KSA Shark ©

2009 S14 Preview – The Sharks


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 28 Jan 2009 at 10:00

The Sharks are, without doubt, South Africa’s most successful and consistent team in Super Rugby.

Yes, the Bulls may have won the Super 14 a couple of years back, while the Sharks have not won it once, but three runners-up places and another three times in the play-offs is almost as much as all the other SA teams combined.

And, as Currie Cup champions and having reached the play-offs for the past two years, you have to bet on the Sharks to be right up there with the best this year again.

If they can maintain the momentum they built during the latter parts of last year’s Super 14 and the Currie Cup, they may well be worth a flutter (if you’re a betting man) to win the competition.

Strengths: Consistency is their one big advantage. The team possesses immense talent and an astute coaching team. They are blessed with depth in the front and back rows. They also have creative backs that are lethal finishers at the best of times.

Weakness: No real weaknesses, but they could be vulnerable in the second row if injury strikes. At 34 Albert van den Berg’s body may struggle to last the pace, while Alistair Hargreaves, talented as he is, lacks experience at Super Rugby level. But if Johann Muller and Steven Sykes stay injury free this should not be a problem.

Noteworthy signing: John Smit (back from Clermont)

Noteworthy losses: Frederic Michalak (back to France), Epi Taione (to Harlequins, England), Bradley Barritt (Saracens, England), Henno Mentz (Lions).

Coach: John Plumtree. While Dick Muir did an outstanding job with the Sharks, it was only once the Kiwi, Plumtree, took over that they got that steely resolve that saw them win the Currie Cup. He has an impressive coaching pedigree that includes the Wellington Lions (New Zealand), where he was in charge for five seasons – twice taking them to the New Zealand provincial Final – before joining the Sharks.

Captain: Johann Muller, who took over the leadership role when John Smit played for Clermont last year, has evolved into a impressive leader. He is not a stand out player from a spectator’s perspective, but does the dirty, hard work well. He also commands respect from his team-mates.

Player(s) to watch: The return of John Smit will leave coach John Plumtree with an interesting dilemma – who will be his starting hooker: Smit or Bismarck du Plessis. But it is in the backline where the real stars are – Ruan Pienaar, Francois Steyn and Adi Jacobs … the team’s game breakers.

2008 Position: 3rd on the standings, losing semifinalists
Best finish: Runners-up in 1996, 2001 and 2007
Worst finish: 12th in 2000 and 2005
Home Venue: Absa Stadium, Durban (capacity 52,000)

2009 Prediction: You would be a fool to bet against the Sharks making the play-offs again and they are perfectly placed to kick on from last year’s impressive Super 14 and Currie Cup performances. They could be in the Final again.

Sharks squad – provisional: Skipper Badenhorst, Nikolai Blignaut, Jacques Botes, Craig Burden, Deon Carstens, Patric Cilliers, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Bismarck Du Plessis, Jannie Du Plessis, Alistair Hargreaves, Robbie Harris, Ryan Kankowski, Beast Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Skholiwe Ndlovu, John Smit, Nic Strauss, Steven Sykes, Albert Van Den Berg, Wesley Bodmer, Andrew Borgen, Monty Dumond, Adrian Jacobs, Chris Jordaan, Rory Kockott, Scott Mathie, Charl Mcleod, Waylon Murray, Odwa Ndungane, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Francois Steyn, Andries Strauss, Riaan Swanepoel, Stefan Terblanche.

Schedule:
Saturday, February 14: v Stormers, away
Saturday, February 21: v Lions, home
Saturday, February 28: v Chiefs, away
Saturday, March 7: v Blues, away
Saturday, March 14: v Reds, away
Saturday, March 21: v Western Force, away
Saturday, March 28: v Brumbies, home
Saturday, April 4: v Hurricanes, home
Saturday, April 11: v Cheetahs, away
Saturday, April 18: v Crusaders, home
Saturday, April 25: Byes
Saturday, May 2: v Highlanders, home
Saturday, May 9: v Waratahs, home
Saturday, May 16: v Bulls, home

Courtesy of Rugby 365



66 Comments

  • Epi Taione a noteworthy loss? Gimme a break :)

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.01.09 10:12:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • Yeah baby!

    Now let me go and read the article… :razz:

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.01.09 10:13:27 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • The Sharks are, without doubt, South Africa’s most successful and consistent team in Super Rugby

    Not according to some mystery log… :roll:

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.01.09 10:14:23 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : Dude, if they mentioned Henno…they might as well include Iron Head…

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.01.09 10:16:08 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • Heeeere we go :roll:

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.01.09 10:16:33 by PJLD Reply
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  • the Bulls may have won the Super 14 a couple of years back, while the Sharks have not won it once, but three runners-up places and another three times in the play-offs is almost as much as all the other SA teams combined.

    Do I need to read any further?

