pierre_mackie

Ready or not, Super Rugby is coming


Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :EP Kings, Original Content, Super Rugby on 5 Jan 2016 at 13:40
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

You don’t need to be a fortune teller to know that Super Rugby will hit the Southern Kings like a ton of bricks when they face The Sharks at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on the 27th of February.

The Kings will form part of an expanded Super Rugby tournament which includes three new team, the Southern Kings from South Africa, the Sunwolves from Japan and the Jaguares from Argentina.

Shortly after SARU stepped in to take over from the struggling EPRU, they announced a twenty man squad of whom all are current EP Kings contracted players along with coaching staff from the three unions that make up the Southern Kings franchise.

The EP Kings players who will form the bulk of the squad are mixed with up-and-coming stars of tomorrow like Malcolm Jaer (20), Shane Gates (23), James Hall (19), Junior Pokomela (19) and CJ Velleman (20) along with more senior guys like Steven Sykes (31), Edgar Marutlulle (27), Elgar Watts (30) and Schalk Ferreira (31).

Surprisingly, there were no space for the likes of Ronnie Cooke, Scott van Breda, Luke Watson and SP Marais, while other senior players like Tim Whitehead, Lizo Gqoboka, Tim Agaba and Luther Obi took contracts elsewhere. Along with the player exodus, head coach Brent Janse van Rensburg left to join Boland while strength and conditioning coach Johan Pretorius joined the Sharks.

SARU appointed SWD Academy coach, Deon Davids as head coach, with Mzwandile Stick (backs) and Barend Pieterse (forwards) as his assistants. Nadus Niewoudt will be in charge of the conditioning and Zingi Hela team manager.

“It is a slimmed down coaching team but it will be ably supported by the expertise we have in our mobi-unit and other SARU resources to give them every chance of flying the Kings’ flag with pride”, said SARU CEO, Jurie Roux.

Regarding player announcements, Southern Kings COO Charl Crous said more are expected over the coming weeks.

“We are still in the process of negotiating with other players and with the other unions, but we have made significant progress over the December break and things are looking positive, with more player announcements expected over the coming weeks,” said Crous.

Southern Kings squad (to date): Leighton Eksteen (Fullback/Flyhalf/Scrumhalf, trial/SWD), Malcolm Jaer (Fullback), Michael Makase (Wing, trial/Border), Luzuko Vulindlu (Wing/Centre, trial/SWD), Siyanda Grey (Wing/centre), JP du Plessis (Centre), Lukhanyo Am (Centre, trial/Sharks), Stefan Watermeyer (Centre), Elgar Watts (Flyhalf), Louis Fouche (Flyhalf), Shane Gates (Flyhalf), James Hall (Scrumhalf), Kevin Luiters (Scrumhalf), Ntando Kebe (Scrumhalf, trial/Border), Aidon Davis (No.8), Sipato Junior Pokomela (No.8), Cyril-John Velleman (Flank), Stefan Willemse (Flank), Thembelani Bholi (Flank), Billy Dutton (Loose Forward, trial/Border), Onke Dubase (Loose Forward, trial/Border) Cornell Hess (Lock), Steven Sykes (Lock), Schalk Oelofse (Lock, loan/SWD), Tyler Paul (Lock/flank), Schalk Ferreira (Prop), Jacobie Adriaanse (Prop), Tom Botha (Prop), Monde Hadebe (Hooker, trial/Sharks), Edgar Marutlulle (Hooker), Mihlali Mpafi (Hooker, trial/Border).



59 Comments

  • Can anyone explain why the Australasian conferences get 3 wildcard spots while the South African conferences only get 1? The only reason I can think of is that Australasian conference have two more more teams in total but surely that’s not reason enough?

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.01.16 14:14:52 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I will rather wait and see before making statements that SR will hit the Kings like a ton of bricks when they meet us. The Sharks of 2015 still give me nightmares. My expectations are very well managed.

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.01.16 14:43:34 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : I do believe that is the reason, though…the two Australasian conferences have 10 teams and get 5 slots in the quarters, our two conferences have 8 teams and get 3 slots…doesn’t quite seem fair but there we are…I think they probably factored in the thought that our two conferences were weaker?

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.01.16 15:02:13 by pastorshark Reply
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  • The Sharks really couldnt ask for an easier opener to super rugby…although that is what we thought about the Cheetahs at home last year so ya…

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.01.16 15:15:00 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : they negotiate better.

