robdylan

Plumtree’s nightmare task


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Springboks on 7 Jul 2011 at 09:57
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Given the unfolding drama surrounding the composition of the Springbok touring side to playing the away leg of the Tri-Nations, John Plumtree looks likely to be without all 14 of his called-up stars for the opening Currie Cup fixture against the Blue Bulls next Saturday in Durban. The latest “casualty” was Jean Deysel, who went from not being in the picture to a virtual certainty to tour within the space of 8 hours.

Just to recap, the Bok medical team has announced a list of 21 players who will miss out on the tour as a result of various injuries. Most of these are likely to be attritional, based on the heavy Super Rugby workload they’ve had to endure and while nobody is saying so out loud, I’m sure hat incredibly conservative treatment of all of these ailments is being applied in the interests of keeping them fresh for the World Cup. Among this group of cotton-wooled players are five Sharks – Beast Mtawarira, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, Willem Alberts and JP Pietersen and four of them must surely be considered World Cup certainties already. Alberts, on the other hand, must be very close to the final squad but much may depend on how well a chronic shoulder injury responds to treatment between now and then.

The remaining (i.e. fit) Bok group, from which the Tri-Nations tour party will be assembled, contains a healthy smattering of Sharks too, with Al Hargreaves, Deysel, Ryan Kankowski, Charl McLeod, Pat Lambie, Adi Jacobs, Odwa Ndungane and Lwazi Mvovo all very much in the reckoning to go along. While it seems unlikely that all 28 will tour, especially since it is essentially only for two matches, Plumtree should probably not get his hopes up regarding the availability of any of those nine for the opening Currie Cup game. His only real source of comfort will be the fact that new Bulls coach Pine Pienaar will be missing slightly more players, with 16 Bulls in the Bok group.

Looking at what’s left, there are few straightforward selections. Hooker is pretty straightforward, with Craig Burden likely to get the nod ahead of Kyle Cooper, as is number 5 lock, with Ross Skeate the obvious man to play. Keegan Daniel and Jacques Botes will take up two of the loose forward slots, while Meyer Bosman will be at inside centre. Pretty much everything else is up for grabs.

Plumtree will need to decide whether to move Eugene van Staden to loosehead to bring in Wiehahn Herbst at tighthead, given that Herbst is somewhat more experienced than the only out-and-out loosehead in the squad, Dale Chadwick. Gerhard Mostert should be at 4, unless he decides to head to France after all, in which case Anton Bresler will need to step up. Expect Marcell Coetzee to come into the loose forward reckoning – probably in the number 7 jersey.

The backs, though, are a lot trickier to sort out. Given that the choices at scrumhalf are very limited, Plumtree will probably opt to let Fred Michalak start in the number 9 jersey, with Jacques-Louis Potgieter at flyhalf. It will be interesting to see whether Cobus Reinach manages to crack the nod as reserve scrummie ahead of Ross Cronje, but my feeling is that it might be a bridge too far at this stage. Plumtree will probably want to give his new recruit, Marius Joubert, a crack at outside center, meaning a probable return to fullback for Stefan Terblanche, I would imagine that Mark Richards would get the right wing slot, with Louis Ludik possibly shifting onto the left.

That would leave the Sharks possibly lining up as follows:

1 Eugene van Staden, 2 Craig Burden, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 4 Gerard Mostert, 5 Ross Skeate, 6 Jacques Botes, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 8 Keegan Daniel, 9 Fred Michalak, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 11 Louis Ludik, 12 Meyer Bosman, 13 Marius Joubert, 14 Mark Richards, 15 Stefan Terblanche (capt)
16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Anton Bresler, 19 Daniel Adongo, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Sbura Sithole



58 Comments

  • injuries schminjuries…

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.07.11 10:05:04 by lostfish Reply
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  • Rather have Cobus Reinach as scrummie with Michalak as flyhalf

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.07.11 10:10:32 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • It doesnt need to be a nightmare but a welcome opportunity. He is forced to play his fringe players and can experiment to his hearts content while giving these guys much needed exposure.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.07.11 10:13:14 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 2) : That will piss off JLP :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.07.11 10:15:31 by Muzi Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 3) : yes – blessing in disguise actually… how can the “powers” expect Plum to realistically win the Currie Cup with 14 players out? They haven’ provided him ready-made replacements for those 14, so he just has to make do with what he’s got

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.07.11 10:16:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I think the best way to think of this is that all of the top teams will be similarly weakened. Our fringe players must hold their own and build their own experience until the fringe Boks get back and if they good enough displace the fringers going forward.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.07.11 10:17:55 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • where is michalak

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.07.11 10:22:06 by jovner Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Us fans must now just come to the party and cut the team and Plum some slack if things get a bit heavy.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.07.11 10:22:26 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • If this team can hold their own in the setpieces and contest reasonably at ruck time, they’ll be in with a shout next weekend.

