robdylan

Strong rumours link Claassens to Sharks


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 20 Jan 2015 at 11:11
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Here’s another “French story” to keep us entertained during the off season – but it seems this one might have legs.

While Montpellier have rubbished yesterday’s reports linking brother Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis to the club, another movement, that of former Cheetahs scrumhalf Michael Claassens to the Sharks ahead of Super Rugby 2015, seems to be a little more likely.

Classens, currently playing for Toulon, played under Gary Gold at Bath for a number of seasons, which would make the move at least plausible. Add to that the Sharks’ dearth of experienced scrum half options and this one starts to look like more of a go-er.

We’re not confirming this move just yet, folks, but I’d rate the odds of it happening as better than even.



87 Comments

  • How old is he now? He’d be good cover if a huge injury crisis hits, but I’d rather see one of the young guys getting a shot.

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.01.15 11:13:18 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 1) : 32 boet 32 Sharks love buying old toppies!!!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.01.15 11:31:29 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 2) : Ja, the Sharks are renowned for this. :roll:

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.01.15 11:33:46 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • Scrummies age well. Claassens did very well at bath – captained the side at times. Good leader to have.

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.01.15 11:53:24 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 1) : Agreed, which much rather see some of the younger talented guys coming through getting a chance to show what they have at this level.

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.01.15 12:04:48 by stevovo Reply
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  • I cant see this happening unless there injuries and departures we dont know about. We have ample cover at 9

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.01.15 12:06:57 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I like this!

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.01.15 12:34:34 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • he certainly looks like a ‘no bullshit’ type of guy

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.01.15 12:35:18 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Like I keep telling my wife: “Just because something is on sale and you can buy it, doesn’t mean that you should.”

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.01.15 12:51:00 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 9) : and does she ever listen?

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.01.15 13:04:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : :lol: :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.01.15 13:07:30 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 11) : how you boet?

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.01.15 13:10:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good and you boet?

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.01.15 13:38:22 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.01.15 13:43:39 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • Normally won’t be a fan of this, but the level of skills at scrumhalf in this country currently is shocking.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.01.15 14:01:32 by Morné Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : I can see it happening…and I’m not sure I’m against the move! Let’s see what happens…

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.01.15 14:02:20 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I am a fan of experience, and if he can add value, then that would be good, if he is in good form, then he can fight for a spot, but more importantly he is vastly experienced and can share a thing or two. He is a consummate professional and I think he has a lot to offer.

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.01.15 14:04:20 by DarkDestroyer Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 15) : well that’s sad but 100% correct.

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.01.15 14:05:58 by JD Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 15) : So what are you doing about it?

    All the best for the year and hopefully a William Web Ellis trophy to top it off!

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.01.15 14:13:30 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 15) : @pastorshark (Comment 16) : @DarkDestroyer (Comment 17) : Let him fight for a spot in the squad but I want the young guys to train with him and absorb all of his knowledge.

    I want to see a Marco Wentzel-type situation where he is brought in to play a little bit in case of a crisis but more to impart wisdom and the tricks of the trade. Knowledge is a commodity and I’m not against the Sharks acquiring as much as possible as long as the young guys get a platform on which to diplay their new-found skills!

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.01.15 14:17:17 by ChrisS Reply
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  • What is the Sharks fixation with washed up hasbeens……is it a SA thing……our useless national coach seems to have the same conservative agenda

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.01.15 14:17:57 by Saffex Reply

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  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) :

    Same to you man!

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.01.15 14:22:59 by Morné Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 20) : Indeed. Player Development and Mentoring the young guns should take priority over game time, but knowing Claasens, he will want to fight for a spot.

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.01.15 14:31:17 by DarkDestroyer Reply

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  • Claasens is a top player and a top scrummy. I would welcome him to any team.

  • Comment 24, posted at 20.01.15 14:39:08 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 24) : Not arguing there.

  • Comment 25, posted at 20.01.15 14:40:07 by DarkDestroyer Reply

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  • The more I think about it, the more I think this is not a bad move. Looking back on what Rob wrote in a recent article about Reinach being one if the irreplaceables because of a lack of experience in the 9 depth, this move will make me sleep better at night…

  • Comment 26, posted at 20.01.15 15:04:50 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Oh, and I agree with all those above who say he should fight for a squad place, but should definitely also be used in a mentoring role…

  • Comment 27, posted at 20.01.15 15:05:51 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Wish this was Neil de Kok we were talking about here,watching him playing for Sarries the other night,could only think how badly this guy was treated by South African rugby,even now in his dotage he is far superior to most of what we have.
    That this guy was discarded for the likes of Bolla Conradie,Ricky Januarie,even Ruan Pienaar,Houghaard and Reinarch. is a travesty.
    Apart from F dupe,he is the best no9 we have produced since Joost

  • Comment 28, posted at 20.01.15 15:51:39 by The hound Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 21) :

    Yeah a washed up player that makes the starting side for the strongest side in the world… that played and won the Heienekn Cup final last year… (as a replacement to be fair).

