experience behind them”. They just aren’t taking that next step, collectively.

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.05.08 10:52:56 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Hey rob you can edit the “respected” bit out if you want and replace the “journalist” with “hack” if you want. Arent you really that Harmse guy from Pretoria.

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.05.08 11:05:38 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • dunno hey, kankowski has been brilliant and is the form no 8 in the S14 which is no mean feet considering only 22 or so, his try on saturday was phenomenal. bismarck has stepped up too. I think Muller is an outstanding workhorse at 5, but imo sharks need a 4 to replace Ackers and a 7 to replace AJ. Freddy was a tough one, since one cant help but wondering whether sharks might have been in a better position playing ruan at 10 from the start of the season, but hidnsigght is a perfect science and u cant blame Dick for starting with Michelak who was thought to be one of the most exciting running 10′s in the world.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.05.08 11:20:51 by cab Reply

    cabVodacom Cup player
     
  • Some good issues raised Rob….jack of all trades, master of none – is one of the Sharks problems at the moment.

    I not sure if any systems need to be put in place, I believe it really comes back to a selection issue. The buck stops with the coaches and how and where they select players.

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.05.08 11:22:47 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • rob d where do i get info on backline players middle names?

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.05.08 11:25:16 by classic Reply

    RUGGA BUGGAUnder 19 player
     
  • “…u cant blame Dick for starting with Michelak who was thought to be one of the most exciting running 10’s in the world.”
    Comment 8 of 9, posted at 06.05.08 11:20:51 by cab

    Another Sharks problem relates to the procurement of Mickelak, he was not a good buy for the Sharks. I say this because he unbalanced a team that already had more then enough erratic but brilliant players.

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.05.08 11:29:46 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • Hi ppl. Yesterday I read the following: :evil: :evil:
    Naka: No favours for Sharks2008-5-4 22:02Pieter Jordaan
    Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs are going to Durban to beat the Sharks in their Super 14 rugby match this weekend, says coach Naka Drotské.

    So here is my 2cents worth regarding it; Naka you are an idiot. Keep your favors for the Crusaders to whom you fell down and crawl over before your game even started. The Sharks are going to beat you just like most other teams beat you. Even the Highlanders beet you with only 13 men so we don’t need favors from you. :evil: :evil:

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.05.08 11:33:37 by Reds Reply

    RedsVodacom Cup player
     
  • Never liked this rotation policy bit – even under Jake.

    Yes you do need seniors and somehow that balance is a bit lost at the moment but you definately do not have a lack of it – there are a bunch of seniors in that team.

    I hate how they make or force players to be ‘versatile’ it is a swear word!

    Also, I reckon you underestimate the loss of Campo – look for the common denominator between last year and this year? 3 Senior players (2 backs) and the backline coach…

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.05.08 11:35:50 by MorneN Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • Campo involvement is the Sharks last year was very limited…some work with the back 3.

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.05.08 11:41:04 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • classic – go check out the player profiles on http://www.sharksrugby.co.za. That site is run by a good friend of mine, MICHAEL Marnewick ;)

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.05.08 11:42:08 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Reds – I wrote a pretty scathing article about that yesterday…

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.05.08 12:28:18 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • DP – going back to comment 11, I agree with you 100%. I think I even said so a couple of times on that other site. I don’t think we need a flash gordon type at 10. We need somebody with a good head who can read the game.

    That’s why I’m still pretty keen on seeing Brad at flyhalf.

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.05.08 12:29:48 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • rob still no info on middle names http://www.sharksrugby.co.za only first and surname??

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.05.08 12:30:33 by classic Reply

    RUGGA BUGGAUnder 19 player
     
  • Michael was also a very important angel, if memory serves…

  • Comment 19, posted at 06.05.08 12:31:22 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • you are right… MICHAEL must have changed that bit.

    Lemme see what other sources I can find…

  • Comment 20, posted at 06.05.08 12:33:04 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Classic

    Try individual player searches on:
    http://www.sarugby.net/profiles.asp

    Rob’s useless … :roll:

  • Comment 21, posted at 06.05.08 12:33:30 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • Have a look here, classic…

    http://www.sarugby.net/teams.asp?team=6564&Id=617

  • Comment 22, posted at 06.05.08 12:33:45 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 06.05.08 12:33:54 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • I see one of the forwards has that middle name as well…

  • Comment 24, posted at 06.05.08 12:34:32 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Okay stop taking the Mickey now!!!

    oh and Mickey is Short for Michael sometimes.

