After two weeks of Super Rugby, we promised to keep tabs on how the Sharks were doing in terms of player management, with the goal being to avoid the situation where key players break down due to overuse – one of the factors that derailed the side in last year’s tournament.
At that stage, we identified 7 players who had played every minute of the first two games and were somewhat dismayed to find after 4 weeks that, bar JP Pietersen who subsequently picked up an injury, all of the same players continued to be played for 80 minute each game. It’s therefore not completely surprising to discover that many of these same players are the ones that have started to pick up injuries along the way.
Bismarck du Plessis played every minute of the first 6 games, before picking up an injury that limited his involvement since then to just 14 minutes. Marcell Coetzee soldiered on bravely through 5 complete games too, before being subbed off in the last 3 for a total of 563 minutes out of a possible 640. He is, of course, now in doubt with a shoulder problem too. Pat Lambie missed two complete games due to injury, but has played the full 80 in 6 others, for a total of 480 minutes game time. Pietersen, despite also missing out on two appearances, is not far behind on 473 minutes, meaning he has been replaced only once in the 6 games he has started, for a grand total of 7 minutes.
Of the men that soldier on, though, Dale Chadwick and Keegan Daniel must surely both be close to the point of total mental fatigue, if not also at risk of some-or-other physical injury after playing virtually every minute of the first 8 rounds. Chadwick has racked up 617 minutes (just 23 minutes rest) and Daniel 622 (18 minutes) out of the total of 640 played in these first 8 rounds. Spare a thought, though, for the last man standing, Lwazi Mvovo, who has played every single one of those 640 minutes.
Other players to have accumulated big game time so far include Tim Whitehead (544 minutes and now under an injury cloud), Riaan Viljoen (592 minutes) and Steven Sykes (520).Tweet