robdylan

Viljoen comes full circle


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 29 Jul 2011 at 09:48
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We love to make a fuss about it when we feel the Sharks procure talent from outside their own youth ranks and I think it’s fair to say that opinion on the Riaan Viljoen signing – finally confirmed by the Sharks yesterday – has been divided.

While the Griquas fullback has been an undoubted match winner for his side in the Currie Cup – as well as the regional Cheetahs Super Rugby side – concerns remain regarding his “fit” into the Sharks setup as well as the fact that he was contracted at the expense of far younger players, including Kobus de Kock and Wynand Pienaar, who may have been able to develop and offer the Sharks more good service for longer. Viljoen is, after all, already 28 years old.

Few realise, though – and I’ll admit that I too was unaware – that Viljoen DID actually come through the Sharks age-group ranks, representing Natal at under 19 level in 2002 and the Sharks at under 20 level in 2003. That early-naughties period was, admittedly, a dark one for the Sharks when it comes to youth development, in the days before the Academy got off the ground and casting an eye over the squads from that time, there’s very little quality that sticks out. Call those boys a “lost generation”, where only the likes of Steven Sykes, Mox Mxoli, Peter Grant, Greg Goosen, Viljoen and (interestingly enough) Pumas loose forward RW Kember went on to play any big rugby.

I’m still not sure about the circumstances surrounding Viljoen’s journey from Klerksdorp Hoër (the same school as Wiehahn Herbst) to Durban, only to leave two years later to join the Valke and then move on to Griquas. Rest assured, though, that your intrepid news hounds at Sharksworld will get the full story as soon as possible.

For now, though, let’s celebrating the return to the fold of one a very long-lost sheep indeed! Welcome home, Riaan!



101 Comments

  • Welcome Riaan, Can’t wait to see you owning some okes on the field with a black and white jersey.

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.07.11 09:51:16 by Uli Reply
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  • Interesting story!

    Welcome.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.07.11 09:54:22 by Ice Reply
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  • i’m jus hoping that he will be a good fit.

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.07.11 09:58:55 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 3) : me too

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.07.11 10:01:26 by Ice Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 3) : @Ice (Comment 4) :

    Why are you all doubting he will fit?

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.07.11 10:02:28 by Uli Reply
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  • Riaan is a very decent player and his big boot is a huge BONUS.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.07.11 10:09:32 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 6) : Riaan seems to have a fair bit of “swagger” about him. I’m a great believer that an outside back needs that… a spot of real confidence in his own abilities that at times borders on the arrogant. Those guys NEED to believe in themselves with everything they have and back themselves to deliver. Can’t be a shrinking violet in the outside backs.

    That’s the reason I really admire both Philip Burger and Shadow vd Heever, because they both have that attitude. Of our bunch, JP is the closest to having it.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.07.11 10:13:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • would rather devlop younger players !! Great player but not sure he will further his rugby at the sharks. Just a hunch that I hope is wrong

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.07.11 10:13:46 by Talent Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Yes I agree. Riaan is certainly a player that I would rather have playing for my team than against my team.

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.07.11 10:15:46 by Ben Reply

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  • I will be at the Pumas vs Griquas game tonight, and i will make a point of looking at what Riaan does on the field tonight. I smell a small report coming here! sniff sniff

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.07.11 10:18:43 by G West Reply
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  • I have no problem with the Sharks buying Riaan. Yes he’s 28 but what assurance do we have anyway that a younger player would commit to the Sharks for a long period of time anyway. So many of us forget that rugby is a professional sport now. We have no assurances that our youth players will commit to us anyway. If Riaan has 3 good years with the Sharks it would have been well worth it imo.

    Marius Joubert, now that’s a signing I don’t agree with.

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.07.11 10:20:14 by Ben Reply

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  • @G West (Comment 10) : good stuff, Mr intrepid newshound :)

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.07.11 10:31:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • The Sharks seem to want some Experience in their backline, and lets face it OomStef seems to be playing for a closing act to his playing career. But i do think the Sharks backline is missing some youth, in the CC we have the youth at the moment but come S15 next year there will be a mix between youth and experience, and that is what i think the Sharks management is going for. Experience + Flair and Talent can cause a lot of trouble for other teams, and i think Riaan can add a lot of value to the Sharks in the format they seem to be aiming for.

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.07.11 10:33:49 by G West Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 9) : My worries is is he a “team player”? I am scared that attitude that Rob is speaking of, might come and bite as in the arse…I have NO problem with him as player – lovely boot on him etc – but scared he is just that – and individual player…

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.07.11 10:34:05 by Ice Reply
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  • I am completely on the fence about this one but I’m really hoping it turns out for the best.