  • Comment 25, posted at 06.05.08 12:34:52 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Quinn, seeing as you’re in smart-ass mode (again), what do you think of the points raised in the article?

  • Comment 26, posted at 06.05.08 12:35:12 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • I see Epi-c “Brainfart” Taione is joining Nick Evans, Dan Vickerman & the (useless) Law Barry at Quins next season.

    Got a bit of a disbelieving reaction amongst the UK rugby journos who view Taione as more of a liability to a team, after his nibbling & headbutting escapades, suspensions & subsequent releases from both the Sale & Natal Sharks :!:

  • Comment 27, posted at 06.05.08 12:35:41 by Le Requinny Reply
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    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • you know what you call a guy with no arms and no legs and his head shoved halfway down Tina Turner’s throat?

    Mike :)

  • Comment 28, posted at 06.05.08 12:36:21 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • maybe Epi just doesn’t work well in a team named after any form of aquatic predator…

  • Comment 29, posted at 06.05.08 12:37:03 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • You guys are so funny! :grin:

  • Comment 30, posted at 06.05.08 12:41:54 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
     
  • But seriously Rob, I think that your article just touches on the surface of the core problems in Natal rugby. The mentor idea would be good, but would those players be available on a regular basis, or are they pipe dreams?

    Looking beyond the rotation issue, which is valid, I reckon its the union’s myopic opinion that S14 is the Holy Grail & that all our resources must go into that basket that is the problem. The VC & CC seems to be more of an extended experimentation, which inevitably goes pear-shaped in the crunch stages due to said extended tinkerings.

    Alos think that rugby at club level isn’t as strong as it used to be… which could be a contributing factor….

  • Comment 31, posted at 06.05.08 12:44:56 by Le Requinny Reply
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    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • Rob – did you see that Adi’s profile appeared back on FaceBook again?

  • Comment 32, posted at 06.05.08 12:48:19 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
     
  • Club rugby is in a real mess all over the country, innit?

  • Comment 33, posted at 06.05.08 12:48:41 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Ness – I saw that. It happened with Waylon Murray a while ago as well. Disappeared for a few weeks then all of a sudden came back

  • Comment 34, posted at 06.05.08 12:49:35 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • They were probably hoping the stalkers would go away :roll:

  • Comment 35, posted at 06.05.08 12:54:42 by Slayton Caville Reply
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  • Comment 34 of 34, posted at 06.05.08 12:49:35 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    Yes Adi and Waylon were hoping to throw Rob off his stalking….obviously didn’t work

  • Comment 36, posted at 06.05.08 12:57:46 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • LOL @ Claytie! Us stalkers never go away!!! :wink:

  • Comment 37, posted at 06.05.08 12:59:39 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
     
  • never!

  • Comment 38, posted at 06.05.08 13:00:07 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • ok, so last year was an anomaly, beause the Kiwi sides weren’t at full strength. But besides that, I reckon it’s just not feasible for an SA team to host a semi-final in a year where they have the 5-match tour to deal with. Maybe the Sharks need to manage their resources better and only put in a big push for the Super 14 every second year. Currie Cup we should be playing all-out for every single year.

  • Comment 39, posted at 06.05.08 13:03:37 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Nice article Rob- though I think only Henry’s wife is allowed to call him ‘Honeyballs’. I think WC fatigue is also affecting some of the young lions, as well as poor backline coaching.

  • Comment 40, posted at 06.05.08 13:07:00 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • WC fatigue? But Ruan hardly played at all.

    You think Frans is playing too much? He looks like he needs more game time, but within a better structure.

  • Comment 41, posted at 06.05.08 13:12:48 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Good article Rob. I couldn’t agree with you more. I think it has been more than evident that versatility has caused more chaos than good this year. Let me use one obvious example: flyhalf. A pretty important position, probably the most important on the field. At the beginning of the season Dick said “Fred’s our man.”. Then three matches in before the frog had even acclimatised to super 14, he throws Steyn into the mix. Then back to Fred, then back to Steyn. Then Fred gets injured now it’s Ruan. I’m actually getting angry when i write this, but i mean really, why not back Ruan from the beginning! Both Pieter de Villers and Jake White say Ruan’s future is at 10! Fred should have been mentor, and Steyn should have been elsewhere. Why not plan for continuity…

  • Comment 42, posted at 06.05.08 13:20:43 by CapeShark Reply
    Author
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • You said it Rob…structure, structure, structure.
    You need a proper foundation, and you need players specialised in their position in order for them to grow. The Rolls Royce always said: Rugby is a simple game.
    Abysmal coaching from Dick Muir this year, he really got this one wrong….

