Bring John home

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 22 May 2008 at 15:47

John Smit should return to the Sharks. The man has given us his blood, sweat and tears ever since his under 21 days and it’s only right that we repay that debt to him now.

The Sharks are an outift full of talent, but lacking in the leadership and experience stakes this season. Johann Muller has done an admirable job as skipper, but one feels he isn’t the natural leader of men that Smit is. Everyone who has ever played with John (and I’m one of them, albeit very briefly) cannot fail to be touched by the sheer presence that the man brings to the team. Call it an aura of quiet confidence, the ability to calm things down when needed, or the capacity to kindle fire in the belly with a few moving words.

Smit has been there – has faced defeat in the eyes when the Boks had their backs to the wall against Tonga and Fiji in the World Cup. He has guided the Springboks through the most testing of challenges and emerged with his dignity intact and the continued respect of his teammates. He does not deserve to be tossed around from one province to the next, like a beggar with cap in hand.

The Sharks need to find a creative solution that will allow Smit to return, without necessarily jeopardising Bismarck du Plessis guarantee of game time. Perhaps the anticipated departure of BJ Botha to Ireland might just provide the opening that’s required.

One thing is for sure. If Smit does go to another province, the Sharks will be made to regret it sooner or later.


  • Certainly a massive gain for whichever province signs him imho.

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.05.08 15:51:17 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
  • You Sharks fanatics should have a whip-round.

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.05.08 15:52:39 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
  • All good and well – but what happens to Bis and Craig? Bis will become 2nd fiddle and Craig will just have done all this for nothing?

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.05.08 15:54:45 by Nessa Reply
    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • Surely the Bismarck situation can be resolved. The two of them in the same side would be good. Bit of competition to bring out the best in them.

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.05.08 15:55:01 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
  • Besides, life’s not fair. I’m sure John would only want to be selected if he’s the best.

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.05.08 15:56:34 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
  • @racheltjiedebeer (Comment 4) :

    And Craig? I suppose both Bis and John will be away with the Bokke for a lot of the CC season – that will give Craig some game time.

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.05.08 15:57:13 by Nessa Reply
    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • @racheltjiedebeer (Comment 5) :

    Fair enough! I agree that he is an awesome captain but I think Bis is the better hooker at the moment.

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.05.08 15:57:52 by Nessa Reply
    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • Also – Bismarck’s contract has an escape clause that will allow him to leave – but would he?

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.05.08 15:59:49 by Nessa Reply
    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • @Nessa (Comment 7) : Probably. Unfortunately the one who stands to lose the most is Burden. Gotta run. Damn work. Hopefully be back in a while.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.05.08 16:02:14 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
  • @racheltjiedebeer (Comment 9) :


  • Comment 10, posted at 22.05.08 16:05:13 by Nessa Reply
    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • Loyalty and professional sport are unhappy bedfellows…..

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.05.08 16:13:23 by Dive Pass Reply
    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
  • As Jerry Sienfeld said when it comes to professional sport……”We’re just rooting for laundry.”

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.05.08 16:18:10 by Dive Pass Reply
    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
  • i must take my hat off to KEO

    Shame on the small minded

    Posted in Springboks, Super 14 by keo

    John Smit’s struggle to find a province in South Africa is an insult to the Springbok World Cup winning captain.

    It is also an indictment of the small-minded thinking that dominates South African provincial rugby and an outright disgrace.

    When Smit went overseas last year there was condemnation that he was chasing the buck. The ignorant out there asked about his passion for the Bok jersey; the same ignorant fools who got pissed the night he guided the Springboks to World Cup success.

    Smit never turned his back on Springbok rugby. He always made himself available and said it remained an honour and not a right to represent your country. When Peter de Villiers was appointed Bok coach Smit said he would play under De Villiers and support any captain if De Villiers thought there was someone else better equipped to lead the Boks. Once the two had met Smit went public saying Bok rugby was in the hands of a passionate man with the desire to succeed.

    “Whether he picks me or not does not alter that view,” said Smit. “They will do well.”

    De Villiers made it his first priority to appoint Smit as his captain and the consequence was he wanted Smit back in South Africa. Andy Marinos, SA Rugby National Teams General Manager, made this happen with astute and mature negotiation in dealing with Smit’s French club Clermont.

