robdylan

Jake’s first poser


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 Mar 2014 at 11:40
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One can argue that Jake White hasn’t really been tested too much so far this season, at least not when it comes to team selection.

I’m sure there was a fair bit of late-night head-scratching involved when he named his first line-up a month back; which scrumhalf to start, who to pair with Pieter-Steph du Toit in the second row. Wait, actually that’s it, really, because the rest of the team pretty much selects itself. In hindsight, a few of the bench calls were possibly a little left-field (Stephan Lewies ahead of locks who played Currie Cup last year, no sign of Keegan Daniel or Jacques Botes) but by and large, you feel that White has selected the obvious team and has stuck with it, which is easy to do when the team wins and there aren’t any injuries.

This week, though, the loss of Paul Jordaan to injury and Odwa Ndungane to bereavement feels like a bomb going off in the camp, simply because we’re now so accustomed to the luxury of an unchanged 23 every week. I will admit to having ants in my pants all day on Saturday after I was tipped off about the Lambie withdrawal – and that was just a single change. What makes this week exciting and nerve-wracking in virtually equal parts is the fact that we now know there will have to be changes, but don’t really have a clue what Jake’s thinking is regarding the selections he has to make.

Aside from the backs that we know about, Anton Bresler also appears to be carrying a niggle and will need to get through a late fitness test in order to take his place on Saturday – that then at least two, but possibly three changes to the match 23 that White will need to make. While I may like to think I have some idea as to who might come in at 13 and 14 this week, I’ll admit to being completely in the dark as to a replacement for Bresler. I don’t think White would start Stephan Lewies alongside Pieter-Steph du Toit, but with Etienne Oosthuizen not even featuring in Vodacom Cup last week, it’s probably a bit of a stretch to expect him to feature either. Could Peet Marais finally be due for a Super Rugby cap, one wonders?

The Jordaan situation is likely to stymie White’s plans to re-introduce JP Pietersen gradually and having lost two outside backs, it’s really hard to imagine the coach not bringing his Springbok winger straight into the starting team. S’bura Sithole also now looks set to finally, finally get a maiden start at this level but it just remains to be seen whether the coaches will consider it too much of a risk to throw him straight in at outside centre, a position he’s never played competitively before, or will let Pietersen fill that role and rather ease Sithole in at right wing.

The dark horse here is Tonderai Chavanga, a player who seems to feature in White’s plans in some way, although he’s not as yet given us an indication as to exactly how. The former Bok has been out for a long time, but could prove a good option if a stopgap is needed in the back three. Word from the trenches, though, is that Jaco van Tonder has been running at right wing in training and while it’s probably unlikely that he would start this week, the former age-group star should be a good bet for a bench spot.

If I were to try and do a little mind-reading, here’s how I think the team will look when named at 8am tomorrow.

Sharks (possible): 15 SP Marais, 14 S’bura Sithole, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler/Peet Marais, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (capt), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 Jaco van Tonder



65 Comments

  • 8am tomorrow? :shock:

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.03.14 11:52:40 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 1) : yup… that’s the time they did the announcement last week and will apparently be the same this week.

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.03.14 11:57:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 1) : a little disappointing that out of the 7 good paragraphs of content, THAT is the only thing you felt was worthy of a comment :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.03.14 11:59:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : I do have more to say. I would go with S’bura at 13. If Jake thinks he can play 13 then we need to back him there. I would imagine that JPP won’t play a full game anyway, so it might be better for S’bura to play in one position in his debut Super rugby start. Also, I’m not sure that Peet Marais is suited to the no. 4 role. Is it not possible that Oosthuizen is ready to play after having an extra week to recover from his injury?

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.03.14 12:27:50 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 4) : it’s very possible that oosthuizen will play… I just haven’t heard anything either way.

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.03.14 12:33:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • Who is Kyle Copoer? :wink:

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.03.14 12:38:57 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Still, Anton is rightly first choice so it would be preferable if he started.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.03.14 12:41:31 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • I see on the sharks website that Oosthuizen weighs in at 120kg, wich makes him the heaviest guy in the squad.If its true it would be ideal for the no 4 position.That extra weight really helps at scrum time.

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.03.14 12:50:46 by tigershark Reply

    tigersharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • I would have gone – 15. Jaco v Tonder, 14, Sp, 13 Sithole and bench JPP. I just don’t like the idea of starting a guy that just arrived in Durban.

    Otherwise still Sithole at 13 and JPP at 14. I think Sithole can fill the same role Jordaan did, which was speed to beat defenders.

