robdylan

Super Cooper’s time to shine


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 26 Sep 2011 at 10:51
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The news that Sharks hooker Craig Burden will be out of action for at least two more weeks hands a long-overdue opportunity to Glenwood lad Kyle Cooper to enjoy a bit of continuity as the Sharks starting hooker. If Friday’s showing against Griquas is anything to go by, then Sharks fans are in for an exciting time indeed as the fiery young Cooper blows off the cobwebs formed that have accumulated from a Currie Cup career that has seen him benched on 18 occasions, with only a single start.

Cooper will earn his 20th cap against Western Province this coming weekend, in only his second start and I’m reminded of a conversation that I had with Burden himself a few years back, when asked about the effect on a hooker’s game that sitting on the bench can have. His view, at that stage, was that line out throwing in particular suffers when you’re not using that skill in a game situation and it’s pleasing to see how well Cooper came through this particular challenge against Griquas. His put ins have, to be perfectly honest, been a source of concern earlier in the season when he’s come on late in the game.

It’s in the scrums and on the charge, though, that Cooper is so impressive and for Sharks fans pondering the departure of John Smit to Saracens after the World Cup, it’s great to see how the former looks ready to step up and take on the role of third hooker for Super Rugby next year.

Burden has confirmed that he’ll be out until at least the end of the regular season, with a return currently on the cards for the knock out stages. With Cooper set to enjoy a run of game against good opposition, the Sharks will have a good chance to further assess his abilities as a starting hooker, with young Monde Hadebe also given a golden opportunity to show his aptitude for senior rugby. Spare a though, though, for the under 21 side who now look to have lost at least one of their captains for the next few weeks.

Perhaps they too will benefit from a little more continuity in the number 2 shirt… Hadebe and Shaun Malton have been swapping places in the number 2 jersey, along with the captain’s armband, all season and Malton is the man who will now need to assume the captaincy on a permanent basis as his side looks to secure a home play-off spot.

For Kyle Cooper, though, the only way is up. The jersey is his now and he has another two or three weeks to make it impossible for the coaches to take it away from him.



38 Comments

  • Im looking forward to seeing this lad play some more!

    Keep it up Kyle!

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.09.11 10:59:54 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • As for the U21′s, is malton not injured? I remember him not playing in the last match?

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.09.11 11:00:28 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : oh shertbert… is he?

    That’s not going to help. Not even sure who the next in line is

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.09.11 11:44:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • Green machine baby! :P

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.09.11 11:56:40 by Poisy Reply
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  • Well done Super Cooper, the SW man of the match.

    If anything Cooper will have a few other Unions sitting up and taking notice again, the way they have the last 3 years prior to this one.

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.09.11 12:06:23 by beet Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : @robdylan (Comment 3) : I think Malton started against the Valke but had to be helped off the field. I think he picked up a leg injury. It didn’t look like he’d be back soon.

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.09.11 12:08:35 by beet Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 4) : Are the Sharks u19s going to give that SA Schools tighthead prop of yours a go this week or what? Can you find out?

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.09.11 12:10:06 by beet Reply
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  • Haven’t had time to watch any CC games with the World Cup on, so 2 quick questions :mrgreen:

    How was Ross Cronje?
    How was Coenie Oosthuizen?

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.09.11 12:10:39 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
     
  • @hendrikp (Comment 8) :

    Simple:

    Cronje – kak
    Oosthuizen – looking better on the tighthead side

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.09.11 12:15:35 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) :

    Gideon Bruwer is the next in line..

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.09.11 12:17:15 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 9) :

    Thanks. Coenie going to be talked about as one of the best props in the world over the next couple of years, mark my words! :mrgreen: If it’s as a tighthead, even better.

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.09.11 12:18:08 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 11) :

    I honestly hope he has turned a corner..

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.09.11 12:21:11 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 12) :

    Turned a corner? He had an excellent S15, just needs to concede less penalties. Needs to pick his moments better.

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.09.11 12:23:32 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 13) :

    In the penalty conceded department, that’s what i meant.

    If he can make this transition to tighthead work, which i think he is at this stage, the Cheetahs front row will be quite strong in the SupeRugby

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.09.11 12:29:10 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) :

    Not any other team that can bring on an excellent tighthead like WP Nel!

    Cheetahs will have a good year next year if they don’t suffer injuries to key players.

