robdylan

Currie Cup options: looking at locks


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 2 Jun 2008 at 10:00

Let’s move on to the second row in our series of articles assessing the depth available to the Natal Sharks in the 2008 Currie Cup.

The Sharks lock brigade, though pretty strong, seems to suffer from the problem that they are either all a little long in the tooth, or still too light in the pants, with few anywhere in between. The departure of Johan Ackermann into what will probably be retirement for real this time leaves a big hole at number 4. AJ Venter was probably a natural candidate to step into that role, but he too has left. Johann Muller is a reassuring presence, having quite strangely been omitted from the Bok squad, but the likelihood is that he will be withdrawn for at least some of the Currie Cup, probably at the insistence of the National Coach, to allow time to recover from niggling injuries caused by too much rugby over the last 18 months. This leave Albert van den Berg as the only experienced lock in the squad, which is little consolation since he seems to lack any form of leadership ability and tends to disappear when picked to start in a tight game. All-in-all, not a great situation to be in.

There is, of course, the young crop. Steven Sykes is the most experienced of these, having a good few Super 14 caps under his belt by now. He is fast, strong and has good hands. On the downside, though, he appears injury prone and has already broken down once this season, leaving the Sharks needing to drag Ackies back kicking and screaming to fill the void. His pace and skills, though, might well be better utilised at blind side flank in the coming months, leaving the young Nikolai Blignaut as the next man to come in at 4. Blignaut played a fair amount of Currie Cup last year but has been moved around so much in the second and back rows that no-one seems to know what his best position truly is. He hasn’t quite made the step up from age-group rugby yet, despite being on the fringes of the senior ranks for almost 3 years.

Alistair Hargreaves is another young lock who was a real star at age-group level, yet seems to be struggling to take the step up into the senior ranks. The former SA U-19 skipper has now bulked up to 110kg and should be poised to make an impact this year. He failed to really impress in the Vodacom Cup this year, however, so one wonders if he really is likely to shine against the other locks in this year’s Currie Cup; men such as Wilhelm Steenkamp, Ross Skeate, Barend Pieterse and Gerhard Mostert who all looked comfortable in the Super 14.

Johann “Joe” Snyman is another big youngster who has been around for a few years but hasn’t managed to crack the big time yet. At 2m tall and 112kg, he’s certainly big enough, but will he show the mean streak necessary to survive in this tough position? Nolan Clark and Schalk “Pampoen” van Jaarsveld also represented the Wildebeest in the second row this year. The latter is still very young and may well go on to greater things; the former is probably more of a journeyman to be called on when all else fails. At least both are bigger than Nqubeko Zulu who at 1.92m and 92kg will surely never make it as a lock at Currie Cup level.

A number of other guys in the squad, including Jean Deysel, Ulrich Potgieter, Michael Rhodes and Thabo Mamojele could do a job in the second row, if required, but given the lack of depth at the side and back of the scrum, they will be discussed in more detail when we look at the loose forwards in the next article.

All-in-all, the cupboard is looking reasonably bare at the moment, unless a youngster or two takes a big step up in this year’s Currie Cup. Should Johann Muller be available for the majority if the campaign, it would go some way to alleviating the concerns as in Muller, Sykes and van den Berg, we at least have three experienced campaigners to help the youngsters develop.



51 Comments

  • a shortage of locks and you want to turn one of them (Sykes) into a blindside flanker?
    then you suggest a loose forward (Deysel) could do the job at lock…
    sometimes thinking outside of the box is just a little too smart :???:

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.06.08 11:20:01 by spykerbaard Reply
    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • otherwise, i enjoyed the article, thanks. i expect to see Hargreaves coming through well and showing he’s more than capable at cc level and higher… Blignaut too…. dont really know the others, whats their history?

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.06.08 11:28:24 by spykerbaard Reply
    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • @spykerbaard (Comment 1) :

    Hear hear….
    Sykes = lock and Deysel = flank….. let’s leave it that way

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.06.08 11:29:57 by Dive Pass Reply
    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • If you actually read the article, I said that we shouldn’t consider Deysel at lock, even though he could potentially play there! :-)

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.06.08 12:14:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @spykerbaard (Comment 2) :
    Also a Hargreave man. Hope he make the CC stepup this year and you do have Spinnekop.

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.06.08 12:19:48 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • @PaarlBok (Comment 5) : Spinnekop?

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.06.08 12:24:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • Albert vd Berg.

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.06.08 12:31:15 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • Ah

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.06.08 12:37:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • Rob, , where do these other guys come from, Snyman,Van Jaarsveld?

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.06.08 12:42:51 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • @spykerbaard (Comment 9) : You’re not suggesting that they come from Rob’s imagination are you?