    Sorry to say, but SARU once again got shafted in the negotiations. Each team plays the same number of games, so log points should surely be the ONLY criteria for determining wildcard qualification? 4 conference winners + 4 non winners with most log points. So simple only SANZAR could fail to spot it.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.01.16 15:25:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : just look at the rest of our schedule and you’ll realise that first game is about the only thing going our way.

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.01.16 15:27:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • Only 3 props?Locks 3? Makes one wonder. :grin:

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.01.16 15:33:32 by markm Reply

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  • @markm (Comment 7) : Obviously more signings to come…

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.01.16 15:35:49 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 3) : The spots don’t truly reflect the difference in conference team numbers and as a result further prejudices the weaker conferences which ultimately results in an even more lob-sided tournament (as if travel and inferior provincial and national administrators weren’t enough to deal with already). A top-of-the-points-log-wins-the-tournament instead of a play-off system just makes far more sense once a tournament grows to this size and also rewards form over the entire season. New Zealand would still dominate but at least it gives us more of a fighting chance.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.01.16 15:36:37 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I dislike these convoluted bloody tournament setups intensely!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.01.16 15:37:29 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Sounds about right.

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.01.16 15:38:49 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : Yup…the distribution of slots is uneven. A top of the log champion decider doesn’t really work with the tournament setup like it is for this tournament though…four conferences not all playing against the same teams and even not playing one conference at all! I just can’t understand how anyone thought this setup was a good idea!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.01.16 15:42:40 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : The Sharks def dont have it easy from week 2. Still struggling to get too excited about this comp format. At least there will be lots of rugby to watch…

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.01.16 15:47:28 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : *sigh*

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.01.16 16:28:19 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : It’s not ideal but it is quite fair when you consider there are two HOME quarter final’s up for grabs for the Saffa teams, while the Aussie and Kiwi teams can only get one home quarter final each. Personally I would prefer if they took the 18 teams (or more) and split them into two divisions so that 9 teams could play home/away for promotion/relegation to the higher division that way you get quality vs quality or even if they had Pools instead, like in the World Cup or in the Champions League…this conference system format is WAY too over-complicated!

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.01.16 17:09:26 by andredewaal Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : @pastorshark (Comment 14) : ja must say not nearly as into this new format as the previous one. Just a glorified Currie cup!!!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.01.16 17:50:45 by JD Reply
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  • @andredewaal (Comment 15) : Yup…complicated, frustrating, pretty daft…

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.01.16 18:25:10 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @andredewaal (Comment 15) : @pastorshark (Comment 17) : to be totally honest I have not even bothered to check to see how it works!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.01.16 20:21:13 by JD Reply
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  • @andredewaal (Comment 15) : If it were only South African teams playing in the SA conferences, then that would provide some comfort. But we’re up against pretty darn good national Argentinian side. I won’t be surprised if they grab one of those spots.

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.01.16 21:52:11 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : well that’s what we all think is going to happen!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.01.16 22:05:45 by JD Reply
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  • Of all the conferences only the Africa 1 Conference (Bulls, Cheetahs, Stormers, Sunwolves) do not play any games against the Kiwi sides. This could be a massive advantage for them, allowing them to grab the Africa wild card spot

  • Comment 21, posted at 06.01.16 09:00:31 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 21) : don’t really know how it works but if Sharks or Lions want to progress to playoffs they better win their conference!!!!

  • Comment 22, posted at 06.01.16 09:25:41 by JD Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : I think that Argentinian side (almost a full Puma side) will win the one African conference – making it very hard for either the Sharks or Lions to qualify for the quarter finals.

  • Comment 23, posted at 06.01.16 11:35:16 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 23) : The Jaguars chances are being overrated . While they are loaded with Pumas players the same core squad has to play Super Rugby, the winter tests, the Rugby Championship and the EOYT and this means that either injuries will impact on them as the year progresses or the coaches (Jaguars and Pumas) will have to use a strict rotation policy pulling in second and third choice players on a regular basis.

    Add to this their hectic travel schedule. They never play more than three consecutive matches on the same continent.

    I think they will start off with a bang and fade during the second half of Super Rugby as injuries hit or they start resting players for the tests

  • Comment 24, posted at 06.01.16 12:03:50 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 24) : I pretty much agree with you. I still think they will be very tough to beat at home but away not as tough. All those games as the same squad will definitely wear them down. Coaches and players will also have to provide something different for tests or they will be found out and become stale quickly. I do wish them well and hope its a start to getting a bigger local base in Arg. But i feel it could be a tough year for them.

