Steyn IS at 13 as Sharks team is named

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 3 Apr 2008 at 08:56

Inspired selection coup or yet another disaster in waiting? 80 minutes in Wellington will reveal all as Sharks coach Dick Muir moves out-of-form World Cup Hero Francois Steyn to yet another position in the backline.

Steyn has alternated between the flyhalf and fullback positions in his six outings to date, being unable to displace Bradley Barritt from the number 12 jersey which many feel is the former’s best position. Steyn has looked average at best when at fullback and just plain woeful at pivot as his decision making and “speed-of-thought” appear way below par for this most crucial of positions.

A knee injury to regular outside centre Waylon Murray sees Steyn named in the unfamiliar number 13 jersey for the first time in his career. It’s a move that may well prove a masterstroke; Steyn is big, strong, fast and knows how to beat a man. Running straight is his forte and his defence is spot on. Maybe at 13 his reluctance to pass will be less of a hindrance and his huge-yet-erratic boot may be called into play less often if given good ball by Barritt. Murray himself has been strangely off colour this season, so a new (old) face at 13 may just help get the static Sharks backline moving again.

Ryna Kankowski has recovered from an ankle injury to take his place at number 8, while Steven Sykes comes into the second row, with AJ Venter relegated to the reserves. BJ Botha comes in at tighthead for Jannie du Plessis as the “rotate-a-prop” system continues. The remainder of the team is unchanged, with the exception of Fred Michalak’s elevation to the starting fifteen to occupy the vacant flyhalf slot. Michalak’s place on the bench is taken by fit-again Adrian Jacobs.

The bench has a reasonably regulation look to it, although should Waylon Murray be passed fit to join the reserves, Venter will miss out altogether.

Here is the team:
15 Terblanche, 14 Ndungane, 13 Steyn, 12 Barritt, 11 Pietersen, 10 Michalak, 9 Pienaar, 8 Kankowski, 7 Botes, 6 Daniel, 5 Muller (capt), 4 Sykes, 3 Botha, 2 B du Plessis, 1 Mtawarira
16 Burden, 17 J du Plessis, 18 van den Berg, 19 Taione, 20 Venter/Murray, 21 Kockott, 22 Jacobs


  • Steyn will excel at 13…putting my head on the block here… 😎

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.04.08 09:02:46 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Dick Muir wants to prove another point as last week… 😈

    πŸ™„ πŸ™„ πŸ™„

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.04.08 09:12:07 by Charlie Reply
  • Well – think this is “make or break” for young Fransie. Don’t think it is the right game to be trying out new things. Wish they would stop moving him around though.

    At least Adi is back on the bench – we missed him last week!

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.04.08 09:15:31 by Nessa Reply
  • πŸ™„

    Pienaar ahead of Kockott…ag please… 😑

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.04.08 09:16:57 by Charlie Reply
  • Charlie – agree with you entirely. Last week showed that once Rory came onto the field – much better option.

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.04.08 09:19:25 by Nessa Reply
  • So we can expect to see Steyn @ lock next week… πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.04.08 09:20:32 by Charlie Reply
  • Ice – sure you will be happy. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.04.08 09:25:50 by Nessa Reply
  • Just goes to show how much rests on the shoulders of this young professional rugby player. We all know he’s got heaps of talent (he’s proven it over and over again) and I refuse to believe that he can turn into a crappy player in such a short space of time.

    I think he’ll enjoy the bit of freedom at OC…expect a lot of breaks…

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.04.08 09:28:42 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Steven Sykes has deleted his FaceBook profile πŸ™

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.04.08 09:29:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • Must say, I’m a wee bit nervous about the Botes-Daniel combo in this match. Hope they prove me wrong by keeping the ball away from the bigger Canes loosies.

    Canes are soft in the tight five – they always have been.

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.04.08 09:30:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.04.08 09:31:04 by Charlie Reply

  • Rob,

    How does the Hurricanes team look like ❓

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.04.08 09:31:44 by Charlie Reply

  • they are mostly big dark guys… they tend to wear yellow.

  • Comment 13, posted at 03.04.08 09:33:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • Nothing to worry about rob…they’ve mastered the art of taking on big guys…and if things get out of hand…enter the Paddy… πŸ˜†

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.04.08 09:34:32 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • 03.04.08 09:33:56 – robdylan

    πŸ˜† Good one…

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.04.08 09:35:20 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Rob,

    You blond… 😳

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.04.08 09:40:47 by Charlie Reply

  • Charlie – the guys in 1-3 are fat, then 4-5 are tall, then 6-8 are just plain big and scary. 9 is a little brown guy, 10 is a little white guy, then 12 is a big white guy, 11, 13 and 14 are big black guys and 15 is a white guy who thinks he’s black (although he seems to have lost the dreads).

