robdylan

Sharks captaincy conundrum


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Jun 2010 at 06:35
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The Sharks coaching team face an interesting challenge as they look to finalise the squad for the 2010 Currie Cup; with John Smit away on Springbok duty and Johann Muller on his way to Ireland, they will need to look elsewhere for a team captain.

One would be tempted to say that Stefan Terblanche, so successful as a makeshift skipper in last year’s Currie Cup, would be the logical choice. There are, however, a number of factors counting against the veteran, amongst them the fact that he won’t be around for next year’s Super 15 competition. With John Smit’s departure from the Sharks at the end of the season a virtual certainty, it would make a huge amount of sense to aim for continuity, lest we end up with a rookie captain in the premier Southern Hemisphere competition next year. Perhaps more vital, though, is the fact that Terblanche is unlikely to hold down the starting fullback position ahead of Pat Lambie and would essentially be a forced selection either at outside centre or at wing, since there are younger players pushing harder for inclusion.

The problem is, there are currently no obvious candidates for the captaincy that fulfil the criteria of being an automatic selection for the Currie Cup, while also being assured of a starting berth once all the Boks are back in tow. Jacques Botes is one who may well tick both boxes, although he is not a natural leader and didn’t seem to relish the challenge of captaincy at all when the mantle was thrust upon him back in 2007. Other players to have dabbled in captaincy are Keegan Daniel and Pat Cilliers and although both look reasonably certain to enjoy regular gametime in the Currie Cup, the return of Beast Mtawarira, Ryan Kankowski and also Willem Alberts are likely to relegate both to the substitutes’ bench come Super 15 time.

Riaan Swanepoel and Andries Strauss have both captained teams in the past – the former was Sharks under 21 skipper a few years back, whilst the latter has lead the Sharks XV and Wildebeest on many occasions. Strauss cannot be assured of a place in the Currie Cup side, though, much less the Super 15 team, while Swanepoel seems to still be struggling with the rigours of senior rugby to an extent and probably doesn’t need the added burden of the captaincy. The most natural candidate of all is, of course Alistair Hargreaves and our money would firmly have been on him up until a few weeks ago. The acquisition of Ross Skeate queers that pitch well and truly, though, because I’m not naive enough to think that the Sharks went out and bought a player like Skeate simply to stick him on the bench.

There may be another option, though, which is to start by finding a guy who is likely to be a part of the starting lineup both in the Currie Cup and Super 15 and then let him grow into the captaincy. In this category, once we’ve ruled out the likes of Steven Sykes and Jean Deysel, both of whom are a little too quiet, the only options left are Rory Kockott and Steve Meyer. Kockott would be a very interesting choice, since it would be a little like setting a wolf to guard the sheep, but often players with a bit of a rebellious streak end up making fine leaders. Meyer, while he hasn’t been back in the setup long enough for us to be sure, could also turn out to be a half-decent skipper, but the odds on that one are probably a fair bit longer.

If it were up to me, though, Hargreaves would be the man for the job.



35 Comments

  • I am reminded about one of the best players and captain of his time when I read this: George Gregan….. I think Rory can maybe be the man for the job. Not 100% sure.

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.06.10 07:58:44 by SharksRTB Reply
    SharksRTBCurrie Cup player
     
  • I’d also go for Hargreaves, Rory could be interesting to watch though.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.06.10 08:16:14 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Hargreaves would be the sensible choice, will be interesting who gets the nod

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.06.10 08:20:16 by war1 Reply
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  • Can you justify picking Hargs ahead of Skeate at 5? I would, but then why did they buy the dude? To sit on the bench?

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.06.10 08:21:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • My money’s unfortunately on Stef, though. Reckon they’ll shoehorn him in at outside centre or wing.

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.06.10 08:22:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I tend to agree on that :smile:

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.06.10 08:25:23 by JarsonX Reply
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  • I’m really impressed with Richards and if I were picking the team, would have him and Lwazi at wing. Pat can play fullback now that we have Steve to cover 10. That leaves Swannie and Stemmet as the centres and no room for Stef

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.06.10 08:28:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : exactly why I wouldn’t have stef as captain, but my money would also be on stef being captain

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.06.10 08:30:34 by war1 Reply
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  • Not exactly big picture thinkers, our Sharks :(

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.06.10 09:02:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Perhaps they felt they needed to be covered if Hargs went off to the Boks.

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.06.10 09:13:00 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 10) : good point, but he could be covered by young academy graduates

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.06.10 09:23:19 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 11) : true but that would leave us very thin on experience.

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.06.10 09:37:10 by lostfish Reply
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  • Well, maybe it’s simpler than we think. Hargreaves is a test player, after all, whereas Skeate is not… :)

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.06.10 09:39:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • I think Rory as captain would be a very good move. He’s been around, knows how to work a ref, is a pretty sure first choice scrummie for a few years to come, and it may just give him the necessary incentive to improve his discipline/attitude for the good of the team and his own game.

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.06.10 09:43:33 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Agree with you Rob.

    No future in selecting Oom Stef as captain. He is on the way out.

    Hargreaves would be my man. I think they could rotate Sykes and Skeate. Although Skeate is considered a No.5 lock, he can play 4 I reckon. Skeate could also play last 20 for Hargs and hand over the captains armband to Stef/Botes for last 15-20.

    BUT my money is on the Sharks doing the no future option and signing up Stef at 13 as the captain and then trying to find another captain for S15 next year. Thats the thinking that has made ‘Dolf and his cronies famous!

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.06.10 09:51:39 by Oubaas2009 Reply

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  • Sheeeshhh! So many chiefs..and no indians??

