robdylan

Big ask for Andre


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 24 Feb 2015 at 12:44
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Further to my musings regarding rotation earlier today, it looks likely that at least one rotational change in the backline is very much on the cards for Loftus, and has been planned for some time.

Heimar Williams has started the last two games at inside centre and done a reasonable job, despite having few opportunities to show off his vision and distribution skills. Against the cheetahs, the Sharks simply didn’t compete well enough up front to allow the back front foot ball, while last week’s Lions game – while an absorbing encounter – saw the backs relegated to the role of tacklers and ruckers, rather than runners and passers.

Young Andre Esterhuizen is apparently set to take over from Williams this week and offers a completely different dynamic. While still some way off Williams’ prowess as a distributor, the 100kg+ Esterhuizen offers a completely different dynamic in midfield, as a hard-running gainline-crosser, but particularly also as an aggressive defender able to dominate in the tackle and shift the momentum at the contact point.

Given the anticipated approach from the Bulls, which will involve one-off runners hitting the line at speed and hoping to create an offload situation past the point of contact, Esterhuizen will have an important job to do as a counter. Keeping Springbok Jan Serfontein in check will be his primary responsibility and his challenge will be to read the play well enough to get his big body into the right part of the field in time to make that tackle and swing the contest in the Sharks’ favour, given that he’ll probably concede a little in the pace and agility stakes to his opposite number.

A big game coming up for Andre and a chance to show that he belongs at this level, after his previous Super Rugby appearance (in the corresponding fixture last year) raised more questions than answers.



58 Comments

  • “Big ask for Andre”….I had visions of him being tried out at flank. :twisted:

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.02.15 13:05:18 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I like the prospect of him, but yes far from the complete package. This is somewhat of an acid test for him, and I imagine he will be used as a battering ram to create high speed momentum. He does lack the vision and ball skill in comparison to Heimar, so his task will be go keep it simple and hurt the opposition.

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.02.15 13:05:42 by Richard Reply

    RichardCurrie Cup player
     
  • Man I can’t wait for this guy to get his game on, can he play outside center? Imagine him and FS together? Holy shit that’s scary :shock:

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.02.15 13:06:55 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
     
  • Looking forward to seeing him.

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.02.15 13:08:42 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @Quintin (Comment 3) : I wouldn’t pick him at 13… I don’t think he has the pace to do the position justice.

    A VERY good option at 12 though. Keen to see what he has to bring.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.02.15 13:11:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Quintin (Comment 3) : Doubt he’ll work there, lacks the speed and hasn’t yet added the necessary guile the position requires if you’re not going for the traditional speed merchant role at 13. 12 suits him best in my opinion.

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.02.15 13:14:53 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Damn , what a shame, good future option for 12 then when FS is done. Maybe he can lean a little and work on his speed, he’s still young. On the other side, I hope WM has a breakthrough season, but I’m struggling to convince myself that is going to happen.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.02.15 13:18:12 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
     
  • I think with him at 12 we will see a different Murray at 13. Murray plays his best next to a direct 12, just look at the combo he had with Barrit.

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.02.15 13:20:59 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 8) : Now I consider Heimar to be a far closer approximation of Barritt than I do Esterhuizen. Andre to me is a Frans Steyn/Trevor Halstead.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.02.15 13:51:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Barritt was actually a bit of a paradox, a direct 12 with a very good distribution skills. But he is/was a more direct player than Heimar is. Heimar reminds me of the Ettiene Botha/ Hennie Le Roux/ Thierry Lacroix silky type of 12.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.02.15 13:56:58 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 10) : ok, yes… I’ll agree with you on that. Brad was always keen to take the ball up directly himself

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.02.15 14:00:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • This wouldn’t have been the game I would start him in.The bulls will be foaming at the mouth come saturday and I just hope Andre wont be to nervous! Really hope he does well.

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.02.15 14:28:06 by tigershark Reply

    tigersharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • I think if the Sharks dominate up front the bulls won’t have the luxury of matching their midfield with ours so Esterhuizen will have an easy enough time of it. The only thing he will then have to focus on, is breaking that bulls defensive line which he is very good at except that Jan Serf is not an easy customer. Distribution would have been nice to see our backline off and keep the tries coming, but I guess the tactic this weekend is to ram down the front door. This will be physical even on the backline.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.02.15 15:17:12 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionTeam captain
     
  • I hope he has a good solid game should he play. There were times last year when he got a bit flustered and dropped everything that came his way. The Bulls backline is actually pretty decent should they ever use it so it def wont be easy

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.02.15 15:21:54 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Quintin (Comment 3) : Yipppeeee easy to defend against. Fat Fransi has zero creative spark, so him and crash ball Andre can just bash it up all day. Just play two flankers in the backline to defend against the crash test dummies! :-)

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.02.15 15:38:21 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • The difference I’ve seen is that Heimar distributes and when he does that we have opportunity to score. I would be interested to see if a big bruising center will be as effective. While I don’t agree with the polka-dot pussycat’s words entirely, I must agree that these big bruisers tend to die with the ball and limits backline movement. Last week we crossed lions tryline 7 times in the wet will we do that again? How well will Sithole fare at 12?

