Was it Shakespeare who wrote something along the lines of “Neither a lender nor a borrower be”? Pretty sure that one comes from Hamlet, but we could well apply it to the Sharks and the Bulls looking ahead to this weekend’s Super 14 action.
I’m referring, of course, to the strange decision taken by both parties to send Bulls lock Wilhelm Steenkamp to the Sharks on loan. The youngster (who bares a freakish resemblance to actor Mark Wahlberg, hence my decision to name him forever after “Dirk Diggler”) was a late inclusion on the Sharks bench against the Cheetahs and was subsequently named in the tour party, at the expense of local boy Alistair Hargreaves.
Somewhat ironic that, not five minutes after the deal was announced, another Bulls hardman, Danie Rossouw, went down with an injury that subsequently ruled him out of Saturday’s game. Fresh news from Pretoria is that Vic Matfield is now facing suspension, having been cited on two counts of foul play. It’s the sort of situation that, if it happened in Durban, would have the hacks shouting “lock crisis”. Fact is, though, that without Steenkamp, the Bulls are now looking at having to pick Flip van der Merwe and Fudge Mabeta as their starting lock combination against the Waratahs. Bringing Pedrie Wannenberg into the second row is not even an option for them, since the returning Dewald Potgeiter may need to replace another injured forward – start eighthman Pierre Spies.
So while the Steenkamp move may (initially) have seemed to favour only the Bulls, it would now appear that it might hurt them too. Let’s just hope, for their sake, that the famed “lock factory” manages to turn up another gem in the nick of time. If they can’t find anyone suitable, then I’m sure we can arrange to send Hargreaves up to Pretoria for the next month or so!
Speaking of the former Baby Bok skipper, I see the latest story doing the rounds is that he’s lacking fitness, having suffered glandular fever in December. Surely, if the Cheetahs match was such a crucial one, we shouldn’t have picked an unfit player in the starting team? My take is that if he’s fit enough to play a home game, he’s fit enough to tour. Rather expose our own players to the rigours of touring than develop those who will be playing against us in the Currie Cup.Tweet