KSA Shark ©

Giants in Super thriller

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Stormers, Super 14 on 15 Feb 2009 at 10:08

There were two different games at Newlands yesterday, separated by an injury to Jean de Villiers that saw the inspirational Stormers captain put in a neck brace and carried off on a stretcher.

Colin Bryden writes for the Times Online that De Villiers was taken to hospital for “precautionary observation”. Coach Rassie Erasmus said early indications were that the injury was not severe.

While De Villiers was in charge the Stormers looked superb and on course for a victory to delight the majority of a crowd of 47604.

The turning point of the Vodacom Super 14 clash came in the third minute of the second half when De Villiers stayed crumpled on the turf after a try- saving, head-on tackle on opposite number Francois Steyn.

De Villiers had been in magnificent form, sparking wave after wave of attacks that threatened to run the Sharks off their feet. Instead it was the Stormers who ran out of inspiration while the visitors took control, scoring 20 points without reply before a late surge by the home team.

The Sharks forwards gradually took charge and were kept going forward by outstanding scrumhalf Rory Kockott, one of a minority of non- Boks on show in a parade of rugby stardom.

Starved of the ball in the second half, the Stormers ran out of options and were pressured into conceding a string of penalties and free kicks.

While the Sharks made an excellent start to a campaign that will surely see them as major contenders for the title, the Stormers contributed to an invigorating display by many of South African rugby’s finest players.

Springbok captain John Smit had a vigorous match, first at hooker and later at prop, Ryan Kankowski showed a splendid eye for an opening and plenty of pace, while Steyn and his more subtle centre partner Adrian Jacobs were excellent in the second half.

For the Stormers, big new No8 Duane Vermeulen was immense in the first half, although less visible when his team were on the back foot in the second half, while Peter Grant had a fine game at flyhalf.

The Sharks were first to show but their opening attack was halted when they conceded a penalty just outside the Stormers’ 22. Cheekily, given the speculation that their front row would be their weakness, the Stormers opted for a scrum.

It was a heaving, untidy mess that ended with the Sharks conceding another penalty, which this time was kicked. When the Sharks were awarded a free kick soon afterwards, they retaliated by calling a scrum of their own.

The visitors looked superior in the most basic form of the game.

The Stormers quickly showed that talk of a more expansive game this season was well-founded, with De Villiers dynamic in midfield as the home team sought to run at every opportunity, often from deep in their own 22.

Yet the Sharks could have been first to score, with Ruan Pienaar missing three penalty goal attempts in the first 14 minutes, two from long range and one from near the touchline, with kicking made tricky by a swirling wind.

One of the heralded individual battles was that of the flyhalves and both showed their skills, Grant with a robust, direct approach in which he carried the ball hard into the defenders, while Pienaar’s silky handling and eye for an opportunity was seen when his team had chances to attack.

Most of the attacking in the first half, though, was done by the Stormers and they were rewarded after 19 minutes when Odwa Ndungane’s hasty clearance from a raking kick down field by Ricky Januarie was turned into a sweeping move that ended with centre Gcobani Bobo forcing his way over for a try.

Steyn’s surging run, which ended with De Villiers’ injury, signalled a turn of tide and Kockott put the Sharks in touch with two penalty goals.

With the Stormers starting to look ragged, a free kick inside their 22 was advanced by 10m for dissent and Kankowski’s quick tap created a bullocking try for Smit.

The Stormers came back but a sweeping move from near their own tryline ended in Stefan Terblanche scoring under the posts.

The Stormers managed a late surge, with Grant forcing his way over for a try and there were some tense moments towards the end before the Sharks celebrated a notable win.

It was the 50th Stormers appearance for loose forwards Schalk Burger and Luke Watson. There was a rousing ovation for Burger when he ran out ahead of his teammates before the kick-off. Watson was booed when he came on as a blood bin replacement late in the first half.

Stormers 15 — Tries: Gcobani Bobo and Peter Grant. Conversion: Peter Grant. Penalty: Grant.

Sharks 20 — Tries: John Smit and Stefan Terblanche. Conversions: Rory Kockott (2). Penalties: Kockott (2).


  • The Sharks used the least Subs of any of the teams this weekend.

    Saders used 4
    Chiefs used 6

    Stormers used 5
    Sharks used 3

    Force used 4
    Blues used 6

    Canes used 5
    Waratahs used 5

    Lions used 6
    Cheetahs used 6

    Landers used 6
    Brumbies used 5

    Bulls used 7
    Reds used 7

    It worries me that we only used 3 subs. I believe and MAN DO I HOPE I AM WRONG, that Plumtree doesn’t have the faith in the subs to make the step up.

