robdylan

Thoughts from the Med – Take 1


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Springboks, Super Rugby on 30 May 2016 at 08:42
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The internet here is a tragedy of Greek proportions, but the warm sea and long days of sunshine certainly make up for that.

Squatting on the lounge floor with my laptop plugged directly into the Ethernet port (since the wi-fi simply doesn’t work) I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few thoughts based on what’s transpired over the last few hours.

Firstly – well done Lions. We were on the fence about that Loftus game and had been leaning towards wanting a Bulls victory. We also thought that the loss of Elton Jantjies might tip things in favour of the Bulls, but boy were we wrong. In handing out a 50-point smackdown, the men from Joburg have laid down an unmistakable marker and consigned the Sharks, I’m sure, to a credible second-place finish in the Africa 2 pool, barring a very unexpected result in Johannesburg for Gary Gold’s men. The silver lining is that neither the Bulls nor the Stormers made significant ground over the weekend, leaving the Sharks well positioned to challenge for a wildcard spot. All to play for when Super Rugby returns in July.

The Bok squad, of course, contained its fair share of shocks, but reading the mood, I get the feeling that many have grown rather tired of predictable, boring squads and are quite excited at the prospect of some fresh blood. Well done to the Sharks men and condolences to those who must have come close; I’m thinking that Stephan Lewies, Lourens Adriaanse and Paul Jordaan must all have come very close to a look in, if not with the Boks proper then at least with the A side.

I guess the immediate speculation will now turn to a likely starting 15 for the opener against Ireland in 12 days’ time. I’m expecting an all-Sharks back 3, with Pat Lambie to captain and Beast to start at loose head. Will Garth April cap his meteoric rise, hough, with a debut test appearance off the bench? We’ll have to wait and see.

Regarding John Smit – well, I don’t know what to think. I will do some digging when I’m back and let you guys know what I think is likely to transpire.

Look after yourselves, guys and I’ll catch you all tomorrow.



61 Comments

  • Reports are that Elton maybe ready for the first test, so I doubt Lambie will captain from the bench.

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.05.16 08:55:26 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Thanks Rob, now get back to relaxing!

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.05.16 09:02:30 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 1) : With April and Jantjies around I doubt Pat would stay in favour very long so dont think he would get captaincy.

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.05.16 09:03:36 by ebenp Reply

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  • Enjoy Robbo, dont get sunburnt you Pom ;)

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.05.16 09:23:00 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @ebenp (Comment 3) : Picking April ahead of Lambie would be crazy, Coetzee will know this and will have also seen Lambie play since his return. I cant see it happening.

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.05.16 09:28:32 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @ebenp (Comment 3) : I think the pecking order at flyhalf in this squad is Elton, Pat and then Garth. I assume if Elton is fit to play in the Irish series that Garth would get an opportunity playing for the A side.

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.05.16 09:35:06 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • I was not on the fence about lions game at all. Too much stock being placed in Jantjies as the proponent of lions success. He is a component but not the main ingredient not by a long shot. Sorry but I think once again Jantjies is being hyped up way out of proportion.

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.05.16 09:38:57 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 6) : Why Elton ahead of Pat? I doubt Jantjies is better. Pat has had little time back on field…is that perhaps your reasoning?

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.05.16 09:41:50 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 6) : On that note. Will Pollard find favour again once he is back from injury? Remember Al is not that hung up on size…

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.05.16 09:43:44 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 8) : I have read reports where Coetzee has already mentioned him as first choice, his combination with Faf (who I assume will start at 9), and he is on good form (apart from goal kicking). My personal choice as a Shark supporter would be Pat, but I am afraid it will be more bench time for him.

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.05.16 09:45:51 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Enjoy the break Robbo!

    I don’t know that Elton is ahead of Pat in the pecking order. After all, this is his first solid season in some years.

    He is a hell of a footballer, but I’m sure some of AC’s statements are intended to show that he wants to reward form and doesn’t have any hang ups against the guy from his disastrous season at the Stormers.

