robdylan

Experience, utility factor in tour selections


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 23 Apr 2013 at 10:02
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Sharksworld had the opportunity to have a direct and open discussion with Sharks Commercial Director Rudolf Straeuli yesterday, regarding some of the more, shall we say, “contentious” selection decisions for the Sharks tour.

We posed a few questions to the Union, on behalf of fans and other interested parties who wanted to know, in a nutshell, why the likes of Derick Minnie, Piet Lindeque and Andries Coetzee had been selected for the tour, rather than backing locally developed players from the Sharks XV. It must be noted, of course, that Coetzee’s injury has made at least one of those issue “go away”, but it’s nevertheless interesting to understand the thought process, especially now that another Lions loan-man, JC van Rensburg, has been brought in to replace Beast Mtawarira.

Let’s start by pointing out that, of the 26 players originally named to tour, 17 have come through the Sharks ranks, all the way from junior level. Also, note that 8 of the original 26 are still in their first season of Super Rugby, meaning that the squad definitely has somewhat of a youthful look to it. I feel it’s important to point out these two factors off the bat, because they prove that the Sharks ARE willing to back their own talent and ARE willing to give young players a chance, for the most part.

Remember also that John Plumtree and his assistant coaches (who, by the way, have sole discretion for all selection matters) would have sat down a while ago – perhaps even at the start of the season, to compose a sensible 26-man tour party from the options available. The process would, I’m sure, have revolved around selecting the right blend of youth and experience, as well as ensuring that enough utility players were included to ensure adequate coverage across the board.

In other words, we need to look at the players brought in from outside and compare them to the injured seniors they’re replacing, rather than the Sharks juniors they’re displacing, if that makes sense. Take Francois Kleinahns (or Brynard Stander) as an example. Injuries to Jacques Botes and Willem Alberts have opened the door for the inclusion of Derick Minnie, but it’s exactly the fact that Minnie can play both open and blind side flanker, as well as his experience, that tips the scales in his favour. Kleinhans and Stander are both seen as specialists in a single position and with just a handful of Currie Cup caps between them, hence it was clearly felt that a more seasoned and versatile campaigner would better fill the short term gap.

Coetzee’s initial selection was based on very similar thinking. The loss of Louis Ludik necessitated the inclusion of a player comfortable at either wing or fullback; that was why both Coetzee and Sean Robinson were preferred to S’bura Sithole, who’s seen as an out-and-out winger, or Gouws Prinsloo, who’s a specialist fullback.

Lindeque’s case is a little different. Straeuli acknowledged that he was brought in on the back of a very good Varsity Cup campaign for Tuks and given how well he knows the players, coaches and setup, I feel that he’s far more a “Sharks man” than he is in “imported loan player” anyway. In his case, it was simple, though; since losing Tim Whitehead, who was always earmarked to be a key player on tour, the Sharks have ended up with literally only a single option at outside centre, namely Paul Jordaan. Lindeque has been brought in as cover for Jordaan, with the fact that he can play wing as well only adding to his utility value.

So there you have it – while many may not necessarily agree with these decisions, I think it’s important to at least understand some of the thinking behind them and I’m really grateful to Rudolf for sharing some of that thinking with us.



53 Comments

  • We need Bosman at FH if we ever want to score a try again.

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.04.13 10:05:44 by Uli Reply
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  • Interesting. So they decided to pick loads of utility players/
    Still does not explain why Kanko was axed.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.04.13 10:06:27 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 2) : no… it does not. And I asked, but wasn’t told.

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.04.13 10:07:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : mmm so there is more to his story….

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.04.13 10:09:13 by Uli Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 4) : If there is a problem, then the problem is directly between Plumtree and Kankowski.

    It’s unfair to expect Straeuli or anyone else at the union to comment. Plumtree is the guy who must be held to account for this one and must be asked to explain the situation to our satisfaction. In my view.

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.04.13 10:12:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 2) : @robdylan (Comment 5) : There may be issues between Kanko and Plumtree but Ryan’s game against the Stormers was very poor and probably gave Plumtree a good reason to nail him (if there are any issues in the first place)

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.04.13 10:24:15 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Rob, did Straueli have anything to say about this sight encouraging the petition to remove Plum.

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.04.13 10:25:36 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Form has absolutely NOTHING to do with Kanko’s axing.

