Richard Ferguson

Limited changes, please coach


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Stormers, Super Rugby on 27 Feb 2012 at 10:00
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Following on from my earlier article of things to consider from our loss against the Bulls on Friday night, I called for calm from the coaching staff and to not make wholesale changes that will only undo the momentum created in the last 15 odd minutes at Loftus.

There are however, one or two changes I would make to the team, based purely on the performance of the players on the night. This is a nice position to be in for the Sharks, as competition between players will keep the guys on their toes.

Firstly, I think it is imperative that Charl McLeod runs on at Newlands, ahead of the very talented Fred Michalak. McLeod’s passing game looked smoother and more composed and he got the backline moving just that little bit better. Take nothing away from Michalak, he is a special player, but he is a better flyhalf, and will have to make his impact off the bench.

Another solid player, who always seems to be forgotten amongst Sharks fans is Louis Ludik, and unfortunately, he is just not as effective as a wing as he is a fullback. Yes he is solid at the back and is good under the high ball, and his work rate is really good, but a wing needs to be able to pull away from the opposition. I really like Ludik, I am a great fan of his, and I would like to see him and Viljoen rotate at the back, but he is unfortunately not my first choice at wing.

The question is, who do you replace him with? There are a few options, and most of the people on here would be calling for Paul Jordaan to be put on the wing. He has the pace sure, but Jordaan is first and foremost an inside back, with his favoured positions being flyhalf and inside centre. Do we really want a player who is not completely sure of himself on the wing against the like of van Heerden, Aplon and Pietersen this weekend? Yes he has the necessary pace, but pace won’t help him if he is caught out of position.

That leaves us with two other options, the experienced Odwa Ndungane or the inexperienced but very talented Sbura Sithole. Again, we can use the Jordaan argument and say that Sithole is a risk against the experience in the Stormers back three, yet Odwa, even though he is a great player and a true legend for the Sharks, lacks that out and out pace to be able to compete with the Stormers’ wingers.

Personally, after a loss and looking for stability in the back, I would back Odwa to do the business ahead of an unlucky Sithole, who I feel is one Currie Cup season away from being at his best.

Those are the only changes I would make to the side for the clash against the Stormers, with most of the combinations given more time to settle, and giving the forwards another chance to impress.



49 Comments

  • I’d bring in Burden for Bismarck! I feel that Bissie is too comfortable and needs to be pushed a bit. Burden also, IMO, has the ability to become a Bok in the future if given the opportunities and at the moment he has the X-factor we need!

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.02.12 10:05:28 by ChrisS Reply
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    ChrisSCurrie Cup player
     
  • @ChrisS (Comment 1) :

    A year ago we were calling for Bismarck to start ahead of Smitty, and after one below par game, we want to drop him for Burden??!?!

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.02.12 10:07:27 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Only change that should happen, won’t. Keegan and Bismarck are not leaders. They have always been individualistic players and that has made them good. So why take that away from them by making the captains. So lets not get excited about the season ahead, it will only lead to heartache and ulcers.

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.02.12 10:09:24 by waje Reply

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  • I wouldn’t drop Bismarck or Keegan, but their leadership roles should be taken away so they can get back to what they did best.

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.02.12 10:10:49 by waje Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : I haven’t been happy with Bissie for some time. Even at the WC last year I felt that his lineouts weren’t always good and that he wasn’t effective as a ball carrier anymore. It’s not a sudden thing for me. Friday just confirmed that his faults haven’t been addressed by the coaching staff.

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.02.12 10:13:27 by ChrisS Reply
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    ChrisSCurrie Cup player
     
  • @ChrisS (Comment 1) : Jys Mal bra. Sharks were a bit underdone in terms of gametime, we probably needed another pre-season outing, and the loss of Beast, Alberts and Deysel was felt; but i think The Sharks were just a game short…we need to short out a lot of things tactically and also the pack needs to show a lot more aggression.

    The Sharks will be a lot better this weekend and there is no need to stress, our games after Stormers are pretty nice and with Alberts and Deysel coming back within 2-4 weeks we will have the fire power that we kinda missed on the weekend…i’m very happy with the backs, i just keep worrying about the overall lack of grunt in our pack…Taking Beast and Alberts outta the pack makes a huge difference…reasons why i want PSDu toit to play 7 and coetzee 8…we need a bit more weight and grunt to give the pack some balance, pack didn’t look too balanced last week and we were struggling to find someone who could consistently get us over the advantage line…and when we did our forwards were too slow to the breakdown or waiting for the ball out wide.

