robdylan

A new position for Barney?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Springboks, Super 14 on 23 Mar 2010 at 12:22
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In all the euphoria that comes with the Sharks win on Saturday, there’s yet another important aspect to be debated. Did anyone else notice that John Smit played YET ANOTHER position this weekend – and did so bloody well?

Now I’m no scrummaging expert, but it looked to me as though, with Smit at loosehead and the Du Plessis brothers in the other positions, the Sharks scrum finally started to look stable – if not actually dominant. In a bid to ensure gametime for each of the umpteen internationals in the front row, coach John Plumtree has mixed and matched this season to the point of insanity and yet it was only Saturday’s combination that has really looked the part thus far. Could it be that Smit may have a rugby life left at prop – only on the other side of the scrum?

Consensus is that Smit has failed to establish himself as a top tighthead since making the switch in 2008 and the irony is that in making that transition, he has probably also accumulated a little too much “padding” to be mobile enough to play hooker. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs for the great man who has given his all for Springbok and Sharks rugby for over ten years; could the latest, unexpected move to loosehead offer a glimmer of hope?

The inevitable problem that this move creates, though, is that it leaves yet another real star of the Sharks (and hopefully still the Boks), Beast Mtawarira, without a starting berth. Beast, it’s fair to say, has struggled for consistency since enjoying a frankly superlative 2008 season and his current form is patchy at best. Perhaps a stint off the bench might be what he needs to get that fire back? The other advantage of developing Smit as a loosehead is that it leaves a spot in the 22 for Craig Burden, a rising talent sorely in need of game time.

Now, don’t take this as any indication that I feel Smit MUST be used at loosehead only in the future. I was really very pleasantly surprised by what I saw, though and think it’s an idea that merits further investigation. What do you guys think? Might it have legs? Or should Smit stay at hooker, or even at tighthead?



39 Comments

  • I am looking forward to Grant10′s expert analysis wrt this article.

    (the emphasis being on ‘anal’ysis) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.03.10 12:25:25 by wpw Reply
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  • Bissie’s throw ins at lineout time were, quite frankly, terrible on Saturday. If he can’t straighten this out, Smit has to play hooker. :mrgreen: :evil: :twisted:

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.03.10 12:28:32 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • True, Smit was very good on Saturday

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.03.10 12:28:45 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) : Turbo reverse, goes backwards, turbo reverse, goes backwards, turbo reverse, goes backwards. There, you have it. :lol:

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.03.10 12:29:42 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I thought Smit was very steady on Saturday….but i don’t think he is a dominant Loosehead….not at this level nor Test Level…..glimmer of hope….not really !

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.03.10 12:33:37 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 4) :

    Thank goodness Brian Mujati isn’t playing for ANY SA team.

    Grant would have had a field say indeed!! ;-)

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.03.10 12:35:18 by wpw Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 5) : I tend to agree. I still think Smit is a world class hooker and can fill in at either prop when needed, preferably only in the last 15 minutes.

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.03.10 12:35:48 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 6) : Don’t go bad mouthing Mujati just because he left WP. Last I remember him playing, he actually played and scrummed quite well for the Boks. :wink:

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.03.10 12:36:54 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Ours scrum did look better this weekend and JS did a good job. Maybe scrumming with JS on loosehead was the reason why Jannie was so well behaved and he wasn’t penalized as much as previous weeks.I think this combination deserves another chance this weekend.

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.03.10 12:43:59 by Nita Reply

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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 8) :

    On a more serious note, what do you think of Brok Harris???

    Have you seen any of his games of late?? :shock:

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.03.10 12:49:17 by wpw Reply
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  • despite the juvenile taunting by Dancing Bear and WPW those that feel like reading my views do so….those that dont scroll on by. Choice is a great thing in this wonderful democracy of ours….

    Smit at 3 is a no brainer…it doesent work at currie cup,super 14 or Bok level….he turbo reverses….this is simply a fact, a liability here,more often that not. Only the blind and sentimental now dispute this, and even they do it half heartedly, that debate is virtually all over rover.

    For sharks i still feel Bissy is indispensable….he adds a real hard edge to the teams pack, bearing in mind players like J Muller,Kanko and botes are very good, but not ultra aggressive and in your face like Bissy. So if it was me coaching, i would more often than not start with Bissy.

    As for smit at 1, this is what i said 2 years ago, a far more natural fit for the 1 jersey than the 3….i always believed smit could cut it as a 1….just not a 3 !
    So yes…i would rotate him between 1 and 2…never ever 3….