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.02.15 15:53:03 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionTeam captain
     
  • Will be good to see what Andre brings to the table come Sat.

    Feel for Heimar though, who hasn’t had the kind of games, where he has been able to show his skills. Last Sat against the Lions would of been a real chance with the dominance of the forwards had the weather come to the party.

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.02.15 15:54:36 by stevovo Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 15) : Mr. One Win king Tsieta still feeling awfully chipper….remind me again, which team will your “giant slayers” capitulate to this weekend? :twisted:

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.02.15 16:11:09 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • Don’t think it’s going to be an easy game for him. Serfontein is very underrated in his ability to beat defenders.

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.02.15 16:15:38 by JD Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 18) : Always feel chipper Loser. I wasn’t surprised that The Sharks lost, picked them to win on Bru. The margin was what surprised me. Dunno, its not weekend yet. You really should learn to keep a rein on your big mouth. Maybe we don’t and you end up looking sheepish again like two weeks ago :grin:

    Besides we have beaten the Blues in Bloem twice on the trot, so don’t quite know what you are on about? Waffling just to post a response?

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.02.15 16:20:51 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @JD (Comment 19) : Yup as I said Serf is a difficult customer, not easy to break his tackles or run through him. But Andre might just be the guy. Its as good a strategy as any, I just hope the ball gets moved around. I like seeing the sharks score tries again.

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.02.15 16:23:13 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionTeam captain
     
  • @JD (Comment 19) :

    I’ve actually thought quite the difference, that he’s rather over rated. Drafted into the Bok team way to young, where he hasn’t done much to date really, nothing more than being a solid defender and a solid straight runner. This in the place of a brilliant rugby brain and distributor like Robert Ebersohn. Or De Allende, more of a battering ram style 12, but still more effective at Super Rugby level to date than Jan.

    I would be very surprised if he does more than try to make meters by barging over Andre, much like 90% of SA’s inside centers would.

    And though I rate him from his Junior World Cup days, I would say his form has steadily dipped since. He misses so many opportunities by taking option 1 (see above). He hardly ever passes now and when he does, it usually doesn’t put his team mate into a better position.

    We’ve got better than him in SA. Not that I don’t believe in his his potential, just that I don’t think that potential has been realized at a higher level yet.

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.02.15 16:26:40 by Letgo Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 16) : lol :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.02.15 16:30:59 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 22) : Yes, I miss that lad (Ebersohn)

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.02.15 16:32:49 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 22) :

    My comment above sounds quite harsh. So I’d like to say, that I’m happy Jan has been given opportunity at Bok level. I don’t think Frans Steyn’s withdrawal and Jacque Fourie’s retirement helped him, although that gave him more game time, I thought it was too fast. I think his game has gone backwards since becoming a regular starter for the Boks.

    Having said that, his defense is strong and he stays on his feet in the tackle. He won’t make mistakes, he’ll make all his tackles and he’ll run straight lines that will keep defenders on their toes. The direct way he plays is also effective, because though I don’t feel like he is much of a threat in breaking the line, he usually keeps his team on the front foot with his runs.

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.02.15 16:38:22 by Letgo Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 24) :

    He was bound to leave sooner or later. Never given an opportunity to play for his country. Now that was an underrated player, if not by the public then definitely by those that matter. Why again? Did they also think he’s not big enough? We played Wynand Olivier over him :|

    What about his brother?

    What do you think about your flyhalf stocks at this stage?

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.02.15 16:40:58 by Letgo Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 18) : Oh and it wasn’t a “giant slaying” act at all! That’s two in a row over the Tjarks :evil: Pretty easy win in the end. Despite your snotty remarks, Cheetahs actually do pretty well against NZ teams. which is more than we can say about your team. Remember the ‘Landers last year lol

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.02.15 16:45:30 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @Letgo (Comment 26) : Yes, Sias had one poor season at the Cheetahs, but he is a quality player, and is doing well at the Force.

    Was pleasantly surprised at Joe’s game vs the Sharks, but still undecided. Watts, can go from brilliant to disaster in one match, and ditto Brummer.

    Do think Joe will be able to play within the Cheetahs style. He has a cool head on his shoulders, and tempers their over exuberance.

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.02.15 16:49:44 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 24) : I still remember those brothers destroying WP schools in a sopping wet Stellenbosch, in the final game of Craven week a few years back. Class all the way.