    If we get 50% possesion against Stormers and Keegs and Bisse stop giving away penalties, and we get over that advantage line…i believe we will win :smile: I have to. Don’t think the Stormers backline with JDV at 12 is really gonna get going…he doesn’t pass these days.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.02.12 10:16:22 by JJR Reply
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    JJRCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : I would let Bismark know that if he doesn’t improve on his discipline he will be benched. As a senior player he needs to lead by example and the example that he and Keegan set is unacceptable for senior players.

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.02.12 10:16:32 by lostfish Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 5) :

    So you’d like a debutant at loosehead, a 20kg lighter Burden at hooker and a tighthead that is terribly off form to lead us into attack against the Stormers?

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.02.12 10:16:33 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 7) :

    I agree regarding having a talk to him, but to bench him after an under par opening game, considering the lack of preseason games, is a bit harsh.

    Lambie also seemed a little underdone, do we bench him as well and play Bosman at 10?

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.02.12 10:18:18 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • I’d like to see Kango dropped but nut sure who to replace him with,Marcell at 8 would be perfect but who plays 7 ?

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.02.12 10:19:21 by juba_fan Reply

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  • @lostfish (Comment 7) : I was also pissed off that our leaders were the ones giving away the most penalties…if the leaders are doing that one can only imagine that the teams’ confidence won’t be sky high.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.02.12 10:19:46 by JJR Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 8) : Rather a 20kg lighter hooker that is an effective ball-carrier than a 20kg heavier hooker that gives away penalties like a paedophile dishes out sweets outside a primary school, can’t get to the gain-line (never mind over it) and can’t hit his jumpers in the lineouts.

    Bissie has sacrificed speed and explosiveness for size. Maybe that’s affected his throwing in too.

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.02.12 10:20:51 by ChrisS Reply
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    ChrisSCurrie Cup player
     
  • @JJR (Comment 6) : I know we’re underdone and that affected our play but I’ve felt since last year that Bissie has been off-form. He has no speed anymore and doesn’t run onto the ball. He catches it standing still and, more often than not, gets tackled behind the gainline.

    Burden makes the line everytime as he hits the ball at pace and tries to avoid defenders!

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.02.12 10:22:54 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 13) : You are right, that Bissie isn’t running onto the ball; but Burden great in the loose; but then one of our strengths at the Bulls our scrum will suffer…and Burden doesn’t throw as well as Bissie…our set piece performance from a front rower for me is more important than the loose play.

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.02.12 10:26:00 by JJR Reply
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    JJRCurrie Cup player
     
  • @ChrisS (Comment 12) :

    Sacrificing your scrums so that a hooker should do the flankers’ job for them.

    I’d rather have one set pice working than compromising our scrums and having yet another new hooker throwing in at lineout. Burden has never been the best come lineout time anyway.

    So that’s both set pieces gone?

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.02.12 10:26:31 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • It should either be Ryan or Keegan, but the Sharks haven’t been too successful when they play together.

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.02.12 10:27:32 by waje Reply

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  • @JJR (Comment 14) : @Richard Ferguson (Comment 15) :

    Bissie’s throwing in hasn’t been so hot for a while so I don’t think that Burden is much worse in that department. A modern day hooker has to be able to perform at scrum time, in the loose (as an extra loosie) and at lineout time. Bissie has 1 out of 3 and Burden’s only weakness is that he’s a bit lighter so our scrums MAY be affected. With a score of 2 out of 3 I’d have to give it to Burden.

    The other option is to remove Bissie as a ball-carrier option!

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.02.12 10:31:13 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @juba_fan (Comment 10) : Piet-steph is an option!

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.02.12 10:39:15 by Ice Reply
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  • @waje (Comment 16) : Many have been calling for Kanko to get dropped, i have been on about it for a long while now. Coetzee should be at 8 and until Alberts/Deysel come back, PS Du toit should play 7, which will also give us another lineout option, which we needed last week.

    Kankowski is a forward; but i never see him doing anything that makes me think he is a forward…i mean he hardly ever crashes it up and when he does it isn’t always succesful, not really involved in the rucks and mauls too often…most of the time he is standing off the forwards…like a backline player! We don’t need 8 backs on the field…cos, even Keegan at 95kg isn’t the most traditional forward you will find…he also does all these bladdy flick, no look passes…Kankowski and Keegan should’ve been turned into backline players ages ago, cos clearly that’s what they want to be.

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.02.12 10:40:49 by JJR Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 18) : Someone thinking like me…it’s a miracle ;-) :smile:

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.02.12 10:42:14 by JJR Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 9) : It’s a bit too soon to bench him. Give him the chance to improve first and if after a few games there is no improvement then bench him or leave him out of the 22.