  • Comment 43, posted at 06.05.08 13:25:57 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Yeah… to my mind, we need to make a decision now and stick to it.

    I see a few possibilities.

    Option 1:

    9 Rory
    10 Ruan
    11 JP
    12 Brad
    13 Waylon
    14 Odwa
    15 Frans

    Option 2:

    9 Rory
    10 Brad
    11 Stefan
    12 Frans
    13 Waylon
    14 Odwa
    15 Ruan

    Option 3:

    9 Rory
    10 Ruan
    11 Waylon
    12 Brad
    13 Frans
    14 Odwa
    15 Stefan

    I’m not sure which of those I would pick, but they need to choose one and stick with it

  • Comment 44, posted at 06.05.08 13:26:48 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • How could Fred really be a mentor when he can’t speak english? There is more to mentoring than just watching – Steyn is a prime example of someone crying out for a mentor.

    I should also add that I agree with Dive Pass in that Epi & Fred were bad purchases. We should have just backed the talent at our disposable, as everyone keeps saying – they do have World Cup medals now don’t they?

    Back to the Currie Cup, I firmly believe that a better investment in the Currie Cup & Vodacom Cup will lead to more success in the long-run…

    Rob, you can’t compare Western Cape club rugby vs Natal, the former is strong the latter is dire in comparison.

  • Comment 45, posted at 06.05.08 13:27:10 by Le Requinny Reply
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    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • I think option 2 is the best one, but it will require the most work

  • Comment 46, posted at 06.05.08 13:27:29 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • I wonder if the decision to buy Epi had anything to do with Rudi Mathee’s brainfart decision to move back to Potch… but yeah, the time has come for the like of Big Nik, Pampoen van Jaarsveldt and the rest to take that step up and prove that they’re ready to contribute.

    The same rules apply at flyhalf. We have lots of guys floating around that can “do a job” there. We need two or three of those guys to put up their hands and say “I AM A FLYHALF!” and then we need to back them to deliver.

  • Comment 47, posted at 06.05.08 13:30:35 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Buy Grant, Danie and Juan for next year…

  • Comment 48, posted at 06.05.08 13:39:24 by bryce_in_oz Reply

    bryce_in_ozCurrie Cup player
     
  • Rob, Stefan is history. He’s retiring soon.

    Here’s what they should plan for, for the future:

    9) Rory (great little scrummie and a useful kicker – keep him. have scott mathie as back-up)

    10) Ruan Pienaar (awesome runner with great foresight and the right build for flyhalf. Barrit is not a flyhalf)

    12) Brad Barrit (the brains in the team, brilliant defender, must stay)

    13) Frans Steyn (It’s difficult omitting Waylon, but he hasn’t been spectacular and he doesn’t back himself like Steyn does)

    14) Odwa (Guess what? probably the best player this year- cos he had time to settle in. He’s solid and a handy defender)

    15) Fullback is too much responsability for Steyn. We’ll need to invest in someone dependable and silky.

  • Comment 49, posted at 06.05.08 13:39:29 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Danie? Please tell me you don’t mean Pakslae?

  • Comment 50, posted at 06.05.08 13:41:52 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Forgot JP, that’s how obscure he was this year! I can’t believe someone with his shocking hands actually played at the World Cup and did rather well! I simply can’t choose a guy that knocks-on certain tries.

  • Comment 51, posted at 06.05.08 13:42:46 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • CapeShark – you left out 11… You happy to leave JP there?

    Another option is to let Odwa develop at fullback and bring in somebody like Wagenstroom on the wing. I must say, I quite like the idea of Frans at 13, so maybe Waylon could play 14 with JP at 11

  • Comment 52, posted at 06.05.08 13:43:27 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • eish, who is a good investment at 15?

    Besides Percy & Jantjes, who else is there that has class stamped over him (excluding Steyn at 15)?

  • Comment 53, posted at 06.05.08 13:44:27 by Le Requinny Reply
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    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • oh – now I see.