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.03.14 13:00:42 by Letgo Reply
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  • I think JP will start at 14 and Sithole at 13. I would start with Peet at 4.

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.03.14 13:10:20 by JD Reply
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  • Bressler still the best 4.He might not be in favour but Hewitt has S15 experience and lots of CC games. According to your ratings and comments he did well in the games he played S15 last year. Big strong, hard with skills ? Ettienne really didn’t play well against Sarries. Made very basic mistakes. I personally think Peet is very good and a great bench option as he plays well at 4 or 5, better option than lewies ? Peet is however not a true enforcer 4, which you will need against the other teams ?

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.03.14 13:59:19 by Observer Reply

    ObserverVodacom Cup player
     
  • Alberts to lock
    Deysel to Flank
    Sithole to 13
    Jpp to wing-safer option than sithole under the high ball at this point in time.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.03.14 14:15:21 by Talent Reply
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    TalentCurrie Cup player
     
  • With Jordaan injured, the obvious choice is to bring Esterhuizen into the squad. Start Williams at 13 with Esterhuizen on the bench – its that simple

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.03.14 14:34:58 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Saffex (Comment 13) : I wish it was as simple to convince you that Williams isn’t quick enough to play 13.

    That would however involve you
    a) learning to read
    and
    b) learning to accept that other peoples’ opinions can occasionally carry as much weight as your own
    and is thus unlikely.

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.03.14 14:39:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • starting the countdown until Saffex accuses me of knowing nothing about rugby….

    5…4…3…

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.03.14 14:39:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 13) : No Saffex, we must respect the Reds, bru. You don’t throw Heimar Williams in at 13 against the dangerous Reds backline when he didn’t even play Super Rugby last year. Besides the oke is a little slow to be marking those speedy Queensland wingers out wide. You simply can’t discount the experience of Jp Pietersen in this scenario. Expect to see S’Bura out on the wing.

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.03.14 14:46:15 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Saffex (Comment 13) : I do agree with you however that Esterhuizen must get some game time this year. That youngster is freakishly good.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.03.14 14:47:52 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Letgo (Comment 9) : Can’t discount the massive experience that JP brings to the mix. To throw Jaco Van Tonder in against a top quality backline like the Reds is akin to throwing a lamb to the wolves.

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.03.14 14:49:41 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • I’d like to see Sbura at 13 and Jaco Van Tonder on the wing, with JP on the bench.

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.03.14 14:50:27 by Jacques Venter Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : You said it, you know f all about the game…..if Frans and Jean are quick enough to play 13 then so is Williams, given the very fact that he has played wing for the Sharks when coming off the bench……so in a nutshell as per usual you don’t have a bloody clue what you are talking about

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.03.14 15:00:29 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player
     
  • So, to add to this further, sounds like Jean Deysel is in doubt for the weekend too.

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.03.14 15:01:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 20) : when has he played wing?

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.03.14 15:04:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : Tera to the bench?

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.03.14 15:10:10 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 23) : I think so, yes.

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.03.14 15:13:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : whats Keegan Daniel and Jacques Botes been up to lately?

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.03.14 15:24:54 by DBOY Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : I think he came on against Saracens on the wing!

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.03.14 15:31:18 by Bump Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : When he came on against Sarries you were at the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.03.14 15:42:48 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Saffex (Comment 27) : and apart from then?

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.03.14 15:46:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • Man, Deysel also? What just happened. Let’s see how Jake handles this. One thing I remember from his Bok coaching days, he never really knew who to play when he didn’t play his first choice. We almost lost in the quarters of the 07WC against Tonga (I think or Samoa), because he decided to play a second team and that team was crap.

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.03.14 15:46:38 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 20) : when has FS played 13?

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.03.14 15:47:08 by benji Reply
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  • sorry to be thick, Saffex, but you make it sound as though Heimar has regularly and intentionally used as a wing replacement during his Sharks career, rather than being used in that position in a one-off emergency.

    Anyone see Sithole packing at flank against the Lions? Can we use this as an argument for moving him into the back row?

  • Comment 31, posted at 12.03.14 15:47:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’ll concede that maybe throwing Jaco into the mix at 15 against the Reds may be a little risky, but I kinda trust his skills under the high ball and have also been really impressed with his temperament in the few games I’ve seen him play. He makes good choices and always seem to have a little more time on the ball than other players.

    Just rate him. We’ll see though. Think Jake will just go with JPP, as Rob predicted. Rob’s almost never wrong, is he?

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.03.14 15:48:57 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 27) : Half a game at wing suddenly makes him best qualified to play 13 against one of the most attacking teams in SR?