    LAst year one of Eugene Eloff’s big shortcomings was his subs not being used and then when needed having no experience at the required level.

    PLEASE don’t make the same mistake in Dbn?????

    Look I understand that it is no coinicidence that the match with the biggest margin of victory was the one that used all their subs. It makes sense to bring on your subs when the game is in the bag.

    The S14 (all rugby actually) should be about 22 man rugby not 15 plus a few subs.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.02.09 11:04:01 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : Always remember on the flip side, making replacements loses continuity. If the guys are doing OK, rather not make changes. Massive match and if a debutant missed a match-winning tackle, imagine his confidence. He’d be Henno-d out!

    If you also look over the past, the champions have often been the teams who used the smallest squad (ie fewest number of players during the season).

    Luck pays a huge part in injuries, but in saying that, in four matches, the Sharks have lost no-one to injury, all our injuries have been sustained in preseason training.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.02.09 11:16:12 by Baldrick Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :

    I think its quite simple.

    You did not have quality on the bench apart from 3 players.

    In fact, most SA benches worry me apart from the Bulls really.

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.02.09 11:35:13 by MorneN Reply
  • @Baldrick (Comment 2) :

    @MorneN (Comment 3) :

    Two distinctly opposite opinions.

    I’m afraid i agree with the second one.

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.02.09 11:51:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • This Sharks team’s not going to lose many this season.

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.02.09 11:54:19 by McLovin Reply

  • Quite looking forward to watching the Sharks go this season.

    Added to that I reckon the Stormers & Bulls wil knock over a few top teams. Might not be enough for a semi themselves but hopefully help the Sharks to end top.

    Not that they will neccesarily need it.

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.02.09 11:57:38 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 5) :

    I agree, they are a quality side.

    They need to backline to spark though and they need to sharpen up their defenses which is their biggest concern.

    As mentioned yesterday that is all about communication and for that they need someone in the backline to take charge. As mentioned yesterday, between Pienaar and Steyn both inexperienced I am worried on how they are going to achieve this.

    10 at this level is new to Pienaar, Steyn does not come forward as someone that talks and takes charge.

    A real problem and in my mind, their biggest.

    From everything I heard, Jean, Brits and Schalk really exposed both their decision making and defense in those channels.

    I dont have a solutions for them to be honest.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.02.09 12:02:02 by MorneN Reply
  • As for the Stormers I read Rassie said they made a decision earlier in the week not to include a specialist center on the bench.

    Looking at the Stormers squad, I DON’T SEE ANY WORTH MENTIONING!

    Rassie, pick up that phone and put a call through to Walter Venter’s agent buddy…

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.02.09 12:03:17 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 7) : Yip, Pienaar doesn’t seem to be all that keen on defence.

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.02.09 12:03:22 by McLovin Reply

  • Stormers need to learn to play without JdV. They looked like the Bulls without Matfield when he went off.

    …or the Boks with Matfield as captain. 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.02.09 12:04:43 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 6) :

    For me it is difficult to form a solid opinion yet. i would prefer to see how the teams do against different opposition.

    The Cheetahs and lions are SUPPOSEDLY no hopers, the Stormers and Sharks are SUPPOSEDLY front runners.

    The coming weekends results will give me a MUCh clearer picture of how we are going to shape.

    Sharks v Lions
    Stormers v Reds
    Bulls v Blues
    are matches that i will watch with extra interest to gain a comparable feeling of the teams

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.02.09 12:08:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 10) :

    Nou SOEK jy sommer net vir kak so vroeg in die oggend 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.02.09 12:08:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : Sharks will beat the Lions, no problem.

    Stormers will spank the Reds as long as they don’t think they just need to show up to take the points.

    Bulls might slip up against the Blues. 50/50 call for me that match.

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.02.09 12:12:04 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 12) : Couldn’t resist. :mrgreen:

    But the way the Stormers backline went without him is of grave concern to me.

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.02.09 12:13:56 by McLovin Reply

  • Maybe they should have Percy train as inside centre just in case.

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.02.09 12:15:16 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 13) :

    agreed 100%

    It is HOW they do it that will be of special interest to me. The Bulls should have smacked the Reds and they did, but they did it a LOT less convincingly than they should have.

    OR are the reds a better team than we gve them credit for. from 15 minutes to halftime the Reds were all over the Bulls.

    too many unanswered q’s for me. Next week should answer them.

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.02.09 12:15:33 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • But if Sir Eli Kallie Wokie is back can Bobo play inside centre?

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.02.09 12:15:55 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 13) :

    I think a lot of people underestimate how big the clash between the Lions and Sharks will be.

    Sharks should take it though.

    Stormers will spank the Reds.