    What the hell do you do with JP, though? The dude scored like 400 tries in the Super 14 last year. He can’t suddenly be a throw-away, can he?

  • Comment 54, posted at 06.05.08 13:45:24 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Bryce, Peter Grant is awesome but too similar to Ruan.
    It’s time to put the chequebook aside and grow the guys we got!

  • Comment 55, posted at 06.05.08 13:46:08 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Louis Ludik?

    Don’t think Wagenstroom is more than a CC player – at best. I mean both WP & the Free State were quite happy to release him.

    Not that the WP release speaks volumes….

  • Comment 56, posted at 06.05.08 13:46:14 by Le Requinny Reply
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    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • guys – we have got to get away from this “buying mentality”…it’s just not feasible to buy people anymore. Anyone who’s any good is tied up in a long-term contract and bringing foreigners in is a stop-gap that tends to backfire.

    I would look at Daniller as the only outsider worth “buying”, but think we would do far better to develop a decent fullback fro within our own ranks.

    Why not JP? He might start to look better with a bit more space. He just needs to work on his kicking game

  • Comment 57, posted at 06.05.08 13:47:29 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • How can we grow the players we want if they all move to UCT, Maties or RAU to study?

    Think Bob Skinstad, Peter Grant, Matt Stevens, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jannie Boshoff etc etc

  • Comment 58, posted at 06.05.08 13:47:49 by Le Requinny Reply
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    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • Ludik is superb, no doubt about that… but again, what about the guys we already have?

    I thought Spedding was meant to be the next big thing at 15… and what about Danie Dames or Carl Bezuidenhout?

  • Comment 59, posted at 06.05.08 13:48:56 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • We have the best rugby academy in the country, that’s how! We are retaining far more talent than we are losing right now. Name one promising youngster from the Sharks that has gone on to start for another team in the last 4 years…

  • Comment 60, posted at 06.05.08 13:50:21 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • My worry with the Rugby Academy is that for every gem there are 3 duds or more… Do we retain THE most talented local youngsters really?

    Name on promising youngster from the Sharks that has gone on to start for another team in the last 4 years…

    Comment 60 of 60, posted at 06.05.08 13:50:21 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    PETER GRANT :shock: :!:

    Rob, I can personally tell you that Peter Grant was a name on many people’s lips from as far back in his Maritzburg College days. College have had quite a few decent flyhaves in their time, but Grant was quickly identified from even the younger age-group levels as a “special talent”. Of course he went on to represent Natal at a number of age-group levels, incl. Craven Week.

    Was an attempt made to hold onto him? Nope…

  • Comment 61, posted at 06.05.08 13:56:27 by Le Requinny Reply
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    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • #

    How can we grow the players we want if they all move to UCT, Maties or RAU to study?

    Think Bob Skinstad, Peter Grant, Matt Stevens, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jannie Boshoff etc etc

    Comment 58 of 60, posted at 06.05.08 13:47:49 by Le Requinny

    I did an article on that here http://divepass.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/an-educated-guess-at-a-one-of-the-sharks-problems/

  • Comment 62, posted at 06.05.08 13:57:42 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • Comment 60 of 60, posted at 06.05.08 13:50:21 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    Peter Grant

  • Comment 63, posted at 06.05.08 13:58:05 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • when did grant leave?

  • Comment 64, posted at 06.05.08 14:04:19 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Interesting DP – and I agree 100% with you!

    10-12 years ago, rugby was still reasonably strong at the 2 Durban Varisty campuses, and obviously Maritzburg. There were opportunities to both study and play competitive club rugby – the pool was deeper.

    And now? The 2 Durban Varisties don’t have a single team in the Premier division. They do however have 2 u20 teams competing in the u20A & B divisions, but both a re firmly entrenched at the BOTTOM of the log!

    11 years ago, John Smit, Shaun Sowerby & Jaco van der Westhuysen were 3 Craven Week stars who were lured to Maritzburg Varsity on the basis of varisty bursaries. The Varisty team – even excluding these players – was relatively strong competing in the Premier division (Moor Cup).
    And now? Varsity find themselves battling it our for the wooden spoon, year in & year out!

    Yes, the Rugby Academy is a good idea, but more players want to experience a proper university campus life and still have the opportunity to play competitive club rugby, and hopefully make the step-up (via u21 provincial) to the senior provincial team. My fear is that the NRU have forgotten that fact, and (like teh S14) put all their eggs into the Academy basket.

