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.Tweet