    Ok, actually, the team hasn’t been announced yet πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.04.08 09:43:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.04.08 09:45:37 by Charlie Reply

  • i like the decision. frans hasn’t proved his worth so he must fit in around the players who have. his defence is strong to keep the hurricanes nonu checked, and he can’t waste good ball with pointless kicks. i think this is a great opportunity for him to show his true value. and at outside centre we may see him shine as he will compliment odwa and jp well. he can create gaps and off load to the speedsters.

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.04.08 09:48:16 by try time Reply

  • that’s pretty much the way I see it, TT

  • Comment 20, posted at 03.04.08 09:49:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good morning everyone

    as usual i will again disagree with most of you\

    somehow most of you dont understand the sub and it having fresh lags etc

    i agre with dick to play ruan specially with his defence that is better then cockott / we all know the canes scrummy is a big boy that likes to break around the scrums etc

    although i am not totally happy with poor steyn having to now play 13
    (and again some silly comments towards the kid) he is played in a new position but i am sure he will do just fine

    other then that i am happy for sykes and i think a great team

    i would like to see in 2nd half if fred is subbed that he moves to fly half with adi replacing brad maybe

    the backline would then look like this


  • Comment 21, posted at 03.04.08 09:50:36 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Must admit that I haven’t watched ONE full match of this years’ S14, didn’t really bother with FL and made SBru predictions on a 1st thought – 1st bet basis.

    I have only now seen the Cheetahs lineup. Are they serious about playing S14?

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.04.08 09:53:16 by Kal-El Reply

  • This is a team to beat the Hurricanes….get you act together and do us proud…hope they are over the jet-lag

  • Comment 23, posted at 03.04.08 09:58:45 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • KE- I was actually impressed with the team they named.

  • Comment 24, posted at 03.04.08 10:02:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • DP – I really think we can take these guys quite comfortably. Pressure defence and they’ll crumble.

  • Comment 25, posted at 03.04.08 10:06:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • Funny enough – I am more positive about winning this game than I was last week.

  • Comment 26, posted at 03.04.08 10:07:06 by Nessa Reply

  • Now this is a team I LIKE!!! πŸ˜›

  • Comment 27, posted at 03.04.08 10:10:42 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Funny enough Ness – this one scares me a bit more than the Saders game ahead!! 😯 😯 I think the guys are really gonna put it together against the Saders…trust i am RIGHT!! 😐

  • Comment 28, posted at 03.04.08 10:12:20 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • 03.04.08 10:10:42 – Ice

    Obviously based on purely rugby reasons and not looks and favouritism…

  • Comment 29, posted at 03.04.08 10:14:48 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • Ice – somehow I just knew that! πŸ˜‰

    I hope that even if we don’t win on Saturday – that we have a good game and maybe pick up a bonus point for finishing within 7 – we need to start the away leg on a good note.

  • Comment 30, posted at 03.04.08 10:15:53 by Nessa Reply

  • DP – off course!! πŸ˜‰ Honestly though – I do like the team – might have given Rory a chance to start – but I like the backline…exept for Barrit… :mrgreen: JK!

    Ness – I think we might pull this off as well!! I am POSITIVE!! πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 31, posted at 03.04.08 10:20:43 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • 03.04.08 10:02:38 – robdylan

    currie cup team πŸ™„

  • Comment 32, posted at 03.04.08 10:22:38 by Kal-El Reply

  • pienaar is one of the most talented players in sa, he needs an extended run, he will come good.

  • Comment 33, posted at 03.04.08 10:24:37 by knersboy Reply

  • 03.04.08 10:12:20 – Ice

    The Crusaders game will be a flight too far. Even IF they have 4 from 4 by then.

  • Comment 34, posted at 03.04.08 10:25:01 by Kal-El Reply

  • KE – yeah, true, but it’s the best team they could field

  • Comment 35, posted at 03.04.08 10:28:27 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • GO SHARKS !!!

  • Comment 36, posted at 03.04.08 10:31:32 by Charlie Reply

  • RD,
    WAAAAY better than the Cheetahs currie cup S14 team :mrgreen:

  • Comment 37, posted at 03.04.08 10:33:29 by Kal-El Reply

  • KE – lets wait and see… πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 38, posted at 03.04.08 10:47:32 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Cheetahs team is up

  • Comment 39, posted at 03.04.08 10:52:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • aj benched with keegan and botes in the same pack with styen in a brand new position against the canes in wellington…i give it to the canes.

  • Comment 40, posted at 03.04.08 11:08:18 by cab Reply

  • with the players the Sharks have at their disposal its impossible for Dick to put out a bad team ( fans will always argue about individual players)… with the pressure off Steyn at 13 he could well perform better. Rory,Adi and Epi coming off the bench should see some great attacking play, if it hasnt already happened in the first half

  • Comment 41, posted at 03.04.08 11:10:27 by spykerbaard Reply

  • 03.04.08 11:08:18 – cab

    ….oh yeah of red and white faith

  • Comment 42, posted at 03.04.08 11:11:40 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • lol DP, if the sharks win it, fantastic.