    Of course an additional difficulty in all of this, is the decline in the Natal campuses, although Maritzburg is not too bad.

  • Comment 65, posted at 06.05.08 14:06:46 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • Mike Greenaway
    May 06 2008 at 08:30AM

    Sharks coach Dick Muir on Monday confirmed that he had been made offers by a number of European clubs, including English giants Leicester, but he was in no mood to consider them at this stage.

    He also won’t discuss his ongoing negotiations with SA Rugby regarding a position as Springbok assistant coach – because of his 100 percent commitment to the Sharks’ bid to get into the Super 14 semifinal.

    “My only focus right now is the Sharks’ match against the Cheetahs on Saturday,” he said. “Nothing else matters.”

    It has been revealed in the British media that the Leicester Tigers are keen on getting Muir to take over from current coach Marcelo Loffreda. The former Argentina mentor is likely to become the club’s director of rugby.

    “It is an honour to be approached by a famous club so rich in history and success, but nothing should be read into it. It is that time of year when European clubs are putting out feelers as they do their forward planning. At present I am not interested in anything but the Sharks and the semi-finals.”

    Muir is thick with flu, but on Monday stuck manfully to the task of getting his charges ready for a match he described as of “cup final” importance.

    “We cannot afford any more slip-ups (in trying to make the last four). It is that simple.”

  • Comment 66, posted at 06.05.08 14:06:51 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • LeQuinny’s talking nonsense, we’ve got talent bursting out of the seams. It’s not their fault that Muir has turned them into headless chickens with his ‘go-on take a number, any number’ philosophy.

  • Comment 67, posted at 06.05.08 14:07:11 by CapeShark Reply
    Author
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • 2003 was Grant’s first year at Stellenbosch Uni.

    Grant was in Maritzburg College class of 2002

  • Comment 68, posted at 06.05.08 14:08:25 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • Cape Shark, we have oodles of talent in the FIRST team.

    But outside of that? Come on, you are delusional if you think our pool of talent is as deep and strong as some of the other unions.

  • Comment 69, posted at 06.05.08 14:09:55 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • DP – you have your own blog?

  • Comment 70, posted at 06.05.08 14:13:04 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • Just a small blog I started a week ago to amuse myself from time to time, nothing as big or successful as this great site. :)

  • Comment 71, posted at 06.05.08 14:16:57 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • Yeah-yeah, I know what you’re saying. But lets look at the Western Cape. Two best rugby universities and some of the best rugby schools. But this is a professional era so it means b-all. The Sharks Academy is a professionally set-up springboard into a major union and young aspiring players with talent know that. To fight your way up to provincial recognition at club or varisity level is nearly impossible. So leave the amateurs to enjoy varsity and club rugby and welcome the young professionals into the Academy, because they are the ones that will go all the way.

  • Comment 72, posted at 06.05.08 14:22:15 by CapeShark Reply
    Author
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • class of 2002? I reckon if he’d been there just 1 year later, he would have been caught in the academy net.

  • Comment 73, posted at 06.05.08 14:24:38 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • DP, I would like to reserve the right to cross pots any and all sharks-related articles… ;)

  • Comment 74, posted at 06.05.08 14:25:35 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • Comment 74 of 74, posted at 06.05.08 14:25:35 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    Absolutely………

  • Comment 75, posted at 06.05.08 14:27:45 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • Ideally, CapeShark that’s how we want to view the Academy. But the fact remains that not all young aspiring players will want to join a Rugby Academy, when they can rather go to a university campus with a strong investment & importance placed on rugby. let’s face it, the latter gives them the best of both worlds.

  • Comment 76, posted at 06.05.08 14:27:50 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • Anyway, a quick look at the Sharks Team (Burden, Waylon, Barrit, Mathee, Hargreaves amongst others) shows that our Kwa-Zulu Natal schools are still strong, and the Grey Bloem exchange agreement (where we take all their best players in exchange for teaching them English) is still as strong today as ever! :smile:

  • Comment 77, posted at 06.05.08 14:31:05 by CapeShark Reply
    Author
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • when are we going to teach Frans English?

