robdylan

Currie Cup: the broad strokes


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 18 Jun 2015 at 12:10
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It seems premature to be talking Currie Cup, since we don’t even have a confirmed coaching lineup for that competition yet, but already some areas of concern are emerging, as uncertainty about players’ futures in Durban dominate the headlines. I thought it might make sense to do a preliminary analysis of who is likely to be in the mix from a playing perspective, even though we know things could yet change.

Prop
Out go Jannie du Plessis and Matt Stevens (we think), while it’s safe to assume that Beast Mtawarira isn’t going to feature in Currie Cup this year. That leaves the established back ups of Dale Chadwick and Lourens Adriaanse to bear the brunt, with Thomas du Toit (in whatever capacity) as the third choice. It doesn’t take a genius to spot that there’s a clear depth issue here. Marne Coetzee would be next in line as tighthead option, while Barend Potgieter is a promising loosehead form the under 21 ranks that could also feature in a pinch. We know that the Sharks have looked at a number of props from elsewhere on a trial basis, but as yet, no confirmed signing has been made. This is a very definite area of concern.

Hooker
In the number 2 jersey, the team appears well served. Bismarck du Plessis is, of course, irreplaceable but in Kyle Cooper, Monde Hadebe and Franco Marais, the Sharks have three former Junior Springbok hookers on their books, all of whom will look to use this Currie Cup season to underline their credentials for Super Rugby next year. Chris de Beer is the man in the under 21 ranks who will look to add pressure from below.

Lock
In this case, injury has again struck the Sharks and done so cruelly. With Pieter-Steph du Toit and Stephan Lewies both back on the long-term casualty list (and Giant Mtayanda heading back to the Pumas for Currie Cup) the second row stocks again look alarmingly thin. Marco Wentzel will again prove a critical player at 5, with JC Astle or even young Hyron Andrews deputising in the lineout role, while Etienne Oosthuizen (barring any emergencies at 7) and Mouritz Botha will cover the number 4 spot. With few locks of any proven quality in the under 21 ranks (bar Andrews) the Sharks again look to be in a real second row pickle with an eye on Super Rugby 2016.

Loose forward
Willem Alberts is gone, while Ryan Kankowski and Renaldo Bothma won’t be available for Currie Cup. Assuming Marcell Coetzee’s Bok commitments and Tera Mtembu’s injury keep both out of the Currie Cup frame then there’s a fair bit of an experience gap created, with Jean Deysel set to play a key role. Khaya Majola and Francois Kleinhans will cover open side, with new man Philip van der Walt joining the du Preez brothers as foils for Deysel across the blindside and number 8 positions. It’s a decent enough group at Currie Cup level, but probably underlines why it’s so critical to retain Coetzee moving forward.

Scrumhalf
The larder appears well-stocked, with Stephan Ungerer, Conrad Hoffmann, Michael Claassens and Hanco Venter all available for Currie Cup. Cobus Reinach is expected to be with the Bok World Cup squad.

Flyhalf
Pat Lambie isn’t expected to play due to Bok commitments, while Fred Zeilinga has left to join the Cheetahs. Lionel Cronje stepped up in a very timely fashion and must be the man with the inside track for Currie Cup, while the acquisition of Joe Pietersen and (hopefully) the emergence of Inny-Christian Radebe will ensure quality depth. Garth April is another man who will come into the frame, but may also be used at fullback. Flyhalf actually looks pretty good for the Sharks, for the time being at least.

Centre
Frans Steyn and JP Pietersen are the only losses in midfield, leaving the Sharks rather well stocked. Andre Esterhuizen, Heimar Williams, Paul Jordaan and Waylon Murray are the obvious names, while it’s really to be hoped that S’bura Sithole might be used as a 13 option in Currie Cup. A number of youngsters, including Tyler Fisher, Neil Maritz and Marius Louw will look to add depth, with Louw the one most likely to make a big impact at this level if afforded the opportunity.

