robdylan

Sharks have their ten


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 4 Nov 2008 at 10:19
Tagged with : , , ,

According to a report on Keo, Ruan Pienaar will be the Sharks’ first-choice flyhalf for the 2009 Super 14.

Now, as usual, we should probably apply a liberal sprinkling of sodium chloride, given established doubts about the veracity of the above-mentioned site, but the source of the story is an interview with John Plumtree. Notwithstanding Ryan Vrede’s penchant for twisting things and getting them horribly out of context, Plummo seemed pretty unequivocal: “Ruan will play at 10 next year,” is what he apparently said to Vrede.

Reading between the lines, it would appear that the Sharks’ procurement team have been scouring the length and breadth of the rugby-playing world ever since Fred Michalak announced his intention to return home to Toulouse. Plumtree basically admitted that their attempts to secure the services of a super rugby quality flyhalf had failed, since such players don’t grow on trees (and, in fact, the Stormers are about the only SA franchise that actually have one). Good tens are like hen’s teeth at the moment and it would certainly be very risky indeed for the Sharks to back the young Len Olivier in this vital position, since he is untested at this level.

The other option available to the Sharks is, of course, to use Frans Steyn at flyhalf, but he has never really looked comfortable at pivot, given the reduced decision-making time available in that position. Steyn will get an extended run at inside centre next year, with a view to developing him as a flyhalf as he matures. It’s a sensible decision, but does mean that for Steyn, a regular starting berth in the Bok side will remain a dream until Jean de Villiers either loses form (unlikely) or suffers another injury (somewhat more likely).

Back to Pienaar, though. It appears that he is now keen to accept what many perceive to be his destiny; that he is potentially South Africa’s premier flyhalf. Pienaar’s uncanny physical resemblance to Henry Honiball has been widely remarked upon. Perhaps it’s now time for “klein Lem” to stake a lasting claim to the jersey that was worn with such distinction by his illustrious doppelgänger.

Boks aside, for the Sharks, this just makes damn good sense. With Rory Kockott as first-choice scrumhalf – willing and able to take some of the goal-kicking pressure off Pienaar – and the live wire Charl McLeod as his deputy, the Sharks are not short of quality options at the base of the scrum. Pienaar will set the pace at flyhalf, while Olivier can fill in if the situation allows. Steyn, Riaan Swanepoel, Adrian Jacobs and Waylon Murray will battle it out for the centre berths, although the latter may well find himself operating more on the wing. Either way, there is talent aplenty across the board.

Mark my words – with Ruan Pienaar at flyhalf, the Sharks will win the 2009 Super 14.



47 Comments

  • I don’t think Steyn has to wait for JdV to retire to get the no.12. If the Sharks give him an extended run at inside centre he will pack a better punch in the fight for the jersey.

    Then there’s PdV’s “Horses for Courses” thing…so in some games he might feel the need to use Steyn’s rawness and boot.

    And, as you said, there’s that little matter of injuries…

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.11.08 10:29:04 by chernaya akula - BS Reply
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  • Original article, great stuff Mr. Roberto :lol:

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.11.08 10:34:40 by Charlie Reply
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  • @Charlie (Comment 2) : ah well… it just wouldn’t feel right to copy stuff straight off Keo :) I would feel a right hypocrite if I published any of Vrede’s stuff here verbatim, given my (publicly aired) views about his journalistic abilities.

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.11.08 10:36:30 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • @chernaya akula – BS (Comment 1) : fair point. The Sharks-Stormers game is going to be a cracker, with Fransie up against de Villiers, each determined to prove that they are the best.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.11.08 10:37:12 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • Great news! Or is it?
    If consistant, P de Villiers will be informing Ruan Pienaar that if he wants a sniff at the Bok jersey then he must specialise at inside centre or scrum half again – with this will be a request for the Sharks to accommodate him in that position.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.11.08 10:39:58 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 4) :

    It will be played down with the usual BS of ‘you cannot concentrate on one man only’ blah blah blah.

