How do you get a team to go from nought to 100 in an instant. You appoint Stefan Terblanche as captain.
Jan de Koning of Rugby365 spoke to the Sharks veteran.
Yes, we know, it is a lame joke, but we couldn’t resist, seeing that the Sharks have two very contrasting set of records under two different captains.
Johann Muller, the first choice as skipper, has been in charge for two game – both against Western Province and also the only games the men from Durban have lost.
Terblanche, however, has been captain in the other seven – winning all seven games and taking them to the top of the standings.
Coincidence? Maybe. But Terblanche will take his record ahead of that tagged onto Muller any day.
The 34-year-old Springbok utility back, Terblanche, jokes about his nought-to-100 record, but admits that he enjoys leading the Sharks – having first taken over the captaincy armband after Muller fractured his arm in Round One and then again after Muller was called up for Springbok Tri-Nations duty.
“The guys have made it relatively easy for me,” he told rugby365, when asked about the Sharks captaincy, adding that with the exception of a Round Three encounter against the Blue Bulls – when they had three yellow cards flashed at them – it has been smooth sailing.
Terblanche is well aware that his 100 percent record will be severely tested when the Durban outfit travels to Pretoria this Saturday for the return encounter with the Bulls.
“It is not really that important, it is just a bit of a sideshow,” he said of his unbeaten run, adding: “Hopefully we can keep it intact this weekend.
“I enjoy the captaincy very much, it is certainly different and let me concentrate a lot more on my own game as well.”
Terblanche spoke of the need to “stay calm” as a captain, something he seems to manage with consummate ease.
However, he said he is just a good actor.
“That is experience for you, you learn to hide it well and don’t show when you are stressed out.”
The Sharks captain also knows that his team will have their work cut out against a desperate Bulls team, but felt that they have coped very well with being a target all season.
“It has been like that from the start of the season, as defending champions it is an added incentive for other teams to topple us and say they’ve beaten the defending champs,” Terblanche told rugby365.
“Saturday will be no different.
“The Bulls have lost their last two games, they are under pressure to win and they are at home – so they will come with a big effort.
“They [the Bulls] know it will take a huge effort to turn their season around and we will feel it.”
Terblanche, who is likely to finally call it a day at the end of next year, said the Currie Cup is still the ultimate for many players.
“It is good for SA rugby if the domestic competition stays strong and the standards are high, but you mist understand that most of the players who play in Currie Cup competition will never play international rugby.
“This is as big as it gets.
“The Currie Cup, for myself, this is the competition in which we play and this is where we want to show our mettle.
“It is a very important competition for us, we remain passionate about this competition.”
He confirmed that his contract with the Sharks runs till the end of next year.
“I think next year I will start giving some of the younger players more game time – give these old legs of mine some more time to rest.
“Obviously this year, with injuries and other factors, it has not always been possible, but most likely next year will be my last year.
“So hopefully the young guns can start coming through and I can guide them along the way.”
He said he has no immediate plans to take up a coaching role.
“I may take a break for a while from the game.
“I have been very fortunate to play for a very long time and I stayed relatively injury free – so I will look to take a break, just to relax on the weekends again and have a few beers with my friends … it won’t be too bad.”
Full name: Carl Stefan
Birth date: 2 July 1975
Birth city: Mossel Bay
Secondary school: Swellendam High
Tertiary education: Teachers College of Boland
Teams/squads: SA Under-21 (1996), SA Barbarians (1996), Boland (1994 to 1998), Natal/Sharks (1998 to date), Ospreys (2006-2007), British Barbarians (2000-2001)
Super 14 caps: 92; tries – 32; points – 168; debut – 1998 v Blues
Provincial caps: 123 (Boland 66, Sharks 57); tries – 77 (Boland 45, Sharks 32); points – 469 (Boland 295, Sharks 174); debut – 1994 v Stellaland (Boland)
Holds Boland Cavaliers record for most tries in a season (20 in 1997)
Holds Boland Cavaliers record for career tries (49)
Equal top try scorer in 1998 Super 12 with 10 tries
Member of Ospreys squad winning the 2006-07 Magners League
Test debut: 13 June 1998 v Ireland in Bloemfontein aged 22
Last test: 24 October 2003 v Georgia in Sydney aged 28
Total tests: 37
Tour matches: four
Total Springbok matches: 41
Tours: British Isles & Ireland – 1998; Wales – 1999; RWC in British Isles, Ireland & Europe – 1999; Argentina, Ireland, Wales & England – 2000; RWC in Australia – 2003.
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year nominee, 2008.
Tries: 19 – points 95