My money is on the Sharks to win the Currie Cup!
I know I may have to eat my words in a couple of months time but just watching the way the team has come along this season, gives me enough confidence to pin my colours to the mast.
After a poor start to the season, they have clearly begun to gel as a unit over the last couple of rounds.
It has been good to see and last week, prior to the Sharks’ crushing win over Province, assistant coach Grant Bashford gave quite a bit of insight into the mood of the camp.
He explained that following the win over Griquas, the spirit among the players in the changeroom was completely different to anything else this season, he described it as electric.
Then following their win over Province, a euphoric John Plumtree said he was pleased to see that the guys were starting to play for one another.
So it seems that the change of attitude among the group has clearly not escaped the attentions of the coaches either.
At the moment, the Sharks are on break but it has been quite an interesting week. It was confirmed that Scott Mathie is heading abroad while BJ Botha has been generously released from his Sharks contract so he can take up his three-year deal with Ulster.
It is rather ironic that BJ’s announcement was made public the day before star prop prospect Pat Cilliers is set to make his return to competitive rugby with the Sharks U21s following a lengthy injury lay-off.
In other news, chatting to Ruan Pienaar yesterday, he said he has decided he wants to settle down at scrumhalf and that he is tired of being shuffled around the backline.
Contrary to a report on Keo.co.za he said he was not giving the Sharks an ultimatum to play him there ‘or else’.
Though it will be interesting to see how he is managed because Rory Kockott should be fit by the time the Sharks return to action.
Earlier this week I also had a word with Bok legend Naas Botha and he had some rather interesting insights.
He basically proposed that a way to spice up the Currie Cup may be to have “privately owned” local rugby unions that could buy the best players from around the world, similar to cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) and soccer’s English competitions.
He also said he felt Ruan and Frans Steyn needed to decide where they wanted to play and if it happened to be at flyhalf then they should “take each other on”.
“It certainly is an interesting time in world rugby at the moment,” Botha said as he summed up the numerous contentious issues he had touched on. Interesting times indeed…Tweet