Sykes has his eye on the Currie Cup

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Sharks on 7 Oct 2009 at 07:51
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Already having had a fantastic 2009, lock Steven Sykes is looking to end the year by helping the Sharks to back-to-back Currie Cup titles and being a part of the Springbok tour squad.. He chats to Peter Murison of

This interview opportunity was made possible by World Artists.

With just one week left in the League stage of the Currie Cup, the defending Champions find themselves second on the log. Level on points with Western Province but well behind on points difference, the men from KwaZulu Natal will desperately be looking for a five point-haul this weekend in order to keep the pressure on Luke Watson’s men.

Standing in their way though is a determined Griquas side. Dawie Theron’s troops are currently in fourth place on the log but need at least two points from this weekend’s clash in Kimberley to stay ahead of the Cheetahs and put themselves into a semifinal next weekend.

All of which makes this weekend’s match a very exciting prospect.

“You can never take any match down in Kimberley lightly. It’s always tough but we’ll definitely be up to the challenge this weekend,” said Sykes to rugby365.

“We’ve still got top of the table on our minds and getting five points this week [is the goal]. By the time we get off the plane back in Durban we will definitely know what happened between Western Province and the Lions and who came top of the log.”

Successfully blooding youngsters early in the season, the Sharks, according to Sykes, are now benefiting from having the Springboks back in the fold as well.


While they may have laboured to a win over the Lions last weekend, the spirits remain high in the Sharks camp.

“We’ve got a great vibe in the camp at the moment.

“The season as a whole has been great, there have been a lot of youngsters which we have used while our Springboks have been away so I think we’ve done well with them – giving them game time has been great.”

Personally, 2009 has been a big year for Sykes. Having just missed out on a Springbok cap earlier in the year, the Sharks Academy product has established himself as a key part of John Plumtree’s squad.

“It’s just nice getting the opportunity and getting game time so you can express yourself. If somebody trusts in you, like the coaches at the Sharks, if they believe in me, it makes it so much easier for you to play good rugby. Your teammates are behind you all the way as well.”

A late call-up to the squad, Sykes was named on the bench for South Africa for their final test against the British and Irish Lions but did not get any time of the pitch as the Springboks went down 28-9.

Even before that though, the lock had enjoyed appearances for both the Springbok XV and the Emerging side.

“It was actually a great surprise for me after the Super 14 when they said I was in the Springbok XV which played against Namibia and when I got selected for the Emerging Springboks that was a privilege.

“Definitely one of the biggest highlight [of my career] was when they called me and told me I was on the bench for the third test against the British and Irish Lions. Unfortunately I didn’t go on but hopefully my time will come soon.”

With the big clash in Kimberley the first item on his agenda, Sykes makes no secret about his desire to once again be a part of the Springbok squad.

“At the moment I am just looking at winning the Currie Cup again with the Sharks and then to go on the end of year tour with the Springboks.

“Just to play international rugby is one of my main goals I would like to achieve – whether it is now or next year, I’ll just keep working until my time will come.”


  • All the Best – I certainly think he deserves a spot in the EOYT squad! He has grown so much in his rugby in th epast year and is settling nicely into his position.

    I wish for you that your “time” comes sooner than later!! Defnitely deserves a spot ahead of Bekker IMO..

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.10.09 08:04:56 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Comment 1) : i see you still have a little schparkle for him. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.10.09 09:07:46 by try time Reply

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  • isn’t jacque fourie back for the lions this week? he might as well prove to rassie he is better than the current centres at province.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.10.09 09:09:55 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 2) :

    Dont you agree though?? :?: ;-)

    Schparkle?? LMGA!!!! :lol:

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.10.09 09:10:52 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 3) :

    I think he has done that…isnt that why they are fighting to get him out of his contract?? :roll: ;-)

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.10.09 09:12:10 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Comment 4) : yeah he is good, just not bakkies enough. he could do better at clearing players. but overall performance he is top tier.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.10.09 09:17:55 by try time Reply

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  • @GI Ice (Comment 1) : Is he like your brother or skelmpie perhaps? :wink: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.10.09 09:19:31 by McLovin Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 6) :

    just needs experience..

    I see Lions are not getting Shaw anymore..

