robdylan

One last hurrah


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 13 Oct 2015 at 09:57
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Let’s put aside our doom and gloom for a bit (and forget about the woes of the senior side) as we get firmly behind the Sharks under 21 team for this weekend’s semi-final against Free State.

They’ve perhaps flown under the radar a little bit this season and not always been as consistent as we would like, but there’s very little doubt that there is plenty of quality in this group and with that quality, a fair bit of hope for the future down in Durban. While the boys will conceded they let themselves down badly in losing to EP away (the fixture that ultimately cost them a home semi), there have been plenty of highlights too. Two narrow, but significant wins over the Lions showed the team’s character, while a last-gasp loss against the Bulls at Loftus was well avenged in a thrilling 29-23 win at Kings Park that looked closer on the scoreboard than it was in reality. It’s been a long time since the Sharks had a team that can compete with the likes of the Bulls at this level, making this result special indeed.

The best, of course, is the thus-far unbeaten record against the table-topping WP under 21 side; the men from the Western Cape have no blemishes on their otherwise perfect season, bar the defeat and draw suffered at the hands of the Sharks. That record will stand Michael Horak’s men in good stead should they progress, but they would be wise not to look any further ahead than this week’s game against a superb Free State side.

The team for the match would pick itself, were it not for the possibility of including a few “secret weapons”, made available courtesy of the senior Sharks’ dramatic Currie Cup exit. While Barend Potgeiter, Mees Erasmucs, Ruan Kramer and Mthunzi Moloi have all performed admirably in the front row this season, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Horak opts not to introduce the Currie Cup experience of Mzamo Majola and Thomas du Toit for this crucial clash. Working out the front row permutations is likely to be challenging enough (especially given the 7-man bench at this level of the game), but perhaps the key question this week will be where and how the prodigious Andre Esterhuizen might slot into the backline.The big 21-year-old has been utlised at inside centre and wing in the senior side, but it’s hard to imagine him displacing captain Marius Louw – a vital cog in the team machine this year – at number 12. A role in the back three would be more likely, with Esterhuizen able to do a job either at wing, or at fullback, a position in which he played much of his rugby in an impressive schoolboy career.



40 Comments

  • I think surely Mzamo Majola and Thomas DuToit ust start for the u21s? Esterhuizen at 15 is an interesting thought but so too is pairing him and Marius Louw in the centres. Im assuming both DuPreez boys out injured still? How old is Garth April?

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.10.15 10:04:47 by SheldonK Reply
    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • Please tell me this is televised so we can at least see one good Sharks game this year, albeit under 21.

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.10.15 10:08:29 by T-Shark Reply
    T-SharkUnder 21 player
     
  • I’m of a different mind about this. I think thomas and Esterhuizen should not be included. Let the guys that got us there play in the semi they earned

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.10.15 10:13:01 by Poisy Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 1) : Just a question, but could it not have a disruptive effect on the team to introduce guys into the squad who have not been there all year?

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.10.15 10:14:05 by StevieS Reply
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    StevieSSuper Rugby player
     
  • If Esterhuizen is 22, is he still eligible to play?
    That said, I am quite happy to see how the Cheetahs players like Ox Nche, Joseph Dweba and Gunther Janse van Rensburg can do against the “The Tank”. They would obviously have played together at the Junior WC, and probably against each other.

    Still think the Cheetahs will be well matched, and I look forward to a thrilling match. Cheetahs lost by a last ditch penalty against WP, and they drew with the Bulls. Their only big loss was against the WP in the earlier match. They beat the Sharks u21 (27 – 21) so it promises to be a closely fought tussle.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.10.15 10:14:20 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 1) : Well, 3 points…

    1) 13 is hard defensively. The team has a great defensive understanding that they’ve built up over the course of the campaign. I don’t think handing the 13 jersey (a key defensive position) to a rookie this week is a good idea.
    2) Yes, both apparently still injured
    3) Too old for under 21.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.10.15 10:14:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 4) : definitely could. Always a gamble when you do this sort of thing

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.10.15 10:19:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 4) : @robdylan (Comment 6) : Fair point on the 13- but if Louw moved to 13? Esterhuizen at 15 could be very interesting- as you say its not a new thing to him having played there at school( he can kick the ball a country mile and him running it back could not prove fun for defenders) Pity bout the twins out injured- hope they dont follow the PSDT/Alberts injury curse. April looks like he is still u18 ;) Yes new players can prove a bit disruptive in key decision making areas but they can also give the team a confidence boost particularly in terms of big ball carriers in DuToit and Esterhuizen

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.10.15 10:19:33 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 8) : Also esterhuizen has grown much in decision making and handling 15 would be a good test. Or winger. He does well at wing.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.10.15 10:21:42 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionTeam captain
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 9) : i think he does very well at wing

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.10.15 10:25:32 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 5) : apologies, that was a typo.

    Andre is 21. More importantly, he turned 21 in April this year (born in 1994) so he’s in his last year of eligibility for this age group .

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.10.15 10:25:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @T-Shark (Comment 2) : I think it is, yes

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.10.15 10:26:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 5) : there is no doubt that this is going to be a massive challenge for the Sharks. I’m not expecting them to win, but I also won’t be surprised if they do.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.10.15 10:29:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • André on the wing – it’s a no-brainer….minimum disruption.

    du Toit on the Bench – who’d want to face that mammoth from the 55th minute onward?!

