robdylan

Nothing more than a festival game


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, Original Content, Sharks on 9 Jun 2009 at 10:58
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I took a fair bit of stick for suggesting that the Sharks should field an experimental side for tomorrow night’s clash with the Lions. John Plumtree has since come out with some statements which echo my sentiments about this fixture; in the absence of nine regular starters for the Sharks, it is essentially nothing more than an exhibition match.

I’ve been struggling to understand exactly why it is that I’m struggling to get excited about what should be such a huge event – such a massive fixture on the calendar, since it only comes around once every 12 years. The British commentary team on Sky said something on Saturday which made me think, though. Talking about the Cheetahs team, they said “well, it’s really more of a Cheetahs XV this, isn’t it?”, referring to the fact that the Free State team wass not at full strength for the match. Regardless of the fact that it was only Juan Smith and Jongi Nokwe that were missing from the Cheetahs, they nevertheless considered the side suitably weakened that it should not be viewed in the same light as the Super 14 side. I wonder what they think of the Sharks team that has been chosen?

Let’s be honest, if you take two props, a hooker, a loose forward, a flyhalf, both centres and both wings out of a team, you weaken it to the point that you really can’t expect it to still be competitive. That is what has happened to the Sharks and it has turned a match that may have been an even contest into what will undoubtedly become a one-sided rout. Just what the British Lions need in terms of increasing their own confidence levels heading towards the first test. Just what the Sharks and South African rugby are meant to get out of this, I don’t understand.

Plumtree is spot on. If you don’t let the provincial sides play at full strength against the tourists, the crowds aren’t going to come out to support them. The rationale for a long tour thus falls away entirely and we’ll end up with the next Lions “series” in South Africa being a three-match, test-only affair. Is that what we want?

If we follow the current path, it’s exactly where we’ll end up.

SA Rugby needs to understand that its five strong Super Rugby franchises are only a drawcard when they are allowed to play at full strength. Nobody is interested in watching a weakened Sharks, Bulls or WP side get stuffed by the Lions – exact perhaps the small contingent of Lions fans that have accompanied the team on tour. Then again, based on the ludicrous ticket prices, maybe they are indeed SA Rugby’s target market, since few earning a salary in South Africa could ever hope to afford to go the games in the first place.

So go out and play some champagne rugby, Sharks, without worrying about the scoreline. It’s a festival game and you’re on a hiding to nothing anyway.



39 Comments

  • Sharks and even WP to win their games.The Lions are shyte.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.06.09 11:13:29 by Claytie Reply
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  • @Claytie (Comment 1) : alweer getik?

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.06.09 11:23:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Claytie (Comment 1) :

    I agree…Sharks by 7…

    Don’t know about WP though… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.06.09 11:31:19 by blackshark Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : sorry – forgot the :)

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.06.09 11:36:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Don’t worry the questions valid. Province couldn’t beat a grannies XV with a gentlemans agreement not to push in the scrum

    I must admit – its disappointing the Boks aren’t playing but the reality – the Boks need the two weeks preperation for the test as opposed to being sent off to play in a provinical team every three days.

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.06.09 11:41:23 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Nope but gearing up to get baked later.

    But seriously, WP to win their game.

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.06.09 11:43:15 by Claytie Reply
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  • @Claytie (Comment 6) : Bet you a sixer – they going to get their asses kicked.

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.06.09 11:46:33 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • maybe they should have played a team combined between the sharks and the bulls left overs from the bok squad

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.06.09 11:50:08 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • here is a team with the sharks and bulls left overs that could have been chosen

    15 stefan s
    14 akona b
    13 pretorius b
    12 swannie s
    11 kirchner b
    10 burton francis
    09 cockott s
    08 potgieter b
    07 deysel s
    06 stegmann b
    05 muller s capt
    04 sykes s
    03 jannie s
    02 kuun b
    01 carstens s

    16 bandisa maku b
    17 cilliers s covers both sides of scrum
    18 avdb s
    19 botes s
    20 keegan s
    21 heini adams b
    22 marius delport

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.06.09 11:52:17 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • a few good players not even in there like pedrie wannenburg

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.06.09 11:53:16 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 8) : that would have been a superb idea

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.06.09 11:55:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 7) : You’ve got yourself a bet.

