Len at fullback as Sharks name their team

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 22 Jan 2009 at 17:49
Tagged with : , , ,

The big news is that Len Olivier will play at fullback when the Sharks take on the Pumas in Witbank this weekend. Monty Dumond will be the starting flyhalf.

Sharksworld picked a speculative team a few days ago and we were pretty close with some of the selections that we made. The tight five will indeed comprise Barra Mthethwa, Craig Burden, John Smit, Joe Snyman and Alistair Hargreaves. Warren Whiteley wins the race to the number 8 jersey, with Justin Downey and Skollie Ndlovu the flanks. Steven Sykes and Nikolai Blignaut have been named among the forward reserves, along with two relative newcomers. Young Wiehann Herbst will be the front row reserve, having graduated from the ranks of the SA under 19s in 2008. Hooker Frik Venter has returned to Durban after a spell with the Valke and he will look to continue some good Currie Cup form in the number 16 jersey.

The backline selections are very interesting, though. Dumond starts at flyhalf with Charl McLeod as his partner. The first-choice halfbacks for the Super 14 are both on the bench, though, so expect to see Rory Kockott and Ruan Pienaar strike up a partnership in the second half. Stalwart Andries Strauss is at inside centre as predicted, but it’s the young Luzuko Vulindlu who’ll line up outside him. Riaan Swanepoel has presumably done enough to be considered one of the definites for the Super 14 squad, so he is only included on the bench as utility cover for 10-14.

Lwazi Mvovo and Chris Jordaan are the wingers in the team, leaving the door open for Olivier to play fullback. It is this selection that I find most interesting, as it perhaps gives us an inkling of what the coaches are thinking about backup to the evergreen Stefan Terblanche.

Sharks 22:

15. Len Olivier
14. Lwazi Mvovo
13. Luzuko Vulindlu
12. Andries Strauss
11. Chris Jordaan
10. Monty Dumond
9. Charl McLeod
8. Warren Whiteley
7. Justin Downey
6. Skholiwe Ndlovu
5. Johan Snyman
4. Alistair Hargreaves
3. John Smit ( Capt )
2. Craig Burden
1. Melusi Mthethwa


16. Frik Venter
17. Wiehahn Herbst
18. Steven Sykes
19. Nikolai Blignaut
20. Rory Kockott
21. Ruan Pienaar
22. Riaan Swanepoel


  • I got 16/22 right. Not bad for a beginner

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.01.09 17:52:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • Beginner?! 🙂 What happened to Skipper Badenhorst? Or is he the choice hooker for the S14 bench (bar Smit)?

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.01.09 18:01:20 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • Jeez, I’ll need profile info and pics about all these new guys, in order to get to know them. Help will be appreciated…lol

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.01.09 18:02:43 by Nita Reply

  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 2) : Not sure. I think you’ll find it’s a case of “we know what we have in Skipper”…

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.01.09 18:03:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Nita (Comment 3) : I’ve written LOTS about a fair few of them. Justin Downey is even a part of my extended family…

    Try do some searches

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.01.09 18:03:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • Venter is now behind Bissy, Smitty, Skipper and Burden in the hooking setup. I suppose that means back-up for the Sharks XV (Vodacom Cup). That’s really not setting your sights high. Surely someone from the Academy or U21s could have graduated up the ranks rather, kind of promoting from within?

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.01.09 18:07:47 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 6) : yeah – Dylan Rutherford would’ve got my vote.

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.01.09 18:44:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Baldrick (Comment 6) : jeepers… imagine being behind Skipper 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.01.09 18:44:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • sorry to say this, but I really don’t know why we’re persisting with Nikolai Blignaut. He’s just not good enough as a loose forward. Thabo Mamojele or Mike Rhodes offer way more.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.01.09 18:58:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Rob

    I’ve been banging on about this for ages. He just has never impressed me.

    Re: Justin Downey, I bumped into him about 4 times on my holiday in Durbs…it seems we move in the same circles! 😉
    Also bumped into Wolla a couple of times..but he was with the missus so didn’t hassle him.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.01.09 00:25:38 by Villie Reply
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  • Is Johan Snyman back from NZ for good then?

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.01.09 00:26:04 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 11) : he is still under contract until the end of this year. My info is that if he doesn’t make serious inroads this season, he’ll go somewhere else

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.01.09 01:24:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • With exception of Smit, Jordaan and Strauss (if he get some of his old form back…was a great defender)…not a great team at all…

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.01.09 19:33:19 by Hmmm Reply

  • Oh and Burden is not half bad…

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.01.09 19:33:51 by Hmmm Reply

  • But the Sharks have a good enough squad of about 25 that can win it for them…

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.01.09 19:34:27 by Hmmm Reply

  • Sharks won 19-7

    More to follow

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.01.09 19:37:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) :

    Are you serious!??!??!
    To a Premier league CC side!??!

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.01.09 19:40:27 by Hmmm Reply

  • Just confirms my point….

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.01.09 19:41:14 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 17) : Pumas aren’t premier league.

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.01.09 20:20:15 by robdylan Reply
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