Culling Song

Defending the Age-Man


Written by André Meyer (Culling Song)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Sharks on 14 Jul 2011 at 07:16
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During the recent Super 15 there was a veritable chorus of voices clamouring for Oupa Stefan Terblanche’s omission from the Sharks’ starting lineup, or at the very least, for him to be moved from outside centre to fullback. Moreover, with the appointment of Keegan Daniel as Currie Cup captain, which effectively negates the need for Stefan to start every game, there is every reason to believe that the chorus will only intensify in pitch. Also, let the record show that I was one of the lead voices in the choir, and that I still stand by my opinion that Stefan’s performances were by and large not up to the standard required in Super Rugby. So rest easy, all you mother Grundy Terblanche detractors out there, this is not a plea to give Oupa another shot at success in the no. 13 jumper (although I do think he may just cut the mustard yet at Currie Cup level).

The point that I am so long-windedly trying to get to is that to judge Stefan, and his ability to still contribute to the Sharks cause on his recent performances is to do the man an enormous disservice. After all, it’s not as if he’s the one responsible for consistently selecting himself in a position to which he’s had no exposure for the majority of his career, a position which is widely regarded as one of the most difficult in the backline, now is it?

So, rather consider the fact that this is a guy who has a playing career spanning in excess of 15 years, largely devoid of injuries, during which time he has amassed almost 300 first class games to his name. A guy who, at 36, is probably in better physical shape than any other player in the Sharks ranks, and is still playing top flight rugby (as I said, his performance levels can be debated, but the fact remains that his body is still up to the physical demands of playing in virtually every game of the season). This speaks volumes of his work ethic, his professionalism, discipline, loyalty and dedication.

Now add to that the fact that he has played locally in just about every age group and level of competition. He holds the record for most tries in a season, and most tries in total for Boland, was joint top try scorer in the 1998 Super 12, and has won the Currie Cup twice with the Sharks. He has represented South Africa at age group level, and has played 37 tests for the Springboks, scoring four tries on debut, and that against an accomplished Irish outfit, not some third-rate amateur team dispatched from a South American banana republic (yes, I’m looking at you, Tonderai). He boasts a Tri-nations medal, and his try per test ratio has only been exceeded by Ray Mordt and Danie Gerber. He has played abroad for Ospreys (and played a part in winning the Magners league), and represented the Barbarians. The extent and depth of experience he boasts is something you will find in very few players.

Consider also that he captained the Sharks in their most recent victorious campaign, published a regular newspaper column, and appears composed and at ease when facing the media, and it is clear that in addition to all his aforementioned attributes, he is also an eloquent and astute person of strong character.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you Stefan Terblance, the consummate professional, the repository of experience, the vault of intellectual capital – in short, the role model. Which means that he is *exactly* the kind of guy you want to retain in some capacity as coach or mentor. Personally, I feel that Stefan is ideally suited as some sort of conditioning coach, and could have a massive impact if properly utilized at junior level. Imagine having him in charge of fitness at the Sharks Academy or U-19 level; not only would he talk the talk, he would walk the walk, and out-walk anyone wishing to challenge him. Having the values that he is the embodiment of ingrained into future Sharks players at a young age could only stand our union in good stead, and would allow Stefan the opportunity to grow and develop his abilities as a coach, while allowing the Sharks to retain his experience and knowledge. I for one would be overjoyed if Oupa could stay on at the Sharks until he really is an Oupa.



35 Comments

  • Legend! :razz: I agree, there ought to be a lot to learn from ST. Lets see what happens.

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.07.11 07:32:20 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Great read as usual.

    My thoughts, to add to yours.

    Stefan my be slightly past it when it comes to SR but he will certainly be one of our shining stars in the CC. Yes the CC may be watered down, but that does not matter he will shine.

    Stefan puts me in a bit of a catch 22, on the one hand he would do extremely well if retained in some sort of staff capacity at the Sharks, on the other hand I would love to have a Supersport commentator who doesn’t sound like a retard (Yes I’m looking at you Bros, and you Breyten and you Ashwin and you Joost and you Tank.)

    Oh wait Tank and Joost were booted already. :wink:

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.07.11 07:38:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Oupa is far better at fullback, Joubert is here now so there is no reason to play him at centre, move him to fullback and we can see if he is stil the legend he is

    By the way what hapend to Chavanga, last time I saw him was at a VC game sitting in the stand

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.07.11 07:39:45 by Mutley Reply
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    MutleyTeam captain
     
  • Yeah, Oupa has achieved a lot and is worthy of great respect. Would certainly do great work working with the juniors.

    Let’s just not hand him the 13 jersey ever again.

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.07.11 08:08:48 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) :

    I actually think Ashwin is very good.

    The fact that he seems to have something against the Sharks is irrelevant!! :twisted:

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.07.11 08:22:21 by wpw Reply
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  • There is no doubt that the guys is a under rated legend of the game. Lets hope he can stay involved with the sharks when he finally hangs up the playing boots. But lets not pull a Naka on ourselves and start him at the highest level as coach. Give him a chance to move through the coaching ranks and work his way up from the bottom of the sharks academy.

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.07.11 08:23:16 by Viking Reply
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    VikingCurrie Cup player
     
  • I recently met Stefan. He’s a great guy and has been a wonderful servant of the Sharks. He’s in very good shape as well. He’s had some memorable spells with the Sharks. Particularly memorable for me was his first season with us when he scored many Superugby tries and his first season back from Europe, when he was rock solid at the back.

