Youngsters Coming to The Fore

Written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (JJR)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 9 Aug 2010 at 18:59
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The Sharks have made many new signings lately; which personally have been very good signings concerning the positions that needed to be strengthened.To make depth even stronger we have a good bunch of youngsters showing great potential and ability.

In the front row we have kyle cooper who for the next few years will be the most significant young front-rower coming through. Already we have been exposed to his talents. He is a seriously powerful and explosive ball carrier, resembling the likes of Aled de Malmanche. With him around we should be well covered for quality options at hooker. Obviously Cilliers and Herbst are young props that have already made a good contribution to our Currie Cup thus far and will for many years to come.

The second row we have The Marais brothers, Anton Bresler and a guy i think will be useful in future Ojiambo from the U 21 side. Despite playing off the bench for the U 21′s Ojiambo is a real athletic second rower and can redefine the role of second row play. I feel this kid has the potential to play like a quality number 8 from the second row as well as doing the usual grunt work required. Bresler is a player i really like. He has good aggression, crash ball abilities and work rate, plus he already has really good bulk to compete with players at Super 14 level. We should be well covered in this department, considering we still have four quality locks with good experience behind their names in the Senior side who in average still have around 6 years plus to give.

Back row is very interesting. An obvious future star to my mind is the talented and increasingly growing in size, Adriaan Theisinger. He has only just come back from a long term injury to join the U 21 side, but he is a really good ball carrier and makes good hits too. I immediately thought of Alberts when i saw the guy play, very similar playing styles and attributes. He could do with a few more months of conditioning on the upper legs, but considering he has had a knee problem for over a year he can be forgiven for not having legs the size of Jean Deysel’s. Adriaan looks like a really good 8 and 7 for us in the near future. Their are two other players that stand out for me. Swanepoel and mthembu. Swannie can play a similar role as that of keegan, fortunately he is slightly larger, but unfortunately slightly slower. Nevertheless looks like a good impact player off the bench as he does not command one specific role in the back three. Another is Mthembu, he might need some work on the game he plays, in that he spends alot of time on the wing. But he looks like he has the potential to also bring good pace and skill to the back row. He is also in the mold of a Daniels in that he too does not command one back row position, unless he gains a good amount of weight. In that case he could be a really good number 8; the same goes for Swanepoel.

At Halfback we have in my mind mainly Guy,ross and Lambie. We all know about Lambie already. The other two Michaelhouse boys Guy and Ross Cronje also have great potential, Ross especially. Ross at 9 brings the best of both worlds. He has a fast passing game, he is strong around the rucks and also has a really good educated boot; not to mention his great step. When Ross is fully fit which is just around the corner, i personally feel he is a better Scrummie than both Charl and Kockett. Big statement i know, but like i said he has all the attributes and can seriously be compared with Fourie Du Preez in a few years from now. Guy also has great abilities, but weather he can handle the physicality of Super rugby is another thing we will find out with time.

Centre is what i am really excited about. We have Piet Lindeque and Arno van zyl. Piet is still quite young, but has alot of ability to play both outside and inside. He has good pace, very solid in defence, an eye for the gap, good strength and has a good pair of hands too. He is also not too shabby on the size aspect, another 2-4 kg won’t hurt though. Then we have Arno van zyl. He already has the physical presence to trouble some of the seasoned pro’s. He also has good pace and is a solid defender, but his greatest asset is his strength and size which makes him difficult to bring down without taking out the legs or dragging him down somehow. He does need to maybe run straight a bit more, but other than that looks good to join the Senior side too. Piet can also already at this stage handle himself at currie cup level; but we shall wait and see.

In the back three i really only see two youngster in my mind from the U 21 side downwards. Sithole and Pienaar. Sithole is still a bit raw, but has the potential to develop into a really good wing. He is strong and has good bulk for a youngster, also has good pace and balance. He just needs some time to develop, but i can see his potential. Pienaar at 15 looks to have a really good rugby brain, good running game and not too shabby defence either. With a few extra kg’s he could soon be a strong contender in the senior side come 2012. I know some must be saying, “what about Richards”. Despite him being a fellow Michaelhouse Old Boy i don’t imagine him handling senior rugby. We will see what happens, but i think he will be an awesome sevens player for South Africa, but if he wants to make it at 15 a side senior level he needs to really work on his aggresion and tackling technique; he takes too long to bring anyone down and shows little determination to do so. Maybe i am a bit harsh, but we will see what happens in the future.

In Conclusion it looks like we won’t really have to go shopping in the near future. The only position i still feel we need to look at is a strong out and out ball fetcher. Maybe we land Brussouw in the near future; hope so. But for now the future is bright and The Sharks as a team is set to get better every week and hopfully bring in the silverware that the Union and players so greatly deserve. Sharks Forever.


  • Thanks for a great article: always good to get some insight into the youngsters.