    The Lions on the other hand resemble the Cheetahs of previous years. A bunch of average players getting the job done at CC level, but will sruggle in Super rugby :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.09.11 12:36:11 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
     
  • @hendrikp (Comment 15) :

    I reckon the Sharks will have a decent set of front row backups for SupeRugby:

    1. Beast, Dale
    2. Bismarck, Burden, Cooper
    3. Jannie, van Staden, Herbst

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.09.11 12:38:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 15) :

    As for your Lions comment, I am happy for them doing well again, but I agree in that they will struggle in SupeRugby, mayube not as bad as previous years, but still!

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.09.11 12:40:04 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 16) :

    Would probably tie the Cheetahs & Sharks front-rows at the top. Crusaders would be up there if not for that useless Corey Flynn. Not sure what’s going on with the Highlanders either but they could be good as well. Rate MacKintosh when he’s not acting as the nr. 1 ball-carrier.

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.09.11 12:43:17 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
     
  • @hendrikp (Comment 18) :

    Do we know what is going on at the Bulls in the front row?

    Is Gary Botha staying? Surely Chili has to start every game is he can? And in the props, who is behind Greyling and Kruger?

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.09.11 12:46:24 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) :

    Gary Botha is leaving. They’ve got Willie Wepener as back-up. Not sure what the plan is if anyone gets injured.

    Reserve props. You’d think they would give Rossouw de Klerk the 3 jersey if anything happened to Kruger, and I think most know my opinion on Kruger by now (seems a nice guy, but he’s useless).

    So you’ve got
    1 Dean Greyling / Morne Mellett?? / Corne Fourie
    2 Chilliboy Ralepelle / Willie Wepener
    3 Werner Kruger / Rossouw de Klerk / Frik Kirsten

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.09.11 12:48:59 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 10) : ah yes…. can’t say I know too much about him, if I’m honest. Is Texas de la Rey still floating around somewhere as well?

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.09.11 12:49:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 7) : I don’t know,I’m so out of the loop been busy with exams dude

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.09.11 12:50:49 by Poisy Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 20) :

    I’ve heard abouth this Mellet chap, I think Muzi was raving about him.

    You know we all have those players we cannot stand, and Gary Botha is one of mine (one of many), so I am glad he is leaving, Chili needs as much game time as poosible.

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.09.11 12:51:38 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) :

    Never heard of him?!

    Will have to wait until Friday for the juniors I reckon..

    We get another go at the Province teams, both having battled this past weekend..

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.09.11 12:53:38 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 23) :

    I’ve seen a bit of Mellett, and he looks f’ing good. A lot better then Greyling.

    I don’t mind Gary Botha much myself. If I’d been shot in the chest in a hi-jacking, I’d have packed my bags for good! But yes, we all have those players. I have a few, mostly Bulls (but also a few Lions).

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.09.11 12:57:26 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 24) :

    Let me know how JP du Plessis plays :mrgreen: If it’s on SuperSport I’ll try stream it, but can be difficult finding a good one.

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.09.11 12:58:45 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
     
  • @hendrikp (Comment 26) :

    Ah, finally!!! The legendary JP du Plessis comes to the Tank..

    Il be sure to be in my seat when he takes the field..

    Insert a few Chuck Norris-esque jokes about JPdP

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.09.11 13:00:33 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) :

    I’m sure he won’t let you down. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.09.11 13:02:49 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
     
  • @hendrikp (Comment 26) :

    No but honestly, there are few things in life that excites as much a talented youngster, so I hope to eat my words about him..

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.09.11 13:03:52 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Great talent this youngster ;-)

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.09.11 13:05:44 by Charlie Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 24) : just chatted to Malton. He’s fine for the weekend.

  • Comment 31, posted at 26.09.11 13:14:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 26) : do you ever manage to get stream of the u21 games? I can’t say I do

  • Comment 32, posted at 26.09.11 13:15:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) :

    Good stuff, so we have a captain!

  • Comment 33, posted at 26.09.11 13:15:24 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 25) : careful… you’re straying onto a topic that we don’t allow here

  • Comment 34, posted at 26.09.11 13:15:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 22) : Can’t you chat to one of your mates at the school and also ask if JJ Pretorius the 2nd team prop has any plans to leave and who will be head coach next year, if you don’t mind? Thanks. :smile:

  • Comment 35, posted at 26.09.11 15:19:47 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 35) : alright I’m on it lol

  • Comment 36, posted at 26.09.11 16:45:58 by Poisy Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 36) : sweet :)

  • Comment 37, posted at 26.09.11 18:16:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • Really hope Cooper grabs this chance by the knockers! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 26.09.11 21:28:13 by Ben Reply
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