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.10.09 09:19:49 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Comment 5) : i am just hoping he will put his differences with the lions aside so he can smash the wp for us.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.10.09 09:33:29 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 9) :

    I always thought he is professional enough and grounded enough, but after that “best in the world comment” I am not so sure anymore! :roll: ;-)

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.10.09 09:44:08 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 7) :

    Hey – give credit where credit is due…it does not always have to be anything else, you know! :roll: ;-)

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.10.09 09:45:14 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Comment 11) : :lol: Okay. He did impress me against the BIL.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.10.09 09:54:36 by McLovin Reply

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  • @McLovin (Comment 12) :


  • Comment 13, posted at 07.10.09 10:07:23 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 12) :
    @GI Ice (Comment 13) :

    Ohh you mean teh Emerging Bok Squad??

    I thought you being sarcastic as he did not get a chance to play in the 3rd test! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.10.09 10:08:35 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Comment 14) : :lol: No sarcasm. But wish I had thought of that now. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.10.09 10:12:38 by McLovin Reply

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  • @McLovin (Comment 15) :

    You need to be sharp to think like that.. :roll: :twisted: :lol:

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.10.09 10:14:30 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Comment 16) : Wait till I wake up. :wink:

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.10.09 10:21:24 by McLovin Reply

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  • @GI Ice (Comment 1) : Sykes is a 4, Bekker a 5.

    He’ll be going up against Pakslae :(

    But maybe in a 37-man squad, Sykes will get the nod as 5th lock. Particularly if Joe is crocked

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.10.09 11:06:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) :

    Is there no replacement for a 4 lock then in a squad of 22? Is it one lock replacemnt for both 4 and 5?

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.10.09 11:58:14 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Comment 19) : yup… number 18 usually covers both lock positions.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.10.09 12:47:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • Heading on Supersport dot com site:

    Lions expect Newlands upset :?:

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.10.09 13:02:03 by McLovin Reply

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  • Well if they show up at Newlands on Saturday there will be quite a few people ‘upset’. :lol:

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.10.09 13:03:33 by McLovin Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) :

    But is does not matter if 18 is 4 or 5 in his “natural position?

    That’s what I mean by Sykes should go be chosen ahead of Bekker.. ;-)

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.10.09 13:08:07 by GI Ice Reply
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  • Found this on Superbru:

    Gerdie Karstens

    Kimberley – Griquas may well be without captain and No 8 Jonathan Mokuena for Saturday’s Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Kimberley.

    The Griquas skipper will appear in front of a SARU judiciary in Bloemfontein on Wednesday after picking up his third yellow card of the season in the weekend’s Currie Cup match against the Blue Bulls.

    “SARU rules dictate that a player has to appear in front of a judiciary if he receives three yellow cards in the same season. Mokuena’s lot will be determined at a hearing in Bloemfontein,” said SARU’s legal manager Christo Ferreira.

    Should Mokuena be suspended, Griquas will have to cope without a fine player in a match that will determine whether they advance to the semi-finals.

    His yellow cards were all for professional fouls and not foul play. That may well be a point in his favour.

    Rumours were circulating this week that two other players – flanker Rohan Kitshoff and Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner – had also been cited.

    Kitshoff used a stiff arm on an opponent after the whistle, while Kirchner tackled another player dangerously. However, neither of them were cited.

    “Kitshoff and Kirchner have not been cited,” said Ferreira.

    It is an open question why they were not cited. Kitshoff virtually decapitated the Bulls player, while Kirchner’s tackle looked a lot more dangerous than the one for which Bok centre Jaque Fourie was suspended for three weeks.

    Meanwhile, Christo Buchner reports that the uncertainty about the injured players in the Sharks squad is complicating the matter of selection ahead of the Griquas clash.

    Assistant coach Grant Bashford said that there would only be certainty on Thursday morning about which of the injured players would be available.

    Centre Riaan Swanepoel, who missed the last few games, will be considered.

    John Smit, Johann Muller and Craig Burden also trained with the Sharks on Monday and Tuesday. However, there is still no certainty whether they’ll be able to make the trip to Kimberley.

    Impressive flanker Jean Deysel has not trained with the Sharks squad this week. However, there is a possibility that he may be able to play.

    The provisional Griquas team:
    Riaan Viljoen, Bjorn Basson, Jaco Bekker, Barry Geel, Trompie Nontshinga, Naas Olivier, Sarel Pretorius, Jonathan Mokuena (captain), Davon Raubenheimer, Wesley Wilkins, Jacques Lombard, Cecil-John Kemp, Ruaan du Preez, Rayno Barnes, Albertus Buckle. Substitutes: Andries Kruger, Drew van Coller/Eric Coetzee, Brendon Snyman, Heinrich Stride, Donald Stevens, Wilmaure Louw, Gavin Passens.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.10.09 14:09:39 by GI Ice Reply
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