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.04.13 10:25:44 by King Shark Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 7) : no disrespect to Andre, but a Facebook page with a few dozen likes hardly counts as a serious petition and by allowing him to post a link or two here hardly constitutes encouragement.

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.04.13 10:28:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 8) : Well then he didnt help his case in the game against the Stormers. The Kanko of 2013 is nowhere near the 2012 version.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.04.13 10:28:54 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :I Understand, but did Rudi bring it up and admonish you for signing it.

    In my mind I think he would but he may have laughed it off….but then that would not fit the public perception of him. :twisted:

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.04.13 10:34:46 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 11) : no, why would he? I’m entitled to my opinion on who should coach the Sharks just as he is.

    I suspect we both agree on who shouldn’t coach the Sharks, though :)

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.04.13 10:37:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 10) : Yeah but again played out of position. And name me one Sharks player that really played well against the Stormers…

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.04.13 10:38:38 by King Shark Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 10) : Neither are Daniel and Coetzee but they get picked in the starting line-up every week.

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.04.13 10:44:23 by TRF_Ezequiel Reply

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  • @King Shark (Comment 8) : Is it just your oppinion or do you have concrete info?

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.04.13 10:48:39 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @TRF_Ezequiel (Comment 14) : I think Coetzee is a 7 and daniel a 6.

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.04.13 10:49:05 by Uli Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : And who would that be?

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.04.13 10:49:35 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 17) : who should coach the Sharks? I’d jump on the Mallett bandwagon given the chance.

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.04.13 10:50:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : I think SA needs to start retaining their knowledge base of coaches instead of throwing them out to the cold. Mallet would be a great addition to the coaching brains trust.

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.04.13 10:57:36 by Dunx Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : No – who should not?

    “I suspect we both agree on who shouldn’t coach the Sharks”

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.04.13 11:06:08 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 20) : John Plumtree

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.04.13 11:16:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @TRF_Ezequiel (Comment 14) : preach it brother!

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.04.13 11:18:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : I am on the same bandwagon.

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.04.13 11:22:16 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 13) : @robdylan (Comment 12) : @robdylan (Comment 21) : Wow, so Strools has confided in you that he thinks Plumtree is the wrong coach for the Sharks.

    I can imagine Jon Smit et al are going to have their work cut out.

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.04.13 11:28:56 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 24) :

    How did you get to that conclusion?

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.04.13 11:31:10 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 13) : @TRF_Ezequiel (Comment 14) : I was at Newlands, I thought Kanko was as good as those mentioned. I watched the game late last week, I posted my thoughts about that last week and I used the words gunshy for Kanko’s performance – there was no heart and that was the most dissapointing. Despite their performances you cant accuse Daniel or Coetzee of the same. I dont like criticising any Sharks player so saying this about Ryan is not fun for me.

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.04.13 11:35:16 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 24) : don’t put words in my mouth, for goodness sake. I NEVER said that.

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.04.13 11:38:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 25) : Rob said @robdylan (Comment 12) : “I suspect we both agree on who shouldn’t coach the Sharks, though “, then Bokhoring asked “No – who should not?
    “I suspect we both agree on who shouldn’t coach the Sharks” (Robs words) and then Rob answered @robdylan (Comment 21) : @Bokhoring (Comment 20) : John Plumtree,

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.04.13 11:40:11 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 28) : did you miss the word SUSPECT? Do you understand what it means?

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.04.13 11:41:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • come on Salmo – you’re a lawyer, aren’t you? I expected better from you than this ill-conceived and frankly disingenuous nonsense.

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.04.13 11:42:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : and yet thats exactly what I thought you said in answer to Bokhorings question of who should not coach the Sharks, with your quote of both you and Rudi agreeing on who shoould not coach the team right beneath the question?

    How am I misinterpreting this then?

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.04.13 11:44:23 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : dangerous ground :wink:

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.04.13 11:45:04 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : Wow this is getting heavy and personal – feel free to go back and delete it all if you want. Im sorry if I misunderstood you.

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.04.13 11:46:45 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : I came to the same conclussion as Salmonoid. I know you said it as an opinion though and NOT a fact :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.04.13 11:48:09 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : Not a lawyer.

    Listen this thread is obviously going down the wrong track, and, as can often happen, words are being misinterpreted. I suggest you just pull the damn thing before any damage is done.

