robdylan

Big fish in a small pond


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 5 Jul 2011 at 08:28
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

With the real dearth of experience that is likely to hamper the big teams in this year’s Currie Cup, there’s every chance that the few experienced individuals that remain could have a major impact on hte final destination of South Africa’s oldest rugby trophy.

While it is not yet clear exactly how many of the current 49-man Bok squad are going to miss out on the Currie Cup, the odds are that most of them will be withdrawn, at least for the initial stages of the competition. The Sharks, Blue Bulls and Western Province will need to dig deep into their wider squads to replace these players and there are, of course, plenty of young players waiting in the wings who will want to step up and make a big mark on this competition. It’s the elder statesmen in those teams, though, who I feel are going to have the bigger impact – those players who may have just missed out on Bok selection by the narrowest of margins, or who are otherwise ineligible for international call-ups, but nevertheless exude talent and are likely to really shine against the backdrop of a somewhat watered down competition.

The one name on everybody’s lips, of course, is that of Sarel Pretorius. The Griquas scrumhalf looked a cut above his rivals – particularly on attack – in Super Rugby this year and has shown himself to be a proven match winner at Currie Cup level over the last two seasons. Pretorius is the sort of player that can turn Griquas from a nuisance team into one that stands a realistic chance of knocking over any of the big 5 and making the semi-finals – I back him to do just that this year.

The Blue Bulls and Western Province will, I feel, struggle a little this season through lack of this sort of player. Perhaps they should take this as a compliment, in that all of their real stars have clearly done enough to crack the Bok nod. For the Bulls in particular, there’s only really Dewald Potgieter that stands out as a player of established class, although in Akona Ndungane and Jaco Pretorius they have plenty of experience to fall back on. The acquisition of hooker Willie Wepener, though, should turn out to be a master-stroke as he’s exactly the sort of player to really shine in the Currie Cup. Province will look to the likes of Conrad Jantjes, Tiaan Liebenberg and also CJ van der Linde, not exactly and exciting trio of dynamic players, but there you go. Province do have some freakishly talented youngsters in their squad, though and certainly won’t fail to deliver entertainment, even if they don’t win every game.

The Lions and Cheetahs have lost few players to the Bok squad, but neither can really be said to boast much in the line of real stars anyway. Both should be competitive and well-coached this year, of course and I feel that the likes of Waylon Murray. Janno Vermaak and the underrated Doppies le Grange could prove major stars on this year’s stage for the Lions. Wikus van Heerden is another player for them that has proven pedigree and is relishing his new role in the second row – just the kind of player to really stick out in this year’s Currie Cup. The Cheetahs, on the other hand, have lost virtually all of their x-factor players from the Super Rugby squad, either to the Boks or back to Griquas, leaving the Ebersohn twins as the ones they will look to to make things happen for them in the Currie Cup. While short of experience, those boys have oodles of skill, which should always make for entertaining viewing.

What of the Sharks, then? Well, I feel that they’ve been given a huge boost due to the exclusion of a pair of real match-winners from the Bok squad, namely Keegan Daniel and Jean Deysel. These two are quite clearly the two best loose forwards that will be playing in this year’s competition and coupled with another class player in Fred Michalak, the Sharks should have the ingredients to compete very strongly this year. Marius Joubert, Meyer Bosman, Eugene van Staden, Gerhard Moster and Louis Ludik are all hugely experienced in comparison to the general level in the Currie Cup this year and the defending champions would have every reason to feel they will be starting the season off from a stronger position than many of their rivals.

Now, for those of you playing in the JustRugby Fantasy League competition, take note of the above names. Those are the sots of guys that I’m going to stuffing my squad with, anyway!



31 Comments

  • Matt Turner may have a few runs for WP this season, he is currently training at the HPC.

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.07.11 08:32:40 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 1) : who’s he?

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.07.11 08:44:08 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • Heard on the radio that Aplon and de Jongh have re-signed with the Stormers for 2012 while Sadie is contemplating offers from Bulls and Stormers.

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.07.11 08:45:10 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : England Sevens? Was at UCT. Any news of a squad Rob? Either for the friendly or for the CC?