    Yeah…because even JP seamlessly slotted in at 13 (remember the Canes 2013?) with years of experience at wing. :roll:

    …next expert please ;-)

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.03.14 15:50:28 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 20) : JDV is definitely no benchmark at 13

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.03.14 15:50:47 by benji Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 20) : STFU. Seriously, you are accusing some one with far more contacts within the Sharks structures of not understanding what is likely to happen.

    It’s staggering how opinionated you are. You’ve been more wrong than right on your estimations of player ability.

    The irony is you in fact know f all about Rugby. More than a few bloggers, experts and pundits would agree with that notion based on the utter shit you spew.

    You are sooo stuck in the past with your head up your ass that you come onto blogs to gripe, and bitch and ultimately be ignored.

    Rather keep your points of view between you and your mother, who tapes these games for you.

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.03.14 15:51:37 by Talent Reply
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    TalentCurrie Cup player
     
  • so I just googled “13 Heimar Williams”. Only result was a single club game.

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.03.14 15:51:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) :

    I think more importantly here, Jake has mentioned that speed is important. Heimar might be able to do a decent job, but I don’t think he’ll ever be used (unless when there really is no other option), as a 13, while Jake is coach. This is why I am leaning towards Sithole. Jake also mentioned that he was impressed with Sithole and didn’t he say something about him as a 13 options.

    I don’t know, can’t remember… I could be making things up here.

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.03.14 15:52:32 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : I think Sithole should be groomed at 13,he’s a big fast unit just what the Sharks have been lacking at 13,way beter than Pj-to small and Williams-to slow

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.03.14 15:55:29 by benji Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Are we now counting, is once not good enough for you and no I am not saying anything other than the fact that if the coach is happy for him to cover on the wing then he is surely quick enough for 13…….there is no way that Williams is any slower than Basteraud, Jacques Fourie, Jean and the likes

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.03.14 15:56:47 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player
     
  • @benji (Comment 38) : Sithole does not have the rugby mechanics to make a 13, much like Habana never did

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.03.14 15:57:45 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player
     
  • @benji (Comment 30) : A number of times as recent as last season

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.03.14 15:59:01 by Saffex Reply

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  • I reckon the Sharks will start with Lewies at 4 this weekend. Horwill will play at 5 and therefore not be the ruck hitter rather Rob Simmons(is it) will be in that role and he is not the largest most aggressive 4 around.
    Perhaps if we were playing the Chiefs or the Crusaders with their big 4s it might be a different story.

    And yep, JP at 14 and Sbura at 13 or the other way round will most likely be the scenario there.

    Think this situation outlines how valuable Whitehead actually is in the whole mix if he wasn’t injured.

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.03.14 16:04:23 by John Galt Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 36) :
    Williams is no outside back, not even close.

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.03.14 16:05:26 by John Galt Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 40) : then the Great white better earn his salary cause short of importing a proper 13 who else is there,TW also no good ,so who else?

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.03.14 16:09:04 by benji Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 40) :
    I wouldn’t say Habana never did, by the time he was tried at 13 again (i think he started out there), he was already just an excellent 14 and only a standard 13 and there was no use trying to use him there, much like I feel about JPP.

    Anyway, I agree that sithole’s handling skills in the past (the little that I have seen of him), suggest that maybe 13 might be a stretch for him, but maybe Jake has already worked on this. Surely he had a cover in mind for Jordaan – the only position we don’t really know who would take over from the starting player. If Jake had Sithole in mind for this role, I bet he’s already improved certain of the things that would have been exposed when playing him in the midfield.

    As you can see, I’m pretty confident in Jake, so it really will depend on who he picks in this spot – I just don’t think it will be Heimar.

  • Comment 45, posted at 12.03.14 16:27:37 by Letgo Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 44) :

    If Stokkies Hanekom is not injured and simply left out of the Lions squad, I would say he would be the best option. Apparently his defense let him down in the warm-up game against the Sharks, but surely that game could not have been the yardstick for dropping a player. I really rate him, based on what I have seen of him so far.

  • Comment 46, posted at 12.03.14 16:30:05 by Letgo Reply
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  • Alberts to 4. If deysel is fit put him at 7 and tera on the bench. If not then put tera at 7 and keegan on the bench

  • Comment 47, posted at 12.03.14 17:05:56 by woody Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 44) : I would play Esterhuizen at 13 without a blink

  • Comment 48, posted at 12.03.14 17:26:06 by Saffex Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 45) : Having the correct raw material to play centre should be a natural thing, not something that can be coached…..Sithole strikes me as a structured finisher, not a player who is instinctive or who is spatially aware……good centres have good rugby brains…..they make things happen

  • Comment 49, posted at 12.03.14 17:31:07 by Saffex Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 48) : has he got the pace though?

