robdylan

Breakdown intensity pleases du Preez


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 Mar 2017 at 12:21
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“Things we wanted to concentrate on were our reaction to the breakdown situations, which was much better this week, our exits were better and we got the bulk of the possession, which helped,” is the somewhat understated reaction of sharks coach Robert du Preez after his charges turned in a significantly better performance against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday. Early days yet, but I’m sure Rob must be very pleased with the way his charges reacted to some stinging criticism of their first-round malaise in Brisbane.

It’s hard, as a fan, to always know what to look for in this highly-complex and multi-faceted sport. Coaches will watch performances many times over, with a level of deep insight and analytics that would be lost on the average supporter, even ones such as us who watch plenty of rugby and like to think we have an in-depth understanding. As one who’s always hoping to improve my own understanding of the game, discussions with coaches are always valued and was rather interested when a good friend and very knowledgeable coach gave me his assessment of the Sharks’ performance against the Reds. I’d seen a fair few things that i wasn’t happy with, including he obvious handling errors and poorly-contested kicks, but this coach immediately identified the breakdown and a lack of intensity at the tackle point as the reason for the Sharks’ failing.

Interesting, then, to note how an improvement in this area is the first thing that Rob du Preez mentioned about the second game – along with fixing the handling and exit play as well.

Now, it was quite pleasing to see how effectively Andre Esterhuizen’s left boot (or “siege gun” as Bill McLaren would have described it) was used when the Sharks needed a big exit. It shows a level of thought and calmness to the play that the team were able to engineer situations where they could deliver the ball to Esterhuizen with little pressure, on order that he could use that big, but slow, weapon to ensure maximum territory game. In fact, that was perhaps the most pleasing thing about the team overall, was how, despite the frenetic pace of some of the play, the team managed, for the most part, to remain calm even when under pressure.

Much has been said of the last minutes, Pat Lambie’s strong leadership, Ruan Botha’s crucial line-out steal and the measured, well-executed attacking phases that led to the winning try. To us, it looked lucky, but listening to the players, it sounds as though everything was planned and they knew they had the ability to win that game if they backed themselves.

“When we kept ball in hand and started to put phases together, it showed what this team are capable of,” adds Rob. “I’m very pleased with that. At one stage we put together 19 phases. The patience we showed in the attacking zone was much better, we weren’t trying to off load 50/50 passes.” In the past, the Sharks have tended to do very silly things indeed in the opposition red zone, rather than have the patience to back their own phase play. This, to me, was perhaps the most pleasing thing about Saturday’s performance and one I hope to see them build on further as the season progresses.



58 Comments

  • Rob, hope you don’t mind:
    Du Preez explained that during the last few minutes of the game, it was the calming, but determined focus of the captain that took his team to victory. “Patrick said to the guys: ‘You have to believe that we are going to pull this one through.’ This showed that the team believed in themselves, that they could do it. They played right to the end and that was very pleasing.” (http://sharksrugby.co.za/positive-developments/)

    I really hope the Sharks work on developing a strong leadership core this season because I really liked reading the above.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.03.17 12:27:21 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : thanks for sharing that.

    To me, the senior guys stepped up this week. Beast was immense, Tera was everywhere and Cobus and Pat both had very good games.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.03.17 12:58:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : I still haven’t watched the game but the name I’m missing there is Mvovo. How did he do?

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.03.17 13:02:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Glad to hear the guys are confident that they can score tries when they need to. In the last few years the guys have looked panicked when in that situation, so that’s a good sign to me.

    With regard to the last movement of the game we booted the ball deep opposed to kicking shallow and trying to win the ball in the air. I thought that suggested the guys had decided a draw was good enough and then when we won the ball back we played for the win. That was my interpretation of it.

    If we decided to go for the win initially why kick it deep?

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.03.17 13:04:08 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : Yes please, I’ll have a double helping of what you’re serving!

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.03.17 13:25:09 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : actually, he did well too. I’m worried that he’s not getting his positioning right on defence at times, but on attack he was very good.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.03.17 13:25:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • I must say beast and Pat are very capable of silencing their critics this season. And Bosch very able to silence the doubters. Jus an aside, where is April and Radebe in the scheme of things.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.03.17 14:06:27 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @Hulk (Comment 4) : I just thought they were confident there is enough time left to get the ball or force a penalty on defence. They went up very quickly to defend that ball

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.03.17 17:37:53 by HeinF Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Ja must say forwards was good and gave the backs some good balls to play with! Think it will be unfair to single out one player because every player the forward pack performed but must say I’m glad to see Beast showing some great form!!!

