robdylan

Goode makes sense, Steenkamp does not


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 19 Feb 2010 at 11:10
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Having taken a little time to get over the initial shock, I reckon it’s time to look at the Sharks most recent signings calmly and rationally. There’s been a fair bit of emotion expressed here and I think it’s safe to say that, as fans, we’re all a little stunned and confused at this point.Firstly, we heard yesterday morning that the Sharks had made a deal with the Bulls and requested that Emerging Bok lock Wilhelm Steenkamp join the squad. The official announcement would have been made first on the Sharks website, were it not for the Bulls jumping the gun and running the story early. It was hardly a secret, though, since Steenkamp arrived in Durban early in the week already. One of our posters even got wind of the story on Wednesday – but he clearly has lost my number!

Now, looking at this from the wider SA rugby perspective, it’s a good move for Wilhelm Steenkamp to be playing Super 14 rugby. He’s one of the top young locks in the country and behind Victor Matfield, who incidentally happens to be the Bulls captain, he’s unlikely to see much Super 14 gametime in Pretoria. Getting regular exposure at this level can only improve his game. It’s a good move for the Bulls too – they get “free” player development and have made very sure that the move is only temporary. When they need Steenkamp back in the Currie Cup, he’ll be there and he’ll be a better, more experienced player. The only risk to them is that he might pick up an injury, but that could always happen in the Vodacom Cup too.

For the Sharks, the benefit is purely short-term. We get a player coming in who, while somewhat more experienced than some of our own young locks, is by no means world class. Still, he’s a good youngster and a pretty safe guy to pick in your Super 14 squad. He’ll give his all for the team and do his best, but at the end of the day, he’s going back to Pretoria in May.  The Sharks squad and system benefits nothing from giving away Super 14 gametime to a player from another union. Making the matter even worse is that we have umpteen young locks already in our wider squad, none of whom will now be given the opportunity to step up.  I have reached out to one or two of these guys and to say they’re pissed off is an understatement.

The Sharks management are being incredibly short-sighted here and seem intent on sacrificing the the medium-term health of the squad in the interests of a potential short-term gain; even that is doubtful, though. I mean, it’s not like we’ve overlooked our own youngsters for a seasoned international, or anything. Alistair Hargreaves, had he played for the Bulls, would by now have had just as much opportunity to develop because they would have backed him. The process that resulted in Steenkamp already having 19 Super 14 caps is one that could and should be used in Durban too. Instead, we end up with the “B team player” syndrome. Guys who have come through the Academy and hang around the lower ranks for a while until they eventually get fed up due to lack of gametime and go elsewhere. And the more young players that leave, the more panic buying you need to do when injury strikes.

Speaking of panic buying, let’s look at Andy Goode.

I guess that we all knew Plum and Straueli would start looking around for another flyhalf as soon as Steve Meyer’s brainfart made the news. As reported yesterday, Meyer seems hellbent on worming his way back into the Sharks squad, but time and professional rugby waits for no man and having given up his chance, he’ll be bloody lucky if another one comes along. Fact is, though, it’s downright suicidal going into this competition – and especially on a five-week tour – with only a reluctant Ruan Pienaar and Monty Dumond in tow as the flyhalves. The lesson that was learned in 2009 was that you can’t put all your flyhalf eggs in the Pienaar basket and as much as I want Ruan to settle in the number 10 jersey and play there regularly, having an experienced international pivot like Goode in the squad just makes sense, even if it’s for insurance only.

I’ve seen comments along the lines of “we shouldn’t be in this position” and I agree with them. The situation is what it is, though and I don’t really feel we could have found a better option than Goode right now. Flyhalf is a tricky position in the South African game – we just don’t seem to develop them the way New Zealand does – and in this case, I’m going to have to climb down off my “backing youth” bandwagon in the interests of pragmatism. We’ve all seen how throwing an unprepared youngster in at pivot can backfire – the result is the Gaffie du Toit formerly known as a rugby player!

So let’s hope that sanity prevails. Keep Goode in the squad, but don’t play him ahead of Pienaar unless there’s no other reasonable option. As for Steenkamp, I guess the die is cast there as well and I wouldn’t like him to think, even for a second, that we won’t back him all the way as long as he wears the jersey. Reports that he’s being looked at to start at 5 ahead of Hargreaves, though, really get my back up  and you can expect many more angry inches from me should that be the case!



38 Comments

  • Does anybody at The Sharks ever read this site because their ears must be ringing by now. I agree It’s Goode to have backup but if Ruan is shunted around again this year between 9 and 10 I might just loose interest.

    Same applies to Wilhelm, he must only play if we loose another 1 or 2 locks.

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.02.10 11:28:49 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Hargreaves has played for the Boks for goodness sake and I thought he did pretty well in the EOYT despite what the rest of the team did.

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.02.10 11:33:29 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I think both are good for the season. This is Smitty and co’s 2nd last season, guys want to win now, not 3 years time which I am afraid is the time development needs to take effect. However, both these players should be wearing numbers 18 ann 20 on their back the entire season. 5 and 10 and I will be grumpy. Pienaar is going to rock this season! I can feel it. He knows WC is next year and needs to up his game. I just feel so much more comfortable having a solid number 10 in the Vodacom Cup team like Monty :-)

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.02.10 11:33:54 by deanoelsch Reply

    deanoelschVodacom Cup player
     
  • Hargraeves and Sykes are good locks! It’s Alberts as cover that’s not ideal…

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.02.10 11:35:22 by deanoelsch Reply

    deanoelschVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : Monty Dumond reads it.
    @deanoelsch (Comment 3) : Monty Dumond reads it.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.02.10 11:36:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 4) : yeah, but Alberts as cover is just stupid. Even if we’re not prepared to let Rhodes play lock (not sure why not, he’s f*cking huge) then Jandre Marais should be brought in. The kid has ALL the credentials. Anton Bresler is also a real scrapper and I know he would never let the team down.

