Sharks Juniors also in Semi action

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks on 10 Oct 2008 at 10:47
Tagged with :

Having finished the round stages of the Absa Under 19 competition at the top of the log, the Sharks Under 19s have the good fortune of hosting their semi-final on Saturday against the fourth-placed Golden Lions Under 19s at 12.05pm at The Absa Stadium Durban in the curtain-raiser to the main game between the Sharks and Xerox Lions kicking off at 2.30pm.

Mike Marnewick writes for

Having dispatched of the Golden Lions 37-19 in their pool match two weeks ago, the promising young team will go into this match high on confidence and looking to get the day off to the best possible start for the Union.

Manager Rudolf Straeuli explains that they have used a squad of 30 from the club scene, Sharks Academy, contracted and even a school player. “They’ve done themselves proud,” explains Straeuli. “We have a good coaching team, a strong squad and although the Under 19s they haven’t won this competition before, it’s good for the Union to start that winning habit and having that winning culture from junior ranks.”

The group have also enjoyed rubbing shoulders with the senior team and traveled to Griquas with the Sharks earlier in the tournament.

“We’ve also used senior players like Johann Muller helping with lineouts, John Smit for hooker and Stefan Terblanche and it’s good for the youngsters to see their career path in the Sharks family and to know that to become a professional, they have to work hard but that there are opportunities – if there’s one province that gives opportunities it’s the Sharks.”

He points out that the squad is made up of lot of local players, “Captain Ross Cronje (pictured) is from Michaelhouse and also made Natal Schools, while vice captain Dale Chadwick is from Westville. There is a nice Sharks culture coming through here.”

He explains that much of the success depends on good recruitment. “That’s the key, Gavin Melville and the junior Manco have done great recruitment work to get these players here.”

In essence, he points out that it is a combination of factors that have contributed. “Good recruitment, good local players, good club players and also coaching. Ettienne Fynn and Donald Ngwenya have enjoyed coaching young, talented players who are eager and keen to learn and succeed. Like the Sharks, they also like to play an expansive style and score tries [their 22 tries scored in 6 games was the highest total in the competition], they aren’t scared to try things.”

Finishing the pool stages at the top of the log obviously adds an element of confidence going into the semi-final, and Straeuli admits that it’s just a case of “doing the same we’ve been doing all season. We’ve beaten the Lions away, they’re a strong side and were top of the log before they played us and obviously will try get some revenge.

“But we’re quite capable of handling that pressure, we just have to keep our shape, remain calm and believe in ourselves and team-mates.”

Match 22

15. Faizel de Bruin
14. Mark Richards
13. Arno van Zyl
12. Howard Mnisi
11. Logan Basson
10. Guy Cronje
9. Ross Cronje (Captain)
8. Meyer Swanepoel
7. Lambert Groenewald
6. Cameron Dunlop
5. Kene Okafor
4. Jandre Marais
3. Julian Redelinghuys
2. Kyle Cooper
1. Dale Chadwick (Vice Captain)

16. Dean Muir
17. Bradley Mitchell
18. Francois Robertse
19. Renaldo Bothma
20. Damien Jansen van Rensburg
21. Wynand Pienaar
22. Daniel Ojiambo

2008 Playing Squad:

15. Faizel de Bruin / Logan Basson
14. Mark Richards
13. Arno van Zyl / Yazeed Johnson / Damien Jansen van Rensburg
12. Wynand Pienaar / Howard Mnisi / Ruan Combrinck
11. Daniel Ojiambo / Justin Manuel
10. Guy Cronje / Justin Botha
9. Ross Cronje / Guy Cronje
8. Meyer Swanepoel / Cameron Dunlop
7. Lambert Groenewald / Carl Marks
6. Jason Kaschula / Renaldo Bothma
5. Kene Okafor
4. Jandre Marais / Francois Robertse
3. Francois Hanekom / Julian Redelinghys / Dexter Fahey
2. Johannes Snyman / Kyle Cooper / Dean Muir
1. Dale Chadwick / Bradley Mitchel


  • those Cronje brothers are the shit… really hoping they make it to the big time

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.10.08 11:21:24 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • I can sense a DOUBLE…

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.10.08 18:47:32 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.