    Smit could have had the best of both worlds. Play in France and earn Euros and play test rugby for the Boks. The IRB regulation demands his release from club duty for test duty and the national coach had already confirmed him as captain for 2008.

    Clermont then offered Smit a four year extension on his contract but they wanted him to give up further international aspirations. Smit took the SA Rugby deal and has had to suffer the embarrassment in the last few days of the Sharks telling him they can’t contract him because they promised Bismarck du Plessis he would be their first choice hooker and Western Province telling him he was too expensive and in any case that they had enough quality hookers.

    The Bulls have shown an interest in Smit, but he was transparent in saying his home for the last 10 years had been Durban and that was first choice. He also said the alternative would be Cape Town because of a lifestyle presence and family considerations.

    This is the Springbok World Cup captain we are talking about. The same guy who played 44 successive tests, stood tall when interviewed after a 49-0 Bok test defeat and showed humility when holding the World Cup a year later. This is a guy who has played more test rugby at hooker than any South African and who has enjoyed more success as Bok captain than any South Africa because of a Tri Nations and World Cup triumph.

    He is also a damn good hooker, ranked consistently in the top two in world rugby and unanimously voted the best captain at the World Cup as recently as last October. He can also play loosehead and tighthead and is about to turn 30!

    I know what Smit’s agent asked the Sharks and Stormers in terms of payment and it is 50 percent less than he has been getting in France for the last six months. The fact that the World Cup winning captain and incumbent Bok captain has to be convincing provinces in this country of his worth is despicable.

    The national governing body and the 14 provincial affiliates want to know why a journeyman player gets on the first plane and heads for England and France. How can we stop the overseas player drain is the first question the administration ask every year?

    Well, they can start by treating the Bok captain with a bit of respect and dignity. And they can start looking at what he has achieved and the wealth and glory he has contributed towards. And they can say thank you instead of the F**k You he got this week.

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.05.08 16:18:59 by barend Reply
    barendVodacom Cup player
  • I suppose you have to see all sides – John is and was a very special captain and player. One can’t just abandon him.

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.05.08 16:25:56 by Nessa Reply
    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • Well, it’s about that time of day again, time to fight the traffic (and I mean fight). Cheers!

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.05.08 16:27:28 by Nessa Reply
    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • A pity this couldn’t be held over until after the Super 14 has ended for the Sharks. I’m sure admin at the tank have many things on their mind and I’m also sure that Bismarck doesn’t need things that could be affecting his future niggling at the back of his mind. Not good timing at all.

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.05.08 16:32:51 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
  • @barend (Comment 13) :

    Typical Keo over dramatisation of normal professional sporting negotiations………

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.05.08 16:38:29 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
  • Having said that I really hope that somehow the Sharks can retain both Bismack and Jon Smit.

    Hereunder is a piece that Clinton van den Bergh of the Sunday Times penned about Jon Smit a few weeks ago. I think it says everything about the man.

    Sunday Times 11 May 2008

    Captain Fantastic in every way
    In the same week in which a former Olympic champion wouldn’t give me the time of day and a number of soccer coaches refused to speak to the media, I got John Smit on the line for a chat from France.
    The phones were going and daughter Emma was cooing in the background, but John couldn’t have been more obliging as we shot the breeze for 15 minutes. Thoughtful, funny and articulate, the World Cup-winning captain remains as humble as the day he first laced up rugby boots. If only other SA “sports personalities” would follow his splendid example.

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.05.08 16:42:41 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 17) :

    I can never believe the intellect of people that are hooked into the emotions of Keo’s drivel….he makes his money out of it, just like John Smit and every professional rugby player makes their money out of rugby.

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.05.08 16:44:07 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 18) :

    Ja John seems to be a very good guy, I hope the Sharks can accommodate him in some way that doesn’t prejudice the team.

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.05.08 16:46:51 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
  • :)

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.05.08 16:57:31 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Prop@Dive Pass (Comment 20) :
    He is a very good guy.

  • Comment 22, posted at 22.05.08 17:17:06 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
  • Anyway the NRU is in a catch 22 situation with this one. I cant imagine both Bismark and JS staying at the Sharks – and whoever goes wherever Im sure the decision will come back to bite the Sharks big time. Its a pity because it really isnt a problem that the NRU has created but one that was forced on them (and other unions to an extent) by SARU.

  • Comment 23, posted at 22.05.08 17:26:05 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach

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