Cruel blow for Tahs centre

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 7 Apr 2008 at 17:57
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Waratahs centre Ben Jacobs will miss the remainder of the Super 14 after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Saturday against the Blues.Jacobs will undergo surgery on the injury on Thursday, the Waratahs said in a statement, as reported on News24.

“It’s really bad luck for BJ because he has made the number 13 jersey his own over the last couple of years,” Waratahs head coach Ewen McKenzie said.

“He’s a hugely underrated player and a good organiser in our backline so he’s going to be missed.

“We’ve got a number of options open to us, and with the way the backline plays it’s not like we’ll be lining up with guys who aren’t used to playing together.”

The Waratahs thrashed the Blues 37-16 in Sydney to rekindle their playoff hopes and next play fellow Australian side the Force in Perth on Saturday.


  • Pressuring Pienaar
    Super 14 | April 8th, 2008

    Ruan Pienaar is playing on reputation alone at present.

    It has to be established at the outset that Pienaar is arguably the most gifted South African scrumhalf to emerge in the last three years.

    When he’s burning white hot he’s untouchable and a nightmare to keep a check on. His sniping breaks around the ruck fringes are the bane of oppositions coaches, while his crisp distribution, ever improving kicking game, penchant for innovation, sharp decision-making ability under pressure and vision (amongst a host of other attributes) make him an asset to both the Sharks and the Springboks.

    He was in sublime form in the 2007 Super 14 and shone playing out of position in the two Test series against England in South Africa last year, then continued that form into the Tri-Nations and World Cup, where he unseated Ricky Januarie as Fourie du Preez’s deputy.

    However the 24-year-old hasn’t even come close to touching the ceiling of his potential in 2008 and is playing on reputation, a formidable one admittedly, alone.

    Injury hasn’t aided his cause to carry some momentum into the Sharks’ 2008 campaign. He missed three matches before returning against the Reds only to deliver a lukewarm performance. More of the same followed in Wellington against the Hurricanes last week.

    Rory Kockott took the opportunity to strengthen his claims to the No 9 shirt while Pienaar was out. Kockott, the classic scrumhalf in every sense, spent 2007 in Pienaar’s shadow, having to be content with 10-minute cameo’s off the wood. He has neither the class nor all-round skill of Pienaar, but has played to his strengths and been a banker for Muir and the Sharks.

    His impact against the Hurricanes was patent and despite missing a crucial penalty late in the match he helped galvanise a lethargic looking unit, as he has done all season. Kockott will continue to watch from the sidelines for the remainder of the season as the Sharks’ coaching staff will back Pienaar to play his way back into form. This is understandable, given the value an on-fire Pienaar has.

    It’s understandable, but whether it’s fair to Kockott is a different argument altogether. When do you stop selecting on reputation and opt for the form player? The adage says form is temporary and class is permanent, but when you’re in the business of winning Super 14 championships a poor fortnight (or Australasian tour in this case) could kill your title ambitions.

    Pienaar is an impossibly brilliant player, but he needs a jolt to the system. When met with him in Durban earlier this year he spoke of his ambitions for this season to be his best yet.

    The opportunity to achieve that goal hasn’t been lost but it starts with turning it on against the Highlanders on Friday. Kockott, meanwhile, will wait patiently in his shadow hoping for a chance to land a blow for the form guys.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.04.08 07:44:53 by barend Reply
  • Cru-El blow?

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.04.08 08:57:15 by Cru-El Reply
  • Vrede is on a mission to stir. He has put up three anti-Sharks articles in the last 24 hours or so.

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.04.08 12:52:31 by robd'ylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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