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.03.17 22:07:40 by JD Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : Lovely…

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.03.17 23:36:53 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I wonder if anyone has noticed this, but it appears to me that the current crop of 9s in SA get to the breakdown/ruck quickly, but then spend a few seconds scanning the field planning their next move. That combined with the 2 or 3 steps toward the first receiver they take, results in slow ball and set defences. I don’t think a player like Fourie du Preez ever waited to get to the breakdown before assessing his options. He would know before he arrived what he would do, which meant he could plan his angle of arrival to allow for an easy snappy pass to his first receiver. He almost never dawdled back there like the SA 9s tend to nowadays. CR is quicker than FdP, has a stronger pass, as good a box kick, and greater speed, Can you imagine if he arrives at a breakdown knowing what to do, and picking up the ball upon arrival, and either pass dart, etc. I really hope that someone like RdP is able to impart this wisdom to CR.

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.03.17 04:59:13 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I sat and re-watched the game last night and thought the Sharks did really well over long periods. From kick off to the 17th minute we were very good. The from about the 34th minute until the 60th we were good again. At the 70th minute we started to look panicked but found some composure when we stole their lineout ball 5m out in the 77th or 78th minute and after that looked good again.

    With less that a minute to ago we had a 22 drop out and Pat booted it way down field opposed to giving our chases an opportunity to win it back. Was the thought, void giving them another chance for a drop goal and we can possibly win it back on the ground (which ultimately we did) or lets settle for a draw opposed to a possible loss?

    As for our game, I like how Pat just sent the ball down the line initially but as the game wore on he started to take the ball up which made us meters every time. I still think he is passing down the line to early but I like what I see if he keeps getting better. Those handy inside passes to Mvovo also worked like a charm and almost got us a try. Am had a great game, I’ve not been sold on him so far but he sure did put in a great performance. Van Wyk looked strong on the wing and kept making meters and I really like how we’re using our big men (especially Mthembu) on the side of the field to win us extra meters.

    Jean-Luc was fantastic in defense but also those strong carries, can’t wait to get Dan back, that always makes them that much better. The Lewies/ Botha combo was good and think Oosthuizen might have just booked himself an extended stay on the bench.

    Players I’d love to talk about too, Beast, Philip, Cobus, all were good in my opinion

    All things considered a very good outing for the Sharks, 5 points from 2 tour starts is a fine return in my opinion. Onward and upward.

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.03.17 11:17:03 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 11) : Agreed unfortunately the move pressing concern is a suitable backup option going forward past 2017, CR leaving the shores for the North, MC is very near to retirement, Ungerer havent seen of in a while so we have for once a issue at SH.

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.03.17 11:27:44 by Dunx Reply

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  • @Hulk (Comment 12) : @Dunx (Comment 13) : What I liked from Cobus last week is he didn’t box kick as often as he did against the Reds, helped a lot with running back at the Brumbies with intent.

    I’m not convinced about Ungerers ability to play SR yet and him pitching up unfit at training earlier this year doesn’t say much about his mindset or attitude. We need a quality replacement there for next year when CR leaves and to get someone now and bleed him off the bench in preparation for next year would be ideal IMO.

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.03.17 11:38:33 by Quintin Reply

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  • @Hulk (Comment 12) : Good comment…

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.03.17 12:08:43 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 15) : Thanks. Watching the game without the emotion gives one a much better understanding of how we played opposed to how I perceived we played.

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.03.17 12:33:09 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Quintin (Comment 14) : For me the difference in Reinarch play was he was not making all the decisions himself, he was concentrated on getting the ball to Pat to make the decisions
    .Now while that worked it is not his natural game, he is not a Faf ,or a Janno Vermaak,,he fancies himself as a Fourie du Preez.He has the pace and probably the strength of Fourie but is sadly lacking in the instinct that it takes to play that game.He spends too much time on the ball weighing up his options.He telegraphs a lot and if he tries something and it doesn’t come off he goes at it again and again.
    Having said all that when it does come off he scores some amazing tries, but he is a lottery,and I think the Sharks are better served with the decision making at 10 and not at 9.