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.01.09 10:16:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    They couldn’t just put Brad and Freddy in there or else everyone would realise how settled our team is.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.01.09 10:18:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • blah blah blah

    They might make the semi’s but they ain’t winning their first match against the Stormers!!! :twisted:

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.01.09 10:18:26 by wpw Reply
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  • The team and the schedule just keeps looking better as the competition gets closer… :grin:

    Sharks forever!

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.01.09 10:18:49 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • You would be a fool to bet against the Sharks making the play-offs again and they are perfectly placed to kick on from last year’s impressive Super 14 and Currie Cup performances

    These guys are pretty good with their predictions. :roll: :cool:

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.01.09 10:20:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @wpw (Comment 8) : You do realise that you’ll have to come up with a new line after the 14th of February…right?

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.01.09 10:20:55 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • But it is in the backline where the real stars are – Ruan Pienaar, Francois Steyn and Adi Jacobs

    So good to see someone give that 3rd name some much deserved recognition. :cool:

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.01.09 10:21:37 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 11) :

    Uhm, how about ‘NO’ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.01.09 10:22:01 by wpw Reply
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  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 11) :

    Something along the line of “We wuzz robbed!!!” :wink:

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.01.09 10:22:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • The schedule looks good, I’ll bet on he Sharks for the play-off’s. My only concern being the depth in the back line.
    Go Sharks this is your year.
    @wpw (Comment 8) : The Stormers better get a front row soon else they are going DOWN

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.01.09 10:40:43 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 15) :

    Mujati is gonna make the beast his biiiaaaaatttccchhh!!!

    (notice ‘the beast’ is in lower caps) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.01.09 10:43:24 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 16) : It’s not gonna be a pretty seeing Mujati getting his head pushed through his ass by THE BEAST ( thats if your a Stormers supporter off course) :twisted:

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.01.09 10:45:51 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 12) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.01.09 10:47:12 by Charlie Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : :lol:

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.01.09 10:48:28 by Charlie Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 16) : I am saving this message of yours for use in the very near future :wink:

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.01.09 10:52:18 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Only 16 days to go. :cool:

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.01.09 10:53:35 by McLovin Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 8) : dude – you found a tight five yet?

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.01.09 10:54:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 16) : @Pokkel (Comment 20) : O jinne, Mujati is still stuck in reverse gear :roll:

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.01.09 10:54:30 by Charlie Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : But they do have a light five :lol:

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.01.09 10:55:09 by Charlie Reply

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  • @Charlie (Comment 24) : Ant Rassie and Gary Gold are training them to go backwards fast without tripping over their own feet. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.01.09 10:56:45 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 25) : and :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.01.09 10:57:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I can’t wait for this match. We gonna show the Sharks how rugby is meant to be played!!! :???:

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.01.09 10:57:14 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 27) :

    that should be WINNING rugby!!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.01.09 10:59:38 by wpw Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 25) : Going back faster than Wacko Jacko doing the moonwalk on Billy Jean… :razz:

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.01.09 11:01:28 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 27) : @wpw (Comment 28) :

    Sharks are fast learners…they’ll use that lesson on that same day…

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.01.09 11:02:45 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 29) : I hope the Sharks play fair and also give the backline some game time. The forwards might just try and reach 50 points on their own :roll:

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.01.09 11:04:23 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    Epi’s loss is about as noteworthy as Mentz’s loss.

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.01.09 11:04:31 by MorneN Reply
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  • Or about as noteworthy as Steyn’s passing ability.

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.01.09 11:05:04 by MorneN Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : Yeh lol. Unbelievable.

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.01.09 11:05:24 by klempie Reply

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  • The Stormers will blow out by half-time. :grin: And maybe the boos will get to Puke Watson and passes the ball to Jacobs in space.

    Hey does anyone know when the Sharks are announcing their 2009 kit? I think the Stormers are the only south african team to announce their kit?

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.01.09 11:10:38 by Frisbee Reply

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  • @Frisbee (Comment 35) : Save the best for last :wink:

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.01.09 11:15:48 by Charlie Reply

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  • @Frisbee (Comment 35) :

    Stormers have announced their kit? Do you have a url or something, i missed that.

    I am hoping we get new kit in ’09 for the Sharks.

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.01.09 11:19:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Frisbee (Comment 35) : I can’t wait for the Stormers to play at one of the other SA stadiums to hear what the booing would be like away from Newlands.

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.01.09 11:21:16 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Frisbee (Comment 35) :

    That kit was just for the Sarries match as far as I know – won’t be available commercially.

    It is made up of signatures of fans from all over the world which you can do too if you visit iamastormer.com or something or other.

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.01.09 11:21:42 by MorneN Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 37) : As long as it’s not back to the grey shirts from 2007. Those shirts didn’t inspire me and they bring back bad memories.

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.01.09 11:22:28 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 39) : I’m surprised they got enough signatures to fill up the jersey :wink:

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.01.09 11:23:41 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 37) : nah dude… there is minimum a 2-year cycle on these things. New jersey was introduced last year

  • Comment 42, posted at 28.01.09 11:23:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • Ah ha so we’ll stay with the black. Good.