  • Comment 78, posted at 06.05.08 14:35:28 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • Varsity Rugby teams can be dodgy, though. I remember at Rhodes, the first team flyhalf couldn’t torpedo a ball! There was never any first-aid people around. And during one game, their lock got injured and my friend who was quite tall was asked to replace him. Even though he was sitting in jeans, in the stands. And he’s never played rugby in his life! Must be a Rhodes thing…

  • Comment 79, posted at 06.05.08 14:37:12 by CapeShark Reply
    Author
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • There have been rugby academies everywhere for ages, including one on Stellenbosch’s campus.

    It has, however, been my experience that players who aslo have half a brain would rather go and do a recognised degree at a uni like Stellenbosch than go play in an academy where your only class during the day is to demonstrate the concept of a calorie.

    Stellenbosch still is the premier destination for most young talented SA players fresh out of school.

    The ones who dont gain admission to Maties are the ones filling up the academies.

  • Comment 80, posted at 06.05.08 14:40:07 by VinChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • There’s no hope for Frans’s english. He doesn’t even use prepositions!
    He said once “I feel home “…..instead of “I feel at home”.
    :roll:

  • Comment 81, posted at 06.05.08 14:40:19 by CapeShark Reply
    Author
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • The ones who dont gain admission to Maties are the ones filling up the academies.

    Comment 80 of 81, posted at 06.05.08 14:40:07 by VinChainSaw

    That is my point :!:

  • Comment 82, posted at 06.05.08 14:40:58 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • CapeShark, there a HUGE difference between Rhodes and Maties… the one is a decent university and the other a vacation destination in the eastern cape.

    Stellenbosch have a freakin full medical facility under the grand stand of the danie craven stadium and a dedicated ambulance to ferry you there from the field.

    Absolute chalk and cheese.

  • Comment 83, posted at 06.05.08 14:42:10 by VinChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • Yeah-yeah, I know what you’re saying. But lets look at the Western Cape. Two best rugby universities and some of the best rugby schools. But this is a professional era so it means b-all. The Sharks Academy is a professionally set-up springboard into a major union and young aspiring players with talent know that. To fight your way up to provincial recognition at club or varisity level is nearly impossible. So leave the amateurs to enjoy varsity and club rugby and welcome the young professionals into the Academy, because they are the ones that will go all the way.

    Comment 72 of 83, posted at 06.05.08 14:22:15 by CapeShark Edit

    There have been more bok players that have played at Maties than any other club or province.

  • Comment 84, posted at 06.05.08 14:43:47 by VinChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • i’d go option 1 rob, but its a shame to miss out on a potential 10. pienaar-steyn-murray combo, who could be the future.

    very much agree with Bryce’s post, time to get into the market, fine to develop your own, but if want immediate success time to shop for Danie Rossouw and Juan Smith. Besides it pisses the others unions off. look at the lions, we were at our strongest when we bought everyone.

  • Comment 85, posted at 06.05.08 14:43:57 by cab Reply

    cabVodacom Cup player
     
  • Did Bob Skinstad finish his degree at Stellenbosch?

  • Comment 86, posted at 06.05.08 14:44:07 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • Did Bob Skinstad finish his degree at Stellenbosch?

    Comment 86 of 86, posted at 06.05.08 14:44:07 by Dive Pass

    No, but that was irrelevant :mrgreen:

  • Comment 87, posted at 06.05.08 14:44:54 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • So what to do? We’re not suddenly going to convince people that UND or Maritzburg are suddenly rugby powerhouses, are we?

    Let’s rather give up and leave rugby to the okes from WP.

  • Comment 88, posted at 06.05.08 15:00:29 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • cab – we’ve seen how much kakker the Sharks look without Barritt in the mix ;)

  • Comment 89, posted at 06.05.08 15:01:20 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • Try retain superstars that are identified in the local ranks at all costs!

    As for the club rugby dilemma, eish, more difficult.

  • Comment 90, posted at 06.05.08 15:08:47 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • but we are doing that now…look, the Union fucked up badly in the late 90s and early 00s… everyone knows that and a whole galaxy of stars slipped through the net. But that problem has now been solved.

  • Comment 91, posted at 06.05.08 15:14:57 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • quite honestly, I think club rugby is a red herring in this arguement. This is about how we nurture and manage the senior players on our books… we have more than enough young talent coming through to ensure success at all levels, but the structures aren’t working right to ensure success

  • Comment 92, posted at 06.05.08 15:16:38 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • am busy reading a BBC discussion on the new immigration rules. Quite entertaining on a Tuesday afternnon – reality is that most of the British people don’t know the difference between illegal immigration, the EU influx & immigration from beyond the EU involving highly skilled labour. Amazing to see all the ignorant comments! No wonder the Poms are so paranoid!