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.11.08 10:40:30 by MorneN Reply
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  • Now only for Steyn to be moved to 15…

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.11.08 10:41:35 by MorneN Reply
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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 3) :
    I think he’s the worst of the lot…

    @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 4) : Yeah it should be…Ruan and Steyn vs Grant and JdV…

    Okay…we’re thinking too far ahead here…aren’t we? :smile:

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.11.08 10:45:17 by chernaya akula - BS Reply

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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 3) : Good for you :grin:

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.11.08 10:45:31 by Charlie Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 5) : cynical much? :)

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.11.08 10:48:43 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 5) :

    Honestly, Salmo…I can bring myself to regard this as one of PdV’s eccentric ideas. It’s something that I (and almost all the Sharks/Boks bloggers) have been talking about for a long time….so it must be a good idea. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.11.08 10:49:09 by chernaya akula - BS Reply

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  • @MorneN (Comment 7) :

    Steyn will be a legend in 3 positions.

    Centre now, flyhalf a bit later and fullback is where he’ll retire…

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.11.08 10:50:28 by chernaya akula - BS Reply

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  • @MorneN (Comment 7) : yeah well…

    Sharks are still going to have a problem at the back if Oom Stef breaks down. Earlier in the CC season I was convinced that ST was finished… but he clearly has at least another Super 14 campaign in him.

    We’ll need to use Odwa at 15 if he doesn’t last. It’s actually something that excites me quite a lot, because then you can have JPP and Waylon as your wings.

    Shit… apart from “little” Adi at 13, you have 3 100kg-ers with skill and pace in your 3/4s…

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.11.08 10:50:49 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • Friday 13 February 2009

    Stormers vs Sharks at Newlands.

    Woohoo!

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.11.08 10:56:44 by PJLD Reply
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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 13) :

    I think it would be to our advantage ( and maybe his as well) to start getting serious with the Odwa at 15 thing. That’s another spot needing more depth for both the Sharks and the Boks.

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.11.08 11:00:11 by chernaya akula - BS Reply

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  • @PJLD (Comment 14) : I’ll be there… me & Jason :twisted:

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.11.08 11:00:33 by Charlie Reply

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  • @PJLD (Comment 14) : that is going to be one of our tougher away games…

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.11.08 11:04:44 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • @chernaya akula – BS (Comment 15) : yeah, I agree. Given an extended run at 15, Odders could establish himself as a real Bok contender in that possie.

    @Charlie (Comment 16) : who’s Jason?

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.11.08 11:05:25 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • Hallaulah!…. just wonder how Ruan really feels about this all, having just played some of his best rugby after an extended run at 9….give him some more money van Zyl, I heard that makes a player feel more comfortable in a position.

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.11.08 11:06:12 by Dive Pass Reply

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  • @chernaya akula – BS (Comment 12) :

    Agreed… and they’ll all be saying… imagine if FS was trialled at 15 all that time ago when there was an apt 10, 12, 13 in the squad already…

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.11.08 11:08:12 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 19) : while we’re at it, van Zyl should give ME more money as well. I do a lot of good work on his behalf here.

    @bryce_in_oz (Comment 20) : he he. Ok, so has he ever really played 15? I recall a few shaky performances there two years ago…

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.11.08 11:13:37 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 10) :
    @chernaya akula – BS (Comment 11)

    I think Plumtree must be as chuffed as anything that things have taken this route, but can you imagine what must have flashed through his brain after earlier being asked to only play Pienaar at 9.

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.11.08 11:14:48 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 18) : Jason Voorhees…The killer in the Friday the 13th movies… :twisted:

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.11.08 11:16:16 by Charlie Reply

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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 21) :

    You do help in the broader sense but you don’t directly make their tills go “ca-ching” and I have a sneaky suspicion you may actually draw traffic away from your pal they actually pay on the web.

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.11.08 11:23:46 by Dive Pass Reply

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  • @Charlie (Comment 23) : ah crap… I am SO SLOW! :oops:

    @Salmonoid (Comment 22) : yeah… reckon he was thinking about taking a drive out to Bergville

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.11.08 11:24:29 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 24) : nah – I actually don’t. I checked up on that.

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.11.08 11:25:32 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • @Charlie (Comment 16) : Good times

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.11.08 11:27:44 by PJLD Reply
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  • @Charlie (Comment 23) : That sounds afrikaans, like heemwee or something.

