KSA Shark ©

Dawning of an age of plenty

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, WP on 10 Sep 2008 at 22:16

Their big ABSA Currie Cup win over the Cheetahs may not lead to domestic success for Western Province, but it did tell us a couple of things about a union that some people have mistakenly assumed to be in a crisis.

Firstly, WP did not play particularly well in this match, and yet, the winning margin of 18 points was a comprehensive one against a team that had not lost at home in this competition since August 2006. Which tells us that had the entire Currie Cup season been played at full-strength, WP would not be lagging in fifth position, and would be nearer first or second.

Secondly, an away win like this one, particularly when not playing well, is a reminder that Province do have the resources to remain a strong threat when they fit back into the full blue uniforms of the Stormers for next year’s Super 14.

For ultimately that is the perspective that has to be kept in mind, the Currie Cup, much though every player wants to win it, is in its current form not much more than a building block for the Super 14. And you only have to see how seldom Canterbury have won the New Zealand NPC in comparison to how often the Crusaders have won the Super 14 to understand why I say that.

Gavin Rich writes in his Superrugby column that very rarely have Canterbury won the NPC in a season where they have also excelled in the Super 14, and this is a trend shared by the South African teams. The Stormers finished second on the Super 12 log in 1999, but came 12th in a 14 team Currie Cup, when most of the players who had done well for them in Super rugby were away playing for the Boks in the World Cup.

In 2001 the Sharks made the Super 14 final, but they did not win the Currie Cup, and ditto for the Bulls last season.

A look back at WP performances during the SANZAR era will show that the team’s lowly position on the log should have been anticipated from the moment that new Springbok coach Peter de Villiers made it clear that he was going to draw heavily on Province personnel in his first season in charge.

He called up no less than 13 WP players to his first training camp, and the union has provided the bulk of the national squad ever since. The last time this happened during a Currie Cup season was in the afore-mentioned 1999 season – a spectacular success at Super 12 level, a disaster at Currie Cup level.

Yet a few months after that Currie Cup season ended, the Stormers had another good season in the Super 14. They never made the semi-finals this time, but they were only just edged out into fifth position, with the difference from the previous year being the absence of the injured Bob Skinstad. Later that year WP won the Currie Cup, and they went on to do it again the following season.

Up until last Saturday the WP season ran a remarkably similar course for the Cape union as the 1999 one did – relative Super 14 success leads to Bok selections, which leads to unsatisfactory results during the under-strength phase.

It’s easy to figure out why this is. When WP played the Sharks at Newlands last month, the visitors had no less than 12 players in their starting team that would be first choices at Super 14 level. At best, WP had five. It was a similar story in the previous match against the Lions, where just Joe van Niekerk was missing from the team that played in the Super 14.

With the Super 14 being the big competition all the provinces work towards, and the real money spinner in the professional age, this situation should advantage WP in that it has meant that youngsters have been blooded who should benefit from playing against almost full-strength Super 14 sides.

Former Bishops sensation Nick Koster, still just 19 years of age, leads a stunning array of young players who will be thankful for the experience they have gained now if called upon during next year’s Super 14.

In the early stages, before he was injured, flanker Pieter Myburgh was a revelation, while the absence of the injured JD Moller has given Wicus Blaauw the opportunity to establish himself as a useful loosehead. The 20-year-old tighthead JC Kritzinger, who is equally at home at loosehead, also used the under-strength phase to gain invaluable experience.

With it being no secret that Erasmus has a couple of big name signings lined up for next year, all of this points to the dawning of a time of plenty, and not the drought that some seem to think is represented by WP’s current mediocre position on the log.


  • 😆 😆 😆

    The WP media machine starts to grind away again.

    Gavin Rich really loves making an arse of himself.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.09.08 23:16:58 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • It is early in the morning and my befuddled brain strains to keep up with Gavin Rich’s deep insight into all the complexities of WP rugby. However, WP did lose a lot of players to the Boks and should now be something of a force. Go WP ( said without any enthusiasm ).

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.09.08 05:21:06 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver Fox
  • Go Valke!

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.09.08 05:29:35 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 3) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.09.08 05:31:34 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver Fox
  • We really have the best bunch of journo’s here in CT: 👿

    Gavin Rich
    Dale Granger
    Ashfak Mohammed
    Mark Keohane
    Clayton Saville

    I’m tempted to remove Clayton Saville from that illustrious list.

