Another week and another good Sharks win. Let’s see how the individuals performed. As always, this is subjective, so let me know if you agree.
1. Beast Mtawarira: A really strong outing in every aspect other than the scrums, where he struggled to dominate and was repeatedly penalised. Made huge progress with ball in hand, though, but alas cannot score highly due to the poor scrumming performance. 6/10.
2. Craig Burden: Burden’s best all-round showing yet, which is really saying something this season. He was huge with ball in hand and the set pieces were much improved. Superb anticipation to poach the Sharks 4th try, the one that effectively sealed the game. 9/10.
3. Jannie du Plessis: Was this really his first game back after a month out? He’s clearly been keeping VERY fit, because Jannie was awesome. While the scrums weren’t a high point for the Sharks, the doctor was all over the park all game long, putting in big hits and making decent yards with ball in hand as well. 8/10.
4. Steven Sykes: The entire Sharks pack was on fire and on song and Sykesie was at the heart of it. This man is growing in stature with each game and finding the sort of form that earned him a spot on the Bok bench last year. 8/10.
5. Alistair Hargreaves: Demonstrated a simply monumental work-rate and featured prominently both on attack and defence, as well as marshalling the line outs to perfection. Hargs has simply beautiful hands for a tight forward and he demonstrated these on numerous occasions. 8/10
6. Keegan Daniel: With Willem Alberts there to do the donkey work, along with a tight five that had the opposition well under the cosh, Daniel was free to play the game that suits him best and he did it to perfection. His best all-round showing in a Sharks jersey yet this season. 8/10
7. Jean Deysel: Alas, poor Wolla didn’t last long enough to be rated.
8. Willem Alberts: There are no superlatives quite superlative enough to describe this man. Big Vic was, simply, immense in everything he did. 10/10.
9. Charl McLeod: A few errors crept into the game this week, but given the frankly ridiculous tempo at which it was played, you can forgive the old man for a slip-up or two. Service was crisp and quick as always and Charl remains the fuse igniting the Sharks back line in the 2010 Currie Cup. 7/10
10. Pat Lambie: Superstar. We could make an excuse or two given that it was his first game at flyhalf, but Pat simply didn’t do anything wrong, so no excuses are necessary. What an unbelievable talent. 10/10
11: Lwazi Mvovo: Perhaps guilty of not looking for enough work in the first half, but made up for it with some superb poaching in the second. His intercept try turned the game for the Sharks and his second was pure poetry. This boy has Bok written all over him. 8/10
12: Andries Strauss: Dries was bloody good out there. He’s one of those players who does a lot of good stuff that goes unnoticed, but his calming presence on Lambie’s outside was immense and the line lost none of its potency by having him there. 8/10
13: Stefan Terblanche: Stef is playing out of position at inside centre and lack the pace and incisiveness to really make success of the position. He’s giving his all for the team, which is great, but again, on form, he is not up with the others. 6/10
14: JP Pietersen: So strong on both attack and defence that he is an absolute nightmare to play against. That said, he seems to have lost his nose for the tryline just a little. 7/10
15: Louis Ludik: Ludik showed that his defensive game is every bit as classy as his attacking skills. A superb player who is only a week or two away from recapturing his pre-injury form. 8/10
16: Bismarck du Plessis: He was clearly very rusty, having played no rugby in 4 months. Bismarck needs more game time and needs to keep his discipline in check, because he did little other than to concede a number of penalties. 5/10
17: Eugene van Staden: This bloke just goes from strength to strength. Somewhat of an unknown quantity as a scrummager, but always very busy around the field and capable of doing some damage with ball in hand too. 7/10
18: Ross Skeate: Skeato is still adapting to the increased pace of Southern Hemisphere rugby, but again made an impact when he came on. Needs to work on body position and ball retention, but always brings something to the team. 6/10
19: Jacques Botes: Despite being named on the bench initially, Botes ended up playing virtually the entire match and was close to his brilliant best. Adapted well to playing out of position on the blind-side flank and was particularly effective on defence and as a link-man when required. 8/10
20: Rory Kockott: Looked sharp and in control when he came on for McLeod and made a few trademark breaks. 7/10
21: Monty Dumond: Didn’t really get enough time to warrant a rating.
22: Riaan Swanepoel: Swannie has clearly taken a long, hard look at his game and made some changes, because he looked a different player out there. He was quick, decisive and really mixed it up well when he got his hands on the ball. Very unlucky to be denied a try in the corner on full-time. 7/10.