    Have to admit I don’t know them…but that’s because I don’t have Rob’s credentials when it comes to stalking players. He follows future Sharks players from their first “Mummy and Me” classes.

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.06.08 13:24:43 by blackshark Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 10) : :grin: he he, not at all BS,just want to find out more about them and their potential for the Sharks… i seem to remember Snyman playing for SA under21′s, dont recall van Jaarsveld at all.

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.06.08 13:48:16 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • Snyman is a huge talent. Anyone know when he gets back from Mexted’s academy?

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.06.08 14:25:09 by Villie Reply
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  • @spykerbaard (Comment 11) : Pampoen came to us this year, from the Lions, I think

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.06.08 20:54:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • Johan Snyman is probably the black horse here – he has the physique and the ability to go far.

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.06.08 21:04:18 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 14) : Dark horse, you mean?

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.06.08 21:15:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • The Sharks do not have a problem at lock with the names like
    Johan Muller, Albert van der Berg, Steven Sykes, Alistair Hargreaves,
    etc but do fall short in in-form players in other postions which will
    likely cost them from winning the Currie Cup this year.

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.06.08 21:20:07 by rugby brain Reply

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  • @rugby brain (Comment 16) : For instance?

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.06.08 21:21:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Yeah, thats it – dark horse. I wonder what my subconscious was up to there?

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.06.08 21:32:01 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 18) : Something dodgy. Unresolved feelings about your mom? :-)

  • Comment 19, posted at 02.06.08 22:16:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • :shock:

    Jy’s onbeskof!

    :lol:

  • Comment 20, posted at 02.06.08 23:09:42 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 20) : natuurlik!

  • Comment 21, posted at 02.06.08 23:45:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • Full Name Johan (Joe)
    Surname Snyman
    Height 200cm
    Weight 114kg
    Birth Date 9 July 1986
    Birth City Pretoria
    Marital Status Single
    Favourite Film Pirates of the Caribean
    Favourite Music All
    Favourite Food Braai
    Primary School Pietersburg East
    Secondary School Outeniqua High

    Squads:
    2008
    Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup)
    The Sharks (Vodacom Super 14)
    2007
    Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup)
    2006
    The Sharks (ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division)
    KZN U21 (ABSA Under 21 Competition)
    2005
    Natal (SA Under 19)
    South Africa (IRB U19 World Championships)
    2004
    Eagles (ABSA U20 Competition Section B)
    South Western Districts (U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week)

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.06.08 09:16:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • Full Name Schalk Mattheys
    Surname Van Jaarsveld
    Height 199cm
    Weight 97kg
    Birth Date 5 July 1985
    Birth City Welkom
    Favourite Film Man on Fire
    Favourite Food Meat
    Primary School St.Helena
    Secondary School Welkom Gimnasium

    Squads:
    2008
    Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup)
    2007
    Impala Leopards (ABSA Currie Cup First Div)
    Impala Leopards (Vodacom Cup)
    2006
    Leopards (ABSA Under 21 Competition)

  • Comment 23, posted at 03.06.08 09:17:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • Not sure if the weight can be right for van Jaarsveld. If so, he needs another 10kg of solid muscle at least. He’s 23 already as well, so not that young

  • Comment 24, posted at 03.06.08 09:18:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : get that boy some creatine

  • Comment 25, posted at 03.06.08 09:23:31 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 25) : “Creatine”… right. If that’s what they’re calling it these days ;)

  • Comment 26, posted at 03.06.08 09:28:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • thanks for the info RD, i assume these guys are playing club rugby in KZN…. whats that about Snyman being at the NZ Academy, seems to indicate they have high hopes for him

  • Comment 27, posted at 03.06.08 10:14:26 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • @spykerbaard (Comment 27) : it’s the first I’ve heard of that. Villie? Any more info?

  • Comment 28, posted at 03.06.08 10:35:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • Rob for one who is going to be their flyhalf for the Currie Cup.
    Frenchman Fred is weak on defence and is he to recover properly,
    some rugby players take very long to get back to shape after a
    nasty fall to injury. Flyhalf is a pivotal role will and look
    Ruan Pienaar only came good near the end of the Super 14. Will
    Craig Burden make it at hooker starting all games as Skipper
    Badenhorst is not good enough for Currie Cup level. Players like
    Waylon Murray and JP Pieterson were not in-form and should have
    been dropped as they never looked like the star players of 2007.
    Rory Kockett also went off the boil and his ill-dicspiline, weak
    goal-kicking cost them a home-semi-final for position 2 on the log.
    I do not want to carry on as the Sharks have proven chokers for
    years now and we will talk again in October on this topic.

