robdylan

Du Plessis brothers overplaying their hands?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 25 Jan 2010 at 00:53
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The news that the infamous du Plessis duo are once again peddling their wares the length and breadth of the rugby world is not really all that surprising. I’m referring, of course, to reports last week that Bismarck is in talk with Toulon. A weekend report in Beeld suggests that both brothers might rather depart for Johannesburg after the Super 14.

The brothers haven’t ever really been happy in Durban since John Smit’s return in 2008, according to the grapevine. Dark rumours of mysterious clauses in Bismarck’s contract continue to surface and it’s pretty much an “open secret” that both were aggressively pursuing a move to Pretoria last year, before Barend van Graan and his crew pulled out of the deal. Both signed two-year extensions with the Sharks, after protracted negotiations and the feeling at the time was that they’d pretty much painted themselves into a corner and had no other option.

Smit’s appointment as Sharks captain for 2010, coupled with his return to the Bok number 2 jersey last year – however temporary that may be – would appear to have pissed Bismarck off all over again. He was apparently spotted deep in agitated conversation with John Plumtree at Sharks training last week and as I mentioned above, it’s not altogether surprising to see his name linked to a big money move overseas. Bismarck du Plessis is probably the best hooker in the world right now, John’s other attributes notwithstanding and his value on the international market must be, quite frankly, staggering. The only real problem is the fact that he only ever travels with a considerable amount of baggage – in the form of his 120kg+ brother Jannie.

Now the older du Plessis brother is a steady enough tighthead and probably good value in a squad, but he certainly doesn’t offer anything more than solidity in the front row. His work rate, tackle execution and (particularly) discipline are way below par and quite frankly, having to accommodate him would make any potential suitor for Bismarck’s services have to think twice. Dick Muir, with his seemingly bottomless pot of money, would no doubt give his eye teeth to have a guy like Bismarck in his pack and given the absence of an established “star” tighthead in his line-up, would probably make a plan to accommodate Jannie as well. Given that the pair have already lost out on a Bulls move and sullied their reputations with both the Sharks and the Stormers (they’re still annoyed about the way Jannie played them off against the Sharks back in 2006), the Lions remains their only feasible option, given that Free State are never going to meet their wage demands.

But here’s the funny thing – according to the Lions fan site I just had a look at (which may or may not be a representative sample), Lions fans don’t seem to want them either! The brothers’ reputation for being prima donna’s seems so well entrenched in the mind of the larger SA rugby fan base that few seem particularly keen to have them in their team. If this site is an accurate barometer of the way Sharks fans view the latest developments, the consensus seems to be that if they aren’t happy, they must rather go somewhere else because, quite frankly, we’re tired of all the drama.

Have the DuP’s cried wolf one time too many? They are both talented players, sure, with Bismarck undoubtedly a world class athlete, but the picture that’s starting to emerge is one of a set of brothers whose egos are currently completely out of step with the rest of the SA Rugby landscape. Expect to see an announcement after the Super 14 that both have parted company with the Sharks – there can’t be this much smoke without some fire – but right now it’s anybody’s guess where they’ll end up.



51 Comments

  • “Bismarck du Plessis is probably the best hooker in the world right now”

    Sorry Rob, he is not even the best hooker in South Africa. This is something Morne and I agree with, John Smit, even not taking into account his superior leadership abilities, is still the better hooker than Bissie. Smit is a better scrummager at hooker than Bissie, Smit is better throwing into the lineouts than Bissie, and when it comes to play in the tight/loose, clearly they have different attributes. Smit is far superior at driving up and supporting our ball carriers, he is also superior at counter-rucking. Bissie is better on the ground, like a fetcher. So looking at what one wants from a hooker, Smit is superior in almost every facet of play.

    Bissie is so good on the ground, and with ball in hand, that PdV made a decition to move Smit to TH to accommodate Bissie at hooker, not because Bissie was the better hooker, but rather we did not have a TH worth playing international rugby. Sure it was nice to have BJ at TH at the end of the year, but my opinion is that Smit at hooker over Bissie in the scrums, was a more important improvement than BJ at TH. Smit is quite simply one of the best scurmming hookers to have played the game ever. Not only is he incredibly big and strong, but he is a thinker, a student of the game, and he has all the nuances of scrumming at hooker down as well. I would imagine that those who don the number 2 jersey worldwide breathed a sigh of relief when Smit moved to TH. I can’t imagine anyone looking forward to scrumming against Smiit at hooker.