    The entire team was rusty and if you were going to drop players for playing badly and indiscipline then the you would have to drop practically the entire team. I could be wrong as I haven’t seen the entire game but from what I saw everyone was guilty.

  • Comment 21, posted at 27.02.12 10:43:24 by lostfish Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 20) : :lol:

  • Comment 22, posted at 27.02.12 10:50:59 by Ice Reply
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  • Keegans game is lacking since he became captain.

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.02.12 10:53:27 by Uli Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 23) : Irritating how we looking for someone to carry it up and then keegan gets the ball and does his stupid no look passes…bladdy hell man, run!

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.02.12 10:54:38 by JJR Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 11) : It was also the first game so we can’t read too much into it. Keegan and Bissie have been known to give away stupid penalties in the past.

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.02.12 10:59:09 by lostfish Reply
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  • From what I saw from the Stormers the sharks have much to worry about…
    Their back row is probably the best in South Africa by some distance, so guess what –more trouble at line out time

    Their back three were dangerous, so that’s another worry. Without Alberts ,Deysel and Beast the Sharks have a big disadvantage .

    The biggest concern of mine is our lack of rugby smarts on the field.

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.02.12 11:37:07 by Talent Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 6) :

    Can not agree more, bring in Du Toit.
    Kanko has been useless for a while now, he has no workrate at all and defends like a pansy always falling off tackles.
    The only thing Kanko needs is biltong, beer and naartjies then he can watch lekker rugby. He should pay for his ticket like any other person if he wants to watch the rugby at the stadium because he stands around doing nothing watching the game.

    Bresler out, Skeate in, Bekker will kill us come line out time.

    Keagan 6 but I have my doubts, If it was up to me I would play Botes. Keagan will never learn he will always have penalty and discipline issues. He can not be captain.
    Du Toit 7 will provide the grunt we need
    Marcel 8 very high tackle rate this man

    Mcleod in for that hot and cold Frenchman, Reinach on the bench

    Odwa in for Ludick.

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.02.12 11:39:25 by Reynier Jacobs Reply

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  • McLeod coming in for Michalak for the Stormers seems to be a no-brainer, as is the return of Odwa on the wing (assuming he is fit) in place of Ludik.
    Giving PSD a run at 7 so that Marcel Coetzee can play 8 (his best position in my, and it seems most people’s opinion) would be a brave but clever option IMHO. It would do a lot for the woeful lineouts by giving us another option there. Keegan, quite frankly, is just becoming a liability: he is not a ball carrier and his lack of form in open play means that his current contribution is limited to the coin toss! Had him selected in my fantasy team for last weekend and it cost me big time… will definitely be trading him for next week’s round of games.

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.02.12 11:41:28 by Greg Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 28) : @Reynier Jacobs (Comment 27) : I’d love to see Burden for Bissie, Botes for Keegan, Marcell to 8 and PSD in for Kanko.

    McCleod was good but crabs across field a lot so 9 is still up for grabs. I’d like Sithole in for Ludik on the wing.

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.02.12 11:44:38 by ChrisS Reply
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  • Why not try Bresler at 7 and Coetzee at 8?

  • Comment 30, posted at 27.02.12 11:47:48 by Talent Reply
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  • @Talent (Comment 30) : err…,because Bresler is a lock and playing him out of position at 7 wouldn’t be doing anyone any favours! :roll:

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.02.12 11:51:18 by Greg Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 31) : err…PsD is a lock :???: :roll:

    Bresler is good in the loose but battles at set piece.

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.02.12 11:55:59 by Talent Reply
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  • Anyone else think Ludik would have made a great scrummie with his work-rate?

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.02.12 11:57:15 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Chris

    You been smoking the good stuff pal. Bissie was probably the best player at the WC – when he was on the field. He was unstoppable, and here you are saying he’s not up to scratch. Beyond belief.

    @Richard

    Sithole is one of those I reckon will be rated higher in Durban then elsewhere. Not sure the overall skill levels are there hey. Personally would go with Odwa if I were you guys, or yes, try Jordaan on the wing and see if he copes. No excuses from a player who is being talked about as a ‘stand-out’. If Jean de Villiers and co. could handle it, so should he.

