robdylan

In defence of Dries


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 29 Jan 2010 at 10:51
Tagged with : ,

Andries Strauss gets a pretty bum rap on this site and I am by no means blameless in this matter. But a few comments posted late yesterday really got me thinking. In an age where loyalty is supposedly dead, Strauss truly is a remarkable player.

The 25-year-old centre, an alumnus of Grey College like so many others, joined the Sharks at the beginning of the 2006 season, on the back of some encouraging performances for the Cheetahs at age-group and Currie Cup level. Dick Muir duly selected him as first choice inside centre and he went on to start in all but one of the Sharks Super 14 fixtures that year. The emergence of first Bradley Barritt and later Francois Steyn as world class 12s, though, reduced Strauss’s role to that of bit-part player and his Super Rugby appearances over the last few years have certainly been few and far between.

Last year, Strauss captained the Sharks XV side that went unbeaten through the league phase, before falling to a red-hot Griquas side in the semi-final. Griquas went on the beat the fancied Blue Bulls and take the title.

The point of this article, though, is not to try and talk Strauss into a better player than he clearly is. He has skills and he has weaknesses just like anybody else, but the one thing that for me is clear as day – Andries Strauss actually cares about the Sharks and always puts the team first. In this new era where players go where they’ll be paid most and threaten to leave the union the moment the coach drops them, old school values like loyalty and pride in the jersey seem to come a distant second. Maybe things in Durban wouldn’t seem quite as bleak right now if we had more players in the squad with the quiet work ethic of Andries Strauss, rather than the temperamental brilliance of Bismarck du Plessis.

There’s a lot of talk that the Sharks may lose some seriously big names after this season, with as many as 8 senior players looking to make their exit from the tank. Perhaps the green shoots of yet another Sharks revival may be found in those players who choose to stay and play for the team that they love – those who choose to serve the jersey and the fans, rather than chase the next ego-boost or a bigger pay cheque. Andries Strauss is sure to be one of the former and I look forward to a new generation of Sharks players taking a leaf out of his book.

I hope you have a great season, Straussie! The Sharks are crying out for leaders and it’s time to step up to the plate.



63 Comments

  • awwww Rob, now you’re being too nice…. ;-)

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.01.10 11:08:05 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @CapeShark (Comment 1) : maybe a little OTT, but the argument has merit. I reckon the Bulls are so successful because so many of their players have a “team first” ethos, rather than a “me first” one.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.01.10 11:09:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • Strauss is a good player but just like some good Loose forwards out there he is a victim of circumstances. The circumstances being that being JUST good is not enough in a time when there is a PLETHORA of other good players in the position. Unfortunately the Sharks don’t have one of the plethora of good SA 12s at the moment and we will have to make do with the GOOD Andries Strauss.

    I also suspect that the sreason he hasn’t jumped ship is coz he hasn’t been able to secure any better paying contract elsewhere.

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.01.10 11:15:59 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    They are so successful coz they spend their money wisely and have enough of it to outbid the opposition who try and get a bunch of their players each year.

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.01.10 11:20:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : while we waste our money on expensive imports who deliver nothing… Juan, Kees Lensing, Epi Taione… :)

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.01.10 11:22:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) :

    That plus the fact that nobody wants (can buy) the druggies that they have in their ranks. :oops:

    Two confirmed Cokeheads, another with health problems that are often associated with EPO usage. Those are just the ones we know about.

    The Bulls have:
    1) a VERY good medical team. :???:
    2) Solid evidence on players who DARE not leave them.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.01.10 11:22:15 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :

    TRUE.

    but I have a point though (IMO anyway). How many Bulls players try and go elsewhere each season only for the deal to fall through coz the Bulls have offered enough to retain them.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.01.10 11:23:51 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • I wish you all the best for the season Dries

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.01.10 11:46:06 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • Thought you were referring to Dries Scholtz

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.01.10 11:51:24 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • Sanzar has done something good for a change, all 3 nations will have only 1 citing official, thereby ensuring better consistency with citings. The citing period has also increased from 12 to 24 hours and hearings will take place at the next game’s venue thus the cited player wont need to travel from A to B. :cool:

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.01.10 11:51:38 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : :twisted:

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.01.10 11:54:36 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Exactly! Before Juan pitched up last year Monty and Charl were arguably the best combination in SA on form.

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.01.10 11:55:06 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : althoug Epi did single handedly deliver a semi-final loss for us :twisted:

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.01.10 11:58:24 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • Sadly the game has become “professional” and loyalty comes at a price. I can’t help but agree with KSA Shark on him perhaps not getting a better offer. The “old days” of sticking to a union is long gone as these guys are playing for a living. So go where the money is better just like most of us would propably do if we were offered more money in our respective fields.

    However Rob I see your point regarding loyalty, pride and playing for the team and not yourself. Most of the newer generation does not think that way anymore and even we as fans buy in to the idea of getting new talent from abroad to easy. Does that player feel as passionate about the team as we do? One wonders. I sometimes feel that if some players has half as much passion as the poeple in the stands then we will see some great Rugby. For me the pinnacle of passion was the Argie team in 2007 RWC. I still believe that is what got them into the Semi’s.