    It seems those that ridicule me lack a certain amount of grace….instead of making fun,perhaps an acknowledgement that i have made a few decent points would be in order?

    Wont hold my breath .

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.03.10 12:50:41 by grant10 Reply

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  • by the way i always rated Mujati highly. And Brock Harris will be a Bok post 2011….imo.

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.03.10 12:53:48 by grant10 Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 10) : I have not seen enough of him playing Wes, but from what I have seen he is playing very well, especially in the tight.

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.03.10 12:53:49 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @grant10 (Comment 11) : “perhaps an acknowledgement that i have made a few decent points would be in order?”

    yes, you have made a few decent points, over and over and over and over and over and over……get that point? :roll:

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.03.10 12:56:45 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 10) : Passes well :lol:

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.03.10 12:58:26 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 13) : Did you see his perfecr torpedo kick to get the Stormers out of their 22?And his very impressive sidestep, hell, he is a better Flyhalf than De Waal.

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.03.10 13:05:45 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • De waal me i don’t like him he doesn’t play good rugby he’ll do better in schools rugby there he’ll be a star :sad:

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.03.10 13:17:44 by Chaz Reply

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  • What is “turbo reverses”? :???:

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.03.10 13:19:55 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • @Just a Fan (Comment 18) : i would like to know the answer to that one to :???:

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.03.10 13:23:01 by Chaz Reply

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  • cheers till tomorrow

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.03.10 13:26:59 by Chaz Reply

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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 15) :

    Did you see his clearance kick on Saturday??

    And not too mention his side step!! The stuff of Legends!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.03.10 13:31:21 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 21) : Only saw the highlights….not sure if they featured ! Looks a prospect !

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.03.10 13:39:18 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 21) : Can’t remember Carl Hayman…being re known for his kicking and side step ….call me old fashion ! ;-)

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.03.10 13:40:49 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 21) : a new Eddie Andrews is born :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.03.10 13:40:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) :

    Dude, I need to find out if Brok is on FB. :shock: ;-)

    *salivating*

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.03.10 13:45:25 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 25) : had a quick look – no luck

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.03.10 13:54:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • Just as long as John plays I am happy. He played superb at Loosehad on Saturday. Still think if John plays LH or TH and Bissy is playing hooker, John still needs to take the throw ins. Bissy was terrible with the throwing in.

    I still rate John highly at 2. Still think he is the best scrummaging hooker in world rugby. BUT if it means he has to play Loosehead and start everygame I am all for that. Let Beast come on much later then.

    Think Jannie was at his best behaviour cause Plum had said he would give any who let the team down a red.

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.03.10 15:38:50 by Puma Reply

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  • @Puma (Comment 27) : Jannie actually had a pretty solid allround game… hit lots of rucks and even managed one or two good carries.

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.03.10 16:11:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : Did you try Juan Harris

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.03.10 16:25:47 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 29) : gimme some credit, kiddo? :)

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.03.10 16:27:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : My apologies oh master stalker.

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.03.10 16:40:54 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 31) : :mrgreen: :grin:

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.03.10 16:55:10 by wpw Reply
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  • @Just a Fan (Comment 18) : it is the way grant10 describes the Bok scrum going backwards especially when Barney is at 3

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.03.10 16:59:47 by lostfish Reply
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  • Smit was pretty darn impressive.

    It seems Beast has been struggling to hit form ever since his whole work permit issue, think the poor guy is a bit stressed.

    Why must a hooker put the ball in at the line out? It use to be the wing’s job, can’t see why one of the prop’s can’t do it.

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.03.10 18:01:09 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 34) : John playing TH or LH can still throw in at the line out. So if John gets to start this week again at Loosehead and Bissy at Hooker let John take the throw ins. Bissy was terrible throwing in on Saturday.

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.03.10 18:03:37 by Puma Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Rob, let us hope he keeps his form up :lol:

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.03.10 18:05:20 by Puma Reply

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  • @Puma (Comment 35) : Exactly, can’t see why it has to be seen as a ‘hooker only’ job.

    Give it to the best man.

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.03.10 18:06:00 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @rob: in the last sentence of the 2nd last paragraph, you talk about the advantages of developing Barney as a LH. Dont you think its a bit late to try and do that? He is 32 after all. Whats his plans post 2011 RWC? Just a thought.

  • Comment 38, posted at 23.03.10 18:30:46 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

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  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 38) : I had a funny feeling that statement would prove contentious :)

  • Comment 39, posted at 23.03.10 18:56:56 by robdylan Reply
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