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.05.16 09:51:27 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 11) : I have read that AC is a huge fan of Pat and rates him very highly, and as one of the best 10′s for SA, he even compared him to the likes of Carter at some stage, and Pat is in some of the best for this season even if he only had some game time

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.05.16 10:00:22 by Henkb Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 11) : The key to the Lions success has been a very efficient pack that provided the back line very good ball, and then of course backs and loose forwards that can make good use of that. Test rugby usually don’t give you that luxury and I do have my doubts about Elton being able to run the show behind a beaten pack.

    However he has been (in Pat’s unfortunate absence) the form flyhalf in SA, and deserves the change to start. That is me trying to look at this objectively (and not as a Sharks supporter).

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.05.16 10:08:31 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 11) : My thinking too, Elton is inconsistent….very talented and on fire this year, but will he be able to emulate this for the Boks. Lions played brilliantly without him, so it seems to me that he’s benefitting from the form of a team that is on fire.

    Contrast Lambie, and he’ll be able to shine playing for either of the Sunwolves, Jaguars, Kings, Streamers or Bulls :twisted:

    And unlike Elton, I have never seen Lambie mouthing off at his team mates, or the ref.

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.05.16 10:10:49 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 13) : It always starts with the pack.

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.05.16 10:21:49 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 13) : My sentiments exactly. Elton deserves his starting shot and if the shoe was on the other foot, if Elton is fit, we’d be screaming about injustice. If he is as inconsistent or as average as many claim Pat will be able to muscle him out of a starting spot through his own performances.

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.05.16 10:22:01 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Hulk (Comment 16) : Because that’s been the case over the past 4 years :roll:

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.05.16 10:24:33 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 14) : Oom Rugby made a very interesting observation in this whole Pat vs Elton debate. He says if you look at the two players, you want your Springbok 10 to be the player that can adapt to any situation. And that, for him, gives Pat the edge. The matches where the lions were on the back foot, Elton was unable to take control and adapt to still give the back line some attacking power (or defensive for that matter). In contrast to Pat who can read a game brilliantly and effortlessly switch form attacking, to defensive to conservative. This is what you want in a Springbok 10.

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.05.16 10:27:09 by Another Nick Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : and if it were the same coaching team I’d agree, but we’re dealing with new people and one that isn’t (or expected not to be) blind to size or province.

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.05.16 10:35:22 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Hulk (Comment 19) : So guys where would this place a guy like Pollard or even Morne Steyn for that matter. Do they still fit into the plan? If we want adaptable flyhalfs I can maybe see Elton and April coming to the party but for me morne has always been a one trick pony and Pollard too much of a confidence player and with our pack being new and SA rugby not being top 3 by a long shot I see many teams who can damage confidence.

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.05.16 10:46:14 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 20) : I think I read somewhere that AC said he wanted his 10 to be based in SA, so that’s a no to Morne Steyn and Goosen.

    As for Pollard I imagine when he comes back from injury he’ll probably be selected and we have a 3-way fight. At the end of the day I believe Pat is the man for the job and personally don’t rate either Jantjies or Pollard as high but I was saying that if this was Lionsworld there would be an outcry if Jantjies wasn’t given the oppotunity to start. He’s been the best form flyhalf for the full tournament). I want Lambie to start and if he does I believe that was the best choice but if Jantjies starts so be it, he atleast deserves the oppotunity.

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.05.16 10:58:56 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Another Nick (Comment 18) : Makes sense to me – I know I’m biased, but Lambie just oozes class, off and on the field…probably also why I’d like WW to be captain – a guy that leads by example both on and off the field.

    @Hulk (Comment 19) : That is true.

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.05.16 11:37:36 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • I’m seeing cracks. Smith resigns. Rumours about Gold. Every decent player is rumoured to be leaving. I reckon the Sharks have a money problem.

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.05.16 12:05:10 by MikeSebMatt Reply

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  • I agree that Jantjies has been the form flyhalf this season. But factor in the captaincy gap and the need for a calm “man for all seasons” at 10, and I think Pat has the edge.

    I wonder if AC would consider Pollard at 12. He has the size and skillset and we dont have anyone crying out at 12 just yet. Just a random thought; from the same guy who wanted to see Goosen at 15.

