robdylan

Have a read of the Front Row Union


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 19 Feb 2016 at 11:20
Tagged with : , , ,

I wanted to bring your attention to an article I wrote for the Front Row Union, essentially the Ulster Rugby version of Sharksworld.

John, who runs the site, asked me to write a few words about Marcell Coetzee. In typical me fashion, however, I couldn’t stop at a few, so ended up waxing on for nearly two very dense pages about the man we know, love and will miss desperately once he goes.

Have a read here and do say hi to the Ulster fans when you’re there. They’re just like us, after all, just wearing slightly different colours.



65 Comments

  • Great read!

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.02.16 11:37:19 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Beautifully written piece Otto

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.02.16 16:03:47 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 2) : thank you sir

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.02.16 17:31:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • Excellent article Rob, extremely well written and I believe does a superb job of introducing Marcell to the Ulster faithful, and also giving a very accurate explanation of the state of rugby in SA.

    Question for you. Do you believe Marcell’s decision to leave for foreign shores now rather than after his Sharks contract ended had more to do with the stint in Japan awakening his desire to “see the world” or more the uncertainty with regard to the Boks? A man like Marcell I’m sure had every intent of completing his Sharks contract when he signed it, but of course he was being heavily relied on by Meyer at the time.

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.02.16 19:43:47 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Come on guys, who’s at Wits? Lions vs Jaguars game. Score anyone?

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.02.16 21:29:11 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 5) : Jaguars won 49-28

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.02.16 22:57:03 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 6) : Wow! Thanks

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.02.16 00:23:08 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • Rob, great article on Marcell Coetzee, we are so excited about him signing for Ulster and extending the rich tradition of both Sharks and Boks coming to Ravenhill to wear the famous white shirt with the red hand.
    Both he an and his wife Chanelle will be made very welcome by all the people of Ulster.

    Stann Op Vir Die Ulstermanne

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.02.16 01:22:23 by Ben Corr Reply

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  • The guy who plucked Marcel from obscurity and finally gave him a chance ahead of highly fancied big school rep players like Brynand Stander and Kleinhans,was Sean Everett,who picked him from nowhere in his under19 team.
    His decision to include him was unpopular within the establishment in his early games met with stiff opposition.Sean stuck with him and the rest is history.

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.02.16 11:08:41 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 9) : Nice insight into Marcell’s start….never knew we have Everit to thank for it.

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.02.16 11:57:11 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 9) : did not know that but must day well done to Sean!!!! Only thing is just wonder how many “other Marcell’s” are walking around and not playing rugby because they did not go to “the great rugby schools”?!?!?!?

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.02.16 12:45:50 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : nice piece Rob. Just two quick questions: See they say you’ve been running Sharksworld for 8 years now, is that true? And second question any where we can see how long we’ve been on the site (just for interest sake)?

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.02.16 13:03:00 by JD Reply
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  • @Ben Corr (Comment 8) : thanks so much for the comment, Ben!

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.02.16 13:07:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 4) : I have my suspicions and also got the impression Marcell wasn’t telling me everything on his mind when we sat down. The Bok thing hurt him, though. He doesn’t want to go on record about that, of course, which is only wise. But it certainly hurt him.

    Ulster have apparently been after him for some time, too and upping the deal every time he said no.

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.02.16 13:08:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 12) : Yes, i started in it Feb 2008.
    I can check the date you registered via the back end.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.02.16 13:10:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 12) : You registered on 5 July 2012.

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.02.16 13:11:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : @Dancing Bear (Comment 4) : must say the way it was done was not nice and for sure would have hurt him!!! Just hope he enjoys his time up north as the money he will get will be well deserved!!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.02.16 13:51:09 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : can’t believe it’s been that long!!!! Geez almost 4 years!!!! Thanks for the info and also for sharing all of your info and passion for the Sharks with all of us!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.02.16 13:54:18 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : The Bok thing is exactly what had happened to him his whole life overlooked once again for a privileged glory boy,rep with a popular who couldn’t shine Marcel’s shoes.
    How any coach in 2015 could pick Schalk over Marcel,is a sure indication of the quality of that coach.