  • Comment 50, posted at 12.03.14 17:33:58 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 50) : Time will tell, but I somehow think this lad is not going to be slower than Frans, Jean, Basteraud, Tuilangi or Fourie…….there are many 13′s who do not have out and out pace……he has so much to offer

  • Comment 51, posted at 12.03.14 17:46:49 by Saffex Reply

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  • Since when did Sharksworld take up trolling … is it National “pick on Saffex” day?

  • Comment 52, posted at 12.03.14 18:01:46 by byron Reply

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  • Is hansie graaff not an option for outside center?

  • Comment 53, posted at 12.03.14 18:09:27 by byron Reply

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  • @byron (Comment 53) : I guess he could be

  • Comment 54, posted at 12.03.14 18:13:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @byron (Comment 52) : Nope…but it is International “pick on smug comments” day. ;-)

  • Comment 55, posted at 12.03.14 18:35:50 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 20) : Frans was never good enough at 13…and do not underestimate Jean de Villers’ pace..last year/year before he was 3 rd only to Habana and Aplon over 40m for the Stormers…better acceleration than Gerhard vd Heever!!

  • Comment 56, posted at 13.03.14 00:11:13 by pienaar111 Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 49) : now that I will agree with…(Conrad Smith, BOD)…I rated Whitehead like that, but he possibly is too slow

  • Comment 57, posted at 13.03.14 00:14:28 by pienaar111 Reply

    pienaar111Currie Cup player
     
  • Seeing at though we throwing names out there…why not play Keegan Daniel at 12. And if based on time in a position surely Adrian Strauss should play 12 for the Cheetahs. Williams, Esterhuizen, Sithole, even JPP would do a job at 13. Its about taking what you are good at and implementing it in that position. Why do we have to always play the same type of player. So yes Williams may not be Usain Bolt, but he is a better defender than most and will shut down space quickly and turn over good ball out wide where loosies struggle to get. Yes Sithole doesnt have the vision of a Conrad Smith but if Sithole and Smith both go through the gap I bet I know which one wont get caught…good coaches utilise their players strengths without saying they only want a specific player. Ont hat regard why cant Lewies and PSDT play together….evolve and adapt or get left behind.

  • Comment 58, posted at 13.03.14 08:11:42 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 49) :

    Maybe, but I’m not saying that Sithole is a Brian O’Driscol – or Fourie or Conrad Smith, maybe AA Cooper can be thrown into this mix as well. These guys read the game extremely well. Creates opportunities with deft passing, or smart running lines – good option taking.

    But I don’t think Jordaan is this type of 13 either. He is there for his speed. Jake has said that anything that happens outside of Lambie and Steyn will be dangerous. He feels this particular team, and the way its dynamic has been set up, needs a finisher at 13. I think Sithole is a good finisher and for the purpose of this team and filling the gap that was left, a good option to replace Jordaan.

    That’s why I believe Sithole will be at 13 and will do a good job.

  • Comment 59, posted at 13.03.14 08:29:51 by Letgo Reply
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  • My view is that S’bura Sithole has paid his dues at the Sharks and his time to shine has come.

    He is going to make an amazing strike runner from 13 with his power and pace, and I believe that he will flourish because the coach is showing confidence in him in that position.

  • Comment 60, posted at 13.03.14 08:34:20 by Bump Reply

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  • Sharks team announced. Sbu at 13, JPP at 14. Jaco van Tonder on the bench

  • Comment 61, posted at 13.03.14 08:36:59 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 61) : And Tera in place of Deysel

  • Comment 62, posted at 13.03.14 08:41:55 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 61) : Now my FL is scrood. 4 OBs in the starting XV, I can only choose 3 :cry:

  • Comment 63, posted at 13.03.14 09:08:06 by Die Kriek Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 62) : Happy

  • Comment 64, posted at 13.03.14 09:08:33 by Bump Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 40) :

    I take it, you only started watching rugby in 2005? Because Habana was the best outside centre in the 2004 CC. The only reason he was moved to wing was becuase HM was reluctant to have two centres who were both under 1.80m in his midfield…. and because Habana was the fastest player at the Bulls, while Botha was more of a playmaker, Bryan was moved to wing.

  • Comment 65, posted at 13.03.14 11:27:54 by Mpandla Reply

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