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.09.08 07:21:06 by wpw Reply
  • Didn’t the Sharks end two places higher on the Super 14 log than the Stormers did this year? And last time I checked, we contributed 9 players to the Boks.

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.09.08 07:23:28 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Blah blah blah…the truth is WP shouldn’t have lost against the Griquas and Valke…and they know it. This article was really not necessary.

    @Silver Fox (Comment 2) : Go WP ( said without any enthusiasm ).
    😆 I can actually picture that.

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.09.08 08:12:57 by blackshark - (Well done Serena!) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Please change the title to “Dawning of an age of EXCUSES”…

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.09.08 08:15:07 by blackshark - (Well done Serena!) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark – (Well done Serena!) (Comment 8) :

    I am wiff you on dat one. 🙄

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.09.08 08:25:46 by wpw Reply
  • sharks route so far in currie cup

    this takes into account players for boks , injured n and that had just left

    1 beast boks and injury
    2 adi boks
    3 steyn boks
    4 ruan boks
    5 bismark boks
    6 smitty boks and injury
    7 jpp boks
    8 odwa boks
    9 kanko boks and injured till now
    10 cockott injured half the season
    11 jannie boks
    12 bj injured and then left
    13 mathie left
    14 aj left
    15 ackermann retired
    16 cilliers injured a year half the season included
    17 muller injured
    18 barritt injured
    19 deysel injured half the season
    20 percy left
    21 sykes injured 5 weeks
    22 hargreaves out injured

    eish all i can think of and thats how the season has gone so far for the sharks team
    a whole 22

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.09.08 08:27:24 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld

    To me the sharks have every reason to moan and groan

    but like good boys we aint 🙄 😆

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.09.08 08:28:59 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • I’m surprised Rich doesn’t bring up the fact that 2 of WP’s contracted flyhalves were told they are not needed even though Grant was with the Boks and we only had De Waal available.

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.09.08 08:30:18 by wpw Reply
  • The difference that Rich fails to see is that a similarly embattled Sharks squad (depth-wise) is in first place, 16 log points and four wins better.

    Stop making excuses.

    The Dawn of an era. Yeah right…

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.09.08 08:30:22 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 13) : see my postin about how the sharks were effected

    and i am sure i have missed one or 2 players

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.09.08 08:32:53 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @wpw (Comment 12) :

    “2 of WP’s contracted flyhalves”

    Who… Watson and Bekker?

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.09.08 08:36:42 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 15) : Croy and Dollie

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.09.08 08:38:38 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 15) : why not ask your mates at Reitzworld? 🙄

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.09.08 08:40:09 by wpw Reply
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 10) : I don’t think GR noticed any of that…Good MOANIN’ to you too…

    @wpw (Comment 12) : So much for the age of PLENTY…

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.09.08 08:42:04 by blackshark - (Well done Serena!) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 16) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.09.08 08:42:21 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • “A Union mistakenly assumed to be in a crisis…”

    Didn’t they sell off all their assets? They have been buying up players left right and centre and must have a huge wage bill. It would be interesting to know their financial status, given that they have no trophies in recent years.

    (and before I get slagged off for the Sharks simialr lack of failure at cup-final time, the Sharks haven’t been selling off assets).

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.09.08 08:45:51 by Baldrick Reply

  • Where did Rich find the time to write this? I thought he was devoting all his time rubbishing Peter de Villiers.

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.09.08 08:46:05 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Adding to my last post, “the Sharks haven’t been selling off assets” – to keep the Union afloat.

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.09.08 08:46:21 by Baldrick Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 17) : That was unnecessary

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.09.08 08:49:54 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Baldrick (Comment 22) :
    They did sell Bobs and AJ.

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.09.08 08:51:02 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Anyone read Keo’s take on the whole saga and the mascara-wearing Hewitt’s innocent in this whole thing?

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.09.08 08:52:17 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 21) : spot on!!! 😎

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.09.08 08:53:33 by wpw Reply
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 21) : 🙂

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.09.08 08:53:52 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Baldrick (Comment 25) : 😯

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.09.08 08:55:46 by wpw Reply
  • @Baldrick (Comment 25) : I did 😳

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.09.08 08:58:26 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
  • @Baldrick (Comment 25) : Yea i did as well, did you remember to consume your ton of salt with it ?