Outside back
Lwazi Mvovo is the only man in with a shot at Bok selection, meaning a relatively large and mostly settled group for the Sharks to pick from. Odwa Ndungane will still be there, with SP Marais, Sithole, Jack Wilson, Tonderai Chavhanga, Sizo Maseko and possibly Wandile Mjekevu (if he has signed) all in the mix. April and Pietersen are both capable fullback options, while young Alcino Izaacs will also look to make the step up.

All in all, it doesn’t look too bad for the Sharks, although prop and lock are areas of real concern.



69 Comments

  • Great summary. It sucks that we have the prop and lock problem. It was only a few years ago when we had tonnes of guys that could step in. Quality props are hard to find, so it’s a buyers market unfortunately.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.06.15 12:16:12 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • Looks a pretty weak squad to me, relying on a number of juniors. Hyron Andrews at lock, jeez man he is tiny. He will get slaughtered there. It’s going to be a very very long season it seems for the Sharks :-(

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.06.15 12:20:05 by Alan Morrissey Reply

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  • I thought Venter’s future at the Sharks was uncertain or did I misunderstand the Leopards article?

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.06.15 12:20:33 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : well, I don’t know if he’s coming back, so until I know he’s not, I won’t write him out of the squad. See what I mean?

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.06.15 12:21:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • Our poor Super Rugby season might help the Currie Cup season with a decrease in Bok call ups. In my mind there are only three guaranteed Bok call ups, Marcel, Beast and Pat.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.06.15 12:33:44 by Seth101 Reply
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  • Bin Jovi….. Keep The Faith

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.06.15 12:37:23 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

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  • Bon

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.06.15 12:38:05 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

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  • @Seth101 (Comment 5) : but wait .. the Lions wont have ANY bok call ups !! bring on the CC :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.06.15 12:41:41 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Crouch, touch, pause…look away and pray that all survive. Wait 2 minutes and watch from which position the penalty is going to be awarded. Nah, it wont be as bad as this scenario.

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.06.15 12:47:40 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I would have preferred if you said that Pieter-Steph will be away on bokduty at the world cup, rather than injury list. :cry:

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.06.15 12:50:23 by bokbok Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Understood

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.06.15 12:54:11 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @bokbok (Comment 10) : So he could carry tackle bags for Victor?

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.06.15 12:54:25 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 8) : I’ll bet my monies it will be pretty close between Shark and Lion call ups.

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.06.15 12:55:27 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 13) : wait .. when does the dupbs stop counting as sharks ?

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.06.15 12:58:04 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 14) : When they left….Put it this way, if they were not picked for the Boks they wouldn’t be Playing Currie Cup would they?

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.06.15 13:03:47 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 15) : that makes it a bit more close . But Lions will maybe have 1 call up . Whitley . Would be surprised and astonished but anything more than that

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.06.15 13:07:17 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 16) : Think Kriel and Jantjies will make the cut. And Redelinghuis.

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.06.15 13:10:57 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 16) : Not Kriel? Or one of your props?

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.06.15 13:13:09 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Dragnipur (Comment 17) : Kriel not in the Training squad . to Small according to HM

    Jantjies wont make it as we have pollard , lambie , Morne steyn .

    Stormers props should go ahead of Redelinghuis .

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.06.15 13:13:37 by Zibbie Reply
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  • 1 2 3 is a real problem for the Sharks!!!!!!!! Need to really get some quality signatures to replace the Dup brothers!!!!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.06.15 13:14:38 by JD Reply
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  • eThekwini Muni [email protected] 20m
    “DepMayor Nomvuzo Shabalala believes partnership with @TheSharksZA is a noteworthy achievement to market our City. ”

    I just threw up a little.

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.06.15 13:16:35 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 19) : I think you might be surprised. If HM keeps to his word and picks completely on form then the Lions will have a few.

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.06.15 13:17:33 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 22) : i hope so but im not holding my breath . The last 4 years i have heard every excuse why the Lions players dont get picked .

    Best would be to focus on the CC and pray for a new open minded bok coach (that would exclude Dawie Theron )

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.06.15 13:21:31 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 23) : Personally while I see call ups as nice for the players I support the Sharks waaay more than the Boks.

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.06.15 13:24:06 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 24) : Same with me for the Lions . But what bok call ups do help with is giving exposure to the up and coming players .