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.03.17 14:09:16 by The hound Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 11) : That my biggest pet hate about most scrumhalves recently. I don’t shout at any player as much as Reinach in a match especially when he takes his time at the back of a ruck. Al he does is give the opposition defense time to get in place.

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.03.17 15:44:02 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 17) : Yeah look maybe comparing him with one of the best SH’s to ever play the game is a bit unfair but I agree with you on most points especially the last one. My actual concern is that we need a quality replacement as soon as possible because we aren’t really spoilt for choice at the moment and Cobus is leaving next year. Why not get someone in now and see how he goes(from the bench) before we have to throw some youngster in the deep end next year? I just want us to start planning ahead.

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.03.17 16:26:25 by Quintin Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 17) : “…l think the Sharks are better served with the decision making at 10 and not at 9.” Couldn’t agree with you more if you paid me to do so. The Sharks need a George Gregan type 9, not a Fourie Du Preez clone.

  • Comment 20, posted at 08.03.17 16:32:58 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 20) : I think I know who the WRIGHT scrumhalf is for the Sharks.

  • Comment 21, posted at 08.03.17 16:54:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : What are the chances of seeing him in a Sharks jersey again?

  • Comment 22, posted at 08.03.17 17:11:56 by Quintin Reply

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  • @Quintin (Comment 22) : I dunno. But surely with Ungerer and Reinach going there must be a chance to persuade him to come back? Especially given that Jake is leaving Montpellier?

  • Comment 23, posted at 08.03.17 17:31:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : Don’t even go there. Unless, of course, your wife’s sister is best friends with Cameron Wright’s mother’s cousin’s best friend, and has some pull with him. In that case, be my guest!

  • Comment 24, posted at 08.03.17 17:35:16 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Well we can hope! I rate the guy.

  • Comment 25, posted at 08.03.17 17:36:22 by Quintin Reply

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  • I hardly remember Wright. Obviously White rated him but can’t remember him doing fantastically well.

  • Comment 26, posted at 08.03.17 19:48:24 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Dunx (Comment 13) : @Quintin (Comment 14) : @robdylan (Comment 21) : @Culling Song (Comment 24) : @Hulk (Comment 26) : if he’s willing to come back yes it could be a good move for the Sharks.
    Looking at the current players playing in SA I’d really go for Piet van Zyl. He showed real talent before the move to Pta that “shipwrecked” his career. Think playing for a team like the Sharks and next to Pat he could once again find the form he had!

  • Comment 27, posted at 08.03.17 22:40:40 by JD Reply
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  • @Hulk (Comment 26) : Clearly you never watched him play or you would remember, lets put it this way Jake came to take the best and he didnt even look at CR or Ungerer

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.03.17 08:02:43 by benji Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 17) : Yes but for every try he scores he is directly responsible for at least two tries against the Sharks in the game

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.03.17 08:05:20 by benji Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) : he is consistent,consistently the worst 9 in SR

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.03.17 08:10:16 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 28) : I had a look at his career and he had 1 SR cap and a handful of CC, so I can see why I can’t remember him much. As for White taking him, White also rated Jaco van der Westhuizen and Ashwin Willemse so I can’t he only chooses the best talent. But I do hear what you’re saying it’s just with so few caps to his name was he ever truly tested and can we say he was ever that good or are we looking at it with “the one that go away” goggles.

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.03.17 08:12:43 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 11) : I disagree Faf doesnt do those things

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.03.17 08:13:47 by benji Reply
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  • @Hulk (Comment 31) : sorry mate I didnt say rated I said came to take to Montpellier only the best

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.03.17 08:16:13 by benji Reply
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  • This round has to be some of the best match ups ever, just take the first game, anyone getting all games right this week is either psychic,lucky or a sangoma

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.03.17 09:18:12 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 34) : I agree, pretty much all the matches can go either way with the exception of the Reds vs Crusaders game, Saders should take that one. The last one is the tricky one and might be an ‘upset’ with the Lions sending a second string team over to Arg and we all know what happened last time they did that.

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.03.17 10:05:14 by Quintin Reply

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  • @Quintin (Comment 35) : Sheet I never realised the Lions game was in Argie I automatically presumed it was in Josie and locked my picks.That changes everything.

