robdylan

Keeping it steady


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 25 Sep 2014 at 13:57
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

There’s really not all that much to debate from a selection point of view this week, since the Sharks opted to make hardly any changes for the match against the Kings.

Let’s look at a few aspects all the same.

The tight five
I wasn’t impressed with the first-half display from the tights at Loftus, although they recovered well enough in the second period. I felt that Chadwick and Astle, in particular, went missing in a big way during a half when only the Bulls’ own inability to score kept them out – so rampant were they otherwise. The Sharks are a little short of options at the moment, though, what with Thomas du Toit and Wiehan Hay both still injured. Astle needs to prove this week that he’s able to step up his intensity and physicality in order to really do that number 4 jersey justice. As for the rest (Chadwick included), there’s a big turnaround needed at scrum time, but I’m happy that tight five has been kept intact.

Khaya Majola
He’s the only new man in the picture this week and with absolutely zero disrespect intended, we know that he’s been selected because Botes’s injury has forced the coaches’ hands. As the next man in line, I’m comfortable that he’ll step up and do a good job; who knows, we might even discover a rising star in the process. Botes (and Odwa Ndugane) really do comprise the experienced spine of the team, though, and with both gone, we’re short of nearly 250 caps’ worth of experience. Those are some big boots to fill for Khaya, but he’s got age group pedigree, at least, to fall back on. I’m pleased that the Sharks have opted to replace like for like, rather than attempting a reshuffle that would have brought Johan Meyer in at the expense of loose trio balance.

Outside centre
Let’s cut right to the chase; I’m happy enough that the backline has been retained en masse from last week, but I remain concerned about Paul Jordaan at outside centre. That might seem an odd thing to say, given that he started the year as first choice in that position at Super Rugby level and even cracked a Bok squad invite, but his performance at Loftus we poor in comparison to his teammates’ and to my mind doesn’t add real threat on attack, due to his tendency to run strange lines (and not pass). It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Sithole at 13 and while I do applaud the continuity, I’d have been very tempted to bring the former Queenian into center, while letting Jordaan play an impact role off the bench. I understand why the coaches have left well enough alone, though and I’m sure Jordaan will do better this week.

The bench
There’s not a lot of change. Conrad Hoffmann is fit again and it makes sense for him to replace Hanco Venter; Stefan Ungerer will be out of action again for some weeks with concussion and the under 21 side will need Venter. Hoffmann only missed out last week due to a late injury and deserves another opportunity to build on his very good match against the Cheetahs. Having Stephan Lewies there adds hugely to my confidence level too; Johan Meyer is not a lock and even though the plan would always be to use him at flank rather (with Oosthuizen moving in) you cannot overstate the value of having a genuine lock on the bench.



17 Comments

  • So areas id like to highlight before the game and perhaps rob can address them in his ratings: 1. The scrums and lineouts. 2. Handling errors. 3. Penalties for offside 4. Number of kicks in opposition half…

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.09.14 14:19:44 by SheldonK Reply
    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • I’m just glad the Lionel/Andre combination can continue. I think that combo has brought some much needed balance to a team that really looked clueless for most parts during this CC. Esterhuizen still needs some work, especially on attack, but as much could be expected of a youngster playing only his 3rd start of senior rugby. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.

    Lionel has just brought a maturity and direction to the backline that, this year, Zeilinga couldn’t manage. Though I still really rate Zeilinga and would like to see him back before the end of this CC, it’s good to know we have some solid options behind Pat Lambie for next years SR.

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.09.14 15:04:48 by Letgo Reply
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  • Does Astle have the necessary bulk for no 4 lock? He is pretty good in the lineouts though – perhaps he is more of a 5.

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.09.14 16:54:27 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 3) : not convinced he does.

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.09.14 16:58:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Boop. Test.

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.09.14 18:31:03 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 5) : test successful boop boop :)

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.09.14 18:33:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Now. What does this do?

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.09.14 18:36:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Running brilliantly on my z2

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.09.14 18:44:02 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 8) : good phone! is it on KitKat?

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.09.14 18:46:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Yep, 4.4.2

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.09.14 18:52:19 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Really like the picture click to comment thing, and the smoothness should make it easy during games to reply

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.09.14 18:53:26 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 11) : Like that too

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.09.14 20:08:25 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 12) : Thanks

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.09.14 20:14:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : all this talk qbout food is making me hungry time for me to run on some Milky Bar.

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.09.14 08:58:47 by JD Reply
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  • It feels like we are very light on no 4 locks. Lewies, Wentzel and Astle are all no. 5s. I think Heyneke wants PSDT to play 5. Who else is there?

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.09.14 09:25:20 by MikeSebMatt Reply

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  • @MikeSebMatt (Comment 15) : Oosthuizen and Alberts?!?!

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.09.14 09:57:24 by JD Reply
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  • I feel like the Sharks are definitely going to look at Pieter-Steph back at 4. Also, this Hay kid has some potential. He has the size, at least.

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.09.14 10:19:28 by robdylan Reply
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