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.07.11 10:43:38 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 14) : Okay but now let me ask you this. Had it not been for his brilliant individualism, would one of the bigger teams like the Sharks and WP have spotted him? “Individualism isn’t always a bad thing and in my opinion fullback is the ideal position to express your individualism. That’s why I only want Francois Steyn to play fullback and not in the centres or flyhalf.

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.07.11 10:45:04 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 16) : Agreed.

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.07.11 10:51:11 by Uli Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 16) : As long as he does not become self-centred – he needs to play within a team set-up – you know – whats best for the team thing…not just follow his own head – ag i dunno how to put this in words…but I hope you get what i mean.

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.07.11 10:52:46 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 18) : I know what you mean Icy, don’t worry. ;)

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.07.11 10:57:57 by Ben Reply

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  • Cant believe you guys didn’t know Viljoen came through the academy :wink:

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.07.11 10:58:01 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : I sort of agree with you there, Burger comes across as an arrogant git but he backs himself to do whatever, Hurdles as well, he is always going to go for the try because he honestly believes he is going to get there.

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.07.11 11:03:09 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :
    Not so sure about your examples – neither vd Heever or Burger can be classed as great wings.

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.07.11 11:18:08 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : Hear hear!

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.07.11 11:27:59 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) :
    I’m also not sure what Rob is trying to get at.

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.07.11 11:28:20 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : They can finish

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.07.11 11:28:54 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) :

    And Riaan Viljoen seems plenty ‘windgat’ enough to me.

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.07.11 11:29:39 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 25) : Basson can also finish (although, maybe not, based on the evidence of last weekend’s game) but that doesn’t necessarily make him a great wing. Just like Bosman can maybe fashion linebreaks, but that doesn’t make him a great centre.

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.07.11 11:33:06 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Uhm when did Rob say they were great wings?

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.07.11 11:36:44 by Ben Reply

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  • I think Gerhard van der Heever is a more than just a finisher – he’s a great wing and probably has the potential to make a great fullback too. He’s just going through a slump in his form this season.

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.07.11 11:42:22 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 28) : I don’t believe that Rob at any point made an argument for them being great wings; I’m just catching a ride on the Big Fish-steered, they-are-emphatically-NOT-great-wings bandwagon.

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.07.11 11:43:05 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 30) : I see :lol:

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.07.11 11:44:57 by Ben Reply

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  • @Culling Song (Comment 30) : :lol:

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.07.11 11:48:40 by wpw Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 30) : Monkey see, monkey do :wink: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 29.07.11 11:49:25 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 28) : Uhm, he didn’t. But one would imagine that perhaps he admired them for something related to rugby-performance.

    Of course I could be terribly misdirected here.

  • Comment 34, posted at 29.07.11 11:50:47 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 34) : Hehe no the debate is about Riaan’s attitude. Rob was just saying that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be full off yourself. :lol:

  • Comment 35, posted at 29.07.11 11:56:20 by Ben Reply

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  • OMW, I can not believe all this.
    Next year everyone will be like awe, awe ,awe, Riaan…..
    Then no one said anything about him just like with JLP, everyone wanted him, then he comes, then everyone hates him. Actually tired of hypocrites on this site.

  • Comment 36, posted at 29.07.11 11:58:59 by Uli Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 35) :

    Rob has tons of experience in that regard!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 37, posted at 29.07.11 12:00:03 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 37) : He does speak like someone who knows the subject! :lol: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 29.07.11 12:01:53 by Ben Reply

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  • @Uli (Comment 36) : If he proves to me he is not an individualist (that is just my fear) – I will defnitely ‘awe awe awe’him…that is not being a hypocrit – its testing the waters… ;-)

  • Comment 39, posted at 29.07.11 12:03:55 by Ice Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 5) : they are woman, they are always worried how it fits :)

  • Comment 40, posted at 29.07.11 12:17:57 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 36) : you with the same again. perhaps JLP, Meyer and Co made us a bit more careful in excitement.
    Of course we all want him to do well once with the Sharks and hopefully your prediction regarding his person is correct.

  • Comment 41, posted at 29.07.11 12:18:52 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 40) : and whether it’s pretty :lol:

  • Comment 42, posted at 29.07.11 12:19:35 by rekinek Reply
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  • I’d love to know what the Sharks didn’t like about Wynand Pienaar or was it perhaps the extent of his leg injury that cast doubt on his future?

  • Comment 43, posted at 29.07.11 12:19:57 by beet Reply

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  • @Uli (Comment 36) : that’s harshly said, every one has an opinion today about him of what we know NOW, JLP had a good time especially at the cheetahs, but is not 20% that worth at the sharks (yet). So how can we NOW feel and say the same things about him….