  • Comment 24, posted at 30.05.16 12:16:29 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 24) : Just like Rob DuPreez i think Pollard has a better skillset for 12 than 10.

  • Comment 25, posted at 30.05.16 12:25:05 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Big Fish (Comment 24) : I also have said many times Pollard at 12 would make sense. With Lambie at 10 Pollard at 12 kicking options become very extensive especially if you have Willie at 15 and a guy like combrinck at wing. Dangerous flyhalf and center combo like mortlocke and Giteau.

  • Comment 26, posted at 30.05.16 12:30:51 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @Big Fish (Comment 24) : @SheldonK (Comment 25) : @coolfusion (Comment 26) : I for one would love to see a Faf-Lambie-Pollard-Mapoe back line.. geez.. mouth watering stuff.

  • Comment 27, posted at 30.05.16 12:33:19 by Another Nick Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 26) : @Another Nick (Comment 27) : I also think both WP (DuPreez at 12) and the Bulls(Pollard at 12) would see a much better attacking intent with those guys at 12 as both have pretty much just have a basher at 12 now

  • Comment 28, posted at 30.05.16 12:45:30 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Another Nick (Comment 27) : Your wings and fb then?

  • Comment 29, posted at 30.05.16 12:46:24 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 29) : Tough one.. Wings: any one of Habana, Combrinck and Mvovo and JP will do. 15.. I want to say Willie, but he blows very hot and cold for me. When he is on fire, there are few better than him. But when he is off colour he makes mistakes that can cost you a game.

  • Comment 30, posted at 30.05.16 12:53:58 by Another Nick Reply

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  • @Another Nick (Comment 18) : i would not believe to much that oom says

  • Comment 31, posted at 30.05.16 12:59:34 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 29) : @Another Nick (Comment 27) : Combrinck ?

  • Comment 32, posted at 30.05.16 13:02:16 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Another Nick (Comment 30) : Fair enough. So do you believe Jesse Kriel should be playing 15 for the Bulls and competing with Gelant? Or have both in same team?

  • Comment 33, posted at 30.05.16 13:02:35 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 31) : Haha that oom does make me laugh sometimes, but some of what he says does make sense. @Zibbie (Comment 32) : Absolutely. Any day.
    @SheldonK (Comment 33) : Kriel for me is a far better 15 than 13. He has been a bit off lately, but if he is in my team I would play him at fb. (Behind Combrinck.)

  • Comment 34, posted at 30.05.16 13:13:08 by Another Nick Reply

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  • I think Combrink will make a great fullback. He’s got all the attributes.

    Whatever happened to Volminck? Really rated that guy.

  • Comment 35, posted at 30.05.16 13:14:59 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Another Nick (Comment 34) : I think Kriel is good at 15 but with Gelant there you ideally want them both in the side for the Bulls. I think Kriel hasnt got much ball at 13 for the Bulls…perhaps if Odendaal or even his brother Dan was at 12 he would look better at 13

  • Comment 36, posted at 30.05.16 13:15:22 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Big Fish (Comment 35) : I think Volminck has struggled with injuries. Saw him paying for Lions CC side a little while ago

  • Comment 37, posted at 30.05.16 13:16:06 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Big Fish (Comment 35) : Combrink played 15 a few years back for the Lions . Only moved there i think last year . or 2014 maybe ?

    but he is doing well at wing so i wont move him .

  • Comment 38, posted at 30.05.16 13:24:28 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 37) :
    Thanks. That’s a shame; seemed a good prospect.

  • Comment 39, posted at 30.05.16 13:24:59 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 38) : Also adds a good kick return option on the line without changing position. I have always liked a winger with an educated boot.

  • Comment 40, posted at 30.05.16 13:28:30 by coolfusion Reply

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  • think we need to make a plan toe have Combrink at 14 for the boks ….

  • Comment 41, posted at 30.05.16 14:55:19 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 41) : He would add a lot of value

  • Comment 42, posted at 30.05.16 15:18:04 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Big Fish (Comment 35) : @SheldonK (Comment 37) : @Zibbie (Comment 38) : There’s also Harold Vorster who could work in quite a few positions.

