robdylan

No debut for Pieter-Steph?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 1 Oct 2013 at 09:51
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The recall of Franco van der Merwe to the Bok camp yesterday, coupled with quotes from coach Heyneke Meyer, seem to suggest that Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit won’t be risked for Saturday’s Rugby Championship decider against the All Black at Ellis Park.

Meyer, who has never been shy in his praise for du Toit, apparently sees the 21-year-old as a natural long-term successor to the likes of Victor Matfield and Andries Bekker in the number 5 jersey. That role, of course, comes with a huge amount of responsibility within the Bok game plan, since the 5-lock takes charge of all the line-out calls and it’s with this aim in mind that Meyer and his forward coach, John McFarland, want to spend as much time with the youngster as possible getting him familiar with what is required.

Now, along with many others, I’m sure, I assumed that when Pieter-Steph was called up to the Bok squad a week ago, the intention was to play him. As a player just returned from a long-term injury, my thinking was that the young man needed nothing else as badly as game time, which I hoped he would get with the Boks. Finding that he’s been called up more as a “learning exercise”, thus preventing him from playing for the Sharks, is a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, but one that we need to accept is probably in the Boks’ best interests long-term.

After all, there’s very little doubt that du Toit will go on to have a long and successful test career and will get to play – and beat – the All Blacks many times before he finally hangs up his boots. Meyer’s decision to protect the youngster this weekend and not “throw him to the wolves” is one that, I believe, has been taken with the player and the team’s best interests at heart. Whether I agree with it or not is moot, because I’m not the guy holding the clipboard.

From a Sharks point of view, there is an upside too. We get to see Stephan Lewies develop further in the senior team this weekend and we get a fit, rested and raring-to-go Pieter-Steph du Toit back in time for the Currie Cup business end, starting next week. That’s not all that bad, now is it?



22 Comments

  • Then why waste his time calling him up in the first place if you just call someone up from outside the squad to play ahead of him?

    He could’ve been getting more match fit playing for the Sharks in the Currie Cup rather than carrying tackle bags. These sort of decisions really get under my skin.

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.10.13 09:58:14 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • Guess it not bad news, but geese would have loved to see him on a rugby field!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.10.13 09:59:26 by R Hayward Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • I’m not convinced that playing off the bench would be considered being thrown to the wolves. Juandre Kruger would have moved up into the starting line-up with PSDT on the bench. A 10 minute bullocking run against the All Blacks as they tire from a proper travelling regime for a change could have done his confidence the world of good.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.10.13 10:03:45 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 3) : and what happens in Juandre Kruger breaks his ankle 10 minutes into the game?

    Franco has spent a lot more time in the team environment up to now and is a far more experienced line-out caller. That’s the thinking anyway.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.10.13 10:06:57 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Good point, but at that point Alberts can shift in to lock and Siya Kolisi can come on at flank. With both Kolisi and Louw on the field the ABs might have to commit more players to the rucks to protect the ball and holes might open in the defence.

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.10.13 10:09:14 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : but then who calls the lineouts?

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.10.13 10:18:15 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • I’d like to see Kruger start with PSDT on the bench. I know it’s a risk, but it makes sense going forward, seeing as PSDT is going to wear that jersey on the year end tour and for years to come. Kruger is a bit soft around the rucks, but he’s been in the setup quite a while. Starting Franco as a stopgap would be shortsighted. What better place to blood a youngster than a full Ellis Park?

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.10.13 10:20:21 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    DragnipurSuper Rugby player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : It would then be either Eben or Flouw

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.10.13 10:21:20 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • I’m sure we’ll see PSdT will featuring in all the games for EOYT. From the Springbok supporter in me, I’m not too unhappy that Franco is there. The guy has been in some fine form this year and he really deserves a Bok cap after been so close so many times. I would choose Franco over PSdT for this game.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.10.13 10:22:46 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    gregkaosTeam captain
     
  • @PTAShark (Comment 7) : My view and your view agree 100%.

    It seems like a bit of a double standard. The All Blacks are way above England but Etzebeth made his starting debut against England while PSDT would be making his off the bench, if HM even decide to sub one of the locks.

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.10.13 10:24:41 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 10) : Meyer will argue that 5 is a far harder position to master than 4.

    I mean, what does Eben need to do other than run around a lot and bliksem people?

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.10.13 10:27:41 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Well if we want to start getting better decisions for us, not bliksem people ;-) :mrgreen:

    Understandable, but as a sub it’s not a guarantee that he would come on as a 5. He could replace Eben and let Kruger play out the rest of the match.

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.10.13 10:30:02 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 12) : Look, I hear you and don’t necessarily disagree.

    Just trying to share my understanding of the coach’s thinking. It seems to be that it’s too risky not to have dedicated cover at 5-lock on the bench.

    I think it’s a risk worth taking, because du Toit is going to give you a lot more coming off the bench than Franco would…. but we know Meyer is a risk-averse coach.

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.10.13 10:35:40 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Know your playing devil’s advocate. :-)

    To be honest I’m still not convinced by HM. Never two good games in a row, very risk averse and some very strange and unconvincing selections. We’ve beaten Australia well this year but it has been the worst Australian side in decades.

    I’m still waiting to be blown away.

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.10.13 10:40:39 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • Will we have marcell back for the bulls game ? Because iam sure he will not be in the match 23 for the boks

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.10.13 10:46:50 by johnny Reply

    Under 19 player
     
  • @johnny (Comment 15) : nope.

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.10.13 10:47:48 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Hrmm making me change my mind here about PSTD vs FVDM… who knows actually. By the sounds of HMs interview he might be throwing the dice at this game. Maybe will we see the young guy have a run in. If I could influence one change tho it would be Serf to start instead of JJ.

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.10.13 11:16:24 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    gregkaosTeam captain
     
  • Its the correct decision to leave PSDT out for now.

    To have 2 very young Bok locks, one of whom is only a very recent convert to a no. 5 lock, against a rapidly improving AB lineout would have been a tough proposition.

    Leave him with the Bok squad to further learn the structures and calls for what I’m sure will be a long and successful Bok career.

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.10.13 11:22:23 by John Galt Reply

    John GaltCurrie Cup player
     
  • Rob – excellent thoughts on Pieter-Steph and the other youngster Stephan Lewies. I was a bit sore that PSDT could not be released to the Sharks if he was not being used if only only the bench. To me The Sharks are more important than the Boks and I’m not the only one that thinks that. My blood is TOTALLY BLACK AND WHITE!

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.10.13 13:28:22 by [email protected] Reply

    DenCurrie Cup player
     
  • @[email protected] (Comment 19) : You’re right in that.

    My 4 year old son refuses to wear anything related to the Boks no matter how we try to convince him that the Sharks are part of the Boks. “I’m not a Bok daddy, I’m a Shark!”

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.10.13 13:55:30 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • Please tell me the useless Franco is not going to be our bench lock on Saturday, that’s even worse than the prospect of Kruger starting at 5.

    Get a grip Meyer and start PSDT

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.10.13 22:21:06 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player
     
  • @gregkaos (Comment 9) : You must be mad

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.10.13 22:24:31 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.