  • Comment 44, posted at 29.07.11 12:30:36 by Franshark Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 42) : hey I’m leaving for durbs in the next 30 min… Lekke ne :)

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.07.11 12:32:14 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 45) : lucky fish :grin:

  • Comment 46, posted at 29.07.11 12:35:30 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 45) :
    Lucky!! have fun! enjoy the T

  • Comment 47, posted at 29.07.11 12:39:51 by G West Reply
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  • @G West (Comment 47) : @rekinek (Comment 46) : thanks, we’re camping and I see its raining ;)

  • Comment 48, posted at 29.07.11 12:42:21 by Franshark Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 42) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 49, posted at 29.07.11 13:07:50 by Ice Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 43) : I think that’s what it was (the injury)… they gave him a contract for Vodacom Cup only (same as a fair few others, including Lambert and Trompie) and the fact that he wasn’t able to show them anything in that competition (because of the injury) forced their hand.

    I mean, if they weren’t even prepared to give de Kock a contract after he played very well in most of the games, Pienaar stood no chance.

    A real pity cos he’s another exciting attacking player.

  • Comment 50, posted at 29.07.11 13:10:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 48) : Enjoy, where does one camp in Durban?
    Ive slept at Dairy and North beaches, but that was unofficially, as a school kid. I cant remember seeing camp sites / caravan parks in Durbs. I know they must be there, just cant recall them.

  • Comment 51, posted at 29.07.11 13:21:46 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : Who is the player that needed an outlook change?

  • Comment 52, posted at 29.07.11 13:23:05 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @Salmanoid (comment 51) Queensburgh caravan park has a very good name. I know of several midlands supporters take their vans down of a weekend there when watching the rugby. Some leave them there on month leases during the season and drive down. take em home end of season.

  • Comment 53, posted at 29.07.11 13:30:53 by Caratacus Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 52) : outlook change? As in less partying, more rugby?

  • Comment 54, posted at 29.07.11 13:31:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : Yep.

  • Comment 55, posted at 29.07.11 13:41:02 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 55) : The green sheepish lion

  • Comment 56, posted at 29.07.11 13:47:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Caratacus (Comment 53) : Thanks

  • Comment 57, posted at 29.07.11 13:47:41 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 56) : Pity, I enjoyed him.

  • Comment 58, posted at 29.07.11 13:50:50 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 58) : me too…. hard-nosed player. Coulda been the next Deysel.

  • Comment 59, posted at 29.07.11 13:58:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 56) : ??????

  • Comment 60, posted at 29.07.11 14:04:31 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 60) : I’m trying not to say his name out loud….

    Go do a google for a Disney short called “XXXXXXX the sheepish lion”

  • Comment 61, posted at 29.07.11 14:10:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : Aaah… Must say, I was on the wrong trail altogether…

  • Comment 62, posted at 29.07.11 14:13:05 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 62) : two of the guys who went to the Lions last year also fell out of favour a little because of a penchant for the high life

  • Comment 63, posted at 29.07.11 14:17:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 63) : Which loose forward was on the bench for the Bulls game?

  • Comment 64, posted at 29.07.11 14:36:56 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 64) : For the Sharks that is. 1st CC game

  • Comment 65, posted at 29.07.11 14:38:53 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 64) : for the Sharks? In the Currie Cup two weeks ago?

    Franna Kleinhans

  • Comment 66, posted at 29.07.11 14:39:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 65) : c’mon Benna… raise your game, son… you should know this stuff :)

  • Comment 67, posted at 29.07.11 14:40:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 66) : @robdylan (Comment 67) : I forgot his name. Franna.

  • Comment 68, posted at 29.07.11 14:43:39 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 68) : tch :)

  • Comment 69, posted at 29.07.11 14:53:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : Life’s Good – LG. See the resemblance? :lol:

  • Comment 70, posted at 29.07.11 14:56:19 by Ben Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 51) : actualy at ATKV Natalia, winkelspruit south of durban

  • Comment 71, posted at 29.07.11 15:15:10 by Franshark Reply
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  • Franshark that is our absolute favorite campsite what stand no are u at we normally go to No 22 or 59 we are booked to go there for Sept holiday were there just last week :)

  • Comment 72, posted at 29.07.11 15:27:58 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Franshark (Comment 71) : I know the one at Winkel, and the South Coast has (had) some very nice caravan parks.

  • Comment 73, posted at 29.07.11 15:44:26 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 72) : Do you live in Durban or is it you that is out Ixopo way?