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.02.16 14:25:58 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 19) : not only Schalk probably all the loosies!!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.02.16 14:50:23 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 20) : I think Vermullen and Louw deserved to be there,Alberts was chose as a impact battering ram and Kolosi was never going to be given game time at least by Meyer.It was then a toss up between Schalk and Marcel,and Meyer who was always kissing arse with the ex Boks and the power in Stellenbosch didn’t hesitate in picking Rupert favourite son.

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.02.16 15:19:00 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 21) : Agree on that. Schalk ahead of Marcell was shameless.

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.02.16 15:52:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : Actually I mean shameful.

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.02.16 15:52:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 21) :was said marcell won’t be fit in time for rwc and kolisi was selected in his place.

  • Comment 24, posted at 20.02.16 15:57:38 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 24) : Thats what was said, yes. In truth he would’ve missed at most the first 2 games, if any at all. And many players have been taken to the RWC with injuries before so they can be used in the knockouts

  • Comment 25, posted at 20.02.16 19:21:59 by Die Kriek Reply

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  • Great piece Rob. You mention that maybe we could get Marcell back 2019. I think the only way that will happen is if he needs to play in SA to be selected for the 2019 RWC. Otherwise I have a feeling he’ll stay.

  • Comment 26, posted at 21.02.16 03:22:54 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 26) : The new Bok coach and SARU should seriously think about implementing a rule on overseas signings that will motivate players to play in SA.

    I think maybe if they allow for overseas signings, but with underlying conditions, you could possible get players still play in SA.

    For example, saying a player can be selected if they have been overseas for 24 month or less. Or something of the sort. I would alow overseas contracts, but with limits and conditions.

  • Comment 27, posted at 21.02.16 03:34:20 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 27) : For example, I believe their is currently a rule that a player can’t be selected for the BOKS, if they are playing overseas and they don’t have any BOK caps. Which means CJ Stander, Rory Kockett and others, can’t be selected, unless they are lured back first.

    I would say, on completion of their current overseas contract, if they want to continue playing for the Boks, they have to sign with an SA franchise for a minimum of 3 years.

    I would definitely only allow overseas Boks, conditionally.

  • Comment 28, posted at 21.02.16 03:42:26 by Letgo Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 21) : @robdylan (Comment 22) : But who would have played flyhalf in that case? :evil:

  • Comment 29, posted at 21.02.16 09:45:28 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 28) : Stander and Kockott are both already capped by other countries.

  • Comment 30, posted at 21.02.16 10:45:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : Interesting comparison between Kockert and Stander,
    Kockert left because he knew he was never ever going to be picked at least by the regime in place when he left.
    Stander on the other hand was the Blue Bull crown prince and was surely ear marked as a future Bok captain.
    The Kockerts of this world, Brad Barrit etc were always going to leave and are no surprise. They were almost pushed out
    It is the Standers of this world that could set a dangerous trend.

  • Comment 31, posted at 21.02.16 11:40:33 by The hound Reply
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  • imo select overseas players.the emphasis is then on the coaches (not just professional,but also schools) to do proper talent id and coaching to develop players’ skills and ensure local teams can overcome the loss of talent,thereby ensuring competitve sa teams in sr and an entertaining product for cc.we are the sanzaar country with,except for japan,the biggest population.

  • Comment 32, posted at 21.02.16 12:18:20 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 21) : @robdylan (Comment 23) : Marcell should have been there before Alberts and Burger!!!

  • Comment 33, posted at 21.02.16 13:51:47 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : that is an interesting look at it. Would like to know the reason Stander decided to go!!!