    Yeah I knew the signature jersey was just for the sarries game but I just got that info from super14.com.

    http://www.super14.com/shop/Sharks.asp

  • Comment 43, posted at 28.01.09 11:27:27 by Frisbee Reply

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  • @Pokkel (Comment 41) :

    Only the top half is signed if you look closely.

  • Comment 44, posted at 28.01.09 11:27:48 by MorneN Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 38) : One of my friends is still such a staunch supporter of Puke. We have argued over him ad nauseum now. So I’ll enjoy those boos even more :twisted:

  • Comment 45, posted at 28.01.09 11:29:06 by Frisbee Reply

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  • Cant believe they qoute consystency as a Shark strength. Thought that was one of their biggest draw backs in 2008 when they sort of never played a match in the whole of 2008 to their paper strength and nearly folded towards the end.

    John Smith is one huge signing for them and they wont have the same debts compare to 2008.

  • Comment 46, posted at 28.01.09 11:29:44 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • If I could add a strength of the Sharks I’ll say they did buried the choke in finals habit after winning the CC.

    Locks, what about the Kiwi Magpie Snyman? The Kiwis do rate him high.

  • Comment 47, posted at 28.01.09 11:32:55 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : I was also just confused by the lack of the 2009 replics jersey on the Shark cage website… Strange!

  • Comment 48, posted at 28.01.09 11:37:20 by Frisbee Reply

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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 46) :

    but that IS consistency. :wink: we were consistently underperforming yet consitently winning. :smile:

  • Comment 49, posted at 28.01.09 11:52:47 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • I’ve ordered my Stormers jersey. First ever. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 50, posted at 28.01.09 11:54:51 by McLovin Reply

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  • @McLovin (Comment 50) :

    I see the next step after raving lunatic (dementia) is slowly starting to kick in. :grin:

  • Comment 51, posted at 28.01.09 11:58:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Frisbee (Comment 45) :

    your friend must be a real intelligent guy then!! :wink:

  • Comment 52, posted at 28.01.09 12:00:42 by wpw Reply
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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 47) : yeah… Joe is an yster of note. Reckon he would have walked into either the Canes or Chiefs squads…

  • Comment 53, posted at 28.01.09 12:03:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 46) : We thumped the Cheetahs and Chiefs towards the end….

    John Smith? You mean Juan Smith?

  • Comment 54, posted at 28.01.09 12:24:46 by Baldrick Reply

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  • @Baldrick (Comment 54) : Sorry the Smit sonder die H. Difficult for us to understand Smit or Smith. :oops:

  • Comment 55, posted at 28.01.09 12:49:12 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 55) : Just spell the Inglish one “Smiff”… :)

  • Comment 56, posted at 28.01.09 12:52:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 46) :

    Are you saying we will problems with depth or not have problems?

    I think we have less depth this year than last year.

  • Comment 57, posted at 28.01.09 12:55:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 57) : yeah – a little less. But it might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

  • Comment 58, posted at 28.01.09 13:00:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 58) :

    could well be yes, none of the chopping and changing everyweek.

    Provided we don’t have injuries then it will be an awesome tourny.

  • Comment 59, posted at 28.01.09 13:02:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 59) : We are stronger at hooker, but slightly weaker at prop, given BJ’s departure and Pat’s injury. A bit better at lock, given that Sykes and Hargs now have some more experience. About the same at loose forward, since we’ve lost AJ and Epi but gained Deysel. Could still do with another one there…

    About the same at scrummie, slightly weaker at flyhalf without Fred, but having Ruan makes up for it. Len will also help. Centres are a bit weaker, but with Swannie in the picture, we’ll be ok. Back 3 is abut the same, although we’ve swapped Mentz for Jordaan – a big improvement

  • Comment 60, posted at 28.01.09 13:32:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • Personally I think we are stronger than last year with regard to depth. Agree with Rob we may be a little weaker at 6, 7, 8 but with the way both AJ and Epi performed last season, perhaps we are actually stronger here. Keegan has proven he can play any of the three positions, and Deysel is superb at 7. It would be nice to get a true out and out opensider though.

  • Comment 61, posted at 28.01.09 15:59:23 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 61) : ‘ello old fruit… :)

  • Comment 62, posted at 28.01.09 16:07:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • Weakness: No real weaknesses

    I’d say all round depth except for in teh front row…there the Sharks have a few players good enough to start in each position…

  • Comment 63, posted at 28.01.09 17:28:31 by Hmmm Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 60) :

    LIONS swapped Benjamin for Mentz and that was a huge improvement for them…. :shock:

  • Comment 64, posted at 28.01.09 17:29:40 by Hmmm Reply

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  • We are in the middle of a Hmmmmm-storm

  • Comment 65, posted at 28.01.09 17:31:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Hmmm (Comment 63) : rubbish. Nothing wrong with the Sharks depth

  • Comment 66, posted at 28.01.09 17:32:48 by robdylan Reply
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