    Lets for example say Whitley does not get a bok call up . He will start most Lions games , so the Lions wont give exposure to a back up 8th man . Now heaven forbids , whitley gets injured first game next years super rugby . what now ?

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.06.15 13:29:47 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 25) : In the Lions case the back up would probably turn out to be some huge surprise super star :mrgreen: But yea I see your point.

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.06.15 13:37:36 by Seth101 Reply
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  • Great summary, Rob. Prop and lock the problem areas…

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.06.15 13:39:50 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 12) : So what do you think the player prefers? Carrying bags or sitting at home with another long term injury?

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.06.15 13:40:08 by bokbok Reply

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  • @bokbok (Comment 28) : I by no means want him to be injured. Was just making a humorous point.

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.06.15 13:42:25 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 26) : haha . lets wait to see . We need whitley to get picked . and pierre spies en Burger can both play 8th man .

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.06.15 13:43:31 by Zibbie Reply
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  • What is the situation with PSDT little brother,from all I have heard he is an amazing prospect,but he has been kept way under the radar.He is the same age or slightly older than the du Preez twins,surely its time he came out of the shadow of his brother.

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.06.15 13:48:45 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : he seems to have the goods. Plenty of ticker and a massive workrate like his older brother. Doesn’t have the size, though, which means he’s doubtful as a senior prospect at lock

    My feeling is he’s going to have a blinder of an under 21 season at flank.

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.06.15 14:10:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : How are his knees,and isn’t Dan duper more of a lock than a flank.

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.06.15 14:12:43 by The hound Reply
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  • @bokbok (Comment 28) : @Seth101 (Comment 29) : Surely if PSdT is fit he will play ahead of Victor?

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.06.15 14:12:59 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : I hope so…

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.06.15 14:14:33 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I have also seen Anton Bressler around town where is he playing,for me that guy was always underrated we could use him as well as Stephen Sykes who hasn’t resigned with the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.06.15 14:15:33 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 36) : I would welcome them both back with open arms. I think Sykes will probably be heading back to the Eastern Cape though.

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.06.15 14:28:59 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : Is it possible to bring out a list of the club players and fringe players from other unions that are having trials with the Sharks.

    I think that that is how we got Jean Deysel back in the day from the Lions. I’m wondering if Jurgen Visser might be on that list as he is now out of contract with the Bulls.

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.06.15 15:36:29 by ChrisS Reply
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  • Our second string is a bit watered down and when we have to call on reserves we will have even more issues. But as last year’s cc proved getting continuity back will be our greatest challenge I expect that to come only in game 4 unless we start preseason very early.

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.06.15 06:05:48 by coolfusion Reply

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  • Pre-series rather.

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.06.15 06:06:26 by coolfusion Reply

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  • I see John Kirwin has stepped down from the Blues. Don’t tell me he and John Smit are friends as well.

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.06.15 07:56:15 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 41) : Well Kirwin had a worse season than Gold, so hoping we stay well away!

  • Comment 42, posted at 19.06.15 09:35:00 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 39) : I think one of the sharks problems in recent years is a lack of game time for the CC team prior to start of the tournament. They just lump together the fringe super rugby guys and say good luck it seems. We need serious scrum and lineout practice etc. This isnt super rugby where we will be constantly tested out wide- we play SA teams that keep it tight etc. so we need to have our forwards operating or teams like the Pumas, Griquas etc will cause us problems

  • Comment 43, posted at 19.06.15 09:52:23 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Is there any information on the Bok names that will be withdrawn from CC duty? Or will all be available until they are called into action

  • Comment 44, posted at 19.06.15 10:54:21 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I too have in the past had a low regard for the CC. But it seems the CC is a reflection of how your team will fare in the next Sr. Last year many people downplayed it as an antiquated no importance local derby I think it still has massive importance for local based players and we should be making our acquisitions now so we can really represent in this year’s cc.

