Looking at the key Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Sharks on 10 Oct 2008 at 09:28
Tagged with :

]It’s going to be a Springbok-laden Sharks outfit that will welcome the Lions to Durban on Saturday. Jacques van der Westhuyzen of the Pretoria News dissects the key players of the big clash and finds it’s no surprise the home side are overwhelming favourites.

Bismarck du Plessis

The powerful hooker will probably keep John Smit out of the run-on side, allowing coach John Plumtree to test the Lions at scrum time throughout the 80 minutes. Du Plessis has shown good form in recent weeks and will bring a lot of aggression and energy to the rucks and mauls, with his forceful play at the breakdowns a major asset to the Sharks. He’s also very lively in the loose and regularly links with his back division, while his lineout throwing is rarely off the mark.

Tendai Mtawarira

It’ll come as no surprise should the “Beast” be among the five nominees vying to be named South Africa’s Player of the Year. Mtawarira enjoys cult hero statuts in Durban and will draw on the fans to again produce a masterful display from the front row. While he made his mark thanks to some barn-storming runs, crashing through players and defences, he’s actually turned into a formidable scrummager. He’ll put lots of pressure on the Lions’ Ross Geldenhuys at the set-piece.

Ryan Kankowski

Phew, this man is on fire. It is now seriously time for Springbok coach Peter de Villiers to hand the big No8 an extended run in the national team. He’s only been back in the Sharks side for a couple of weeks, but boy, he’s made an impact. He’s very solid at the back of the scrum, picks-and-drives and even wins lineout ball. But it’s his linking with the backs that makes him such a special player – the perfect eighthman, then. He’s quick and mobile and, in space, is the most destructive runner in domestic rugby at the moment.

Ruan Pienaar

He’s had his ups-and-downs this season, being shifted between scrumhalf and flyhalf, but seems to have settled down in his preferred position in the No9 jersey and is back in form. Pienaar is probably one of the better readers of a game and this ability alone makes him a very dangerous proposition. His service is slick and his eye for the gap around the rucks and mauls is equally effecient. He’s a player one simply cannot take you eye off for a second – and he’s also kicking well at the moment.

Frans Steyn

He hasn’t had the best of seasons, but like so many of his teammates, he’s capable of turning in a match-winning performance every time he runs on to the field. Steyn has that rare ability to turn nothing into something special. He’s a strong runner, always looking for a gap, and when in space with time on his side will rip any defence apart. He’s a strong tackler who isn’t scared to stick his head into a ruck, and then there’s that powerful right boot.

JP Pietersen

He didn’t have a good start to the year and went for hundreds of minutes without crossing the tryline. But as the season’s gone on, he’s found his form and seems unstoppable right now, touching down at regular intervals. Pietersen is one of those players who crops up in the most unlikely places and he always seems to be on hand to collect the last pass. He’s got blistering pace and is improving all the time in defence, especially under the high ball.


  • Bring on Saturday!! Still disappointed to see you can buy 10 seats in a row on the half way line, at the front of the stand!! Not cool…

    Also, surely both Mr Price and The Sharks have some legal recourse available to them after being called ‘rampantly racist’ by Butana Komphela? After everything Mr Price has done for the country… Nice one SA politics

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.10.08 10:00:59 by Frisbee Reply
    FrisbeeVodacom Cup player
  • @Frisbee (Comment 1) : we don’t discuss politics here, Frisbee

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.10.08 10:36:28 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Go Sharks!) (Comment 2) :

    thats also why we have to crop up the feelings of the (yet again) Springbok emblem issue… :roll: :evil:

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.10.08 10:49:52 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
  • @robdylan (Go Sharks!) (Comment 2) : please can we? please. ha ha ha. i have been biting my tongue all morning. but don’t worry rob i don’t want to lower my standards by dropping to that level of amoeba.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.10.08 11:24:05 by try time Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • @try time (Comment 4) : no and if anything further is said about it, I will moderate. You all know the rules well enough by now.

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.10.08 11:25:41 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • ” Frans Steyn…He’s a strong runner, always looking for a gap,”
    What in the opposition player’s teeth? he isn’t really good at missing opposition defenders. he seems to relish the warm embrace of opposition defenders.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.10.08 11:28:06 by try time Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • @robdylan (Go Sharks!) (Comment 5) : spoil sport. :lol:

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.10.08 11:28:55 by try time Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • “come guys give me the ball, i want earl rose to hug me now. oh yes, yes i am at the bottom of a ruck. all this man meat that is on top of me. i am in heaven.”

    just the the above thought makes me want to dodge every defender on the field.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.10.08 11:37:13 by try time Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • @robdylan (Go Sharks!) (Comment 2) : sorry! :oops: much better and i agree with you 100%.

    personally, i want to see Odwa making some more for himself. Hope he can score a try on saturday. when was his last try btw?

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.10.08 11:45:50 by Frisbee Reply

    FrisbeeVodacom Cup player
  • @Frisbee (Comment 9) : last weekend against Griquas. Intercept. He drop-kicked the conversion for good measure :)

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.10.08 11:49:19 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Go Sharks!) (Comment 10) : oh ya how the hell could i forget about that!! i was so happy for him as well! having one of those days i guess… 22 hours 40 minutes to go!

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.10.08 11:52:10 by Frisbee Reply

    FrisbeeVodacom Cup player
  • haha sorry 26 hours to go! dammit i’m going for lunch :arrow:

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.10.08 11:53:17 by Frisbee Reply

    FrisbeeVodacom Cup player
  • @Frisbee (Comment 12) : then go post something on the “getting to know you ” thread :)

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.10.08 12:02:44 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @Frisbee (Comment 12) :

    I’m on like my 8th cup of tea in about a hour…if I were a smoker I would have surely lost a lung by now. Sh*t I hate this waiting. The people I work with are like “Milissa you’re looking a bit frazzled are you okay?”

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.10.08 15:50:16 by Milissa Reply

    MilissaVodacom Cup player

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