  • Comment 29, posted at 03.06.08 12:37:41 by rugby brain Reply

    Under 19 player
     
  • @rugby brain (Comment 29) : you should read my series of Currie Cup articles ;)

    Also, did you read my opinion about Fred at flyhalf?

  • Comment 30, posted at 03.06.08 12:42:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • I love when they state their favourite food as ‘meat’. :lol:

  • Comment 31, posted at 03.06.08 12:49:26 by ra-cheltjie de' be-er Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @ra-cheltjie de’ be-er (Comment 31) : keep it simple ;)

  • Comment 32, posted at 03.06.08 12:51:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @rugby brain (Comment 29) :

    Flyhalf is a bit of a problem but Brad did take us to the semi’s last year so forgive us for seeing him as the light at the end end of the tunnel.

    Just to touch on Waylon and JP…yes they didn’t exactly fire from all cylinders but…
    1. People drop and then GAIN form.
    2. That was a different tournament.

    So I’m still looking at Waylon as a potential star for this year’s CC.

    Rory Kockott had a decent season in a tough league and in my eyes he is an Emerging bok 9 in the true sense of the term)

    as for the rest of your post regarding “chokers” :roll:

  • Comment 33, posted at 03.06.08 14:06:40 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • @rugby brain (Comment 29) :

    We may be chokers – but at least we are the only South African team to make it to the final. I would say there has to be some merit in that.

    As everyone knows – I am not a big JP fan but I wouldn’t drop him – he just needs to pick up form again. I do believe he needs to sit on the bench a bit until that happens though. Same thing with Waylon – it will come back.

    The Sharks can hold their head up high!

  • Comment 34, posted at 03.06.08 14:33:16 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
     
  • Sorry semis – :oops:

  • Comment 35, posted at 03.06.08 14:34:05 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
     
  • Waylon and JP simply need to play themselves back into form in the CC – simple and klaar. They didn’t suddenly become bad players

  • Comment 36, posted at 03.06.08 14:38:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • Maybe PdV has a point about JP’s conditioning…let’s how how his special training programme works for him…

    Waylon will have to play himself to form…but he need not do that from the bench. I reckon he’s still head and shoulders above the rest of the centres you’re likely to find in the CC. He’s also one for the future so he has to bring back his confidence pronto.

  • Comment 37, posted at 03.06.08 14:47:22 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • 1st how = see :oops:

  • Comment 38, posted at 03.06.08 14:48:04 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • @blackshark (Comment 37) :

    The conditioning programme for JP is called “get the wooma back in your step”! Just kidding. He is a very talented player – it just needs to come back.

  • Comment 39, posted at 03.06.08 15:05:46 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Nessa (Comment 39) : :lol: Ja, it’s probably mental conditioning…

  • Comment 40, posted at 03.06.08 15:10:15 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • Did you guys read the interesting background to our poster Millisa on Sharks rugby……we have our very own American posting here!

  • Comment 41, posted at 03.06.08 16:30:02 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 41) : was hoping she’d give us a plug ;)

  • Comment 42, posted at 03.06.08 16:33:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • FRIDAY, JUNE 13
    Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendly

    Griffons v The Sharks 19:00

    I assume it will be on Super Sport 1 and all the Shark Boks will released to play this vital match? ;)

  • Comment 43, posted at 03.06.08 16:36:06 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 43) : pass the pipe! You’re hogging it

  • Comment 44, posted at 03.06.08 16:43:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • Nqubeko Zulu who at 1.92m and 92kg

    That is not even big enough for a flank…even smallish flank forwards like Baywatch weigh 99/100….

    Floors is an exception…

  • Comment 45, posted at 03.06.08 16:59:47 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hmmm (Comment 45) : yeah… kinda mentioned that in the article ;)

  • Comment 46, posted at 03.06.08 17:03:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) :

    No…you mentioned that is too small for a lock!??! LoL

  • Comment 47, posted at 03.06.08 17:08:24 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 43) : Friday the 13th :shock:

  • Comment 48, posted at 03.06.08 17:08:26 by ra-cheltjie de' be-er Reply

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  • @Hmmm (Comment 47) : I’ve seen through your plan… you just want to get to the point where all 30 of the most recent comments are yours. Then you’re going to take a screen shot, print it out and stick it up in your bar, right?

  • Comment 49, posted at 03.06.08 17:15:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 49) :

    As long as I will be able to exclude the sharksWorld logo….LoL

  • Comment 50, posted at 03.06.08 17:44:16 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • It seems Villie is spot on. Snyman is currently in New Zealand at Mexted’s plek. I’ve already sent a message to find out if he’ll be back in time for Currie Cup this year

  • Comment 51, posted at 05.06.08 11:17:20 by robdylan Reply
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