  • Comment 45, posted at 19.06.15 12:54:13 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 45) : its the same old saying: winning is a habit…but so is losing

  • Comment 46, posted at 19.06.15 12:59:24 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JarsonX (Comment 41) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 47, posted at 19.06.15 13:43:25 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 38) : No thanks re: Visser… :lol:

  • Comment 48, posted at 19.06.15 13:45:25 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Lots of coaches unemployed after Sr 2015 maybe we should wait we can pick up 3 for the price of 1

  • Comment 49, posted at 19.06.15 17:15:55 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 49) : But which of them would we actually want to take?!

  • Comment 50, posted at 19.06.15 17:56:04 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 50) : Nah just kidding we need quality not quantity. Is came se still affiliated? I think there should be a backline coach position for him I see he has a level 2

  • Comment 51, posted at 19.06.15 18:41:21 by coolfusion Reply

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  • Problem is all these coaches freshly on the market teams did worse than us without the excuse of upheaval new management attrition. ..so they must just genuinely suck in the best of conditions.

  • Comment 52, posted at 19.06.15 18:47:10 by coolfusion Reply

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  • Guys, in fact Rob, heard a crazy rumour, crazy! Is Grant Bashford our new head coach?

  • Comment 53, posted at 19.06.15 19:15:19 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 53) : if he is, I haven’t heard it.

  • Comment 54, posted at 19.06.15 19:16:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 53) : @robdylan (Comment 54) : Wow…ok…

  • Comment 55, posted at 19.06.15 22:56:54 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I think we’d do well to get ourselves a New Zealand coach… I reckon we have the players to play an exciting brand of rugby with the right coaching

  • Comment 56, posted at 20.06.15 09:27:14 by CS Reply

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  • Isn’t bashford at schools level?

  • Comment 57, posted at 20.06.15 09:27:26 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @CS (Comment 56) : And it would give us an edge on teams who are still stuck in the previous Era brand if rugby. Let’s watch if the exciting expansive game is still gold and Smit ‘ s strategy.

  • Comment 58, posted at 20.06.15 09:29:09 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @CS (Comment 56) : Agree on the NZ coaches except that I think they should be brought in at primary school level – if we want to play like the New Zealanders we need a change of mindset from as early as possible as much as we need a new coach.

  • Comment 59, posted at 20.06.15 10:26:36 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : Just been announced on 702 that Gert Smal has confirmed that the Sharks have given WP permission to speak to PSDT about a possible move back to the Cape. I know he is happy in Natal but would prefer we had him properly sown up. Hopefully JS can keep him happy, last thing we need is lose another big name right now.

  • Comment 60, posted at 22.06.15 09:12:44 by Vince Reply

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  • So I don’t know quite where to put this:
    http://www.supersport.com/rugby/article.aspx?Id=3063524
    Interesting news…my thoughts:
    1. I’m not thrilled to have all our guys play in Japan until so close before the start of Super Rugby. When will they rest? Will they be able to prepare properly with our squad?
    2. I do get, though, that it is part of the rugby landscape now and that w don’t have much choice if we want to keep these guys.
    3. There is one gem in this article though: The sentence that Marcell will be returning to the Sharks after his stint in Japan. Is that official? I hope so! In that case…YAY!!!!

  • Comment 61, posted at 22.06.15 09:13:50 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Vince (Comment 60) : Noooooooo!!

  • Comment 62, posted at 22.06.15 09:14:49 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I really hope we can keep PSdT! Please, please, please! Otherwise we desperately need to source another lock…

  • Comment 63, posted at 22.06.15 09:15:54 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Vince (Comment 60) : “permission”….. they’ve been speaking to him for months.

  • Comment 64, posted at 22.06.15 09:16:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 61) : I think Nel misread that tweet. There is nothing in what the agents said to confirm that Marcell is indeed returning to the Sharks.

  • Comment 65, posted at 22.06.15 09:17:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 65) : I thought that might be the case… :sad: In that case another please, please, please for this player to stay!!

  • Comment 66, posted at 22.06.15 09:19:51 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 64) : Despite earlier vociferous denials this is clearly the case…

  • Comment 67, posted at 22.06.15 09:20:34 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 65) : So you are saying he’s not coming back????????

  • Comment 68, posted at 22.06.15 09:21:15 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 68) : Not necessarily…just that we don’t know yet…

  • Comment 69, posted at 22.06.15 09:24:09 by pastorshark Reply
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