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.04.13 11:50:18 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Jeeze, I regret I even asked the question. I did take it to be Rob’s opinion of what he suspects Rudolf to think.

    “I suspect we both agree on who shouldn’t coach the Sharks”

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.04.13 11:54:59 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 35) : No, I stand by everything I’ve said and see no reason to delete anything.

    Let me state for the record.

    Did Straeuli tell me he doesn’t support Plumtree? Of course not! Why on earth would he divulge any such feelings, either on or off the record, to a blogger? It would be madness.

    Am I free to draw my own conclusions, based on everything I’ve read, heard and seen, as to whether a particular person agrees or disagrees with what another person does? Of course I am, so long as I’m clear that I am expressing my opinion or suspicion, rather than stating it as a fact.

    I never claimed that Straeuli had said ANYTHING to indicate that he didn’t support Plumtree. You, Salmonoid, put those words into my mouth and I deny them most strongly.

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.04.13 11:58:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 36) : Yeah I also regret you asked it.

  • Comment 38, posted at 23.04.13 11:58:56 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • end of discussion on this point from my side. Also, the last time I try to share what I think might be going on because clearly some aren’t mature enough to handle it.

  • Comment 39, posted at 23.04.13 12:01:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : I accept all you say other than that I am able to put words in your mouth, you are the one, after all that, can edit comments on here, not me.

    I was not the only one that came to the same conclusion.

  • Comment 40, posted at 23.04.13 12:04:39 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 40) : you’re accusing me of editing my own comment to insert a word that wasn’t previously there, in other words?

  • Comment 41, posted at 23.04.13 12:07:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 39) : Good, let it be a lesson learnt after all I, and a handful of others, are not the only people to read this – I suspect that same conclusion was possibly arrived at by others who read it too.

  • Comment 42, posted at 23.04.13 12:08:26 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 41) : No, Im trying to demonstrate to you that if anyone has the power to play with words around here it is you and that there is no way I could have put words in your mouth (as you claim).

  • Comment 43, posted at 23.04.13 12:11:39 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 42) : you got any other tips about how I should run this place, while you’re at it?

  • Comment 44, posted at 23.04.13 12:11:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 41) : I wish you would edit your comment and delete all the contentious crap here.

  • Comment 45, posted at 23.04.13 12:12:59 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 44) : Yes, take deep breaths. :twisted:

  • Comment 46, posted at 23.04.13 12:14:30 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • There seems to be alot of bickering on this site of late. I blame the whole of the Sharks for that, well except fot that one Flasher Girl :twisted:

  • Comment 47, posted at 23.04.13 12:21:27 by SteelShark Reply
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  • Interesting conversations, but in Rob’s defence, he did say I suspect which means he wasn’t stating it as fact :smile:

  • Comment 48, posted at 23.04.13 12:49:52 by Ludz Reply

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  • @Ludz (Comment 48) : I would be surprised if the powers that be would be entirely happy with the situation this year. I am sure they all sat up and noticed when the Sharks team were booed of the field at half time against the Brumbies. I can’t recall that ever happening before – not even we scraped the barrel during the Kevin Putt reign.

    And again to be clear, the injury situation was not that bad when we played the Brumbies.

  • Comment 49, posted at 23.04.13 13:02:06 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • It’s good to know the communication lines are open, that always helps to make some sense of a situation.

  • Comment 50, posted at 23.04.13 13:22:20 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 50) : And I posted this comment before reading the comments below the article and meant, between Strueli and us.

    Rob, I thought what Salmanoid said too, but conveniently missed the word suspect.

    I just want to say, I suspect many other people might feel the same way about the who should not coach the Sharks as you do and you suspect Struali also does.

    Based on 2 CC trophies in 7 years, you can’t suspect much else.

    :smile:

  • Comment 51, posted at 23.04.13 13:37:01 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 49) : yeah, it’s tough hey, because we know they’re better than the gibberish they’re dishing up at the moment. There’s something wrong internally and I hope it’s sorted soon

  • Comment 52, posted at 23.04.13 13:42:58 by Ludz Reply

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  • Hey!- just want to wish Piet Lindeque good luck with the game against the Chiefs! Quite a baptism of fire, but I’m sure he’ll do good and make the best of this opportunity

  • Comment 53, posted at 25.04.13 09:29:31 by 18_12_Sharkie Reply

     

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