    Agree he’s getting on, but long off being a washup hasbeen.

  • Comment 29, posted at 20.01.15 15:52:31 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • Mouritz Botha, Bothma, Jack Wilson, (maybe) Giant, Waylon Murray, perhaps (Classen), and Gary Gold and Brendan Venter. Do u think John Smit reckons this is our last good shot at winning Super Rugby for a while, with a lot of our experienced springboks leaving after this year?? Hence all the experienced players being signed

  • Comment 30, posted at 20.01.15 15:52:52 by RuckingFun Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 28) :

    Yup, 219 caps and counting for Sarries.

    Very intelligent player.

  • Comment 31, posted at 20.01.15 15:54:34 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Haha, hell no!

  • Comment 32, posted at 20.01.15 16:28:03 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 32) : this is, I think, a universal law :)

  • Comment 33, posted at 20.01.15 17:21:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’m all for adding quality and experienced depth. I hope this comes to pass, especially considering what it says about how we’re going to approach rotation during the season.

    In Gary, Brendan and John we trust!

  • Comment 34, posted at 20.01.15 17:39:43 by MerckZ Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 33) : Fancy getting a Kickstarter going where we can crowd-fund the signing and wages of Jaco Kriel? :P

  • Comment 35, posted at 20.01.15 17:40:53 by MerckZ Reply

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  • @MerckZ (Comment 35) :

    you getting rid of alberts and coetzee ? :shock:

  • Comment 36, posted at 20.01.15 18:08:57 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 36) : We need back-up for Coetzee ;) He’s currently one of the “Irreplaceables”.

  • Comment 37, posted at 20.01.15 18:20:25 by MerckZ Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 21) : well they wanted the franchises to be more like the national team!!!!!

  • Comment 38, posted at 20.01.15 18:33:14 by JD Reply
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  • @MerckZ (Comment 37) : so you need kriel to sit on the bench …

    @JD (Comment 38) : :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 39, posted at 20.01.15 18:36:35 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 39) : therein lies the reason we’ll never sign him, I fear.

  • Comment 40, posted at 20.01.15 18:39:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 29) : yes he may be a good player but he will not play for the Sharks for longer than 2 years were as the youngsters could play for the Sharks for 8 – 10 years if they don’t leave because of signings like Hoffmann and Claassens (if it’s true)!!!!

  • Comment 41, posted at 20.01.15 18:42:37 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : Good for the Lions . good for player development . maybe even good for SA rugby

  • Comment 42, posted at 20.01.15 18:46:34 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 39) : @robdylan (Comment 40) : signing Kriel would make sense if Alberts decide to move abroad after the World cup.

  • Comment 43, posted at 20.01.15 18:47:17 by JD Reply
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  • @MerckZ (Comment 34) : Yeah…agreed…

  • Comment 44, posted at 20.01.15 18:48:55 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : Too right…

  • Comment 45, posted at 20.01.15 18:50:53 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 43) : heres to hoping our new sponsorship allows us to hang onto our players

  • Comment 46, posted at 20.01.15 18:52:58 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 46) : You’ll be fine…things seem to be looking up on that side…

  • Comment 47, posted at 20.01.15 19:22:12 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 46) : hahaha ja for your sake I also hope so and anyway the Du Preez twins and some of the other youngsters would benefit from game time if players like Kriel is not signed.

  • Comment 48, posted at 20.01.15 19:29:34 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 41) : They might learn something from him

  • Comment 49, posted at 20.01.15 22:02:24 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 49) : ja they could or they could decide to leave for another team that is willing to give them a chance to play.

  • Comment 50, posted at 21.01.15 07:55:22 by JD Reply
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  • @RuckingFun (Comment 30) : By getting experience you are building your legacy, I think the Sharks want to win every Super Rugby Season – we know these guys (stars) aren’t around much longer:

    1. Beast
    2. Bismarck
    3. Jannie
    4. Willem Alberts
    5. Ryan Kankowski
    6. Frans Steyn
    7. JPP

    BUT – the depth in the squad, and the development of the next gen is looking good. I am confident in the squad going forward and our teams are only going to get stronger.