    My only concern is Adongo. I hope he’s up to the challenge. One missed tackle, poor positional play or even a lapse in concentration could cost us the game. I hope he’s now up to the task unlike back in Feb. Hopefully he comes good.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.07.11 10:23:55 by beet Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 8) : yes – for sure

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.07.11 10:24:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @jovner (Comment 7) : he’s there

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.07.11 10:25:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • Really not a bad team. I can see how this CC is going to pan out, the youngsters/fringe players are going to play their hart out and get us into a position to push for the semi’s when just before the WC some of the old guns will be released and Plum will push them straight back into the team thereby disrupting the team synergy and momentum. Same thing that cost us the CC in ’09

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.07.11 10:34:04 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • sorry,must get my eyes tested :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.07.11 10:34:22 by jovner Reply

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  • @jovner (Comment 13) : no worries :)

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.07.11 10:35:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • I kinda like the idea of the Sharks having to dig deep. We might unearth some quality talent. :cool:

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.07.11 10:36:47 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 15) : dude… I’m gonna be watching YOU…. the first time you throw your toys after a loss in the Currie Cup I’m going to remind you of this comment :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.07.11 10:43:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • The next in line have to be given a chance sometime otherwise we will never know and they will in all probability leave for gametime elsewhere. Keen to see what Burden can offer in an extended run at hooker. JLP is a good player in the currie cup so we need him at 10. Fred at 9 will provide the spark. Also interesting to see what the Bosman,Joubert combo brings. I think its a tough call to shift Ludick to wing to accomodate Terblanche. Maybe Terblanche to wing- that is where he made his name!

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.07.11 10:43:54 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Ok :shock: :oops:

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.07.11 10:48:10 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 17) : too slow. Well, let’s be honest, Ludik is too slow for wing too.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.07.11 10:51:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • Jarson’s nightmare task: Where to get 30 FL players when you know about none’s abilities :twisted:

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.07.11 10:53:00 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Speed doesnt seem to stop Odwa from being a good wing. Oupa will use his experience to pop up in the right places, same as what the Odd One does.

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.07.11 10:58:43 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Well look i think only Mvovo in the current squad has out and out pace. I just think Ludick did a solid job in Super rugby, and was unfairly criticised. yes he could have joined the line more but its not like our backline created magic. I just think the Sharks are trying to accomodate Terblanche at the moment.

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.07.11 11:00:43 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 22) : agree with you… and I’m told that the madness will continue into the Super 15 next year as well

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.07.11 11:11:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 8) :
    Fair call: a great opportunity to polish some of the youngsters. My only fear is that general lack of experience now guarantees Oupa Stefan and Oupa Marius game time.

    @SheldonK (Comment 22) :
    I take it you are excluding JPP and Kanko from the current squad? Not many quicker than them.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.07.11 11:12:29 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : You’re shitting me!!! Thought he was going to Japan!

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.07.11 11:13:52 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) :

    You’re not serious! :evil:

    Enough already!

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.07.11 11:14:24 by Pokkel Reply
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  • that’s actually not a bad side.

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.07.11 11:14:46 by rekinek Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 22) : i’d rather have Stefan at fullback than Ludik really. Anything but oupa at 13. I could understand shifting him for Lambie but for Ludik it is far less obvious for me.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.07.11 11:16:42 by rekinek Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : A lot of players will be back come WC. Also remember that Bulls and WP will have exactly the same problem. I do not expect the Lions or Cheetahs to win CC really.

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.07.11 11:18:12 by rekinek Reply
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  • I kind of like this team.
    Stefan will be fine at 15, better option than Ludik anyway.

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.07.11 11:25:30 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 30) : if you EVER do that on my site again you will be banned.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.07.11 11:32:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 25) : it appears not

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.07.11 11:33:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • Interesting looking team and I like that front row – VERY mobile. Oupa should be offered a coaching position if he has his heart set on staying at the Sharks. A lot of the younger guys could learn from his approach to physical conditioning.

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.07.11 12:17:43 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 33) : AMEN to that last part

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.07.11 13:04:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 33) : Well jus throwing an idea out there, not that it will ever happen. What about Terblanche at 10…..he can tackle and kick and pass

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.07.11 13:32:10 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 35) : :shock: Cant wait to hear the opinions on that one :razz:

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.07.11 13:38:35 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 35) : we have enough good tens, I reckon, not to have to try a mediocre one

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.07.11 13:45:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : you mean we have Lambie with the Boks and Freddie playing 9. :lol: I think oupa would be ok 10 but not brilliant rather have him at 15.