  • Comment 25, posted at 06.01.16 12:32:04 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 18) : If you have 3 minutes to spare, you could watch this video :)

  • Comment 26, posted at 06.01.16 14:50:02 by andredewaal Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 23) : Well, let’s just hope the Kings are the walking bonus points we are expecting them to be :twisted:

  • Comment 27, posted at 06.01.16 14:54:07 by andredewaal Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 24) : @SheldonK (Comment 25) : you make a very good point. For our teams sake let’s hope it happens like you said.

  • Comment 28, posted at 06.01.16 15:09:16 by JD Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 21) : That’s right…part of a truly daft setup…

  • Comment 29, posted at 06.01.16 15:09:27 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) :
    Keep in mind that neither the Kiwis nor the Aussies wanted the expanded format. This may have been what SARU had to offer the Kiwis to get them on board.
    In terms of strength of teams it is about fair to give the Kiwis 3 or 4 slots, but in terms of revenue it would be much better to have more play-off games in SA’s time-zone..

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.01.16 02:30:50 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 30) : good points

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.01.16 07:56:40 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @fyndraai (Comment 30) : I’ve also heard the Kiwis and Aussies were reluctant but consider the following regarding your second point.

    Providing the two stronger conferences with more advantages is not fair in my opinion, it simply makes an already biased tournament even more lopsided. I’m all for strength vs strength in the sense that if the Aussies or Kiwis are simply better than us then so be it. How do we accurately determine this when factors like excessive travelling, unbalanced inter-conference opposition and (without trying to sound like a conspiracy theorist) refs who generally don’t like us very much come into play?

    Add to that the fact that we only get to play one of the two Australasian conferences every other year and one realises the concept of true strength vs strength left the building a while ago. The more I think about it, the more I feel that fair really isn’t a possibility anymore. It is now simply down to making this complicated beast of a tournament palatable for South Africans in the long term. Since we’re the largest Super Rugby audience, that does seem kind of important.

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.01.16 08:38:39 by vanmartin Reply
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  • It would have been so much easier if everyone played everyone on a home and away basis then the top 8 after round robin plays quarter final knock-outs all the way to a final…but it’s not to be so honestly I am looking forward to the new format – totally different! :grin:

  • Comment 33, posted at 08.01.16 08:55:00 by DuToit04 Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 24) : I fully agree,in fact I don’t think this nonsense is going to last long at all,this is SR not mamby pamby Nothern Hemisphere CC where you play every second or third week and against at best aging greats no longer are able to cut it in SR,where the bulk of there best players come from,I just hope this doesn’t turn SR into a farce in our conference whilst the Aussie and NZ youngsters take rugby to a new level,that ad on TV scares me for the reality it might represent

  • Comment 34, posted at 08.01.16 12:16:12 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 34) : What this conference system could lead to is the hype over one of our local teams abilities when in truth they havnt played the best teams in the comp during the round robin stage. Guess time will tell how this all pans out

  • Comment 35, posted at 08.01.16 12:49:01 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @fyndraai (Comment 30) : Good points…

  • Comment 36, posted at 08.01.16 16:40:05 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 32) : Good points too…a few suggestions have been made on here to deal with the wildcards. When I think each one of them through I end up finding problems with all of them…why? I reckon it is because the structure of the comp is fundamentally daft and renders any way of trying to figure out wildcard slots problematic.

  • Comment 37, posted at 08.01.16 16:44:09 by pastorshark Reply
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  • What would make sense for me is for Aus.NZ and SA, to play their local league competition first.
    Each team playing home and away.
    Then the top three in each league to join ,the Jaguars,the Japanese and the best loser based on points scored,
    to a play a Super 12.

  • Comment 38, posted at 08.01.16 21:00:00 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 38) : great idea so basically top 3 teams in Currie cup play in Super 12.

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.01.16 00:31:56 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 39) : yup

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.01.16 00:57:40 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 40) : that was how it all started in the original Super 10. Only the top teams from SA, OZ & NZ played, but then SANZAR was formed and money became more important than rugby and now we sit with this Super 18 shit!!!!