    However as difficult as it is, the emotion has to be removed from the equation. The Sharks desperately need to use this Currie Cup to give opportunities to players they believe will be used or may be called on to serve during the SR. If Stefan is still going to form part of that plan, by all means use him, otherwise please show him the exit (as a player).

    Also if he wants to be a conditioning coach, he needs to go out and get the proper qualification and come back in 4 years time. :mrgreen:

    I think a future with SS1 is on the cards for Stefan.

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.07.11 08:36:24 by beet Reply
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    beetCurrie Cup player
     
  • WOW! As a HUGE Stef admirer, I never realised his worth! (Not to this extend and with all his äccolades”on one page) – Impressive CV, I’d say.

    @wpw (Comment 5) : I love Ashwin too, but I get the idea he’s kinda Pro Sharks…

    @beet (Comment 7) : I have met him too at the SLB last year and had the priviledge to pose with him with my hand on his rock solid chest…and Sharks Dudette prolonged the moment for me by not being able to focus the camera…it took about 7 or 8 re-takes of the photo…not that I minded at all!!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.07.11 08:42:19 by Ice Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 7) : I would like it if the Sharks could offer him something like a bursary; agree to pay for his studies as conditioning coach in exchange for a set number of years’ service at the Tank once he’s qualified, and have him working in parallel with Mark Steele during his study breaks. Just an idea, Sharks management, use it, don’t use it…

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.07.11 08:45:34 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 9) : What if he decides that he wants to press on and get his masters. Who pays then…

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.07.11 09:01:18 by beet Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 9) : Jokes! Culling Song, I get to meet a few people on the sidelines at schools rugby and amongst them are young qualified specialists that are working towards that same kind of opportunity with a professional team.

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.07.11 09:05:27 by beet Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 5) : :lol:

    I’ve actually never seen him do a Sharks game, so I’ll have to take your word for it?

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.07.11 09:07:23 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : @Ice (Comment 8) : @wpw (Comment 5) :

    I don’t mind Ashwin…..I just wish he could pronounce ‘Sharks’ properly. :mrgreen:

    He seems to miss the ‘h’ completely and it comes out ‘Saarks’

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.07.11 09:21:40 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 5) : Nah, try again, Ashwin smaaks the Sharks. Ive never heard him nail the Sharks, even when he should.

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.07.11 10:03:20 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Nice read but as a lot of the chorus said, Stefan was very good in the CC last year but he just doesn’t have that little bit extra to cut it in SupeRugby any longer. I also think that you can’t just throw away his experience either and for the union not to keep him on in a coaching / mentor capacity would be very very sad.

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.07.11 10:21:31 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 14) :

    I’m just going by what people have said about him on this site as well as what I have seen of him in his first year as a commentator.

    I must add that the Sharks were on a 5 match losing streak so he may have ‘put the boot it’ at the time!! :twisted: ;-)

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.07.11 10:45:25 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 16) : hahahaha :lol:

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.07.11 11:15:43 by molly Reply
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  • I like Ashwin, gives nice insights, usually in backline/wing play.

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.07.11 11:16:31 by molly Reply
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  • Oupa is without a doubt my favourite rugby player and I fully agree – he needs to be given the opportunity to try his hand at management/coaching otherwise we risk losing 15 year’s worth of experience to another union.

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.07.11 11:32:42 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Stefan is the best fullback we have in the squad. I have a lot of respect for him and can`t wait to see him steady our ship in the currie cup.

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.07.11 12:59:16 by Original Pierre Reply
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    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • Great read CS, you must be from Newcastle hey :)

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.07.11 13:46:40 by franshark Reply
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    FransharkTeam captain
     
  • Great read CS, you must be from Newcastle hey :)

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.07.11 13:47:07 by franshark Reply
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  • @franshark (Comment 22) : I think I said that already :oops:

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.07.11 13:51:02 by franshark Reply
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  • i see stef popular on the site today :razz:

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.07.11 13:57:32 by rekinek Reply
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  • @franshark (Comment 21) : Of course, I mean “Newcastle” and “cool and classy” are practically synonyms :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.07.11 14:17:18 by Culling Song Reply
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  • No doubt the man is a legend. But imo he is well past it. He should have retired already.

  • Comment 26, posted at 14.07.11 14:17:21 by Ben Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 25) : :mrgreen:

    @Ben (Comment 26) : Sometimes biting your tongue is a good thing. Be Cool and Classy like Culling Song…say the firts sentence and keep the rest to yourself… ;-) :lol:

  • Comment 27, posted at 14.07.11 14:19:54 by Ice Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 25) : so true :)

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.07.11 14:21:32 by franshark Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 27) : :)

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.07.11 14:22:36 by franshark Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 27) : Hehe that would make me a hypocrite. ;)

  • Comment 30, posted at 14.07.11 14:24:19 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 30) : Nope…just stopping halfway through… :lol:

  • Comment 31, posted at 14.07.11 14:26:37 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 30) : Surely you dont always have to voice your thoughts…Now THAT woul just be damn scary! LOL – but I guess interesting!

  • Comment 32, posted at 14.07.11 14:27:28 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 32) : :shock:

  • Comment 33, posted at 14.07.11 14:32:33 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 33) : I rest my case… :cool:

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.07.11 14:51:37 by Ice Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 5) : I also like Ashwin, the fact he sounds like a complete and utter idiot when talking negatively about the Sharks brings a smile to my face! :mrgreen: :twisted:

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.07.11 15:48:42 by Dancing Bear Reply
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