  • Comment 74, posted at 29.07.11 15:45:45 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • Salmanoid I’m the one out Ixopo way – Richmond actually but we are trying to move back to PMB-son starts at Maritzburg College next year and the commuting is already bad enough now it will get worse next year :)

  • Comment 75, posted at 29.07.11 15:50:06 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 73) : I always enjoyed Scottburgh’s caravan park!

  • Comment 76, posted at 29.07.11 15:50:21 by Ice Reply
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  • Anyone have any news on the walking wounded?

  • Comment 77, posted at 29.07.11 15:53:01 by lostfish Reply
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  • Still no ‘official”starting lineup?

  • Comment 78, posted at 29.07.11 15:55:16 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 78) : Seems we`ll only know when they run on the field tomorrow.

    Here`s hoping Fred is fit to play.
    I remember the last time we tried Potgieter and Bosman in tandem, it went south in a big way.
    Add to this the fact that the Cheetahs are never far from an ” upset” in Durban, don`t even think we should call it an upset anymore . . .

  • Comment 79, posted at 29.07.11 16:03:59 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 78) : aaargggh, I need to finalise my team ;-)

  • Comment 80, posted at 29.07.11 16:04:05 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 75) : I thought so but I also thought you worked for customs and excise who I think are based in Durban. Im confusing myself here.

  • Comment 81, posted at 29.07.11 16:08:02 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • :lol: no I work for KZN Dept of Transport :) my sister works 4 MSC it had come up in discussion here a while back maybe that is how the confusion occurred :)

  • Comment 82, posted at 29.07.11 16:18:28 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 82) : Ok Im getting there. If you move to Maritzburg will you be able to get a transfer?

  • Comment 83, posted at 29.07.11 16:24:45 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • Stuck in trafic there by howic, dead still on the highway :(

  • Comment 84, posted at 29.07.11 16:26:36 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 75) : Regarding your part of the world….the opening lines of a book that have mostly remained with me for a very long time now..

    “There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.”

    From Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton.

  • Comment 85, posted at 29.07.11 16:30:07 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @Franshark (Comment 84) : Amper daar, Is Midmar overflowing?

  • Comment 86, posted at 29.07.11 16:31:10 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • :roll: quiet day today, talking books, trafic, water levels of dams and job propositions.
    Announce the teams please, preferably before the game are played.

  • Comment 87, posted at 29.07.11 16:34:01 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 86) : yes running over the wall

  • Comment 88, posted at 29.07.11 16:34:20 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 88) : Good news for this time of the year. I used to catch fish in those pools below the wall.

  • Comment 89, posted at 29.07.11 16:36:19 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • We gonna pitch tents in the dark tonight :(

  • Comment 90, posted at 29.07.11 16:39:37 by Franshark Reply
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  • @salmanoid I work in PMB already I travel in and out every day boys are at Merchiston at the moment read that book too loved it! And it is a beautifull part of the country! Will you b @ braai 2morrow?

    Frans there was an accident there which they haven’t cleared up yet good luck once past townhill it should get better :)

  • Comment 91, posted at 29.07.11 16:40:54 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 87) : Michalak starting, Joubert on bench

  • Comment 92, posted at 29.07.11 16:41:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 90) : :sad: :

  • Comment 93, posted at 29.07.11 16:41:44 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • Never thought I’ll be blogging while driving on the N3, well its more like crawling …..

  • Comment 94, posted at 29.07.11 16:51:27 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 91) : I wish, but no. I live in the Boland so am going make the Newlands game.

  • Comment 95, posted at 29.07.11 17:05:24 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 92) : Thanks, I hope Michalak is 100%. When the decission is taken this late I tend to be doubtful that the player is really good to go.

  • Comment 96, posted at 29.07.11 17:07:29 by Salmonoid Reply

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  • Oh pity would have loved to meet you :)

  • Comment 97, posted at 29.07.11 17:31:33 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's DudetteSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 97) : Likewise.

  • Comment 98, posted at 30.07.11 08:58:08 by Salmonoid Reply

    Salmonoid the SubtleTeam captain
     
  • @Ben: get a grip ben.I’m writing comms the way I’m seeing it and you the way you see it.but it will be important for world rugby that all teams get a fair chance for the full 80 min of a rugby game.

  • Comment 99, posted at 30.07.11 10:56:21 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Congrads…good to see the Sharks getting a good fullback…
    You have too many wings…
    No midfielders…
    And 1 good fullback…

  • Comment 100, posted at 31.07.11 16:35:10 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 99) : Excuse me? What’s this about?

  • Comment 101, posted at 31.07.11 18:39:48 by Ben Reply

    BenTeam captain
     

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