    Bulls will stumble against the Blues.

    Mind you, Blues coming from Aus on quite a tough tour…

    Bulls struggled a bit against the Reds though! At least they did their LMS job for me…

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.02.09 12:15:57 by MorneN Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 15) :

    Grant at 12 and percy at 10 would be a good option IMO as well.

    Did Pietersen go to 12 or 10 when he came on yesterday?

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.02.09 12:17:16 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : Can’t wait.

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.02.09 12:17:42 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 17) :

    You can play Watson at inside center if you want.

    Question is not if you can, question is how effective they will be.

    I have been saying it for 3 years now.

    12 has become much more crucial in rugby in the modern era than 10.

    It is an absolute vital position.

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.02.09 12:17:55 by MorneN Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) :

    It is what he should have done yesterday.

    Bring Percy on at 10, and not Joe.

    In addition to bring AJ on in place of Fondse, and let AJ take over the captaincy.

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.02.09 12:19:00 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 18) : Reckon the Bulls have a slight advantage as the Blues might still be a bit jet lagged. And having to sokkie treffers will not feeling 100% is also not nice.

  • Comment 23, posted at 15.02.09 12:19:43 by McLovin Reply

  • @MorneN (Comment 18) :

    I am STILL amazed at how many people were brave enough to use the Sharks Stormers game as their LMS pick. 😯

    WPW and PJLD have each lost a life because of it. 😉

    In the beginning of that match I thought we were gonna lose a heck of a lot more lifelines than we eventually did.

  • Comment 24, posted at 15.02.09 12:20:02 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @MorneN (Comment 18) : Bulls looked suspect around the fringes.

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.02.09 12:20:16 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : Not sure, think they changed all the time.

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.02.09 12:20:54 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : Grant at 12 might not be such a bad idea.

  • Comment 27, posted at 15.02.09 12:21:22 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 24) : I’ve decided to pick whoever plays the Reds for now. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 15.02.09 12:24:09 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 27) :

    If Willem de Waal is fit by all means.

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.02.09 12:25:46 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 29) : Forgot about old Willem. I’m fairly neatral towards him. 😐

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.02.09 12:27:52 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :
    Combination of needing the guys on the field and lack of depth I reckon.

    That said, remember that Beast and Murray will be back soon, so 2 more Boks to either sit on the bench or replace other Boks.

    Yes, we do have a depth issue, but thats not new – the key is getting the best of the players we have, and while the S14 is not the place to really do that, I am sure Plumtree will work carefully on getting guys like Cronje, Downey and Swanepoel up to speed – they have loads of class.

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.02.09 13:59:12 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Was it me or did the Sharks miss a heck of a lot of one on one tackles….especially in the first half

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.02.09 17:18:12 by Hmmm Reply

  • After 22 min they showed stats of JdV and he had already broken 7 tackles by then????

  • Comment 33, posted at 15.02.09 17:18:57 by Hmmm Reply

  • And with no JdV the Stormers are captainless…cozz Bobo counts as much as a captain of any rugby team as I do….

  • Comment 34, posted at 15.02.09 17:19:54 by Hmmm Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :

    Have you actually seen your bench!??!

  • Comment 35, posted at 15.02.09 17:20:42 by Hmmm Reply

  • Must say the Stormers scrum stood up well against the Sharks…well until Smit moved one left for Bizzy to come on….then Mujati was his old self….

  • Comment 36, posted at 15.02.09 17:23:28 by Hmmm Reply

  • And Fondse….WoW but did he tackle!??!

  • Comment 37, posted at 15.02.09 17:24:50 by Hmmm Reply

  • KSA…all the other teams had a better bench than the Sharks…

  • Comment 38, posted at 15.02.09 17:25:23 by Hmmm Reply

  • Kotse was not too bad…he def did not look out of place!??!

  • Comment 39, posted at 15.02.09 17:25:45 by Hmmm Reply

  • The Sharks defence was a bit suspect however their inter passing was impressive at times. I have confidence it will click into place, after all this was their first big game with real Super 14 opposition not what they had as warm-ups.

  • Comment 40, posted at 15.02.09 23:56:01 by Dynamite Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 39) :

    Kotse?? So Luke played quite well than??? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 41, posted at 16.02.09 07:42:34 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 41) : How was the booing when Kots ran onto the field

  • Comment 42, posted at 16.02.09 08:01:49 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 42) : yes that was brill. people say the stormers lost cos jdv got injured, maybe it was puke that did the magic. i personally think it was the fact that the sharks stayed alert in the time it took to get jdv off the field, so when the game was restarted they had better concentration.

  • Comment 43, posted at 16.02.09 08:08:28 by try time Reply


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