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.09.08 09:03:59 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Sauce (Comment 30) : Ha ha ha …you ou’s know how to brighten up a dark Durban day…

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.09.08 09:06:22 by blackshark - (Well done Serena!) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 16) :

    Yup I’ll never understand why AC didn’t bring Dollie up to the CC… Davids clearly thought about it then chickened out with a IMO silly reason before the Boland/WP game…

    Heil Wes…

  • Comment 32, posted at 11.09.08 09:06:36 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 24) :

    Baldy said ‘assets’… 😉

  • Comment 33, posted at 11.09.08 09:09:21 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @Sauce (Comment 30) : No but I did bring up a ton pf something else after reading that stuff.

  • Comment 34, posted at 11.09.08 09:49:53 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Sauce (Comment 30) : His whole article appears to be about distancing himself from the antics of a former employee who obviously fed him inside info and who seems to have learned at the hand of Keo. And the fact that this Hewitt is apparently, according to Keo, innocent in this whole saga seems to miss one vital thing, if he was so innocent, where does the alleged R2 million by-off fit in?

    Mascara at a Media conference, this has to have been the last straw!

  • Comment 35, posted at 11.09.08 09:53:53 by Baldrick Reply

  • Seems he only upset Free state officials with his mascara. 🙄

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.09.08 10:28:24 by McLovin Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 35) : Maybe he’s a friend of Ma’a Nonu

  • Comment 37, posted at 11.09.08 10:38:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Seems like everyone is paying KEO a visit, it must have been the mention of mascara.

  • Comment 38, posted at 11.09.08 10:38:59 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 38) : why do you think he does it? 😉

  • Comment 39, posted at 11.09.08 10:50:39 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Also read that Keo one but surely first thing I was taught as a kid and one I taught mine first thing is to be rather half an hour early then a minute late and the muscara part just add to the woman like. Keo’s excuse is nothing other then lame. This whole episode is turning into a thriller. Hewitt-Keo-Watsons-Snor-Hoskins-Stofile a vokken vicious cycle and I think Mr Keo and Snor sure do have some kind of a relationship. Not sure but I read somewhere Keo sponsor some club in Paarl. .

    Times like this I longing back to Danie Craven when they serve rugby and not some muscara PR’s, moffie kind of CEOs and back seat sex with Suzi.

    Anyway the truth will get closer, make no mistake and the next one will be the 3rd vokken force in rugby.

    ack to topic and one important thing Mr Rich or whatever totally ignore when analysing S14/CC/Bokke performances is the conditioning part. WeePee got knocked out the CC early last year and had three extra weeks to start this with their players bar Jean & Schalkie who was in the WC Sqaud. With the ELVs in S14 thats was valuable me thinks.

  • Comment 40, posted at 11.09.08 11:34:31 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 39) : If your asking about the guy and his mascara – I REALLY DONT KNOW!!!! 😈
    If your asking about Keo, well its all about hits – the first the sex tapes came up on his site (as an article) was yesterday, 2 full days after the Sunday papers broke the story. Nothing like keeping the cogs turning when things slow a bit. Timing, timing, timing.

  • Comment 41, posted at 11.09.08 11:34:52 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Would any of you let a male mascara wearing journalist who also happens to be a lawyer near your assets? – with appologies to BF

  • Comment 42, posted at 11.09.08 11:41:17 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Baldrick (Comment 35) : The thing about Keo, is he will do just about anything to paint himself in a better light.

    Hewitts 2 mill is the payout for the duration of his 4 year contract, you would think by now saru wouldn’t sign anything long term. And to be honest was Keo any better with his Staaldraad revelations – he cashed in on those big time.

  • Comment 43, posted at 11.09.08 12:03:41 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 42) : I try not to let lawyers to close to my assets in general, you tend to get hit by ambulances when they are around.

  • Comment 44, posted at 11.09.08 12:04:39 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Sauce (Comment 43) :
    I think the fact that many of us know who Keo is, is mainly because of his association with SARU and specifically Staaldraad. He owes them big time.

  • Comment 45, posted at 11.09.08 12:20:24 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle

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