  • Comment 43, posted at 03.04.08 11:12:53 by cab Reply

  • AJ is not cutting the mustard at this stage… watch him get sent home halfway through and Jean Deysel called up in his place.

  • Comment 44, posted at 03.04.08 11:45:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • 03.04.08 11:45:02 – robdylan

    That would take a lot considering his history with the team and this being his swan song….but I agree with you about his performances and this is professional rugby, sentiments shouldn’t come into it.

  • Comment 45, posted at 03.04.08 11:48:50 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • Rob,

    They will stick with AJ to the end…certain players are just treated differently my friend… πŸ™„

  • Comment 46, posted at 03.04.08 11:55:54 by Charlie Reply

  • Charlie… we need to organise one MOER of an interview when a certain somebody finally does leave for pastures greener. Could possibly upset quite a few people πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 47, posted at 03.04.08 11:59:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • No problem, Mr. Roberto, you can count on me & Big Fish for that one… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 48, posted at 03.04.08 12:00:48 by Charlie Reply

  • WHOOOO? 😯

  • Comment 49, posted at 03.04.08 12:03:04 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • come on, ICE! Put 2+2 together, please? πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 50, posted at 03.04.08 12:06:06 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • If Steyn’s form doesn’t improve during the rest of the S14 then he shouldn’t start for the Boks against Wales. πŸ’‘

  • Comment 51, posted at 03.04.08 12:16:53 by wpw Reply
  • wpw,
    I think Steyn should start EVERY match for the Sharks and the Boks as long as they change his position everytime. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 52, posted at 03.04.08 12:18:40 by Kal-El Reply

  • I am from the calculator generation, Rob!! πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 53, posted at 03.04.08 12:19:43 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • 03.04.08 12:16:53 – wpw

    By the way, I hope that’s an energy saving bulp. Otherwise…switch it off.

  • Comment 54, posted at 03.04.08 12:21:53 by Kal-El Reply

  • Mnr Jacobus visiting the cape?

  • Comment 55, posted at 03.04.08 12:21:58 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • Kal-El

    What is a ‘bulp’ πŸ™„

  • Comment 56, posted at 03.04.08 12:23:52 by wpw Reply
  • #

    Mnr Jacobus visiting the cape?
    03.04.08 12:21:58 – provincejoulekkading

    ❓ ❓

  • Comment 57, posted at 03.04.08 12:25:47 by wpw Reply
  • gloeilamp 😯

  • Comment 58, posted at 03.04.08 12:26:33 by Kal-El Reply

  • Oh, Cummon, RRROOOBBB!!! Who?? AD??? 😯 (AJ wont bother me…SYKES 😯 , Steyn?, I can name the whole team if you like??? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 59, posted at 03.04.08 12:27:03 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Bulp = burp with lump… 😈

  • Comment 60, posted at 03.04.08 12:27:52 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • okey lets take a bet, the return of “robert du preez” how long b4 steyn gets a chance at 9 πŸ˜† πŸ˜† well i think that he might have a good game @13 will have space and has the pace to play there, but no ja, lets c.

  • Comment 61, posted at 03.04.08 12:32:08 by barend Reply

  • Hurricanes follow suit
    Thu, 03 Apr 2008 11:24

    The Hurricanes, like their opponents, have changed their midfield for their Super 14 encounter against the unbeaten Sharks in Wellington on Saturday.

    ‘Canes coach Colin Cooper made just one change to his starting XV, with Tane Tu’ipulotu preferred ahead of Tamati Ellison at No.12.

    Ellison didn’t have the best of matches in last week’s loss to the Crusaders and can’t even find a place on the bench.

    The Hurricanes have stuck with under-pressure scrumhalf Piri Weepu, though assistant coach Aussie McLean has made it clear they’re looking for improvement from the former All Black.

    “We all know what his potential is, and hopefully he starts reaching his potential soon,” McLean told Radio Sport.

    “He’s not playing as well as he can, but he’s not far off,” he added.

    McLean wants to see his distribution work picked up and also for the No.9 to be more of a threat with ball in hand.

    Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Ma’a Nonu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 11 Shannon Paku, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Rodney So’oialo (captain), 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 John Schwalger.
    Replacements: 16 Hikawera Elliot, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Jeremy Thrush, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Willie Ripia, 22 Hosea Gear.

    Date: Saturday, April 5
    Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellinton
    Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
    Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)
    Touch judges: Kelvin Deaker (Australia), James Scholtens (New Zealand)
    Television match official: Brent Murray (New Zealand)
    Assessor: Kim Eichmann (New Zealand)

  • Comment 62, posted at 03.04.08 13:08:10 by barend Reply

  • thanks Barend.

    We can take that bunch

  • Comment 63, posted at 03.04.08 13:12:36 by robdylan Reply
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