  • Comment 41, posted at 09.01.16 01:03:52 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 38) : I like the idea of a Super 12…I don’t like the idea of the Japanese team being in it…right now they would be way to weak in my opinion. Rather do something like Champions League football…two of NZ, Aus and SA get 4 teams in and one of them gets 3 teams in and the Argies get the other team…performance in the previous year’s Super 12 determines which two get 4 and which one gets 3. Champions League has a formula for that…we can develop one two. Then set up a second tier competition with a second or even third Argie side, two or three Japanese sides and the remaining SA, NZ, Aus sides. There are a few problems with this idea though: e.g. NZ’s regional super franchises are quite differently structured to their teams in the domestic comp…
    The point is the current setup is daft…

  • Comment 42, posted at 09.01.16 15:10:05 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 42) : this whole new setup is totally idiotic in my opinion!!!!!!

  • Comment 43, posted at 09.01.16 16:22:51 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 43) : I am in agreement with you… :???:

  • Comment 44, posted at 09.01.16 16:55:08 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 44) : I’m sure almost all SA supporters feel the way we do but SANZAR does not give a hoot about our feelings as long as they can stuff their pockets with our money!!!!!

  • Comment 45, posted at 09.01.16 18:47:05 by JD Reply
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  • Something totally off the topic now, watching Japan top league quarter final, JP is looking like he is real great form pitching up at scrummy and setting up a try, Willie on the other hand looks a bit out of sorts

  • Comment 46, posted at 11.01.16 08:18:55 by Henkb Reply
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  • @Henkb (Comment 46) : good news about JPP sounds like he’s kept the form he found during the World cup just hope he can keep it when he arrives in Durban. Hopefully Willie is just a bit under the weather due to all the Sushi :twisted:

  • Comment 47, posted at 11.01.16 09:00:10 by JD Reply
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  • Jpp was playing at outside centre.with am at the kings the sharks have one less option at 13.prefer jpp on the wing and sithole at 13 for the sharks.

  • Comment 48, posted at 11.01.16 10:16:20 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 48) : Bit slow today who is am who was an option at 13 for the Sharks?
    As for JPP playing 13, must say I’m wondering if JPP is maybe keen to move from the wing to play 13?

  • Comment 49, posted at 11.01.16 11:12:29 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 49) : Paul Jordaan, JP Pieterson probably the front runners for the 13 with the likes of Sithole, Williams, Deysel etc an outside chance. Trying to recall if anyone else in the squad..

  • Comment 50, posted at 11.01.16 11:26:10 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 49) : lukhanyo am.

  • Comment 51, posted at 11.01.16 11:44:12 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 47) : I must say also that JPP was exceptional in the Knights win, he is all over the park even winning turn overs, Willie at least did not mistaken a tackle or made the ones that he had to, his team did not do him any favours in the attack department but according to the commentators he has had an excellent 1st season and was the reason his team made it so far

  • Comment 52, posted at 11.01.16 11:45:47 by Henkb Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 51) : o ja thanks, forgot about him.

  • Comment 53, posted at 11.01.16 12:14:55 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 50) : don’t know how RdP will use JPP but I think JPP might just get the 13 jersey ahead of Jordaan. Especially if he played 13 in Japan and had form playing at 13.

  • Comment 54, posted at 11.01.16 12:17:10 by JD Reply
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  • @Henkb (Comment 52) : glad to hear JPP is back to his old form really just hope he’s able to keep that form playing the Sharks!!!!! As for Willie let’s hope the commentators are right and that he also has some good form ahead of the new season!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 55, posted at 11.01.16 12:20:45 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 54) : I think it will depend on when JPP becomes available after his Japan stint. So possibly Jordaan initially but i can think that JPP will prob get a run there too. Im interested to see if any youngsters push their way in. By all accounts Paul Jordaan is looking in excellent condition at ore season

  • Comment 56, posted at 11.01.16 12:28:56 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 56) : glad to hear let’s hope the competition for spots brings out the best of the players!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 57, posted at 11.01.16 12:53:25 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 57) : Indeed competion is good. Even for guaranteed guys like Lambie, Coetzee, LeRoux etc

  • Comment 58, posted at 11.01.16 12:58:27 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 58) : ja it is but don’t see any real competition for Lambie (as there’s no one else other than Joe) and Coetzee (because really!!!!!!!!!).

  • Comment 59, posted at 11.01.16 15:13:38 by JD Reply
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