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.10.15 10:42:16 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : It is very close. Sharks lost in Durban but there wasn’t much in it. Clearly the last match can’t be considered due to the Sharks strategy (for lack of a better term) of resting almost their entire first team.
    Cheetahs will have continuity, Sharks freshness. Go Cheetahs…. Good luck Sharks.

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.10.15 10:42:43 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 14) : I reckon the Cheetahs scrum will have played against Thomas before, and though he is undoubtedly a great talent so are the Cheetah’s front row of Dweba, Nche, and JvRensburg.

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.10.15 10:48:28 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 16) : It sure is a battle I’d love to see…and then there is his play in the loose – the boy only knows one direction: forward.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.10.15 10:59:33 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 15) : lol. “strategy”

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.10.15 11:20:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • Thomas for the bench, Andre for the wing. Minimum disruption, maximum loyalty to the team that’s taken them so far whilst still giving us access to 2 great talents. I think I remember Thomas and the Du Preez twins playing from the bench at the begining of the tournament for the same reason. Experimenting with Andre at 13 or 15 – positions he hasn’t played this year – would be incredibly rude to the rest of the squad and in particular the guys who have played in these positions…

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.10.15 11:35:20 by JR Reply

    Vodacom Cup player
     
  • For me I would play both Andre and Thomas from the bench. yes it’s hard on the players that took you to the semi’s but players like Thomas and Andre can chance a match and should play.

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.10.15 11:39:52 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Ja, this is going to be one hell of a game. The trick here, is to keep the Cheetahs score-less within the first 30 minutes – they seem to blow teams away in the first 30. With regards to Andre and Thomas, as horrible and tough it is on the other players, they have to be involved in one way or another. I would take the entire squad that has been involved to watch the game. One thing is for certain, Louw can’t be dropped, he has to be there as Captain – too good to leave out and so to Marwana – Andre should play wing or fullback.

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.10.15 12:36:12 by Vonno13 Reply
     
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 21) : that’s what went wrong last time, wasn’t it? They blitzed us with 3-4 tries in the opening half hour and even though we kind of dominate from that point on, we just couldn’t get ahead.

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.10.15 13:34:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : Exactly what happened

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.10.15 14:16:21 by Vonno13 Reply
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :

    I checked the Super Sport schedule, can’t find it anywhere.

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.10.15 14:26:03 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 24) : oh shit. Maybe I’m wrong

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.10.15 14:49:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 24) : @robdylan (Comment 25) : Nnnnoooo why not?!?!?!?!?!?!

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.10.15 15:18:16 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 26) :

    RWC

    @robdylan (Comment 25) : I was actually hoping that I’m the one that’s wrong.

    This is all I can find on SAT – 24 OCT

    11:10 – 13:15 SS6 ABSA Under 21 Final A Section

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.10.15 16:14:55 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 27) : that makes me sad!!!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.10.15 16:24:34 by JD Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 27) : According to SARU site the game is at 13:00 in Bloem and the Lions Cheetahs SF at 13:45 in Joburg. No TV shown on DStv Guide

  • Comment 29, posted at 13.10.15 16:36:58 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 5) : You guys have some monsters in that front row, Ox Nche a special talent at loosehead prop, Joseph Dweba is dynamite at hooker, throwing could improve, but he’s got a few years to improve. I have it on good authority Gunther is a monster at tighthead, but there’s a fiery fellow by the name of Coenie van Vuuren, that kid is gonna be something at tighthead. Fantastic player, Sharks will have their work cut out for them against these okes!!!

  • Comment 30, posted at 13.10.15 18:01:13 by Ludz Reply

    LudzSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Ludz (Comment 30) : @Ludz (Comment 30) : Yes that is true. Coenraad van Vuuren. He went to school with my youngest son. Apparently a very good prospect. The u/21 side have been playing a high paced game. If the Cheetahs can hold onto their talent for a change, well, we can dream lol.

  • Comment 31, posted at 13.10.15 22:21:26 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 31) : who are your locks? I think we’ll start there. Plenty of room on the bus back to Durbs.

  • Comment 32, posted at 14.10.15 09:47:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : Who does that Namibian number 5 play for,he was fantastic in the WC won all his line outs and was a monster in the mauls.

  • Comment 33, posted at 14.10.15 09:50:17 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 33) : Sorry he’s the number 4 Tjiuee Uanivi and I see he plays for Brive,hewould have been a great prospect

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.10.15 09:58:00 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : We will even bring a second bus ;)

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.10.15 10:01:15 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @The hound (Comment 34) : Tell you what i wouldnt mind a few guys from the Romanian/Georgian or even Fiji pack…

  • Comment 36, posted at 14.10.15 10:02:03 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 35) : I’ll sponsor!

  • Comment 37, posted at 14.10.15 10:09:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : Sponsor the players or the bus? Cos if u throwing cash around i have a nice shopping list for players? haha

  • Comment 38, posted at 14.10.15 10:38:03 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 38) : the bus!!!!

  • Comment 39, posted at 14.10.15 11:42:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 39) : well least thats something…now to get the players on the bus…

  • Comment 40, posted at 14.10.15 12:08:28 by SheldonK Reply

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