robdylan

Smit to save Sharks?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 23 Sep 2008 at 10:23
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Faced with somewhat of a looming crisis at prop heading into this weekend’s crunch match at Coca Cola Park, John Plumtree may well find himself needing to use Bok captain John Smit as emergency prop cover.

Details are sketchy at this stage of the week, as they always are and there are conflicting reports about the potential availability of the Sharks two best looseheads, Tendai Mtawarira and Deon Carstens. The latter pulled out of the Valke game at the 11th hour after injuring his calf in practice, while the Zimbabwean crowd favourite has been carrying a groin niggle ever since his heroics against the Wallabies at Ellis Park almost a month ago.

Planning for the worst-case scenario, which would see neither player making the trip to Johannesburg this weekend, the Sharks would no doubt start with Jannie du Plessis at tighthead and Pat Cilliers on the other side. Against the Lions, one should bank on replacing your tighthead after 60 minutes anyway, as their loosehead Heinke van der Merwe is a ferocious scrummager who has bested better props that Dr du Plessis with some ease. Cilliers himself is no slouch on the other side of the scrum, tighthead being his natural position anyway, but the approach of the Sharks management when it comes to the youngster seems to be one of caution. After bursting onto the scene in 2007, Cilliers has spent the better part of a year on the sidelines nursing a variety of knee injuries and I for one would be very surprised if the coaching staff were prepared to throw him into the deep-end at this stage.

Although having another loosehead like Melusi Mthetwa on the bench might seem the appropriate thing to do, I wonder if Plumtree et al aren’t planning on springing a surprise by picking John Smit as prop cover. It’s a move unlikely to find universal favour; Smit last played tighthead regularly for South Africa at age group level and has been found wanting when forced to switch over in recent times. That said, rumours would indicate that Smit’s near-term future in Durban is likely to see him packing down on Bismarck du Plessis’s right hand side, as part of the agreement guaranteeing the latter gametime at hooker.

Bismarck du Plessis will start this crunch game at hooker with his brother alongside him and this is the configuration that, through the working of a strange sort of family synergy, always seems to lift the games of both players. Smit’s inclusion amongst the reserves should probably be a given at this stage, but the varying permutations regarding which of Carstens, Mtawarira or (hopefully) both are passed fir for the game should have quite an influence on the particular number the Bok captain ends up wearing.



42 Comments

  • Mike Greenaway’s latest article seems to suggest that both Carstens and Beast will be available, so it’s a caes of who’s right, him or Liam del Carne.

    I back Greenaway. The dude hasn’t missed a Sharks practice in about 20 years ;)

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.09.08 10:45:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • so, in that case, here is my first daily “possible team” :)

    15 Stef, 14 Odders, 13 Steyn, 12 Barritt, 11 Pietersen, 10 Michalak, 9 Pienaar, 8 Kanko, 7 Wolla, 6 JB, 5 Muller, 4 Sykse, 3 Jannie, 2 Bis, 1 Beast

    16 Smit, 17 Carstens, 18 Cilliers, 19 van den Berg, 20 Daniel, 21 Kockott, 22 Jacobs

    Jeepers… not often you can afford to leave a player like Waylon Murray out of your 22

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.09.08 10:50:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’m so happy Smit is back. Now we (Boks) can have a real captain/leader again. :twisted:

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.09.08 10:56:46 by McLovin Reply

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  • @McLovin (Comment 3) : amen

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.09.08 11:03:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Halleluja brother! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.09.08 11:06:24 by McLovin Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : steyn ahead of adi?

    i reckon plum knows that with smit as captain we got a much better chance of winning the cc, i am sure he will feature come crunch time.

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.09.08 11:15:21 by knersboy Reply

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  • 12.steyn 13.jacobs , barritt will be benched for the rest of his time at the sharks unfortunently

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.09.08 11:23:36 by jjj1 Reply

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  • @knersboy (Comment 6) : my personal preference would see Adi at 13 and Frans at 22, but I know which way the wind blows

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.09.08 11:26:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @jjj1 (Comment 7) : what makes you say that? Inside info? ;)

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.09.08 11:27:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • no inside info , just what i believe as he is leaving an plumtree cannot offord to irritate players that arent leaving ie steyn ha ha i dont agree with it because why play michalak then? but i think it will happen they shouldnt though as building for the super14 does not make any sense when you havent won a trophy in 12 years

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.09.08 11:31:41 by jjj1 Reply

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  • @jjj1 (Comment 10) : I agree

    We need to make the best use of the players we have available to us NOW. Let’s win the Currie Cup and then take the culture of success through into next year.

    We need to settle on our first-choice centre pair now and let them gel. That midfield hole needs to be sorted out

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.09.08 12:00:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    Then why come he does not fill in for prop? :wink:

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.09.08 12:02:20 by I'ce (Rebel With a Cause) Reply
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  • this will be the sharks team for staurday

    15 stefan
    14 odwa
    13 adi / murray
    12 steyn
    11 jpp
    10 fred
    09 ruan
    08 kanko
    07 deysel
    06 botes / daniel
    05 muller
    04 sykes
    03 jannie
    02 bismark
    01 beast /carstens

    16 smitty
    17 carstens/ beast
    18 albert
    19 daniel / botes
    20 rory
    21 murray / adi
    22 barritt

    if either beast or carstens remains injured i am sure cilliers will come back into the squad

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.09.08 12:03:41 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • of late plumtree has subbed muller with about 20 min to go at least this may be good with smitty comming on that last 25 to 20 min to take over the captaincy too for when the going gets tough towards the end of the match

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.09.08 12:06:55 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 13) : it doesn’t count if you use so many slashes ;)

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.09.08 12:13:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : lol boet the first names entered is what i think will be the team

    so specially the prop slashes are of use lol

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.09.08 12:15:51 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Hey Rob’D! I am only climbing the ladder of the FL, hey?? Hey??? :lol:

    Tell me you guys miss us….this place has been dead without Ness, Me2, Debs, Mad, Me (of course)… :wink:

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.09.08 12:17:33 by I'ce (Rebel With a Cause) Reply
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  • @I’ce (Rebel With a Cause) (Comment 17) : goeie more on yskoue skattebol :mrgreen: :lol: how ru doing hun??