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.06.10 10:03:21 by Ice Reply
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  • @Oubaas2009 (Comment 15) : In some of the games I have watched Skeate has started at 4 for Toulon. He has also come off the bench and played at 4. But then Toulon is famous for playing players out of position – Matfield on the flank anyone?

    I also think that the captain should be on the field for the full 80 barring injuring. I also think there should be other leaders in the squad and a strong candidate for VC.

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.06.10 10:11:46 by lostfish Reply
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  • So John Smit really is leaving the Sharks ???????

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.06.10 10:12:03 by Dalz Reply

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  • @Dalz (Comment 18) : it unfortunately really does look like it

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.06.10 10:16:21 by war1 Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 17) : Interesting that.. Skeate seems a great option off the bench then if he covers 4/5. Also great for ‘managing’ Hargs and Sykes. Sykes played the whole S14 without a break if I remember. Oh yes, and don’t forget Mostert if fit. Where the hell is he going to fit in?

    Still think we need to groom Hargs for the role of captain. He proved himself in the junior ranks as a fine leader of men.

    Maybe then give him the VC role for CC.. But then el kapetaan has to be Oom Stef which IMO is a step backwards.

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.06.10 10:18:31 by Oubaas2009 Reply

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  • @War1 ( Comment19)

    Moving to the Lions ????

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.06.10 10:59:26 by Dalz Reply

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  • @Dalz (Comment 21) : looks like it, yes. his contract with the sharks expires in october

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.06.10 11:09:30 by war1 Reply
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  • @War1 (Comment21)

    I gotta tell you that this comes as a huge surprise to me – This is a guy I thought woulld never leave the sharks – His input would’ve been invaluable to the Sharks even after his playing days !!

    How well does Smit get along with Streauli ???

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.06.10 11:48:10 by Dalz Reply

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  • What are the chances of Stef changing his mind and staying on for another Super Rugby season?

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.06.10 11:49:31 by CS Reply

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  • @Dalz (Comment 23) : i think bismarck is one part of the reason also the chance to work with muir in a coaching capacity and then also the lions are pretty much in a shambles at the moment and smitty would relish the challenge of building them up

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.06.10 11:54:02 by war1 Reply
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  • That being said, there is NO official confirmation, so we will have to wait and see

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.06.10 12:09:39 by war1 Reply
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  • @War1(comment 26)

    As much as there is no official confirmation I can’t help but think that the thought of building a team will be an enticing one as Smitty transitions himself from player to coach – Not good for Sharks unfortunately !!

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.06.10 14:49:07 by Dalz Reply

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  • Guys I know I am mixing codes here – But I would really like to know … Does anyone have any idea what the sitaution is with Dale Steyn and Sulieman Benn in the 3rd Test – where Dale is alledged to have spat in the direction of Benn after his dismissal ????

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.06.10 15:03:20 by Dalz Reply

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  • isn,t that the truth ,bless there idiotic souls ,but I,m being positive now and realistic ,I have no clue but I kno it won,t be kockett they,d worse infighting in the sharks then there,s been ,Plumtree needs to settle on his starting 15 first there,s to much rotation in key positions but out of all the captaincy candidates they,ll prob go will Ryan konkowski since he keeps his starting spot the most

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.06.10 17:50:58 by zvision10 Reply

    zvision10Under 21 player
     
  • and isn,t skeate a number 4 or maybe he just played there for province because bekker was 5

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.06.10 17:55:06 by zvision10 Reply

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  • how does this star system work on this site ,this 1 star business is not a good look for me ,rob why do u have 3 silver stars did u earn them or did u ANC it and just give them to urself because you in charge ,rob I need my stars up .lets make something happen here ,I don,t feel like a man with only 1 star

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.06.10 18:00:50 by zvision10 Reply

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  • @zvision10 (Comment 31) : one more political comment and I’ll remove the one you have, along with your posting rights ;)

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.06.10 19:23:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • Damnit ladies, here we go again having a full blast at the fittest rugby player to grace our lush green fields, one bad-ish season and we all jump on the ‘he’s too old’ band wagon (seems the same was said about Os before a certain wc :roll: ).

    How many of the ‘kids’ in the Sharks team is out injured? And as for ‘oupa’? NO INJURY, he’s got at least another three years in those legs of his, I wonder if the same can be said about someone like say Swaan.

    As for John Smit leaving, has anybody seen him in the games the Sharks played against the local franchises during the S14? Too diplomatic to even make a proper tackle. He’s become too big for franchise rugby (said with the greatest respect to the greatest Bok captain ever). I think Johan Muller was a better Sharks captain with tons more loyalty from his team than John.

    So bottom line, there is life after John, and ‘oupa’ Blanche will outlast all of the current Sharks players injury wise. GET OFF HIS CASE.

    How’s that for a bit of balance to the argument. ;-)

  • Comment 33, posted at 29.06.10 20:38:36 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 33) : The captaincy issue is a difficult one. I think firstly a player must be a regular starter and I’m not convinced that Hargreaves is better than Sykes,Skeate and Mostert. Maybe Oupa should continue with the captaincy and take Hargreaves under his wing and show him the ropes. Having said that there isn’t any obvious answer as I don’t really even know who would be a regular starter…Stefan might not even make the cut. When the injured players return maybe Deysel or Alberts should be conciderd. I wouldn’t concider Botes purely because of his age and I think a young captain would be the answer but I don’t know who.

  • Comment 34, posted at 30.06.10 08:11:33 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 35) : Maybe Rory isn’t a bad idea…it might help him focus and take some responsibility

  • Comment 35, posted at 30.06.10 08:15:40 by Pokkel Reply
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