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.07.11 13:50:34 by rekinek Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : Well Lambie isnt going to be playing much Currie Cup i dont think. Only other flyhalf is JLP. I dont think we should move Bosman from 12 as he was just starting to do well there. 9-Fred,10- Terblanche, 11- Richards, 12- Bosman, 13- Joubert, 14- Sithole, 15- Ludick…best scenario if they going to accomodate Terblanche.

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.07.11 13:58:37 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 39) : you don’t think Fred can play flyhalf?

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.07.11 14:06:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : maybe he is a believer in official announcements – no need to be nasty :twisted: :lol:

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.07.11 14:21:25 by rekinek Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : Fred can definitely play 10, but that wud mean having an inexperienced 9. I dotn rate Cronje and Reinach will be exposed. So Fred it is, altho id really like to see Hoffman back-thought he was good wen he played!

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.07.11 14:29:39 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 35) : How about Stef as assistant backline coach? He can tackle and kick and pass… and he’s probably played in every single position at some time in his career.

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.07.11 14:40:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 43) : second – and somebody mentioned super conditioning .

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.07.11 14:42:38 by rekinek Reply
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  • In reply to:
    The remaining (i.e. fit) Bok group, from which the Tri-Nations tour party will be assembled, contains a healthy smattering of Sharks too, with Al Hargreaves, Deysel, Ryan Kankowski, Charl McLeod, Pat Lambie, Adi Jacobs, Odwa Ndungane and Lwazi Mvovo all very much in the reckoning to go along.

    I agree with the injured players…however I think Alberts’ place is secured….
    On other going on 3N tour…I am VERY happy that Odwa is back as he was great before his injury…However I don’t think Hargreaves and Mvovo have a hope in hell making the WC squad unless something catastrophic happens in their positions…if they do…we taking a WC squad with terrible back-up…

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.07.11 14:49:13 by Hmmm Reply

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  • Still not a bad CC side…only concern that they would not have had much game time together…and a well oiled team might use that to their advantage…

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.07.11 14:54:41 by Hmmm Reply

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  • Well scratch Mostert’s name off that squad. Now it doesn’t look that great a pack.

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.07.11 14:58:32 by waje Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 43) : I dont know about his coaching ability. We have seen with HRE that a good player doesnt make a good coach! A good coach needs to analyse his team and opposition in order to take advantage of his teams strengths and oppositions weakness.

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.07.11 15:07:46 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Will the Cronje brothers ever be able to step up to CC level? It has been three years since they were the hot thing for the Sharks junior teams, but they do not seem to have stepped up their game at all in the past three years. Not sure they will ever make it, rather sad to be honest because they seemed to have so much talent.

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.07.11 16:09:50 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 48) : I see your HRE and raise you Todd Blackadder!

  • Comment 50, posted at 07.07.11 16:15:54 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Will be sad if the Sharks lose Mostert….he really made a physical dif in the later stages of the Sharks game…was especially good in the game vs the Bulls…brought much needed physicality in the Sharks tight 5 that had been on the receiving end by a few teams…including the Lions…

  • Comment 51, posted at 07.07.11 16:28:19 by Hmmm Reply

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  • @Hmmm (Comment 51) : there’s no if, I’m afraid… he’s GONE :(

  • Comment 52, posted at 07.07.11 16:40:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • Johnnie Diesel as Plum calls him might tour with the Boks, but will feature for The Sharks this Currie Cup, I don’t see him featuring in the RWC, looking forward to seeing him in the black and white – he owes it to his fans and himself to produce some great rugby after injury, ban and somewhat quiet S15… The Sharks Management will be expecting it too considering he was once their MVP. I am quiet excited to see the fresh looking squad getting some game time and have a feeling the genius that is Keegan will be stellar this CC…

  • Comment 53, posted at 07.07.11 16:57:02 by DarkDestroyer Reply

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  • I back this team to win the bulls.

  • Comment 54, posted at 07.07.11 22:53:30 by Honey Badger Reply

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  • with no deysel, and no alberts around the sharks are def gonna have to change their game plane a bit, should be very interesting

  • Comment 55, posted at 08.07.11 00:19:28 by RuckingFun Reply

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  • Oooooh badi, friday and no rugga :( …. Warmup game later but not to watch, gonna be a still weekend :)

  • Comment 56, posted at 08.07.11 07:20:58 by franshark Reply
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  • If mostert is on his way, then don’t pick the man…we have marais and bresler, let’s blood them for super glory

  • Comment 57, posted at 09.07.11 00:48:29 by BoerSeun Reply

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  • @BoerSeun (Comment 57) : he’s already gone

  • Comment 58, posted at 09.07.11 09:33:19 by robdylan Reply
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