    If you don’t want to win every season, then whats the point, but with the investment in experience, its an obvious move to coach the players on a deeper level – which is good.

  • Comment 51, posted at 21.01.15 09:45:24 by DarkDestroyer Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 50) : Where they gonna go? And if they’re good enough they’ll stay. Competition for places is no bad thing.

  • Comment 52, posted at 21.01.15 09:46:10 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 50) : Rotation, rotation, rotation

    What do we do if Reinach has to be rested as part of the WC squad? Do we risk our whole campaign by playing the Hoff(man) as our most experienced scrummie?

  • Comment 53, posted at 21.01.15 10:03:02 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 48) :

    yes . Develop your own players instead of just buying everything that moves . Do you think Kriel just played well the first time he set food on the field ?

    Same point with Redelinghuis . he was not getting game time . so the lions gave him game time .. and boom .

    imagine you do that with your own players ..

  • Comment 54, posted at 21.01.15 10:18:08 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 53) : THIS!

  • Comment 55, posted at 21.01.15 10:18:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 52) : o I don’t know Japan, Europe, Lions, Kings?!?!?! Competiotion is a good thing but not if you have 6 players competing for 2 spots!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 56, posted at 21.01.15 11:10:25 by JD Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 53) : no you back one of the youngsters that played in Currie cup!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 57, posted at 21.01.15 11:12:32 by JD Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 54) : ja sometimes you need to buy players but it’s always better to develop young players.

  • Comment 58, posted at 21.01.15 11:20:40 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 57) : Take a few deep breaths….find a youtube clip of AB’s record breaking century, and calm down. ;-)

  • Comment 59, posted at 21.01.15 11:20:51 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • Certain combinations in rugby will determine whether you win more than you lose. Forget the traditional combinations, the ones I am specifically referring to are:

    * Tight 5
    * 8, 9, 10
    * 13, 11, 14, 15

    In those combo’s you need at least two players who are world class players with international experience.

    In the tight 5 you ideally want that in the tighthead prop and number 5 lock.

    In the next combo it must ideally be 8 with either 9 or 10.

    And in the outside backs you will do well if you have that with your 13 and 15.

    You get this right even when you rotate players through such a long competition like Super Rugby and you will be in the semi’s.

  • Comment 60, posted at 21.01.15 11:28:48 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 60) :

    last year says a lot about the quality of the cheetahs boks …

  • Comment 61, posted at 21.01.15 12:57:38 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I don’t follow…

  • Comment 62, posted at 21.01.15 13:16:56 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 62) : With the amount of springboks the cheetahs have compared to the lions , one would have expected them to perform much better .

    but that might just be me .

  • Comment 63, posted at 21.01.15 13:55:52 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 63) :

    Cheetahs lack:

    Experienced 5 lock, 8th man, 9, 10, 13 imo.

  • Comment 64, posted at 21.01.15 14:05:48 by Morné Reply
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  • Oh and a decent defence!

  • Comment 65, posted at 21.01.15 14:06:09 by Morné Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 56) :

    Let em go. None of em are really up to SuperRugby quality anyway if truth be told.

    Any player worth his salt would stay and fight it out for a place, knowing they could learn and it would only be a couple of years anyway.

  • Comment 66, posted at 21.01.15 14:17:10 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 59) : I am calm boet what will happen will happen regardless of how I feel. :lol:

  • Comment 67, posted at 21.01.15 15:26:45 by JD Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 66) : lekker livving in your dream world? :twisted: boet if he is signed there is nothing we can do but to say the youngters are not up to Super Rugby level really????????? dream on boet dream on!!!!!!

  • Comment 68, posted at 21.01.15 15:41:36 by JD Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 60) : Very sensible. I agree. I think the Sharks are trying to position themselves so that they can meet the experience criteria you mention and rotate regularly…and give some youngsters some opportunities…

  • Comment 69, posted at 21.01.15 16:10:42 by pastorshark Reply
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  • For people saying he is old consider Fourie Du P is also 32 and Neil de Kock is 36! Still playing a good game. That being said we should remember they are only for the short term while our talented youngsters mature. BUT should we not be focusing on 15 rather than SH and Wing and Locks when it comes to whipping out the checkbook I fear we are missing the positions where we have a critical lack!

  • Comment 70, posted at 21.01.15 16:40:03 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 68) :

    I think youre getting a little bit over-excited champ.