  • Comment 34, posted at 21.02.16 13:54:03 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 33) : http://m.sport24.co.za/sport24/Rugby/WorldCup/Schalks-stats-are-scary-20151019

  • Comment 35, posted at 21.02.16 14:14:35 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 33) :bok loosies should have been vermeuelen schalk marcell

  • Comment 36, posted at 21.02.16 14:15:45 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • Rob, please don’t take this comment as either paternalistic or condescending…it is meant as an expression of deep gratitude for that article:
    Well done, son! :grin:

  • Comment 37, posted at 21.02.16 14:28:23 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 35) : Or those stats show that Schalk was used at 10 all the bloody time and, though he was obviously playing under instruction, severely disrupted the ability of our backs to get going…

  • Comment 38, posted at 21.02.16 14:31:37 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 38) : http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/definitive-rugby-world-cup-2015-10371040 just putting the stats out there.that was the game plan decided on by the coach.cant fault the player for doing what he did-and based on stats -doing it well.francois louw lead the rwc tackle count and was second to pocock for turn-overs won.just trying to find a place for marcell in the starting 15 :D

  • Comment 39, posted at 21.02.16 14:40:02 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 39) : Ulster are going to play Marcel at 8, just a thought.

  • Comment 40, posted at 21.02.16 14:43:00 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 40) : is that confirmed?know he is replacing nick williams (former auckland blues no8).

  • Comment 41, posted at 21.02.16 14:48:28 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 39) : Schalk had a good World cup but still would have had Marcell there ahead of him and Alberts.

  • Comment 42, posted at 21.02.16 18:38:32 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 40) : @50shadesofshark (Comment 41) : I’m sure he use to play 7/8 when he started at the Sharks, but I could be wrong. Personally I think he could make a very good 8 as he has the speed and strength both on attack and defence.

  • Comment 43, posted at 21.02.16 18:42:24 by JD Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 39) : @JD (Comment 42) : What’s it about damn lies and statistics? I’m still not convinced that Schalk had such a good world cup. Our game plan skewed the statistics…the other guys on the top 10 list made a greater contribution relative to Schalk because they played in teams that didn’t put them at 10. I also recall Schalk knocking a lot of balls at 10 and giving away at least two tries directly that cost us games. I’ve always been a Schalk fan…but you’ll have to do a lot to convince me that he had a good world cup…

  • Comment 44, posted at 21.02.16 19:11:49 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 44) : for me comparing Schalk to the other Bokke loose forwards he was one of the better players. So basically I’m not saying he was the player of the tournament he was just one of the better Bok players.

  • Comment 45, posted at 21.02.16 20:10:19 by JD Reply
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  • Praise the incredible Schalk at first receiver but then don’t complain each time we’re spanked by New Zealand

  • Comment 46, posted at 21.02.16 21:03:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 45) : as the hound has pointed out on one of his much earlier posts re: knock-ons at crucial times crucial games have led to tries.and those being the decisive scores.

  • Comment 47, posted at 21.02.16 23:39:05 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 47) :it is not the player deciding ,”oh wait,let me just take up 1st receiver and crash into the opposition”.schalk was playing according to the instructions of the coach.the game plan put him in that position..if it was not schalk ,then it would have been someone else,maybe even marcell having to do the exact same thing.

  • Comment 48, posted at 22.02.16 00:02:58 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : Stander left because HM started his size rubbish with him, wanting him to start playing at hooker….

  • Comment 49, posted at 22.02.16 06:34:43 by grant10 Reply

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  • @grant10 (Comment 49) : It worked with Ashley Johnson,he is rejuvenated as a hooker,better than anything we have at the Sharks at the moment.

  • Comment 50, posted at 22.02.16 07:04:15 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 50) : It has, however it takes the players full buy in, without that forget it…….Too many SA players to mention that got sick and tired of the utility tag and end up leaving for teams where they can play their favoured positions….
    Stander was never in favor of a switch to 2….