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.02.15 17:06:21 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 27) : hate to have to point this out. Our respective sides vs NZ teams for 2014

    Sharks. Won 3 lost 1. (2 if you count the semi final)
    Cheetahs. Drew 1 lost 3

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.02.15 17:13:29 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 30) : I bet it sucks when facts come back to bite you on your bum. :lol: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.02.15 17:30:07 by Ben Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 30) : Just admit it, you really enjoyed pointing that out :smile:

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.02.15 21:16:51 by MysticShark Reply
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  • I don’t mind this…

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.02.15 21:26:41 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 1) : :grin: :twisted:

  • Comment 34, posted at 24.02.15 21:27:19 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : My thoughts exactly…

  • Comment 35, posted at 24.02.15 21:28:31 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Though I am looking forward to the way this centre combo will work…

  • Comment 36, posted at 24.02.15 21:30:22 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 30) : And 2013?

  • Comment 37, posted at 24.02.15 21:41:26 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @Ben (Comment 31) : Difference is, the Cheetahs were expected to lose those last year. The Sharks weren’t supposed to lose against the Highlanders at kingspark, nor against the Cheetahs.
    Those slip ups cost the sharks a home semi!

    Now that hurts!

  • Comment 38, posted at 24.02.15 21:42:51 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @Ben (Comment 31) : Bet it sucks when you have a team that has all the players to win a championship, but then choke year after year, by losing games like those against the Highlanders and Cheetahs at home

  • Comment 39, posted at 24.02.15 22:14:03 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 39) : Bet it sucks to lure all the best youngsters year after year and watch them dissappear right after school and be to impotent to do anything about it. Then struggle year after year to avoid the wooden spoon in SR…

  • Comment 40, posted at 24.02.15 22:41:12 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • I don’t know why you guys bother.

    If you visit Cape Point there is a very appropriate sign there…

  • Comment 41, posted at 24.02.15 22:53:38 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 37) : @KingCheetah (Comment 38) : @KingCheetah (Comment 39) : You have lost the plot. No sense in continuing a childish argument.

  • Comment 42, posted at 25.02.15 02:42:37 by Ben Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 41) : ‘Baboons are dangerous and attracted by food’ ? :lol: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 43, posted at 25.02.15 02:45:30 by Ben Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 37) : 2013 = swansong ;-)

    When the bulls hang on to past glory, it at least involves winning the SR trophy….you lot still celebrate reaching the quarters :shock:

  • Comment 44, posted at 25.02.15 06:41:45 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 43) :
    Awfully close

  • Comment 45, posted at 25.02.15 07:25:49 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Oh dear…all a little unnecessary…

  • Comment 46, posted at 25.02.15 08:23:19 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 46) : You know, he has this ability to drag us down to his level, and then beat us with experience…. :twisted:

  • Comment 47, posted at 25.02.15 08:29:53 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • Is Frans Steyn only seen as an inside centre possibility? Too slow for outside centre, we have enough cover for Lambie. What about fullback? Very woried about SP.

  • Comment 48, posted at 25.02.15 09:09:28 by Bite me Reply

    Bite meVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Bite me (Comment 48) : Move Mvovo to fullback and play JPP on the wing. Odwa can also do the business at the back.

  • Comment 49, posted at 25.02.15 09:30:46 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 40) : Nah, part of life. No issues with that. As for the wooden spoon, someone has to have it, we haven’t had it that often :-)
    @Ben (Comment 42) : Not my fault you have no sense of humour. I have great times bantering with JD.
    @FireTheLooser (Comment 44) : At least they have past glory to hang onto. What have you [email protected]Big Fish (Comment 45) : Same as to ben, download a sense of humour.

  • Comment 50, posted at 25.02.15 09:47:15 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • Mooi speel asb, kinders.

  • Comment 51, posted at 25.02.15 10:06:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 50) : I’m still waiting for my dinner mate. I told you this.

  • Comment 52, posted at 25.02.15 10:10:34 by Ben Reply
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  • Reel…reel…reel

  • Comment 53, posted at 25.02.15 10:10:47 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 50) : I am yet to find a Sharks supporter celebrating our umpteenth semi-final and final exit, never mind a lowly quarter-finals exit ;-)

  • Comment 54, posted at 25.02.15 10:24:53 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 52) : Soon, a Blou Bul Steak will be served :grin:

  • Comment 55, posted at 25.02.15 11:05:04 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 55) : Now you’re talking! Let’s make it Saturday evening then? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 56, posted at 25.02.15 11:17:14 by Ben Reply
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  • @Bite me (Comment 48) : think Frans only want to play 12. Must say I’m more concerned about 13 than 15 as Mvovo and Odwa can cover 15 but only Waylon and Sithole really cover 13.

  • Comment 57, posted at 26.02.15 21:37:42 by JD Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 55) : boet I really hope so!!!!!

  • Comment 58, posted at 26.02.15 21:39:40 by JD Reply
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