  • Comment 71, posted at 21.01.15 19:02:12 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 70) :

    Exactly dude. And both de Kock and Claassen played in the HC final last year.
    And what do the sharks have – Charl McLeod? lol.
    Reinach looks like he could be the business, but then he’s not going to play 80 minutes every game in a season.
    Ungerer?

    Its worth noting McLeod is 31 himself, so this age business is nonsense.
    I’d much rather have Claassen at 32, than McLeod at 31.

  • Comment 72, posted at 21.01.15 19:05:16 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 68) :

    Who exactly are you so worried about?
    I guess Reinach is first choice, so it must be McLeod or Ungerer youre worried about losing?
    Or is it Cameron White? None of them have exactly set the world on fire.

    I will repeat – McLeod, who has perenially disappointed, is the same age as Claassen, who has won the HC and was a rock for Bath over the years.

  • Comment 73, posted at 21.01.15 19:07:04 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 73) : Dude, McLeod is playing in France. Grenoble I think.

  • Comment 74, posted at 21.01.15 19:14:39 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 73) : McLeod was inconsistent but he always had his best games during finals.

  • Comment 75, posted at 21.01.15 19:15:45 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 73) : like pokkel said Mcloed is gone so not worried about losing him so that would leave me with Stefan Ungerer and Hanco Venter who both player for junior Bokke in 2013 and Cameron Wright who is still 20.
    Three extremely talented youngsters who could serve the Sharks well for at least 8-10 years.
    Don’t worry boet I’m chilled as the Sharks powers that be will decide what to do and who to sign a d no matter what I say or do nothing will change that.

  • Comment 76, posted at 21.01.15 21:43:26 by JD Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 73) : Next time you borrow Saffex’s DVDs ask him (or his mom) to put the dates on them – you must have been watching 2013′s Currie Cup all of last year. Try get the 2014 series, as a WP supporter you will enjoy the final a bit more. :mrgreen: ;-)

  • Comment 77, posted at 22.01.15 09:51:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 72) : I agree with you…I think this could be a very good and sensible buy…

  • Comment 78, posted at 22.01.15 11:27:59 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 70) : I think we did Need more depth and experience in the positions where we have signed Players…so I’m pretty happy with most of the signings. I do agree with you though, that we could do with one more signing at FB…

  • Comment 79, posted at 22.01.15 11:30:34 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 29) : Its a poor investment, investing in any 30+ year old….makes no sense to me.

    Its one thing having an experienced player on board who has been with the side for years like Botes, but recruiting a 30+ year old is just stupid……Wentzel, Botha, Stevens and Claasens are all poor acquisitions in my books

  • Comment 80, posted at 22.01.15 12:16:01 by Saffex Reply

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  • @Saffex (Comment 80) : I agree wrt Stevens and mouritz, but don’t think claassens is the same situation. Firstly scrummies have a longer longevity than forwards and secondly claassens is just a better player than the two mentioned. And he’s known to have a great work ethic, which should hopefully run off on the youngsters.

    I’m also unsure of where this investment comment comes from, given other clubs are the ones that have trained him over the years.

    Until the arrival of reinach, scrummie was a revolving door at the sharks. At least this gives continuity and hopefully guidance to the youngsters comingn through.

    Scrummie is a position that you learn to play and there are a lot of tricks of the trade that a 20 year old just won’t have in his toolbox.

  • Comment 81, posted at 22.01.15 13:18:13 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Saffex (Comment 80) : Just to add to that – would you rather have the young scrummies rudderless or have a n experienced head from of the top scrummoes plying his trade currently?

  • Comment 82, posted at 22.01.15 13:19:40 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • Talking ‘investing’…

    You invest to get a return right?

    What is your return you are hoping to get? A good show? Pat on the back? Or winning the competition which in turn makes fans, sponsors, investors happy and puts you in a better position commercially than the guy who plays pretty or develops but ends 7th on the log?

  • Comment 83, posted at 22.01.15 14:38:25 by Morné Reply
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  • Kriel signed with the Lions until end 2016 . (so 2 years)

  • Comment 84, posted at 23.01.15 07:23:12 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 84) : glad to hear.

  • Comment 85, posted at 23.01.15 08:30:38 by JD Reply
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  • I have just read on Toulons website that he has been released to join the sharks so looks like we have a new scrum half. I like the way he plays and could bring a lot of experience to our squad. Yes age is not on his side but talent never really fades

  • Comment 86, posted at 25.01.15 20:08:57 by garethkorb Reply

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  • @garethkorb (Comment 86) : I agree…good news!

  • Comment 87, posted at 25.01.15 22:23:45 by pastorshark Reply
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