  • Comment 51, posted at 22.02.16 07:14:48 by grant10 Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 46) : Yup…

  • Comment 52, posted at 22.02.16 07:28:28 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 48) : @vanmartin (Comment 46) : yes must agree that it was the coach that decided the game plan and Schalk just played according to that. Hopefully we will now have a Bok coach that have a different game plan!!!!!!

  • Comment 53, posted at 22.02.16 07:35:58 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 50) : @grant10 (Comment 51) : A move will never work if the player does not want to move. It seems as if Ashley was in favour of the move to hooker so it could work!!!!!!!! Personally for me it did not make sense to try and move Stander to hooker.

  • Comment 54, posted at 22.02.16 07:42:22 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 54) : fully agree….

  • Comment 55, posted at 22.02.16 10:27:53 by grant10 Reply

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  • @pastorshark (Comment 44) : Here is a statistic that is not a lie, and also not revealed…..Schalk did not cross the gain line on 45 of his 80 carries, that means that over 56% of the time Schalk carried the ball, well more than half the time, he lost metres!!! :!: :!: How in the world can a blindside flank be effective if more than half the time he gets the ball he loses metres? :?: :razz: :mrgreen: :twisted:

  • Comment 56, posted at 22.02.16 18:16:47 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 54) : Agreed, moving Stander to Hooker would be like trying to move Heinrich Brussow to Hooker.

  • Comment 57, posted at 22.02.16 18:22:56 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 56) : That seems more in line with how I saw his world cup…receiving the ball so many times is no feather in your cap when all it shows is that the coach told the other blokes to pass it to you. It’s what you then do with the ball or how you set other guys up to do something with the ball that counts…and as far as I am concerned his report card on that front was not great…

  • Comment 58, posted at 22.02.16 18:29:35 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 58) : hear hear!

  • Comment 59, posted at 22.02.16 18:41:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 58) : At least his retention numbers were good, he generally did well setting up next phase. That being said, surely, surely the whole point of having a big loosie at first receiver is to ensure that we cross the gain line. So given that this was not working and our big loosie was not crossing the gainline, why not give the ball to de Allende at first receiver and let him crash it up, he surely has to offer more with ball in hand than a loosie. Finally if you are going to use Schalk at first receiver, don’t play him all the way back next to the 10, have him come onto the ruck at different angles so he is over the gain line before they catch him. Sorry…I was just so frustrated with how he was being used, he was horribly ineffective and they kept doing it over and over and over and……

  • Comment 60, posted at 22.02.16 18:57:15 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 60) : Yup…

  • Comment 61, posted at 22.02.16 19:10:53 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 56) : @pastorshark (Comment 58) : @robdylan (Comment 59) : remember one thing all our opponents knew what was going to happen and was lining up to tackle the “big loosie” that was receiving the ball and running at them. No use blaming Schalk for doing what the coach told him to do and as for Schalks numbers I wonder how the stats of guys like Alberts look in comparison. For me the person to blame is HM for not seeing it’s not working and for not changing it!

  • Comment 62, posted at 22.02.16 22:52:46 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 62) : I’m not blaming Schalk…I’m just saying you can’t use those stats to say he had a brilliant world cup…and I’m saying it was still a travesty that Schalk went to the world cup instead of Marcell…

  • Comment 63, posted at 23.02.16 06:57:56 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 63) : personally I had a bigger problem with Alberts going than with Schalk going.

  • Comment 64, posted at 23.02.16 07:20:35 by JD Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 48) : @JD (Comment 53) : Gents, you can’t on one hand point to Schalk’s ‘impressive’ stats to justify his inclusion in the World Cup but once I point out that we didn’t really progress as far as we should, hand-wave it away as Meyer’s fault for his gameplan and that Marcell could have been in the same position. That then means that Schalk was simply the crash dummy that Meyer decided on and the stats don’t mean a thing because any number of loosies working with that much ball would have resulted in some above average stats.

  • Comment 65, posted at 23.02.16 08:54:01 by vanmartin Reply
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