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.01.10 11:59:27 by Farlington Reply

    FarlingtonSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 13) : Please don’t remind us. :twisted:

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.01.10 11:59:56 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 13) : I forgot, he wasnt really using his hands :twisted:

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.01.10 12:07:19 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • We are going to need passion this year….

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.01.10 12:08:52 by dragnipur Reply
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    dragnipurUnder 21 player
     
  • Just because you don’t rate some members of the team you support doesn’t mean you are disloyal.

    I remember watching my first rugby match at King`s Park when I was 7 years old. We sat on the concrete slabs next to the tunnel and were very jealous of the ball boys, because they got to touch the ball all the time. Afterwards, armed with match programs, we used to go autograph hunting and in 1980 I got every single Natal and British Lions players’ autographs.

    Through the years we had same great players and some not-so-greats. We also had some great years, some not-so-great years and a particularly terrible one when we were relegated to the B-Section :sad:

    I think I speak for a number of supporters, who have walked the walk with Natal Rugby, that through it all our support has been nothing short of unwaivering, even bordering on the manic. (I make the dogs jump and my wife sometimes flees the lounge)

    Having a slightly negative opinion of a particular player’s abilities does not alter that fact.

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.01.10 12:17:36 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 13) : We do not speak of his name… :smile:

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.01.10 12:21:13 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • andries strauss can love the sharks all he wants but he is still a [email protected] player, that fact cannot be challenged. Many a team have these guys that supposedly will bleed for the jersey but come up short in terms of delivering what they are contracted and paid to do in the first place ie PLAY RUGBY!!!!

    Sireli Naqelevuki for all we know loves wp/stormers but does that make him a player a coach should keep and people must not criticise? I don’t think so…

    Like i said last night, Straussie is a Toy Soldier!

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.01.10 12:21:17 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @rhineshark (Comment 18) : Besides no-one will ever be as bad/pathetic/self-destructive and just wholly terrible as…Roger Smith.

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.01.10 12:22:46 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : Sireli can be a kak good player if someone lit a fire under his arse.

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.01.10 12:32:30 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 22) : is that legal in terms of the SANZAR rules & regulations…

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.01.10 12:39:50 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • Will someone be doing updates tonight? A certain company is not able to install by dstv this week, mamparras :evil: and I just realised that im working the whole S14 opening weekend :cry:

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.01.10 12:40:18 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @CapeShark (Comment 21) : you mean Rodger… couldn’t even spell his name right ;)

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.01.10 12:41:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 24) : hoping that I’ll even be able to watch :|

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.01.10 12:43:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : got myself a pvr so i can record, pause and rewind, i wont be missing anything :cool: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.01.10 12:48:17 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 24) : Oh awesome! Didn’t realise it was being televised. Well done SS! :cool:

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.01.10 12:49:20 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • @klempie (Comment 28) : Although I am sure I will regret seeing it. :sad:

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.01.10 12:50:11 by klempie Reply

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  • @klempie (Comment 29) : Lets hope not ;-)

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.01.10 12:58:45 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 16) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.01.10 13:01:53 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 24) :

    I’ve realised that I will miss all b ut one of our tour matches becasue they are all on Saturdays. :( The one I WILL be able to see will be against the Hurricanes and that will be watched while I am in Bangkok at a local bar. :smile:

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.01.10 13:09:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 32) : nice :cool:

  • Comment 33, posted at 29.01.10 13:19:11 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • Hoping to see a good performance from the Sharks tonight. I might be harsh on Dries sometimes not because he is bad. but because there are better players on the bench, eg. Currie Cup Dries at outside Murray on the Bench. Swannie might not have the organisational skills, but carries the ball up very well and hardly ever misses a tackle. But, Good luck to Dries, i remember when he started in Super Rugby back then His distribution was actually pretty damn good!. Go Dries…once a shark always a shark.

  • Comment 34, posted at 29.01.10 13:20:12 by JJR Reply
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    JJRCurrie Cup player
     
  • The 10 captains of the biggest Varsity Cup pools, will each get a bottle Olmega tequila and the best player of each round gets a case of beer :cool: :mrgreen: Join up guys!

  • Comment 35, posted at 29.01.10 13:31:17 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 35) : I don’t drink. What else have you got as motivation? :???:

  • Comment 36, posted at 29.01.10 13:43:52 by klempie Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : coul’dn’t agree more.

  • Comment 37, posted at 29.01.10 13:49:42 by rekinek Reply
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  • you know Rob, loyalty a beautiful thing, but only one element of successful team.
    Strauss is perhaps not that bad but by no way exceptional. The question is whether you can agree to mediocre only because someone is loyal.

