robdylan

What’s the plan for Pat?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 21 Oct 2010 at 09:31
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No no! Not THAT Pat… I mean the OTHER Pat. The prop from Michaelhouse! Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, read on…

While there was a fair amount of initial euphoria when the Sharks website revealed a list of players on new or renewed contracts last week, not much emphasis was placed on the names that weren’t mentioned. There was good reason for this – the Sharks were in the final stages of the build-up to the most important game of their season so far and while the news that stalwarts such as Ryan Kankowski and JP Pietersen had decided to remain in Durban came as a timely fillip, any talk about those who may not be in the mix next year would probably not have been appropriate. Having had a proper look (and done a bit of digging) over the last few days, though, it suddenly hit me like a hammer. Pat Cilliers is not listed in the contracted players group.

Now, that in itself is not necessarily major cause for alarm, since I know that Rudolf Straeuli is still finalising discussions with a number of guys, but I also know that, from a Sharks perspective, at least, they feel hey have the core of their Super 15 squad tied up now and are now just tidying up a few loose ends – I’d hate to think that Pat Cilliers should fall into that category. He is, after all, one of those players who has been forced into the background as a result of a slew of Springbok front-rankers ahead of him in the pecking order, despite possessing clear and undisputed talent that would have seen him emerge as a regular Super Rugby starter at virtually any other union. The 2010 Currie Cup was Cilliers’ big break and I thought that he stood up manfully and progressed well throughout the campaign, regularly returning impressive tackle and ball carrying statistics, while his scrumming continued to improve week by week. We must remember that in those early stages of the competition where the Sharks scrum appeared to take a step backwards, Cilliers was working together with two other front-row rookies in Craig Burden and Wiehahn Herbst. He continued to work hard, though, taking criticism in his stride and put in a masterful display of destructive scrummaging against the Cheetahs in Durban that saw his opposite number replaced after only half an hour.

The Sharks do, of course, have an abundance of prop depth and with John Smit and Eugene van Staden both more-than-capable loosehead options as back-up to Beast Mtawarira, it’s hard to imagine Cilliers featuring regularly in the upcoming Super 15. The Currie Cup is an entirely different matter, though and with another young prop, Sabelo Nhlapo, deciding to continue his career with Tukkies (and perhaps the Blue Bulls after that) next year, without Cilliers in the mix, the Sharks may find themselves needing to back an untested youngster like Dale Chadwick once the Boks are out of the picture next year. We are, of course, assuming that SARU will allow their contracted players to play most of the Super 15 competition, which in a World Cup year is far from a certainty.

I really hope that the Sharks can make some sort of a meaningful plan here to keep Pat Cilliers with the union for the coming years. We have spent a number of years developing him now and he is, I believe, ready to make an impact at Super Rugby level if required. Throwing all of that development away and starting from scratch with someone else (or worse, buying in another player when the chips are down) simply makes no sense at all.



34 Comments

  • It would be sad if he’s not in the mix. I remember being very worried ahead of the Cheetah game about the scrumm but he really impressed.

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.10.10 09:40:08 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : he stood up like a champ that day… absolutely slaughtered Calldo

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.10.10 09:41:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • He would be a real loss. He has really impressed this year and held his own against some of the “bigger names”

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.10.10 09:42:25 by lostfish Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Hey Rob. I meant to ask you. Do I get a ‘cup’ for winning the Sharks Jersey? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.10.10 09:49:29 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I would love to see Pat in a WP jersey. Oh wait, we never EVER need props do we?? :roll:

    What was I thinking?? :???:

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.10.10 09:50:20 by wpw Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 4) : no – cos it was luck, not skill :)

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.10.10 09:54:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 5) : a loan move to WP would make perfect sense. I think I even suggested that two years ago already

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.10.10 09:55:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Worth a try ;-)

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.10.10 09:56:46 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Pat was sitting in the stands behind us on Sat along with Michael Rhodes , good to see the guys in the stands ! Rob ,you must ratethe oke , you picked him for your fantasy leauge after all ….

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.10.10 09:59:36 by King Deysel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    Why not move him to Griquas for a full season.. He can back fit and roaring to go and still having played decent oppossition.

