robdylan

Currie Cup is here!


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 4 Aug 2015 at 10:43
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The Sharks take on the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday evening in what has to count as the toughest start to their Currie Cup campaign that they could have asked for.

While in years gone by, the Pumas may have been considered a minnow side in the broader South African rugby context, the continued removal of top talent from big teams in the Currie Cup, coupled with some great development work over the last few years, has turned the Lowveld union into a force to be reckoned with in the domestic competition. Few big sides would be at all confident of emerging victorious from Mbombela Stadium these days, even if the Pumas away form remains patchy at best.

Gary Gold put his extended squad through a decent hit out last Friday, with a squad of 33 players (of whom only 31 played) emerging with a hard-fought 33-29 victory over a similarly patchwork Golden Lions outfit. While a number of new players put their hands up, Gold probably won’t stray too far from his first choice outfit for the opener, with the bulk of the pack that started against the Lions likely to be retained. Dale Chadwick and Lourens Adriaanse should be the props, with Marco Wentzel and Etienne Oosthuizen locking behind them.

Kyle Cooper’s fitness remains in doubt (while Franco Marais also didn’t play last weekend due to a niggle) meaning a start at hooker is likely for Monde Hadebe. Khaya Majola and Philip van der Walt should be at 6 and 8 respectively, while Jean-Luc du Preez could pick up a debut start at blindside flank (unless Jean Deysel is passed fit).

Among the backs, things are less clear. S’bura Sithole, at wing, is one of a few guaranteed starters, while one would imagine Joe Pietersen would be included either at flyhalf or fullback. Odwa Ndungane will likely be the other wing, with either Lionel Cronje or SP Marais backed depending on where Pietersen ends up. Michael Claassens may get the nod ahead of Stefan Ungerer (what a decision to make!), while a lot will depend on how Paul Jordaan came through Friday’s encounter when it comes to selecting the centres. Andre Esterhuizen and Heimar Williams will vie for the 12 shirt, with Wandile Mjekevu a useful alternative to Jordaan at 13.

Thomas du Toit’s ability to pack down on either side of the scrum should see him crack the match 22 as reserve prop ahead of Juan Schoeman, despite the latter’s impressive showing on debut against the Lions. Dave McDuling’s versatility could likewise see him come in for a first taste of Currie Cup rugby.

The Sharks teams will be confirmed tomorrow morning.



31 Comments

  • I really really hope we play Joe at fullback, would much rather have Cronje starting than SP.

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.08.15 10:46:05 by Seth101 Reply
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  • So looking forward to this game!

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.08.15 10:50:31 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 1) : I second that!

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.08.15 10:57:32 by Ben Reply
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  • Wow, I completely forgkt we are starting this week! Something to look forward to on Friday,can’t wait to see tbe team playing. Looking at history,can’t decide if it will be good or bad for us to loose on Friday ;)

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.08.15 11:04:59 by HeinF Reply

    HeinFTeam captain
     
  • Will be interesting to see if they remain a force with Jimmy in Japan

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.08.15 11:07:26 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
     
  • Definitely could a few interesting combos. I hope the Sharks coaches are clever about the bench as we will need serious impact. Still think its retarded that its only 22 man teams

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.08.15 11:32:48 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : ja really idiotic to carry on with this as this is probably the only competition (with Vodacom cup) that still use 22 players!!!!!! This only helps the small unions and hamper the Super rugby franchises to create depth!!!!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.08.15 12:02:55 by JD Reply
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  • My team would be:
    15 Odwa
    14 Mjekevu
    13 Jordaan
    12 Heimar
    11 Sithole
    10 Pietersen
    9 Claassens
    8 Ginger Ninja
    7 Deysel
    6 Majola
    5 Marco
    4 Oosthuizen
    3 Adriaanse
    2 Marais
    1 Thomas

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.08.15 12:12:58 by JD Reply
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  • Is PSDT available for this game?

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.08.15 12:22:12 by MysticShark Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 8) : bloody good team

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.08.15 12:40:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @MysticShark (Comment 9) : based on the fact that he’s training with the boks this week, I’m going to assume that he won’t play for the Sharks.

    Unless, of course, he is released on Thursday or whatever, but then at best he could travel as a reserve.

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.08.15 12:40:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 8) : I think SP Marais would replace Odwa, and Esterhuizen will replace Williams. Is Deysel fit to start? Hadebe will start at hooker i feel

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.08.15 12:47:12 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 12) : I’m not expecting Deysel or Cooper to be fit.

    Also anticipate Monde will start. Franco possibly only there to come on in an emergency

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.08.15 12:53:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • I hope they play Joe at 15,and leave Cronje and Ungerer together.
    We have much more to gain by giving these two as much game time as possible.
    Claassens is a good bench option but he is not the future.
    Esterhuizen must also be given every opportunity to own that position as well.
    The sooner they start the twins the better,

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.08.15 13:05:15 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 14) : Id also prefer Pieterson at 15 and Cronje at 10. Fo me Claasens over Ungerer as Ungerer’s passing game needs work- but id still play him 30min. Id ove to see Willimams given a decent run but i do expect Esterhuizen to start

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.08.15 13:10:08 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : Get out of my brain.

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.08.15 13:14:48 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 16) : Shall we just call it logic then haha

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.08.15 13:21:37 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 17) : Common sense :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.08.15 13:23:51 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : thanks I’m sure Sharks has the players to do win the Currie cup!!!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.08.15 13:28:42 by JD Reply
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  • Finally some live Rugby again!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.08.15 15:39:30 by G West Reply
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  • @G West (Comment 20) : Long time…

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.08.15 15:45:16 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : Agree but I would start Ungerer and have Claasens come in second half in case there is salvage work to be done. You would rather have the experienced guy do the salvaging?

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.08.15 19:03:10 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Ben (Comment 3) : I think I third that…

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.08.15 21:10:55 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : Very retarded!!

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.08.15 21:11:55 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : What happens if the emergency comes after 2 minutes :shock: !! (touch wood)

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.08.15 21:14:03 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 14) : Yes to basically all of the above…

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.08.15 21:14:50 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Pumas: 15 John-Wessel Bell, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 Juan-Claude Roos, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Lambert Groenewald, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 De-Jay Terblanché, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona.
    Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Jason-Colin Fraser, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Hoffmann Maritz.

    Going to be a tough encounter. Sharks will be tested for sure.Strong pack, and the loose trio is very balanced. Marcus Schoeman is a menace on the ground, and Cassiem a very strong ball carrier. Great backline as well. Lots of power and pace in that backline.
    Gee tough one to call.

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.08.15 22:16:55 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 5) : MJ Mentz is a good replacement. Worked well with Jimmy.

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.08.15 22:19:37 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 28) : ja going to be two close games on Friday for WP and the Sharks!!!!

  • Comment 29, posted at 04.08.15 23:50:59 by JD Reply
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  • Hi JD, agreed. I also anticipate quite a tussle in Bloem. Think the Lions vs. Kings game is the easiest to call. I don’t know who is going to be in the starting 15 for the Cheetahs, which is quite novel, but Franco made a good start, lets hope he can continue to bring new talent through.

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.08.15 08:17:55 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 27) : Thats def a side that can cause the Sharks all sorts of trouble. Not a flashy side apart from out wide but def guys that do the basics well.

  • Comment 31, posted at 05.08.15 08:40:36 by SheldonK Reply

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