robdylan

Come on, Doc! You’re better than this!


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 Mar 2012 at 09:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

We have mentioned a few times already in the build-up to this season that it would be vital for the Sharks’ senior players to stand up and be counted this season. In a squad that has lost huge experience through the departure of the likes of John Smit, Stefan Terblanche and Adi Jacobs, the need to balance the exuberance of youth with wise old heads has never been stronger.

I’m sure I’m not alone, then, in being somewhat disappointed in the play dished up by front row veteran Jannie du Plessis over the last two rounds, taking this into account. With Smit and Eugene van Staden both gone, Beast Mtawarira’s injury saw Jannie suddenly cast into the spotlight as the only experienced prop left in the squad; as such, it became even more vital for the big doctor to step up and set an example for the youngsters to follow.

For whatever reason, this simply hasn’t been the case. Looking at the match statistics, Jannie’s performance against the Bulls was below par in anyone’s books. In almost an hour at Loftus, he made only 3 tackles (missing 2 others) and hit only 1 ruck. He carried the ball once, making 3m in the process, and also conceded a penalty and a turnover. Hardly the sort of figures to convince anyone that this is a Bok veteran we’re talking about, much less the incumbent first-choice tighthead for the national side. Playing off the bench against the Stormers last week, things weren’t much better; in 23 minutes, he again made 3 tackles (missing 1), 2 runs (for 6m gained) and hit 2 rucks. The enduring memory from that, game, however, will be a Sharks scrum featuring Jannie at tighthead being marched backwards in the last quarter by a Stormers pack containing two 20-year-olds in the front row! Hardly the stuff off which black and white legends are made.

Simply put, the Sharks cannot afford to carry a player of Jannie’s experience or ability. We know what the big man is capable of; moreover, we desperately need him to bring the benefit of his experience and his legendary fighting spirit to bear – and quickly. In a pack struggling for stability and go-forward, particularly in the scrums, there simply aren’t any other options now; we don’t have any other senior props, so Jannie simply MUST do the job.

To add further woe to an already desperate-seeming tale, big Jannie appeared to sit out at practice yesterday, cutting a dejected figure on the sidelines with an ice-pack strapped to his calf. Let’s hope that whatever the issue is, it’s not serious enough to keep him out of action this weekend, where I’m hoping to see the big Bok lay down a serious marker against a Lions team suffering similar front-row woes. Come on, Doc… it’s time to do the business for your team!



9 Comments

  • Married life, it takes it’s toll :twisted:

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.03.12 09:05:02 by JarsonX Reply
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  • the doc just got married and it’s all downhill from there! :grin:

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.03.12 09:12:13 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • Agreed Robbo, very disappointing..

    Maybe being dropped to the bench gave him a bit of a wake up call, not that is showed when he eventually came on..

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.03.12 09:18:44 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • You’re loving the new stats site I see . :lol:

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.03.12 09:36:07 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • :twisted: Eish! bad numbers for Jannie. But the scruming was not good against the Stormers. With that I must add that the ref is one of the worst guys to judge rucks and scrums. The Stormers scrummed in on the hooker (and the flanks on the front row)and we had a couple of tough calls on the floor. Hope Jannie is over the honeymoon against the Lions. :twisted:

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.03.12 09:51:50 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : I wonder if we will have an in depth analysis of Lambie, any takers.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.03.12 10:02:32 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 1) : @Megatron (Comment 2) : :lol:

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.03.12 10:09:35 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's DudetteSuper Rugby player
     
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 5) : We have the same ref this coming weekend.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.03.12 10:11:11 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @JarsonX (Comment 1) :
    Another advantage to having youngsters. No ball and chain to slow them down. It was a serious backfire keeping Jannie on the bench for most of the game, bringing him on had the opposite of the effect that Plum would have hoped for.

    At least you won’t likely be challenged that much by the Lions in the scrum department. And you will have Alberts back.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.03.12 10:13:01 by Leviathan Reply

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