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.11.08 11:28:41 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 28) : eish

  • Comment 29, posted at 04.11.08 11:41:17 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 25) :
    Are you refering to a certain dairy farm between Winterton and Bergville.

  • Comment 30, posted at 04.11.08 11:50:44 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • These fears were allayed by Plumtree.

    “Ruan will play at 10 next year,” he told keo.co.za. “We’ve discussed the issue and we’ll sit back and see how he goes there. We’re pretty confident he’ll be a success and the fact that he’ll have an extended run of games in a set position will obviously help him.”

    Flyhalf Frederic Michalak’s return to Toulouse left the Sharks without a recognised 10 and this paved the way for Pienaar’s switch. “Freddie is a special player and you don’t just find players of that quality lurking around world rugby looking for a team to play for. But in Ruan we think we have a player who could be equally effective in time,” Plumtree said.

  • Comment 31, posted at 04.11.08 12:01:10 by barend Reply

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  • @PJLD (Comment 14) : eish daar kaka die weepeeeeee op die goeie 13de :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 04.11.08 12:08:26 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • In Ruan we trust…Just give him time so settle in the new position. Klein Lem….I don’t think Ruan will ever be a tackler like Lem, but I believe that he will be more creative…In Ruan I trust :grin:

  • Comment 33, posted at 04.11.08 12:09:25 by Pokkel Reply
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  • i wonder if the sharks tried to buy the argintinian flyhalf ??? that too would be a good buy

  • Comment 34, posted at 04.11.08 12:09:44 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 21) :

    Yep I forgot we were talking Sharks next year…

  • Comment 35, posted at 04.11.08 12:12:51 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • // Jeez quoting Keo as a source is bold

  • Comment 36, posted at 04.11.08 12:49:22 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 36) : :mrgreen: He tried to quote in the most non-quoting way ever…

  • Comment 37, posted at 04.11.08 12:54:47 by chernaya akula - BS Reply

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  • @chernaya akula – BS (Comment 37) : You mean….

    Allegedly a report on Keo, which quotes extensively from the Die Son, and Heat magazine, Suggested that Ruan Pienaar may actually play flyhalf for the rest of his life.

    The player was unavailable for comment, his agent suggested that this writer bury his head in the sand and thumbsuck anything he could come up with and write the story

  • Comment 38, posted at 04.11.08 13:01:33 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • :lol:

  • Comment 39, posted at 04.11.08 13:01:52 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 39) : ok – you’ve given me an idea.

    Going to mail Ruan’s agent and check this one out…

  • Comment 40, posted at 04.11.08 13:05:00 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 40) :

    No no don’t do it Rob!….you might set an unknown precedent….a journalist verifying a story!!!

  • Comment 41, posted at 04.11.08 13:20:55 by Dive Pass Reply

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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 38) :
    Sumfink like dat… :mrgreen:

    @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 40) : Maybe he’ll sommer tjoon you when we can expect the answers for the Q & A thingy…

  • Comment 42, posted at 04.11.08 13:22:08 by chernaya akula - BS Reply

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  • If this story is true then I think we have taken a giant stride to becoming the side of the millennium!!!
    I remember an interview with Butch after he had played with Gregor Townsend and he reckoned that Gregor turned him into a fly half. Having seen Freddy I have a feeling he has left a lasting impact on Ruan and you will see a huge difference in his style of play and his inventiveness. I really hope so hopefully we will see some of that on Saturday!

  • Comment 43, posted at 04.11.08 13:23:13 by Fattmann Reply
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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 41) : He he he…

  • Comment 44, posted at 04.11.08 13:26:53 by chernaya akula - BS Reply

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  • @Fattmann (Comment 43) : a bit late for that… maybe the side of the 10′s? :)

  • Comment 45, posted at 04.11.08 13:39:45 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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  • “Plumtree basically admitted that their attempts to secure the services of a super rugby quality flyhalf had failed, since such players don’t grow on trees (and, in fact, the Stormers are about the only SA franchise that actually have one)

    But isn’t Look reportedly leaving the Stormers now anyway?

  • Comment 46, posted at 04.11.08 18:14:00 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 46) : once bitten… :)

  • Comment 47, posted at 04.11.08 18:16:09 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
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