    Ojiambo will be interesting to watch: played wing, and is a big lad too. I share your doubts regarding Richards – size is going to be a factor.

    How big is van Zyl? Hopefully around 100kg – I believe a 13 must either do a sub-11 100m or be over 100kg. Preferably both of course. :lol:

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.08.10 20:23:35 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • To add my two cents, how well did Otto (flank) play for the under 21s?? Howard Mnisi (inside centre) is big, strong and fast but needs to work (really needs to work!!) on his hands. Reinach at scrummie and du Plessis at flyhalf look better halfback options than the cronje twins IMHO

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.08.10 22:46:05 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player
  • I agree with you War.. Reinach is a superstar in the making, and du Plessis looks really good as a flyhalf. Good hands and a decent boot as well..

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.08.10 22:50:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • Thanks for a wonderfully informative article. Being stuck in London I never get the chance to see the youngsters who are coming through. On top of the great performances of the senior players it is great to hear that we have quality players being groomed for the coming years at senior level. Thanks again.

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.08.10 23:36:27 by Donald Reply

    DonaldUnder 21 player
  • Hi guys…does anyone know where i can see the highlights of the Sharks pumping the Lions, I just got to the land of long white cloud and i cant find it on youtube….help….a Sharkie stuck in NZ

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.08.10 00:32:43 by Tintin Reply

    TintinCurrie Cup player
  • nice arti JJ – You’re spot on that we have huge amounts of talent coming through.

    I realise you’re a big fan of the Cronje’s, but don’t you think that Cobus Reinach and Willie du Plessis also warrant a mention?

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.08.10 07:40:06 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Agreed…. You have left out some great talent!
    The likes of Cobus Reinach, Willie Du plessis, Dale Chadwick, Julian Redelinghuys ???? Get your rugby up to date ;)

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.08.10 07:51:24 by s.h.a.r.k.s Reply

    s.h.a.r.k.sUnder 21 player
  • where are those naysayers and doomers that gnashed their teeth and irritated us all with “pat must be a fullback” “it is to soon to put pat at 10″ “pat is won’t be good at 10″? well i am pleased he did, what i knew he would, and that was put a frikking cork in it. well done lambie may you not be rushed to the boks to soon.

    now the 2 players that ripped the cork out of my mouth, stefan and rory. what idjoots. how kak did the backline become when rory hit the park. i think rory has no gripes about getting the boot. other than his kicking he offers nothing at scrumhalf. time the sharks look at a replacement. and the great stefan having one of his brainfarts again. all cc he has kept the ball in hand, then he has a deja vu moment and kicks the ball into the oppositions hands to gift them a try. hope you remember this stefan. this is why you get stick.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.08.10 08:02:56 by try time Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • @war1 (Comment 2) : I agree about Reinach and Du Plessis, the Cronje brothers and all the hype around them has only disappointed me so far, not that they’re not quality players, but not nearly as special as people make them out to be. They still need to prove me wrong, but in my opinion they won’t be ready for S15 level for a while.

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.08.10 08:39:47 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • @try time (Comment 8) : It’s interesting that Charl had to play a couple of games before people could see how slow Rory really is…and I thought on Saturday he was getting the ball out quicker than he personally has in a long time. I like, no love saying I told you so, so here it goes..I’ve been saying Kockett is to slow at ruck time since people has been saying he should be selected over Ruan, he has been this slow at ruck time since he started playing, it’s not a new thing. Maybe now that the rules have been adapted to give the advantage to the attacking team this has been exposed more, but it’s always been there and has been a big reason for the boring play our backline has delivered. I still think Kockett is a good rugby player though, someone just needs to help him fix that part of his game.

    I far as Stefan goes, I think he had a pretty good game, aside from giving a try to the Lions. He didn’t do anything special, but the wings saw enough of the ball in space and that says something. He had a solid game…having said that, I would really love to see one of our young talents given a chance to start against the Leopards and give Stefan a rest. It’s one of the positions we need to seriously look at and this weekend is the perfect opportunity. Keep Dries at 12, his experienced enough.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.08.10 08:50:28 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • Some very talented youngsters around.

    Watched those u21′s this Sat (only the 1st half though). I like what I see. Ross Cronje seems to control a game beautifully from 9. Marais brothers look decent at lock. Cooper is classy… Look forward to some of them coming through at Snr level.

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.08.10 09:19:14 by Oubaas2009 Reply

    SportbillyVodacom Cup player
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Reinach…4 sure forgot about him, but to be honest i don’t think Du Plessis is good enough for our seniour side. Yes, he does basics well, but nothing special about him really. To me his distribution is a bit shabby as well. Just my opinion. Didn’t mention chad and redhuys because we have been talking for ages about these two, we all know what they can do. Glad The Sharks u21 and senior game against leopards is being televised at Royal Bafokeng!!!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.08.10 09:36:16 by JJR Reply
    JJRCurrie Cup player
  • @s.h.a.r.k.s (Comment 7) : I only mentioned those i thought will make a huge impact in senior rugby and didn’t mention those who we have heard too much about. eg chadwick and redhuys. I forgot to mention reinach, he is a good scrummie, but i do prefer Ross though. Can’t wait to watch another u21 game!!!