  • Comment 34, posted at 27.02.12 11:58:37 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @Talent (Comment 32) : yes, that seems to be where he is heading career-wise. Bresler, on the other hand, would be playing at 7 for the 1st time (?). Not going to happen :twisted:

  • Comment 35, posted at 27.02.12 11:59:12 by Greg Reply

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  • Picks for the weekend, before squads are announced:

    Blues to beat the Chiefs.
    Waratahs to beat the Rebels.
    Lions to beat the Hurricanes.
    Crusaders to beat the Highlanders.
    Reds to beat the Western Force.
    Bulls to beat the Cheetahs.
    Stormers over Sharks :)

  • Comment 36, posted at 27.02.12 12:02:07 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 36) :

    The picks this week are a lot easier than this past weekend.

  • Comment 37, posted at 27.02.12 12:07:53 by Pokkel Reply
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    Team captain
     
  • @lostfish (Comment 25) : Yes 4 sure…thats why i was nervous that captaincy was given to 2 guys who give away a large amount of penalties. I know Lambie is young; but he can be a good captain…but at least we know the players wanted Keegan as captain, so that’s good at least.

  • Comment 38, posted at 27.02.12 12:08:23 by JJR Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 37) :

    Should be.

    Thought I was in for a good week, went 3 of 3, then only got one of the last 4 games correct :twisted:

  • Comment 39, posted at 27.02.12 12:09:30 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 36) : 6 from 7 for you ;-)

  • Comment 40, posted at 27.02.12 12:10:29 by Franshark Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 34) : He had his moments at the WC but I still think that he’s nowhere near the force he was a few years ago. He looks slow and is pulling the John Smit trick of standing still when receiving the ball so that the opposition get a fair chance to tackle him behind the gain-line.

    I wouldn’t play him in the Bok team this year. Strauss and Chilliboy are better options and I’d play Schalk Brits ahead of him any day!!

    Look at Mealamu and Hore as examples of what a modern hooker should be doing (scrumming well, making tackles, good lineout throwing, competing for the ball on the ground, attending rucks) and Bissie falls far short!! I’ve always been a fan but I was saying this time last year already that he wasn’t looking good. He’s sacrificed himself upon the altar of “Size is King”!

  • Comment 41, posted at 27.02.12 12:12:23 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 39) :

    My SB was a disaster! :oops:

  • Comment 42, posted at 27.02.12 12:13:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 36) : Only change there maybe Canes can beat Lions if they don’t get 3 yellow cards :smile: Stormers dicision don’t bkame u on that one, at home, Sharks don’t have their Big Boys Fit, Stormers have the best/biggest lock pairing i have ever seen :smile:

    Still Sharks could still Win, id say their chances are about 40% chance of winning the game. If Grant isn’t 10 this weekend the Shraks’ chances will improve a lot…Van Aswegan was poor on the weekend. Also if Stomers don’t get what they want up front against The Sharks they could struggle…JDV ain’t passing the ball and The Sharks look dangerous when they good some good ball and flow to the game last 10-15 minutes against the Bulls last week.

    Gonna be a gud game, betting man i would go Stormers largely due to home ground factor; but if i did bet myself i would’nt bet on this game…not a safe bet either way. These local derbies with Bulls, Sharks, Stormers can always be dicided by which team pitches up on the day.

  • Comment 43, posted at 27.02.12 12:17:40 by JJR Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 41) : I wouldn’t play him in the Bok team this year. Strauss and Chilliboy are better options and I’d play Schalk Brits ahead of him any day!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 44, posted at 27.02.12 13:19:23 by Talent Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 36) : agreed :cry:

  • Comment 45, posted at 27.02.12 13:20:22 by Talent Reply
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  • @Greg (Comment 35) : Listen ,Bresler is awesome in the tight loose and has a year or maybe more of currie cup rugby under his belt .Du Toit on the other hand is young and inexperienced . Why not try Bresler at 7 ,all 6ft6 or so of him . Right now it wouldn’t be a bad bet imo.

    But we know Kanki will be 8 and Marcell 7 .

  • Comment 46, posted at 27.02.12 13:23:43 by Talent Reply
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  • @Talent (Comment 44) : I’m serious :grin: Bissie has been playing terrible rugby for a while. I like a fast game and he’s better suited to playing in England at the moment.

    What has he done recently from a ball-carrying, tackle-breaking point of view?

  • Comment 47, posted at 27.02.12 13:29:55 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Talent (Comment 46) : Bresler might work at 7 but I’m not sure about his aggression. PSD sounds like quite an aggro bugger so it’s a toss up at the moment.

  • Comment 48, posted at 27.02.12 13:30:48 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 38) : I was never a big fan of Keegan being captain. His form didn’t warrant a starting position last year but he played because he was captain. He is one of the senior players and a leader in the team but he isn’t good enough at the moment to make the team and his captaincy isn’t good enough either.

  • Comment 49, posted at 27.02.12 14:15:34 by lostfish Reply
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