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.09.08 12:22:20 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • ok, so your team isn’t radically different.

    To be honest, I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see Steyn and Adi starting at centre and if that is the case, I have no real issue as long as we pick them together and keep picking them so they can gel. They will probably be our first-choice centre pair next year anyway.

    so – you would go with 4-3 against the Lions? I can’t say that I see them presenting much of a threat at the back

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.09.08 12:25:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @I’ce (Rebel With a Cause) (Comment 17) : of course we miss you! Come back! Work is overrated

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.09.08 12:25:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 18) :

    Hey SL…I am rather well , thank you for asking.. :wink:

    Hey man – tomorrow is “Braai Day”…and how I luuuuvvv a braai…pity there’s no rugby on… :wink:

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.09.08 12:26:41 by I'ce (Rebel With a Cause) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) :

    I so agree…any ideas for a nice 6 number combo…I need to see if I can ‘draw some cash at the lotto bank…otherwise I’ll have to draw with my balaclava and shotgun.. :cool:

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.09.08 12:28:11 by I'ce (Rebel With a Cause) Reply
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  • @I’ce (Rebel With a Cause) (Comment 21) : well bring hubby over and we can braai here and talk rugby lol :mrgreen:

    how is ice cube?? :lol:

    @robdylan (Comment 19) : the chances are if he goes for an extra flank then barritt might be the one sitting out

    this might be the case purely because murray is staying and he has starting to find form again

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.09.08 12:36:16 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 23) :

    Cube’s good as gold…and up to loads of mishief…sounds familiar? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.09.08 13:05:31 by I'ce (Rebel With a Cause) Reply
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  • :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.09.08 13:17:36 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 23) : Murray’s actually been looking pretty good on the wing, I thought…

    Maybe the way forward next year is to use JP at fullback, with Waylon and Odwa on the wing…

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.09.08 13:26:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : that would be my call too
    jpp was always a full back

    next years backline

    15 jpp
    14 odwa
    13 adi
    12 steyn
    11 murray
    10 ruan
    09 cockott

    reserve backs
    len olivier FH
    swanepoel center
    McCleod
    jordaan

    my concern is the backline depth
    are any of those 4 super 14 materiaL??

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.09.08 13:36:16 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • oh forgot stefan but could be his last season

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.09.08 13:36:40 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 27) : I reckon all four of those will be ok at Super 14… although maybe not Jordaan.

    Ruan wants to play 9, remember? So he’ll be at 9 with possible Olivier at 10

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.09.08 14:07:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • it thats the case rob id rather have steyn at 10
    murray at center with adi

    and stefan back at full back

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.09.08 14:15:29 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • fact is rob we a little thin in backline

    we need another 2 experienced backline players

    a good flyhal
    and a good full back come wing

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.09.08 14:23:05 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Adi and Frans at centre, Murray and Barrit on the bench – best available side that.

    Waylon is running much better lines at 14 than he did at 13 – sticking him out there for a season or 1 could do his game a world of good – as it did for Mortlock, Umaga and others.

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.09.08 18:35:58 by Big Fish (Norman Jordaan is a LEGEND) Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Norman Jordaan is a LEGEND) (Comment 32) : You mean 11, right? :-)

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.09.08 18:43:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 3) :

    If there was a comment of the day award…………..

    YOU GOT IT!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.09.08 19:33:41 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 13) :

    I don’t think we would have two centers on the bench. If we do have 3 backs on the bench I think one of them would be an outside back. Maybe start with Dumond at 15 and bring the master (Stef) in later.

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.09.08 19:39:20 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Maybe the news that another Kiwi has just been named as assistant coach, a fellow who has helped some of the Wellington Backline, is to help the Sharks mold an efficient Backline. So maybe there might be a backline shuffle come the Super14 “A new broom sweeps clean”. All depends what this man thinks and does.

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.09.08 22:41:43 by Dynamite Reply

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  • Helloooooo boys!
    I am new here, so please be gentle…

  • Comment 37, posted at 24.09.08 15:11:24 by Pietman Reply

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  • @Pietman (Comment 37) : welcome, Pietman. I’m sure the WP crew will be most pleased to have a new member :)

  • Comment 38, posted at 24.09.08 15:13:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • Thanx Rob, :cool: unfortunately I know very little about Sharks rugby, but I am willing to learn….

  • Comment 39, posted at 24.09.08 15:20:12 by Pietman Reply

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  • @Pietman (Comment 39) : we don’t know much either ;)

    We show a bit of a leaning towards the Sharks here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t discuss all the other teams too.

  • Comment 40, posted at 24.09.08 15:33:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : But we don’t like Wee Pee :lol: so we are harsher with Wee Pee supporters!! :wink:

  • Comment 41, posted at 24.09.08 21:53:30 by Villie Reply
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  • nostradamus was right!

  • Comment 42, posted at 25.09.08 12:12:51 by try time Reply

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