  • Comment 93, posted at 06.05.08 15:21:40 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • ….we have more than enough young talent coming through to ensure success at all levels, but the structures aren’t working right to ensure success
    Comment 92 of 92, posted at 06.05.08 15:16:38 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    You can’t be serious that you think we have enough young talent coming through, we can’t even field a decent 2nd stingers team, never mind below that or in the age groups.

  • Comment 94, posted at 06.05.08 15:23:08 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • I’m afraid I agree with Dive Pass.
    When last did a Natal 2nd team – the Vodacom Cup – actually look competive?
    When last did a Natal u21 team win the u21 division? Our Academy + club players should help with our depth in this competition to help us launch a strong bid, but it doesn’t.

  • Comment 95, posted at 06.05.08 15:28:33 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • we could field a very competitive 2nd string team if we could just decide on who the best guys where and played them in position…

  • Comment 96, posted at 06.05.08 15:31:35 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • Never be afraid to agree with me Quinny…. ;)

    Rob have a look at that list of SA under 20s you just put up, how many are from KZN?

  • Comment 97, posted at 06.05.08 15:32:12 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • likewise at age group level.

  • Comment 98, posted at 06.05.08 15:32:24 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • 4…

  • Comment 99, posted at 06.05.08 15:33:46 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • ok, so that number doesn’t really back up my arguement. Can we discard it? ;)

  • Comment 100, posted at 06.05.08 15:34:16 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • The point is, though, that we need to actually find a meaningful solution here.

    If I understand you guys right, you’re saying “we don’t have a good university team so there’s no point in even bothering to compete”.

  • Comment 101, posted at 06.05.08 15:35:25 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • Comment 100 of 100, posted at 06.05.08 15:34:16 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    Your argument or the number? ;)

  • Comment 102, posted at 06.05.08 15:35:29 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • Comment 101 of 102, posted at 06.05.08 15:35:25 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    No we need to solve the problem….we are just clever enough to do it

  • Comment 103, posted at 06.05.08 15:37:12 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • we could field a very competitive 2nd string team if we could just decide on who the best guys where and played them in position…

    Comment 96 of 102, posted at 06.05.08 15:31:35 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    Bold statement, how sure are you that they would be competitive – ie) beat the WP, Free State & Bulls VC teams?

  • Comment 104, posted at 06.05.08 15:37:40 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • #

    Comment 101 of 102, posted at 06.05.08 15:35:25 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    No we need to solve the problem….we are just clever enough to do it
    Comment 103 of 104, posted at 06.05.08 15:37:12 by Dive Pass

    ….Just NOT clever enough to do it

  • Comment 105, posted at 06.05.08 15:38:56 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • If I understand you guys right, you’re saying “we don’t have a good university team so there’s no point in even bothering to compete”.

    Comment 101 of 104, posted at 06.05.08 15:35:25 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    Not at all, that is merely one of many contributing factors.
    I just think that the NRU is slightly myopic in the importance it places on certain competitions, and the resulting impact that is the by-product of that on the rest of our teams & depth.

    At the same time, the NRU has to re-examine the local club rugby scene and see what & how it can improve that so that it has a more positive impact on provincial depth, rather than laying all their egggs in the Academy basket + Free State feeder programme.

  • Comment 106, posted at 06.05.08 15:41:34 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • (just so you’re clear on this Rob) its not that I disagree with your article above – I do – I just think that its more a short-term solution & slightly optimistic (in that you view the lack of continuity) as the only problem in Natal rugby.

  • Comment 107, posted at 06.05.08 15:44:28 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • THIS TEAM could win the Vodacom Cup:

    1 Harris
    2 Badenhorst
    3 Cilliers
    4 Blignaut
    5 Hargreaves
    6 Ndlovu
    7 Downey
    8 Whitely
    9 Macleod
    10 Swanepoel
    11 Mentz
    12 Strauss
    13 Matyeshana
    14 Wagenstroom
    15 Spedding

  • Comment 108, posted at 06.05.08 15:46:41 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • well, we obviously need solutions for the short, medium and long term, but right now I’d like us to just f*kin win something in the next year or two…

    The “mentoring” thing above is obviously naive, but it was just a suggestion that came to me literally while I was typing. What is more important is getting people to specialise and then allowing combinations to develop.