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.01.10 04:42:10 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Guys like these tend to create undercurrents that destroy team spirit and yet John Smit talks so glowingly of Bismark in his book, He is a wonderful athlete and yet rugby is a team game which requires 15 players not 1. I agree with the lions fans we are desperate, but do not need the baggage that seems to travel with the Brothers, maybe one day we will learn that home grown is a great way to go!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.01.10 06:22:29 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 1) :

    Preach it brother!

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.01.10 08:27:29 by Morné Reply
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  • Morning all. I’ve just got one question/statement this morning. When are the players going to realize that no one player is bigger or more important than the team or the game of rugby? It’s a team sport everyone has their part to play. If you drive a car and a part breaks down, then the car breaks down. And I believe it’s the same with a rugby team.

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.01.10 08:58:52 by Nita Reply

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  • @Nita (Comment 4) :

    Some okes obviously believe they are pistons, while others are the indicators!

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.01.10 09:07:36 by Morné Reply
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  • There once was a Bok named Piston van Wyk, appropriately, he was a hooker. Great name.

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.01.10 09:14:05 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Im a Bismark fan, but if he is openly confrontational with the coach at practice then its time for him to go.

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.01.10 09:16:50 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • I was very impressed by Bismarck’s attitude and on-field behaviour last year.
    Got to hear him in an interview when the Boks were on tour and his attitude and words really impressed me.
    I’d like to think he’s matured a lot…be interesting to see what transpires, but the Lions could use both the du Plessis’.

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.01.10 09:48:20 by sanjaydeva Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 7) : not sure if the incident counted as “open confrontation”… I guess it was a very heated one-on-one that took place after practice, but certainly within sight of at least the journalists who attended. I would assume the other players at least saw it happen, if not overheard all the specifics.

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.01.10 10:08:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • Morning chaps. SURELY BDP won’t leave SA now with the World Cup next year? A move to the Lions I can understand but not overseas.

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.01.10 10:17:57 by deanoelsch Reply

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  • Would be bleak to lose Bismark as he’s devistation if he gets his hand on the ball in the loose. That said if he’s being a stropy drip let him and his boet go.

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.01.10 10:23:08 by billy Reply

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  • @billy (Comment 11) : Billy, my major issue with him at the moment is that he’s selfish and tends to die with the ball. I agree that he can be devastating on the run, but if his poor decision-making causes the move to break down, then what have we gained?

    I reckon Burden is a far better “running hooker” than Bismarck… far less powerful, but has an uncanny ability to shake a defender and get through a half gap. Also, his backline pedigree has made him a far better offloader.

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.01.10 10:31:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : Agree ;-)

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.01.10 10:42:11 by Charlie Reply

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  • There’s one factor here that’s making me doubt all the stories though – I have yet to pick up any vibes from the players that they find the DuP’s unpleasant. Although, now that I think about it, there was one guy who mentioned something to one of our other regulars…

    But for the most part, everyone seems to think that Bis, in particular, is really easy-going. Odd

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.01.10 10:50:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Interesting. By all accounts Bismark is a top guy, Jannie too,and yet there are forever undertones of them being primma donnas (mostly expressed on this site) Rob you have a lot of contact with people close to the squad, cant you maybe get some more detail. It would be damn unfair to tar and feather anyone without them deserving it.

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.01.10 11:06:27 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 15) : Sammy, I’ve heard these stories from enough folks “in the know” to believe that there is some veracity. I’m not the sort of person to try and stir up controversy and unhappiness in the Sharks camp where there is none… that is completely the opposite of my overriding goal.

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.01.10 11:16:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :

    AMEN!!

    Burden is definitely one for the future!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 25.01.10 11:17:48 by wpw Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) :
    Im not saying that you are the purveyor of the stories, just that I have read most of those sentiments here.
    I have no doubt that you have most Sharks interesets at heart – Im not so sure if Frans Steyn, Andries Strauss and Skipper agree with me though. :twisted:

  • Comment 18, posted at 25.01.10 11:58:26 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • I remember reading in Smit’s book how Plum negotiated with Bissie to be able to get Smit back at the Sharks, hopefully he will call on those negotiation skills again

  • Comment 19, posted at 25.01.10 12:02:43 by war1 Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 18) : no – that’s just the point. I have never believed that Frans ever had the Sharks interests at heart anyway.

    As for Skipper and Dries, I’ve said countless times… lovely guys, but not up to it as players.

    I think, on the whole, I am VERY fair and lenient when it comes to what I write about the Sharks players.

  • Comment 20, posted at 25.01.10 12:08:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : i’m guessing Fransie will be heading back in 2011 – wonder when he would go then.