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.06.09 11:56:07 by Claytie Reply
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  • Deal.

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.06.09 11:59:22 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : rob atleast it would have been a good contest

    what you think of the team i put together?? maybe some names i forgot

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.06.09 12:00:28 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 14) : 10 is injured. Kirchner to 15. Oom can sit on the wood.

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.06.09 12:02:01 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 8) : @sharks_lover (Comment 9) : @robdylan (Comment 11) :

    Very good idea provided the Bulls and Sharks Player don’t bliksem each other stukkend in training. :roll:

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.06.09 12:04:44 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 15) : nope

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.06.09 12:05:33 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 16) : :mrgreen: :lol:

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.06.09 12:06:18 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 17) : Okay…guess its part of the Shark ethos to play players out of position :lol:

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.06.09 12:10:56 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 8) :

    Good idea, since they’ll be playing Sharks + Bulls in the Test matches…anyway… :lol:

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.06.09 12:15:39 by blackshark Reply

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  • Off-topic…anyone else having problems accessing a number of websites today?

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.06.09 12:16:42 by blackshark Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 21) : One or two…the interwebs is being intermittent.

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.06.09 12:18:39 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • FOR THOSE THAT WANNA KNOW… BABY BOKS JUST BEAT ITALIANS 65-3 IN JUNIOR WORLD CUP

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.06.09 12:40:09 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 19) : show me a better reserve wing from either side and id play him

    thus kirchner gets the nod

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.06.09 12:41:53 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 23) : Good result. Tjorks have a couple of those younger chaps who played early this year Vuni or something to that effect.

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.06.09 12:43:10 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 19) : and for 2 years stefan has been the best and most complete full back in sa

    he had 1 bad game so he gets my vote to play full back , and kirchner can play wing next to him and learn some :wink: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.06.09 12:44:11 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • vulindlu is ok WS but he has bad hands
    since the game where he got man of the match i have seen him play 4 times
    and was shocked at how poor his handling is

    thats why i prefer to play kirchner on the wing
    atleast he will not drop every ball passed to him

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.06.09 12:45:42 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 26) : Again an opinion held only in KZN :lol:

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.06.09 12:46:17 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • and if burton is injured id actually play cockott at 10 and let heini adams play 09

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.06.09 12:47:25 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 28) : nope

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.06.09 12:48:01 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 28) : That’s because we watch him EVERY week. The guy has been superb. Definitely the form fullback in SA over the past 2 seasons. Kirchner has been excellent this season but Stefan has been good in 2 Super 14′s and last season’s CC.

    Only TT doesn’t rate him!

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.06.09 13:03:35 by Villie Reply
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  • Stefan is not as good as people make him out to be.

    He was pants during last year’s S14 but he did improve during the Sharks’ CC campaign.

    He is a poor mans Conrad Jantjes and adds little to the Sharks’ attacking play.

    I’d rather have Kirschner in the Bok squad than Oupa Stefan.

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.06.09 13:16:42 by wpw Reply
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  • Hey KSA!!!!! Welcome to SA K :???:

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.06.09 13:25:20 by Rahul Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 32) :
    A poor mans Conrad Jantjes :shock: , pah.

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.06.09 14:07:40 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 32) : ha ha ha, jantjes left one of his legs on newlands…i dont think so

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.06.09 14:39:59 by willa Reply

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  • http://fifaworldcup.durban.gov.za

    Interesting stuff to read there…

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.06.09 14:49:19 by blackshark Reply

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  • @Villie (Comment 31) : Again a view only held by purveyours of this blog and journalists who write for local rags. :lol:

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.06.09 14:52:32 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • would love to see the strongest sharks side possible.
    but the reality is – THERE IS SO MUCH RUGBY – that some of the games will necessarily be “diluted”.

    still… hope sharks will get the tourists run for their money – and a WIN :razz:

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.06.09 22:44:40 by rekinek Reply
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  • on a different note – can someone tell me how this justintv works. do they do games live? I’m trying to see the options of watching rugby over internet (will be holidaying in the old country during tests :evil:

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.06.09 22:49:49 by rekinek Reply
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