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.07.11 08:45:29 by Ossa Reply

    OssaVodacom Cup player
     
  • its gonna be dificult getting a decent’ FL squad together

    :???:

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.07.11 08:52:20 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
    JarsonXAssistant coach
     
  • @Ossa (Comment 4) : oh right… he’s the hobbit that got away?

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.07.11 08:58:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Think so. Only saw him play sevens for England, can’t comment on his ‘got away’ status.
    Any news regarding the squads?
    Any articles relating to the ‘fodder’ I gave you on that ‘continuity / building’ thread?

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.07.11 09:03:34 by Ossa Reply

    OssaVodacom Cup player
     
  • i will be very interested to see how a Sharks backline of 9-Michalak,10- Potgieter, 11 – Jordaan,12 – Bosman, 13 – Terblanche, 14 – Sithole , 15 – Ludick fair in the Currie Cup. I think Mvovo and Ndungane will be back shortly once the Bok squad is cut.

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.07.11 09:15:11 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • I believe CJ was only contracted for the duration of the Super 15.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.07.11 09:16:46 by grant10 Reply

    Super Rugby player
     
  • I thought it was an article about our Big Fish (like a bday or something :razz:

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.07.11 09:17:14 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    rekinekTeam captain
     
  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 5) :

    Not really. In the past the Boks came back which made it difficult. This year they won’t be coming back so it makes selecting a team easier than before I think.

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.07.11 09:17:29 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
     
  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) : yip – you do not need to leave trades for Morne Steyn or JP.

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.07.11 09:24:52 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    rekinekTeam captain
     
  • @grant10 (Comment 9) : is it? I wondered about that. Where is he going next?

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.07.11 09:29:25 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • Riaan Viljoen will also be a lot to handle..

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.07.11 10:05:18 by mikey Reply

    moneyVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 1) : Really really? England not all its cracked out to be?

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.07.11 10:11:37 by molly Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    mollySuper Rugby player
     
  • @grant10 (Comment 9) : That is fantastic news!

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.07.11 10:13:46 by molly Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    mollySuper Rugby player
     
  • @molly (Comment 15) : Saw on twitter he was training at the HPC so I asked him whatsup and he said if all goes well he will get a few runs.

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.07.11 10:20:31 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 17) : And I just typed that like an excited 9year old child :oops:

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.07.11 10:21:00 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 18) : :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.07.11 10:21:38 by Ossa Reply

    OssaVodacom Cup player
     
  • @mikey (Comment 14) : ah yes… that’s true… should have mentioned Viljoen and his big foots!

    Always stands out at Currie Cup level, that boy – and took a nice step up in Super Rugby this year too.

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.07.11 10:43:04 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 18) :

    hahahaha :lol:

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.07.11 10:45:38 by wpw Reply
    Author
    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • @rekinek (Comment 10) :
    It was my Birthday on Sunday! :lol:

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.07.11 11:38:28 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • @molly (Comment 16) : JD Moller must be happy as well.

  • Comment 23, posted at 05.07.11 11:39:30 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : Happy birthday fro Sunday last. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.07.11 11:40:15 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • hehehe Cape Town Steelers have been selected.

    Some interesting choices there . . . :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 05.07.11 11:41:30 by Original Pierre Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 24) :
    Dankie maatjie!

  • Comment 26, posted at 05.07.11 11:48:47 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • @rekinek (Comment 10) : :lol:

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.07.11 11:54:42 by Charlie Reply

    CharlieSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : happy happy – hope you had a good one.

    (if you supported Djokovic at least you got some sort of a presie :razz:

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.07.11 12:30:33 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    rekinekTeam captain
     
  • @rekinek (Comment 28) :
    Thank you.

    Not such a big tennis fan anymore, but I enjoy the way he plays and his spirit – so was happy when he won.

    My dad is a big fan.

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.07.11 13:09:35 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • @rekinek (Comment 28) : @Big Fish (Comment 29) :
    It was too easy. :shock: , Is that possible against Nadal? Also glad Djokovic won. I dont like people threatening Borgs leagacy. :twisted:

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.07.11 13:12:24 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 29) : I also do not watch as much lately (too demanding on the neck :mrgreen:

    @Salmonoid (Comment 30) : i just like a bit of shuffling at the top :twisted:

  • Comment 31, posted at 05.07.11 13:27:21 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    rekinekTeam captain
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.