robdylan

Reinforcements arrive at just the right time


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 1 Oct 2014 at 16:10
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While the odds are definitely stacked against the Sharks, as they prepare to take on the rampant Golden Lions in Durban on Friday night, I do find it pleasing that a number of injured players are now making their way back into the selection frame, strengthening the squad nicely ahead of the upcoming knock-out phase.

Let’s look at the changes that have been made this week.

Thomas du Toit back in
It’s hard to see this as anything other than positive, given how creaky the scrum has looked in recent weeks. One gets hte feeling that the coaches always had a plan to rotate du Toit and Chadwick in the number 1 jersey, with the young man’s untimely toe injury interfering with the roster to some extent. Scrumming challenges don’t come any tougher than a match against the Lions and young Thomas will have a lot of work to do to come out of this one with his burgeoning reputation enhanced.

What’s going to happen at hooker, though?
This is a trickier one; Kyle Cooper has a knee complaint and will be given as much time as possible to recover. Should Monde Hadebe start, he will need to show a tight game hitherto unsuspected, since the Lions aren’t going to step back an inch. The Sharks hands are a little forced here, but I would be lying if I said the prospect of going into this game without Cooper didn’t worry me a bit.

Stephan Lewies at 4
We’ve become very used to seeing Big Steph in the number 5, lineout kingpin role, but he has the size and attitude to do a very good job at 4 too – and let’s face it, only a fool drops Planet Marco given the pensioner’s current form. JC Astle played a big role in the lineouts last week but was, to my mind, found a little wanting in the tighter phases of the game. Let’s hope Lewies brings a bit more up-front oomph, particularly in the key scrum battle.

The legend returns
Would I have dropped Khaya Majola for anyone other than Jacques Botes? You’re bloody joking. Pecking orders exist for a reason, though and we’re hoping for some vintage play from a vintage player, if for hte last time ever at Kings Park.

The same backs
I’ll not make my point about S’bura at 13 again this week. Paul Jordaan stepped up well against the Kings and now needs to do the same against a good side. Sithole needs to handle the context switch and deliver a class performance in the 14 jersey – doing so won’t make me clamour any less for a lasting role in midfield for him. On the whole, it’s very positive, though, to see the same backline combination for a third week running. The boys will only benefit from the continuity.

A heavy bench
We’ve got Matt Stevens back as an extra prop on the bench and given what I think is coming up front, that’s a bloody good thing too. I’m perhaps a bit concerned about a lack of variety among the backline replacements; let’s face it, between them Hoffmann and Zeilinga really only cover 2 of the 7 positions. There’s enough versatility elsewhere, though, to make me hope that the gamble pays off.



15 Comments

  • Well said Rob agree whole heartedly, I too am glad BMH has kept momentum with the same combo’s, we need a happy team and after JW’s departure as we noticed against the Bulls things seem better.

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.10.14 16:22:09 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Let’s thump them ! A good win will offset all this shit news we got during the week.

    Go Sharks !!!!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.10.14 16:44:21 by Observer Reply

    ObserverVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Observer (Comment 2) : A good win will add further icing on top of the good news we’ve had during the week.

    Go Sharks !!!!!!

    :)

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.10.14 16:53:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Observer (Comment 2) : And here I am sitting and thinking that the news has been pretty good this week. :twisted:

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.10.14 16:53:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Thinking along the same lines here.

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.10.14 16:54:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 5) : that’s not a common occurrence. Let’s celebrate while we can :)

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.10.14 16:55:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : :cool: Ill have a Windhoek on you, feel free to have a raspberry juice on me.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.10.14 16:58:06 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Great article, Rob.

    I’ll just say – GO SHARKS!

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.10.14 21:29:33 by [email protected] Reply

    DenCurrie Cup player
     
  • We do have a versatile backline, with Mvovo able to cover 15, SP and Jordaan can cover wing, Sithole can cover 13, and Lionel can cover 12 and 15. I have to make one point, after watching the match again carefully, kicking from both Wright and Cronje was excellent, always with purpose, SP had a couple kicks right back at their fullback, but was better than he has been. However, when Hoffman came on, every single kick he made was directly to someone and gave an opportunity for a counter. I am very concerned with any game time he may get, I don’t think he is our future and it was a mistake to bring him back.

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.10.14 02:14:11 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 9) : I am very concerned with any game time he (Hoffman) may get, I don’t think he is our future and it was a mistake to bring him back.”

    You say the nicest things, you sweet talker you! Couldn’t agree more….

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.10.14 08:57:43 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 9) : There is nothing I hate more than aimless box kicks that simply hands over possession. For each such box kick a scrummy should be sentenced to one kick in the nuts from Frans Steyn.

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.10.14 09:08:15 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 11) : :lol: :mrgreen: thats a good reason not to

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.10.14 11:45:25 by Chippa Reply

    ChippaVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Chippa (Comment 12) : Jinne, Fransie will kick those nuts right out the back of your head.

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.10.14 11:56:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 11) : Think Frans could put Hoffman over from 50m out? :twisted:

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.10.14 12:51:40 by Die Kriek Reply

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  • @Die Kriek (Comment 14) : Hoffman may just squeak over the crossbar, but his nuts will be a couple of blocks outside the stadium for sure.

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.10.14 12:55:49 by Bokhoring Reply
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