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.02.10 11:37:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : You serious?

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.02.10 11:37:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Fail.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.02.10 11:37:52 by deanoelsch Reply

    deanoelschVodacom Cup player
     
  • I’ll accept this crap, but I’m by no means happy about it, I still think that Steenkamp should not be playing for the Sharks, he is going to cost us a game, mark my words :evil: :evil:

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.02.10 11:40:01 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • Question? What are the prospects of Sharks keeping Wilhelm there? Offering him a contract? Me finks the Blue Bull can like to play in the sea and are not wanting to trek back to vat Pretoria plek.

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.02.10 11:40:24 by deanoelsch Reply

    deanoelschVodacom Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I was actually refering to management

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.02.10 11:40:41 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : I don’t know the fringe players so hard to say. I must be honest, lock does seem to be the one position that is the easiest to move up from Currie Cup to Super 14 level…

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.02.10 11:41:26 by deanoelsch Reply

    deanoelschVodacom Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : No wonder his confidence is down :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.02.10 11:41:43 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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  • An auto email should go to Mr. B. van Zyl with every article published.

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.02.10 11:42:01 by catfish Reply
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    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 9) : and I have lost complete faith in the farce, which some would like to call Sharks management.

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.02.10 11:43:18 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 15) : I think this season is going to surprise us! Don’t stress so much! Our backline is still our backline, our forward pack is still our forward pack, Smit is still our captain which hasn’t happened since HE LEFT THE FIELD with 20 minutes to go against the Bulls in the final…

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.02.10 11:44:46 by deanoelsch Reply

    deanoelschVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 9) : On the other hand he might be instrumental in winning you a game or two :shock: ,and, it’s not as if your “own” have not cost you games in the past ;-)

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.02.10 11:45:20 by diablo Reply

    diabloVodacom Cup player
     
  • @diablo (Comment 17) : I agree but when do we get out of this rut….we should be lending players to other unions not begging them for players

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.02.10 11:51:14 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 7) : I am

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.02.10 11:52:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @diablo (Comment 17) : I guess you are right, but I still dont like it and never will :neutral:

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.02.10 11:54:29 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) : I agree with you – asked that very :?: yesterday when I heard the news about Goode. Surely you cannot trust your players to give their all when no faith is shown in their potential as players :cry:

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.02.10 11:59:37 by diablo Reply

    diabloVodacom Cup player
     
  • @deanoelsch (Comment 16) : How DARE you bring that moment up again….there is enough negativity on the site as it is :evil:

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.02.10 11:59:43 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @diablo (Comment 21) : exactly….and it’s nice to be agreeing with a Bull for a change :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.02.10 12:01:26 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 23) : Probably happens more often than what you’d admit to ;-) ;-) :mrgreen: ;-)

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.02.10 12:10:41 by diablo Reply

    diabloVodacom Cup player
     
  • You are going to count the costs of the actions taken now over the next 2 to 3 years…

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.02.10 12:11:13 by Morné Reply
    Author
    MornéTeam captain
     
  • @Morné (Comment 25) : you know I agree. Care to pen us a novel explaining it? :)

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.02.10 12:14:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @diablo (Comment 24) : I was just joking….I’m sure there are lots of nice Bulls out there :cool: ….but none of the nice ones work in my building :evil:

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.02.10 12:15:03 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) :

    Since it won’t be as emotional as with you lot it might be worth a shot! ;)

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.02.10 12:16:42 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • @Pokkel (Comment 27) : Nice Bulls fans, I actualy know two…one lives here on the coast, the other my father in law, both has Sharks as second team, as for the rest…..vlak blerrie pretooriaaaaaaaaaaaners… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.02.10 12:19:04 by FireTheLooser Reply

    FireTheLooserAssistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Why would he do that to himself…If I was profesional sportsman I’d stay far away from sports blogs….shame man, poor oke.

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.02.10 12:19:57 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • Morne
    How about writing an article or two about the Stormers’ prospects this year?? PRETTY PLEASE!! :wink:

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.02.10 12:44:23 by wpw Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 27) : Change jobs :roll:
    @FireTheLooser (Comment 29) : :evil:

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.02.10 12:53:24 by diablo Reply

    diabloVodacom Cup player
     
  • @wpw (Comment 31) :

    :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.02.10 13:26:43 by Morné Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 9) : agree with you there bulls in sharks team is just up to nothing he is going have to prove himself before we even get to like that bull

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.02.10 13:32:52 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @diablo (Comment 32) : Don’t worry, I grew up in Pretoria, so I got inside info on the intelligence, or lack thereof…. :lol:

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.02.10 13:39:45 by FireTheLooser Reply

    FireTheLooserAssistant coach
     
  • The Sharks are acting like the Salvation Army here. Helping others, with no real benefit to themselves. Or is it Strauli & Co’s fault? I think he is like a little boy who has R10 in his pocket and when he walks into a shop, that 10 bucks burns his pocket and he just HAS to buy another toy.

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.02.10 15:40:21 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
     
  • And! I would bet my left nut that should Len Olivier stayed with the Sharks, Goode would still have been contracted. Sorry Len, not against you, but thats the Strauli mentality. Geez, I’m a pissant lately :-)

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.02.10 15:45:58 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
     
  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 36) : picked up a snippet that maybe this wasn’t Strooli’s doing.

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.02.10 15:49:03 by robdylan Reply
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