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.01.10 12:32:13 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 21) : Frans Steyn will go to the Cheetahs haha just a hunch though, my gut feel

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.01.10 12:35:10 by Miguel Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 21) : Bulls. Put money on it

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.01.10 12:43:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Miguel (Comment 22) : like they can afford to make it worth his while :)

    Can you picture Gay Fransie coming back to Bloem after years of living the Paris high life? No way… at least Pretoria has plenty of okes who share his “interests”… :)

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.01.10 12:45:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : haha well if you put it that way maybe he can go and join up with pretty boy Joe Pietersen at the Stormers?

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.01.10 12:48:38 by Miguel Reply
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  • I would`ve thought Cape Town is his only option now . .

  • Comment 26, posted at 25.01.10 12:48:42 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : how much ? :mrgreen:

    my bet would be – he will be back with us .

  • Comment 27, posted at 25.01.10 12:50:39 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 26) : remember he will still be young in 2011 :green:

  • Comment 28, posted at 25.01.10 12:51:22 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Miguel (Comment 25) : :lol: :lol: i remember ksa laughing at me for suggesting joe peterson has the potentual to be great player. he isn’t doing to badly now.

  • Comment 29, posted at 25.01.10 12:52:21 by try time Reply

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  • @Miguel (Comment 22) : yes either cheetahs or bulls. i don’t see him in a sharks jersey again.

  • Comment 30, posted at 25.01.10 12:53:20 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 29) : Joe is alright although i prefer our new signing Louis Ludik- Way tougher! I bet When Louis is right he will sort Joe out quickly

  • Comment 31, posted at 25.01.10 12:53:53 by Miguel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: unless you have one of your power cereals. then you let rip straight for the jugular.

  • Comment 32, posted at 25.01.10 12:55:37 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 29) : Apparently JJ Engelbrecht is quite something as well. But yeah haven`t seen him. Just going on second hand biast information from stormers.

  • Comment 33, posted at 25.01.10 12:56:47 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • there’s one rider we’ve left out here… BJ Botha is odds one to be back in Durbs by midyear. Yet more reason for Jannie to want to leave.

  • Comment 34, posted at 25.01.10 12:56:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 27) : dont think so

  • Comment 35, posted at 25.01.10 12:57:28 by war1 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) : BJ yes please now we talking! may i prepare my farewell card to Jannie!

  • Comment 36, posted at 25.01.10 12:58:07 by Miguel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 32) : he he… mea cupla. Blame it on my latin blood

  • Comment 37, posted at 25.01.10 13:07:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) : didn’t he also have an god complex like the du plessis’. although i could deal with that if it meant he played for the sharks again.

  • Comment 38, posted at 25.01.10 13:14:49 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 38) : BJ? No, definitely not. BJ knows who’s in charge and he doesn’t think it’s himself.

  • Comment 39, posted at 25.01.10 13:21:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 39) : i heard other stories. ;-)

  • Comment 40, posted at 25.01.10 13:23:50 by try time Reply

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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 33) :

    He looks a decent player.

    Tall and has loads of pace. Scored a few tries on Saturday!!! :cool:

  • Comment 41, posted at 25.01.10 13:35:03 by wpw Reply
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  • I said it last year that Bismark should have been moved to the side of the scrum in place of the injured ex Lions flank [his name escapes me].

    Folks, Burden will never be a starting hooker, he is ok, nothing more.

  • Comment 42, posted at 25.01.10 13:40:10 by Loosehead Reply

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  • @Loosehead (Comment 42) : Deysel.

  • Comment 43, posted at 25.01.10 13:42:03 by Loosehead Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 40) : oh, ok… :)

  • Comment 44, posted at 25.01.10 13:43:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Loosehead (Comment 42) : what about specialist impact hooker?

  • Comment 45, posted at 25.01.10 13:44:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • The news that the infamous du Plessis duo are once again peddling their wares the length and breadth of the rugby world is not really all that surprising.

    I would rather have said The RUMOUR that the infamous…..

  • Comment 46, posted at 25.01.10 14:52:05 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 46) : fair comment. Remind me to analyse YOUR next article as thoroughly.
    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 47, posted at 25.01.10 15:23:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : :mrgreen: :lol:

  • Comment 48, posted at 25.01.10 15:27:15 by wpw Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 46) : agreed, this really makes them out to be bad guys, in it for number one and bugger the team.

  • Comment 49, posted at 25.01.10 16:06:10 by Baldrick Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 29) :

    He looked good in the CC and he looked good against a VERY 2nd string Force side. Hey on THAT type of form Earl Rose is a Springbok.

    In Short don’t judge the guy on the CC or on the last game.

  • Comment 50, posted at 25.01.10 18:41:19 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 51, posted at 25.01.10 18:41:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

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