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.08.10 09:41:03 by JJR Reply
    JJRCurrie Cup player
  • @Big Fish (Comment 1) : he is definately above 92 kgs which is more than enough, plus from looking at him run he is very fast for his size. will be glad to see him get a go soon.

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.08.10 09:42:43 by JJR Reply
    JJRCurrie Cup player
  • @Big Fish (Comment 1) : But i think he is around 95-100 kg. Great to see he still has the pace to gooi his weight around.

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.08.10 09:44:37 by JJR Reply
    JJRCurrie Cup player
  • @war1 (Comment 2) : Otto did have a good game, but the plums won’t even look in his direction if he doesn’t gain more weight and to be honest neither would i. But he has got ability, just needs to hit the gym if he hopes to play Sharks one day. hope so.

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.08.10 09:46:32 by JJR Reply
    JJRCurrie Cup player
  • @Donald (Comment 4) : A pleasure, love seeing our ypoungsters coming through, and man they are good and well conditioned too. The Future is bright.

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.08.10 09:48:54 by JJR Reply
    JJRCurrie Cup player
  • The Sharks young gun talent is enviable, we can be proud of the work we do in our junior levels, lets hope they stay loyal to The Sharks – PS: Jean Deysel injury confirmed to be Posterior Cruciate Ligament – not as serious as ACL 6-8 week layoff… Unlucky big guy.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.08.10 10:07:27 by DarkDestroyer Reply

    RichardCurrie Cup player
  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 18) : It sucks about Deysel, he and Alberts makes for a scary combination for other teams to face.

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.08.10 10:30:44 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • @Letgo (Comment 10) : Kockott also needs to work on passing more and his now predictive runs where he gets isolated or just doesn’t pass when there is an overlap.

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.08.10 10:55:53 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
    lostfishSuper Rugby player
  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 18) : Deysel is a HUGE loss.

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.08.10 10:56:53 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
    lostfishSuper Rugby player
  • @Letgo (Comment 19) : He’ll back, harder than ever for S15. Has got time to increase upper body strength and condition… (scary thought), he has got time to increase hand eye coordination… (scary thought) – look out for a 116KG Jean Deysel come S15 (scary thought)… We have to look at the positives, I hope he has an injury free 2011 to push for a Bok place in RWC squad.

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.08.10 10:58:53 by DarkDestroyer Reply

    RichardCurrie Cup player
  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 22) : Been thinking same thing. He has had time off with the wrist just to work on the legs in the gym, now the opposite. He can build those guns again. Also leg mass takes also alot longer to breakdown due to the fact that the muscles have been used pretty much every day of our lives. Can’t wait to see the new even bigger Deysel!!!!

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.08.10 13:50:30 by JJR Reply
    JJRCurrie Cup player
  • @Letgo (Comment 9) : We must remember ross was our second choice scrummie at one stage, before he got injured. Trust me, if he is fully fit he can make a real impact. Guy is someone who i still doubt has the long kicking game or strong enough physical attributes to make an impact in the Sharks first team. But, we all have been proved wrong before.

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.08.10 13:57:58 by JJR Reply
    JJRCurrie Cup player
  • @JJR (Comment 23) : Yep the big guy has struggled with injuries, but hopefully it does not become a plague, he is far too special a player to be dealt such cruel blows… Even though stats wise he will be ready for the semis, I think it will be harsh to put him in there… We will wait and see, I think the S15 is more realistic, gives chance for his adamantium to bond with the bone structure…

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.08.10 14:16:46 by DarkDestroyer Reply

    RichardCurrie Cup player
  • @ JJR – So you dont think Chadwick and Redelinghuys will make an impact in senior rugby??? Weird how they have both already played in the CC in 2009!

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.08.10 16:26:43 by s.h.a.r.k.s Reply

    s.h.a.r.k.sUnder 21 player
  • Personally I think there is too much hype regarding the Cronje brothers. Ross is obviously better than Guy but not on the standard of Charl. Jaco Reinach u/21 and Dwayne Kelly u/19 must not be left out of the mix. Kelly had a great season at Westville Boys High and was also the captain, really someone to look out for in the future. He is the same size as Ross and most definitely has a better pass. Reinach also had an outstanding season with the u/20′s at Collegians.
    It’s sorry about Jean but the loosies that are currently there are most certainly good enough to provide excellent service for the team.
    Only time will tell!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.08.10 13:27:45 by Kaygee Reply

    KaygeeUnder 21 player
  • Just feel sorry for all the young new signings to the Sharks squad who don’t get the opportunity to get selected for decent games to show off their talent.

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.08.10 13:28:36 by Marietjie Reply

    MarietjieUnder 21 player

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