robdylan

Bothma signing adds huge value to Sharks


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 Nov 2014 at 12:06
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In adding another ball-carrying loose forward in Renaldo Bothma, the Sharks appear to have solved the vast majority of their forward concerns ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

When we looked at the players available a while back, our conclusion was that while the front row stocks looked more than sufficient, there was a somewhat “green” look to some of the options further back in the pack. In particular, it was the loss of bruisers like Jean Deysel and Anton Bresler that caused the biggest concern. The youth system has offered up decent replacements in a lot of cases, but it’s perhaps a little naive to expect that any player, at 21 or 22, would be ready to step straight into that physical “wrecking ball” role at Super Rugby level.

What Bothma’s addition does is alleviate that concern; he provides a proper foil to the injury-prone Willem Alberts while decreasing the pressure on a young player like Johan Meyer to need to be a Super Rugby starter in his first season out of the juniors. Likewise, the incredibly talented but very young du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Daniel, can now be introduced to senior rugby in a more measure way, rather than the deep-end plunge that may have been necessary without Bothma in the picture.

Perhaps more significant still, though, is the knock-on effect on the second row. Etienne Oosthuizen, who despite some decent performances at flank in the Currie Cup is really a 4-lock by trade, can now be freed up to concentrate on his best position and challenge for a starting spot in that jersey. With the former Brumby needing to do a job as back row cover as well, the Sharks would have been very thin in terms of options at 4. That problem now looks to be solved – or mostly solved.

There remains the slightly thorny issue of Pieter-Steph du Toit, who was in the process of turning into a 5-lock at the time of his horror injury. It’s in that lineout-general role that he’s (allegedly) most needed by Heyneke Meyer, but from a Sharks perspective, it would be far better if he concentrated on the other lock position. In Stephan Lewies and Marco Wentzel the Sharks are well covered at 5 – and a combination of du Toit and Lewies as starters makes the mouth water, since both are aggressive physical players who all the same have the athleticism and ball skills to succeed in the number 5 role as well.

With du Toit and Oosthuizen alternating at 4, the Sharks have two good options in either second row position, allowing Wiehan Hay and JC Astle to develop further at Vodacom Cup level. Should du Toit be used as a five, though, there’s suddenly a proper log jam on the left hand side of the scrum and a rather worrying void on the right.

In summary, I’m not really expecting any further forward signings ahead of Super Rugby, but if there is to be one, it would simply have to be an established 4-lock. With few options on the market, I find myself drawn to either of Steven Sykes or Pumas man Giant Mtayanda. Either would add some comfort, but neither, I would say, is a must-have at this stage.



44 Comments

  • Rob, has the du Preez twins’ father allowed them to be selected for Super Rugby next year should the coaches want to use them? A while ago you mentioned he requested that the coaches not consider them for this year’s Currie Cup (great parenting in my opinion).

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.11.14 12:11:57 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Hey Rob, what do our stocks in the no.6 Jersey look like (excepting Marcel Coetzee)?

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.11.14 12:14:05 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : I believe that the twins will be called up to train with the Super Rugby squad. I don’t know what their dad’s perspective would be on them playing Super Rugby next year, but I’d expect that they’d certainly both play Vodacom Cup at least.

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.11.14 12:19:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • I personally feel that Lewies and du Toit are very similar players. I think if du Toit was to be used as a 5, Lewies could play 4, and vice versa. Also, let’s be frank, how long is Wentzel going to be around? 1 more season? Don’t get me wrong, the longer, the better!

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.11.14 12:20:57 by David12246 Reply

    ApolloCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Culling Song (Comment 2) : well, Superman is a hard act to follow, but behind him we have Francois Kleinhans and Khaya Majola

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.11.14 12:21:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @David12246 (Comment 4) : to my mind, du Toit is a FAR more physical player than Lewies.

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.11.14 12:35:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • Ja okay… Maybe its just me… I never even noticed this guy much for the Pumas.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.11.14 12:37:45 by Morné Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Your opinion on those two’s readiness to step up to Super Rugby level?

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.11.14 12:41:00 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Rob, wasn’t there talks a few weeks back about Nizaam Carr joining us? Or was it just rubbish rumours floating around? Have to be honest, would not mind seeing him in the back and white jersey..

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.11.14 12:41:17 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I think you could add our CC captain,he did pretty well last [email protected]Morné (Comment 7) : Not Argentina Morne the Pumas in CC :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.11.14 12:41:28 by Chippa Reply

    ChippaVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Chippa (Comment 10) :

    Dammit!

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.11.14 12:42:34 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 7) : @Morné (Comment 11) : Not sure if you’re joking or not but Bothma made an impression on me and I watched very little CC rugby this year.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.11.14 12:50:49 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Du Toit should stay at 5. Lewies to move to 4. Du Toit reminds me of Mark Andrews.

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.11.14 12:51:24 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : @Culling Song (Comment 2) : I wouldn’t mind Marnus Schoeman as cover for Superman.

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.11.14 12:52:12 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Huge huge value for us. Our solution to the likes of Kriel, Carr and company.

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.11.14 12:53:11 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @Pokkel (Comment 14) : Oh yes! That guy is a monster at the breakdown.

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.11.14 12:56:23 by Another Nick Reply

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  • MArnus Schoeman… I hope you guys are joking.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.11.14 13:13:09 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 17) : If you could give all that energy some direction he could be awesome!

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.11.14 13:18:19 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) :
    Therein lies the problem though. That and the penalty count. CC material IMO.

