I really need to applaud the decision to select Stefan Terblanche at outside centre this week. To me, it’s the sort of “thinking outside of the box” that we are starting to see more of from the Sharks coach and I really like it.
Sure, it’s risky picking the veteran in an unfamiliar position. My mate war1 informs me that Stef did play some rugby at 13 in the past, though and when he does decide to take on the opposition, the old boy has shown an ability to break the line on occasion. Picking him at 13 will force him to do far more running – and far less kicking – than is the case at either wing or fullback. Stef has lost a yard or two, sure and maybe isn’t really quick enough for wing any more, but at centre, I reckon he has more than enough gas to do the job. Add to that a really safe pair of hands and good defence and I think he’ll do an admirable job.
I guess it was somewhat inevitable that we’d see Odwa Ndungane come into the vacant right wing jersey and I’m not too upset about that, since I thought he was pretty useful and very busy when he came on against the Hurricanes. Sure, he’s lost a bit of top-end gas and it would be really nice to see what Lwai Mvovo could do – at least the latter has been named on the bench and should finally get a chance to impress at Super 14 level if he comes on. The pressure must start to build on the incumbent wingers and I feel that Mvovo is just the right guy to do that.
Otherwise, the team is pretty predictable – and that’s a good thing, I think. I’m really pleased to see Ruan Pienaar retained at scrumhalf, even if it does mean more of Andy Goode at pivot. John Smit retained at loosehead is also the right call and I’m happy to see Craig Burden back on the bench too as the bloke really deserves a chance to play. Tough luck for Wiehahn Herbst, but he’s young and will get his chance in the Currie Cup.
As for Andries Strauss, well. He’s a good bloke and a stalwart and I’m sure he’ll never let the team down. It’s good to have him back.Tweet