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.10.10 10:00:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • We must not let that boy go anywhere.

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.10.10 10:05:28 by Ben Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 10) : Griquas have Ronnie “Man Mountain” Uys ;-)

  • Comment 12, posted at 21.10.10 10:06:53 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 10) : but what happens to him in the super 15 then if he’s at the griquas does he play for the cheetahs then?

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.10.10 10:07:33 by Ben Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 12) :

    Who would you rather play, an oke who is a monster but is only fit enough to play 10 consecutive minutes, or a smaller oke that will scrum 80 minutes for you?

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.10.10 10:09:01 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 13) :

    He would then end up at the Cheetahs who already have a good front row, and would end up on the bench. Maybe the Lions are a better option.. But they seem to be backing their own youth at the moment. Its a difficult call..

    And remember, Griquas still take part in the Vodacom Cup, but then again, so do the Sharks and he can stay here. There are a lot of options.

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.10.10 10:10:46 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 15) : I wouldn’t be suprised if a offer came through from the lions and don’t know if he would reject such an offer.

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.10.10 10:12:38 by Ben Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) : My comment would have worked better with the sarcasm font… ;-)

    I don’t know how Uys even gets himself through warm ups. He is in such bad physical condition. You can see his boep hanging over his shorts and wobbling when he tries to jog.

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.10.10 10:14:52 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 17) :

    He did end up starting most of the Pumas games though..

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.10.10 10:16:00 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 16) :

    Theye sure are building quite a team up there. I really rate Maku, and with their backline taking shape, they might surprise a bit next year.

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.10.10 10:16:53 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) : yeah I really think mitch and spencer are making a huge difference

  • Comment 20, posted at 21.10.10 10:20:12 by Ben Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) : That’s what I’m hoping :grin: :grin:

  • Comment 21, posted at 21.10.10 11:30:26 by Greg Reply

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  • SPOOKWERF…

    Cilliers really deserves a pat on the back for all the work he has put in this season.

  • Comment 22, posted at 21.10.10 14:26:35 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : Pat on the back :lol: :lol:
    He does though, you guys need to look after him, I wouldn’t mind seeing him move to the Lions

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.10.10 14:49:00 by Greg Reply

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  • He would be a good buy: very mobile and an under-rated scrummager. Should fit in well with the Lions high tempo game-plan.

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.10.10 15:00:20 by Big Fish Reply
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  • birdie tells me you guys may have hit the nail on the head

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.10.10 15:01:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 24) : I also rate him for his potential as a captain!

  • Comment 26, posted at 21.10.10 15:04:41 by Greg Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) :

    Oh no.. thats not good news for us then..

  • Comment 27, posted at 21.10.10 15:44:52 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) : maybe not as a permanent thing, though…

  • Comment 28, posted at 21.10.10 15:53:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) :
    Cant blame the guy for wanting game time though: sitting behind 3 Bok props and van Staden is not an appealing thought for any youngster as talented as he is.

    Hope we can give him sufficient reason to stay of course.

  • Comment 29, posted at 21.10.10 16:07:24 by Big Fish Reply
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  • no comments on us losing Nhlapo to Tukkies and the Bulls?

  • Comment 30, posted at 21.10.10 16:36:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) :
    Disappointed really – that guy is massive!

    But then I got to wondering, maybe he hasnt been first choice due to other guys being better?

    It might seem an obvious assumption, but I for one totally fail to understand why Ojiambo doesnt get more game time – anywhere he wants to play.

  • Comment 31, posted at 21.10.10 16:55:34 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 31) : well – not sure about that. He’s just come out of under 21s (played there last year) and never got a game ahead of Pat/Beast/van Staden. If anything, van Staden’s arrival was the death knell for Sabs.

  • Comment 32, posted at 21.10.10 17:18:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • No no! Not THAT Pat… :evil: ;-) I mean the OTHER Pat. :lol:

    Gee Rob what were u thinking i nearlly had a heart attack ;-)

  • Comment 33, posted at 21.10.10 21:38:02 by chaz Reply

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  • ok at least we got the Pats right ;-)

    i think he’ll be a great lost :sad:

  • Comment 34, posted at 21.10.10 21:43:47 by chaz Reply

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