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.11.14 13:23:01 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Spot on Rob but I prefer EO and SL at 4 and 5,they deadly,key in sorting the Crusaders at home,that is one hell of a feat

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.11.14 13:37:25 by benji Reply
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  • In Lewies and Steph we have two players that are more hybrid locks than your traditional 4 and 5 lock, they both can do the job of both the traditional roles no matter what number jersey they wear

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.11.14 13:52:38 by KingRiaan Reply

    KingRiaanTeam captain
     
  • My picks PSDT-4, Lewies-5, Coetzee-6, Bothma/Alberts-7, Mthembu- 8. Bench : Oosthiuzen, Kankowski/Majola

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.11.14 14:04:41 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 21) : I must admit im very tiresome of people always wanting a 4 lock to be like this and a 5 lock to be like that. Both locks in the modern game must be abrasive and be able to jump in the lineout

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.11.14 14:07:05 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 23) : And my counter to that is that the sharks have always battled when they haven’t had the necessary aggression at 4. There are different roles for a good reason.

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.11.14 14:41:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : Why cant a lock be both? or if we insistent on a bulky 4 then why not just 3 props to start? Hybrid locks are the way forward in the modern game just like all loose forwards must be able to carry and compete at the breakdown.

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.11.14 14:49:41 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 25) : now I know you’re just being obtuse…. :)

    how many props do you know who can take lineout ball at 2?

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.11.14 19:14:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • Please do yourselves a favour and watch the 2013 CC final. PSDT was a machine! Why now would you want such a player which has that level of skill, is a pure athlete, has the pace and the brain to play a tight game where he needs to clear rucks all day. Come on. That boy is 5 that can also excel at 7 and 8.

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.11.14 19:22:45 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 27) : ok, fine, so who’s our 4 then?

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.11.14 20:00:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • First up: I just like this signing! Bothma does add value big time…

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.11.14 21:48:55 by pastorshark Reply
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  • In my opinion the major reason for our scrum woes in the Currie Cup was the second row and not the front row. Given that, I am not convinced that Lewies is right for the 4 jumper. In a 2015 Super Rugby season where I hope to see more rotation, I would live to see the following in that order:
    - 4: Oosthuizen, 5: PSdT, 18: Lewies
    - 4: PSdT, 5: Lewies, 18: Oosthuizen
    - 4: Oosthuizen, 5: Lewies, 18: PSdT
    Those combinations should serve us well!

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.11.14 21:56:30 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 30) : In Super Rugby with a whole front row on the bench, that should probably be 19′s for the bench lock..,

  • Comment 31, posted at 13.11.14 07:18:16 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Oosterhuizen is the most natural fit. Lewis played a few games at 4 for us during the CC and I liked what I saw. He has a very high learning ability and would convert him into 4 if I was Gary.

  • Comment 32, posted at 13.11.14 07:37:28 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : I reckon Chadwick could get up at 2 and probably Beast too. Not that id ever play them there. I just think locks need to offer more than just a lineout or just a bulk option. If we look at the young locks coming through internationally they are all hybrids

  • Comment 33, posted at 13.11.14 08:04:49 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @pastorshark (Comment 30) : Scrumming is an 8man job so cant assign blame really- unless props hinge or drop their binds in which case it is them. But Props need to bind correctly and straight, the locks need to throw them into the contact and keep them tight. The loosies cant be spectators and need to give a solid shoulder to keep the props in tight. The 8th man needs to give the impetus from the back and also help keep the locks low and tight. Every guy has to do his job for a scrum to function optimally. Any guy slacking will be found out by a good pack. The Lions CC pack was so dominant because every man did his job

  • Comment 34, posted at 13.11.14 08:09:42 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 34) : Thanks for the scrumming lesson…and I agree with you. That is why I think, without just playing any sort of blame game, it is a valid observation that we had a problem in the second row regarding scrummaging. From my observations, Lewies at this stage still has some bulk and technical issues in the scrum at 4…I don’t think he does that job properly there and that weak spot was showed up by scrums who did do the job properly…

  • Comment 35, posted at 13.11.14 11:09:30 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 35) : I really dont think its a size issue but more a technique issue as with most young locks/flanks really. Having Oosthuizen play 7 which he was new at also prob didnt help and Oosthuizen’s bind etc probably isnt as effective as say Willem Alberts.

  • Comment 36, posted at 13.11.14 11:25:02 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Excited about Bothma. Any more signings John?

  • Comment 37, posted at 13.11.14 12:14:06 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 36) : Fair enough…and I certainly agree on the technique issue…that was really my point…

  • Comment 38, posted at 13.11.14 13:08:15 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 38) : The problem starts in school and age group levels where coaches etc allow size to compensate for technique. Unfortunately at the top level everyone is the same size pretty much so technique sets the best apart

  • Comment 39, posted at 13.11.14 13:10:01 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @pastorshark (Comment 30) : I could not agree more and leave he three to play the two positions and not move them all over the freaken place

  • Comment 40, posted at 13.11.14 18:00:04 by benji Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 35) : here I disagree with you,the front three were to small ,to light and to slow,although not that lazy anymore

  • Comment 41, posted at 13.11.14 18:02:51 by benji Reply
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  • Pumas players aren’t that bad… Look at how Jacques Botes turned out ;-)

  • Comment 42, posted at 13.11.14 20:37:33 by Argex Reply

    ArgexUnder 21 player
     
  • Jaque Fourie to the Sharks? According to Beeld (where only the truth is published :) ) the Sharks seem to be the front runners to sign him for Super rugby

  • Comment 43, posted at 14.11.14 04:39:25 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Baylion (Comment 43) : I saw that…interesting… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 44, posted at 14.11.14 06:24:11 by pastorshark Reply
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