  • Comment 38, posted at 29.01.10 13:55:53 by rekinek Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 32) : i see you made sure to have medication handy :mrgreen:

  • Comment 39, posted at 29.01.10 13:57:32 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 38) : I’m looking for a straw to clutch at here :)

  • Comment 40, posted at 29.01.10 13:59:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 35) :

    I have my bottle of tequila from the Previous varsity Cup. I may actually have to give that to Whindy. :oops: I have just discovered that his prize for winning the last pool has still not been sent to him. :oops:

    I have now been promised it will be sent in the next day or so. :oops:

  • Comment 41, posted at 29.01.10 14:00:20 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @klempie (Comment 36) :

    How about ‘non -dripping’ air-conditioners?? :twisted:

  • Comment 42, posted at 29.01.10 14:00:32 by wpw Reply
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  • @klempie (Comment 36) : good mental excersize :wink: the ultimate winner gets a R3000 watch :twisted:

  • Comment 43, posted at 29.01.10 14:02:59 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 39) :

    Strangely enough when i watched the last game in bangkok it was ALSO against the canes 2 years ago, When Bryce Lawrence cocked up the game (In our favour this time) and we drew 13 – 13 instead of losing.

  • Comment 44, posted at 29.01.10 14:03:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 44) : didn’t somebody here mentioned epi :twisted:

    do you perhaps remember who was refering last year’s game against chiefs?

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.01.10 14:07:44 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 45) :

    Dare i ask. Bryce “My Daddy is a TOP official and that’s how i got my appointment” Lawrence

  • Comment 46, posted at 29.01.10 14:10:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Blues beat Chiefs
    Canes beat Brumbies
    Didnt bother to check the scores :oops:

  • Comment 47, posted at 29.01.10 14:12:38 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 44) : nah, that was Paul Marks, dude

  • Comment 48, posted at 29.01.10 14:20:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 46) : i wasn’t sure but checked on the net that yes – it was him :lol:

  • Comment 49, posted at 29.01.10 14:22:23 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 47) : Reds were 21-12 up against the Cru a while ago

  • Comment 50, posted at 29.01.10 14:22:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • You really put some effort in here Rob I can see that. . .

    In fact as a special favour to you I promise not to give him the Luke Watson treatment tonight at newlands, how`s that for a Friday Freebie??

  • Comment 51, posted at 29.01.10 14:26:21 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : yip , it was Paul Marks

  • Comment 52, posted at 29.01.10 14:27:35 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 51) : is your throat sore ? ;-)

  • Comment 53, posted at 29.01.10 14:28:31 by rekinek Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : :cool: Whats that about man-eating dragons :wink: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 54, posted at 29.01.10 14:30:16 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • As much as rugby is now a professional game and a money game, at the end of the day, its a game played by 15 men between 4 white lines. Not the black and white fanatical mob in the stands or on their keyboards. Those of us who have played it before know that sometimes, people on the sidelines sometimes dont have a clue of whats going on in the players minds during a game.
    I would love to know, honestly, how the players inside and outside of Dries feel about having him there. Is he a steadying influence through his efforts or are they also gathering behind him with knives as so many punters on this site are..et tu, brute?

  • Comment 55, posted at 29.01.10 14:47:50 by zimshark Reply

    zimsharkUnder 21 player
     
  • @zimshark (Comment 55) : I’m sure most of us have played the game and I’m also pretty sure there were supporters of our school, army or club rugby teams that thought we sucked (in my case I’m dead certain ;-) ).

    Did it change how we as team mates felt about each other? No. Did it matter whether the supporters had a clue about what was going on on the field? No, because they still supported the team. Did that give the supporter the right to think that Bob/Piet/Sipho on the bench was way better? Of course.

    Everyone has an opinion, whether it’s positive or negative. Equating a negative opinion of Dries with stabbing him in the back is a bit harsh. I, for one, will be over the moon if he proved me wrong.

  • Comment 56, posted at 29.01.10 15:42:46 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 56) : i’m with you on this one.

    besides, these players are big guys and should be able to deal with criticism and supporters expectations. At this level this is part of the job description. And let’s be honest they are paid for this.

  • Comment 57, posted at 29.01.10 16:34:42 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 57) : Exaaaactly.

  • Comment 58, posted at 29.01.10 16:40:14 by rhineshark Reply
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  • is this article written that people must feel sorry for mediocrity because he makes up for it with loyalty? Wow!!

  • Comment 59, posted at 29.01.10 16:49:26 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • So reds beat Waratahs and currently doing well against Crusaders. Chiefs have lost both games but were finalists last year.

    Force beat Sharks so they are sh!t hot. Bulls lost their preseason games last year.

    Why is there all this gnashing of teeth going on at the sharks loss on Tursday night?

  • Comment 60, posted at 29.01.10 16:53:42 by Baldrick Reply

    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Baldrick (Comment 60) : because they looked and played like clueless idiots!

    C’mon, Baldie… you cannot spin that performance into a positive, no matter how determined you are :)

  • Comment 61, posted at 29.01.10 16:56:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : i’m surprised that nobody blamed the ref . Are we getting cvivilised :mrgreen:

  • Comment 62, posted at 29.01.10 17:28:33 by rekinek Reply
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  • He was good…but seems he does not have enough character to rise above the pitfalls in his career…

  • Comment 63, posted at 30.01.10 13:56:35 by Hmmm Reply

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