  • Comment 43, posted at 30.05.16 15:18:46 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 43) : i was actually thinking about what to do if all of Mapoe , Van rensburg and Vorster is fit .

    think it would need to be 11 mapoe , 12 Jansen van Rensburg , 13 Vorster 14 Combrink

  • Comment 44, posted at 30.05.16 15:25:38 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 44) : No mate you have to leave Mapoe at 13- he is devastating there. And Vorster on the wing would be quite a handful, but tough one on Skosan who has been very good. I think if all fit then 9- Faf 10- Elton- 11 Vorster 12- Van Rensburg 13- Mapoe 14- Skosan 15- Combrinck. That leaves Cronje, Van Der Walt and Mnisi for the bench.

  • Comment 45, posted at 30.05.16 15:30:48 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 45) : building quite a bit of depth either way !

  • Comment 46, posted at 30.05.16 15:34:00 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 46) : Indeed. But the Lions have done well in recent years as they havnt had many Boks so benefitted from a lot of continuity going from super rugby to currie cup and so on. With a lot more Lions realistically making the Bok squads now how are the Lions going to progress in the CC without the likes of Redelinghuis, Kriel, Whiteley, Faf, Elton, Mapoe, Combrinck…will be interesting

  • Comment 47, posted at 30.05.16 15:37:07 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 47) : Faf has never played CC for the lions before , Elton has been away for 2 cc season , mapoe was away for the CC season tthe last 2 years i think . maybe 1 year . Tecklenburg was away for the Last cc , as was Akker vdm .

    Think we had about 11 regular season players away for the last cc . thats why we have developed the dept we have

  • Comment 48, posted at 30.05.16 15:40:16 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 48) : Im not doubting there is depth. But its managing those guys now and keeping them happy and enough game time for all. It does get trickier when you have Boks on your books.

  • Comment 49, posted at 30.05.16 15:43:43 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 49) : in Ackers we trust :mrgreen:

  • Comment 50, posted at 30.05.16 15:47:42 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 50) : I believe he has the man management ability to do it…but it is something new for him to handle. Easy to rotate guys in and out when they just good Lions players…once a guy has a few Bok games it becomes a lot harder to drop him just because. With only really Lambie, Beast, Mvovo and Willie missing the Sharks will at least hopefully have some better continuity going into the CC.

  • Comment 51, posted at 30.05.16 15:51:16 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Rob, have a cup of tea on me. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 52, posted at 30.05.16 15:54:50 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 51) : that continuity will be nice.will like to see a player developed from the bench in the 4/7 role for next superrugby season.

  • Comment 53, posted at 30.05.16 15:56:26 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 53) : I cant see 1 person filling that role. Will more likely be 2 guys. Either Oosthuizen/Botha depending who starts at 4. And DuPreez/Deysel depending who starts at 7.

  • Comment 54, posted at 30.05.16 15:59:54 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 52) : lekkkker !!! welkom !

  • Comment 55, posted at 30.05.16 16:15:45 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 54) : or a player outside of current superrugby squad?maybe johan du toit for that role in the cc proper?

  • Comment 56, posted at 30.05.16 16:38:20 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • Strauss named Bok captain :roll:

  • Comment 57, posted at 30.05.16 17:05:53 by Quintin Reply

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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 52) : Nice

  • Comment 58, posted at 31.05.16 09:31:50 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 56) : Very unlikely he will play unless there are injuries to the many guys ahead of him

  • Comment 59, posted at 31.05.16 09:34:31 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Enjoy the rest Rob!!!

  • Comment 60, posted at 31.05.16 16:27:58 by JD Reply
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  • For those that still remember the Varsity Cup…Pukke have been cleared of any wrong doing and are retained as winners. And apparently UKZN has admitted to being guilty of fielding an ineligible player. Any of us think that this was not always going to be the outcome?

  • Comment 61, posted at 02.06.16 09:33:58 by SheldonK Reply

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