  • Comment 109, posted at 06.05.08 15:49:45 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • The Sharks have relied on their commercial strength to succeed but they must improved their sourcing.It was cheaper to get a JP Pietersen or Frans Steyn at junior or club level, then after they achieve higher honours. We have to get even better at sourcing and that comes back to clubs, junior level and a tertiary institution.

    The future of the Shark’s future commercial success lies in the current negotiations regards the new soccer stadium and the proposed use of it by the Sharks….the numbers have to work for the Sharks. Either way the Sharks are going to lose revenue in lost event hosting of political rallies, soccer matches, concerts etc which will go into the coffers of the new stadium.

  • Comment 110, posted at 06.05.08 15:54:04 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • ok Dive Pass… go check the stats I just posted.

    KZN has the joint second-highest representativity in that squad

  • Comment 111, posted at 06.05.08 15:54:59 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • That team if it was left to form a nice combination where players weren’t rotated every 5 minutes. I think the VC was used as a Talent ID effort and very little else. Towards the latter part of the tournie, there was hard;y a name I recognised and I assume they were youngsters coming through the age group ranks and Academy system. How many will play CC this year? From the names above though some would most likely play CC this year, depending on how many players are lost to the Bokke.

  • Comment 112, posted at 06.05.08 15:59:19 by hellbent Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • a distant second…….the Bulls are the sourcing kings by a long shot. That was a policy that Meyer introduced and is still reaping benefits.

  • Comment 113, posted at 06.05.08 16:00:45 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • I think the VC was used as a Talent ID effort and very little else.

    Comment 112 of 113, posted at 06.05.08 15:59:19 by hellbent

    You’re right Hellbent, and clearly nobody put their hands-up high enough to indicate that they are the next best thing / an up & coming talent.

    The irritationg thing is that the CC is also fast becoming a Talent ID (for the S14 squad) in the eyes of the NRU.

  • Comment 114, posted at 06.05.08 16:03:34 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • My early-season wager is on a Bulls-WP Currie Cup final, for that matter. Free State and Natal as losing semi-finalists. :roll:

  • Comment 115, posted at 06.05.08 16:11:48 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • I swear I will actually kill myself if we don’t get to the Curie Cup final at least this year.

  • Comment 116, posted at 06.05.08 16:20:31 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • I swear I will actually kill myself if we don’t get to the Curie Cup final at least this year.
    Comment 116 of 116, posted at 06.05.08 16:20:31 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!)

    Now now young Rob…..life is too precious ;)

  • Comment 117, posted at 06.05.08 16:24:58 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • well – I didn’t actually mean that ;)

  • Comment 118, posted at 06.05.08 16:42:47 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • Too late we have already sent an intervention unit out to the English countryside to scout for a suicidal bald man in Sharks shirts standing on his roof looking longingly at the ground……

  • Comment 119, posted at 06.05.08 16:47:10 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • as long as they’re brining Windhoek Lager with them…

  • Comment 120, posted at 06.05.08 16:48:56 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • I just know that everybody has had their say and moved on. Its interesting that I have just written a similar comment on the Sharks Web Site. I see everybody is raving about the Varsity Cup ( some even saying it should replace the Vodacom Cup. Well where would that leave Natal, even Potch has a team in this competition. I have been concerned about SA’s club scene for ages, and have even commented about this on occasion. Here in Christchurch a city probably much like PMBurg has 16 competitive club sides having open teams down through the age groups. What they have done is encourage schoolboys to play club rugby by having school games played on a Thursday and then club rugby on Saturdays. And these club games are from little ankle biters up to the biggies. I have spoken to a few rugby followers about this and they say its done so that there isnt the hero mentality created by I am a 1st Team Player and 5000+ people watch our games and then Woops I am a U/20 Player and now there are only 20+ spectators. I see at the Hilton/Mickymouse match 7000+ spectators. I doubt that many club sides have that many spectators watching on a sunny Saturday. Whilst at PMBurg Uni Played Res Rugby which was on a Friday Night. Could play your game and still go out and get pissed and have the weekend to recover and boy was that popular. WOB had 3 teams and that was just 1 res.

  • Comment 121, posted at 07.05.08 06:16:28 by Dynamite Reply

    DynamiteVodacom Cup player
     

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