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.03.17 10:11:33 by The hound Reply
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  • @Quintin (Comment 35) : Well that and the Cheetahs should knock the Sunwolves the fuck out, they have looked useless so far. Hammered by Canes and lost to the Kings.

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.03.17 10:13:42 by Quintin Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 36) : Well in your case you can hope that the Lions have learned a few lessons from last year and correct them this time around? Who did you pick for Brumbies vs Force? Also a tricky one as the Force put away the Reds but the Brumbies are at home and I don’t think they’ll want to lose their 3 opening games in a row,

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.03.17 10:18:54 by Quintin Reply

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  • Basically, only 2 easy picks this round :

    Cheetahs vs Sunwolves(Cheetahs)
    Kings vs Stormers(Stormers)

    The rest of them can go either way.

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.03.17 10:23:16 by Quintin Reply

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  • @Quintin (Comment 38) : Hardest pick is first one, whoever wins that game will win the tournament.I went with the Chiefs only becauseHurricanes have so far played absolute crap opposition.But in the entire history of my Superbru overtime I chose Canes they lose and every time I don’t they win.
    It is going to be helluva game.

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.03.17 10:23:20 by The hound Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 32) : Faf does something even more infuriating, which is to telegraph exactly where every pass is going by the way he plants his foot.

  • Comment 41, posted at 09.03.17 10:24:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 36) : top tip – the list the home team first.

  • Comment 42, posted at 09.03.17 10:24:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 40) : Also picked the Chiefs for a win. Homeground and as you said they’ve had proper opposition in their previous 2 matches.

  • Comment 43, posted at 09.03.17 10:25:04 by Quintin Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 40) : ” whoever wins that game will win the tournament”

    Big shout that, but I can’t disagree

  • Comment 44, posted at 09.03.17 10:26:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : Yep, home ground in a very tight match is the safest bet.

  • Comment 45, posted at 09.03.17 10:26:46 by Quintin Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : I know,Iknow ,its called a senior moment

  • Comment 46, posted at 09.03.17 10:28:13 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 41) : Funny thing is that the 9 currently playing in S.A. best suited to Pat’s play is Ross Cronje and they first played in the same team when???

  • Comment 47, posted at 09.03.17 10:31:32 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 46) : appreciate your service!

  • Comment 48, posted at 09.03.17 10:45:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 47) : spot on. You’re having a lucid morning indeed

  • Comment 49, posted at 09.03.17 10:46:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 49) : Meds haven’t kicked in yet.

  • Comment 50, posted at 09.03.17 10:47:31 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 50) : sharing is caring, remember that!

  • Comment 51, posted at 09.03.17 10:57:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 51) : So looking forward to tomorrow nights game, such a long time since the last one.
    There is a moment as the team hit the field that is so exhilarating and uplifting that never ever loses its impact.
    Some people probably get that from religion,I get mine right there.
    Television rugby just cannot convey that emotion.

  • Comment 52, posted at 09.03.17 11:08:47 by The hound Reply
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  • @Hulk (Comment 26) : Played for the Sharks U19 from grade 11 (was a year old). He was hugely talented, would love it if the Sharks could get him back.

  • Comment 53, posted at 09.03.17 11:28:10 by Nostraseth Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 52) : you will be disappointed if you go tomorrow night, mate. The game is on Saturday :)

  • Comment 54, posted at 09.03.17 12:51:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Nostraseth (Comment 53) : a year old? Talented boy!

    Where ya bin, Seth? I’ve missed you.

  • Comment 55, posted at 09.03.17 12:52:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Hulk (Comment 31) : Wright has the ability to pass directly, straight and long from the ruck without taking 5 steps sideways and winding up. On top of it his goal kicking was not too shabby. He was by no means the finished article, but I was pissed when Jake stole him from the Sharks.

  • Comment 56, posted at 09.03.17 13:29:21 by Bokhoring Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 56) : @Nostraseth (Comment 53) : Now we’re getting somewhere. I was surprised when Jake took him but thought he must have seen something during that CC season when he left the seniors to look into our juniors.

    I kept having to retype the above paragraph to ensure it didn’t sound like I was accusing Jake White of pedophilia :lol:

  • Comment 57, posted at 09.03.17 14:08:42 by Hulk Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 55) : Haha Hey Rob, I’ve been around, just super busy! But the season has started now so I should be around a little more.

  • Comment 58, posted at 12.03.17 14:11:49 by Nostraseth Reply
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