Zuks to take the step up?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 30 Mar 2009 at 16:21
Tagged with : , , , ,

Is Luzuko Vulindlu ready to take the big step up and fill JP Pietersen’s shoes against the Hurricanes this weekend? Or would it rather make more sense for John Plumtree to shuffle some of his other troops around if the Springbok winger is indeed ruled out?

If Pietersen is unable to face the Hurricanes, as a result of the hamstring injury picked up this weekend against the Brumbies, it would be a blow to Plumtree’s continuity, particularly in light of the fact that he has already lost Jean Deysel and Ruan Pienaar; both crucial to his cause. Pietersen has been on fire this season, dotting down six times in seven games and his absence will only exacerbate the “makeshift” nature of a Sharks backline that currently has Frans Steyn at flyhalf and the inexperienced Riaan Swanepoel at outside centre.

Plumtree has a number of options, of course, although all of them are going to further expose one of the worst-kept secrets in the competition: the Sharks really have very little depth in the backline. The ongoing (and frankly perplexing) injury to Waylon Murray means that there really isn’t an experienced guy waiting in the wings (if you’ll pardon the awful pun), meaning that yet another Super Rugby rookie is set to be thrown to the wolves.

Younng Zuks Vulindlu really has looked impressive and hungry the few times he’s come on in recent weeks. He tackles well, has a lovely step and some pace. More importantly, he looks to have a high work rate, which is one of Pietersen’s least appreciated strengths. I have no idea what sort of boot he has on him – slightly more worrying, I don’t know what he’s going to be like when put under serious pressure by the Hurricanes dangerous backs. I’ve heard from an insider that he’s a highly-rated and confident young man… what’s more, he’s pretty bloody big, so let’s hope he stands his ground.

The next-best wingers in the squad are both busy with other things, of course. Either of Stefan Terblanche or Adi Jacobs could fill Pietersen’s shoes with aplomb… but that of course would, in either case, leave a hole elsewhere in the backline needing to be filled. Monty Dumond could potentially come in at fullback, should Terblanche move over, but it’s certainly not the sort of move to fill one with confidence. A far more radical idea might involve moving Jacobs out to wing, letting Swanepoel cover outside centre and bringing Andries Strauss in at number 12. Again, Strauss has never quite looked the part in the Super 14, though… it’s not a combination that I’m dying to see in action.

No, it looks like Zuks is the man for this particular holding job. His place on the bench must surely go to Vodacom Cup top try-scorer, Lwazi Mvovo, who’s in the form of his life for the Sharks XV.


  • we’re rally starting to feel the Murray injury now… Barritt is playing bloody well for Sarries too now.

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.03.09 16:56:53 by robdylan Reply
  • Play Zuks….give him a chance. He’s come on and looked good in all his sub appearances…time to see what he can do from the start!

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.03.09 18:02:24 by Villie Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : And how good has Wikus been for Sarries? IMMENSE. Conditions over here really suit his game!

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.03.09 18:03:00 by Villie Reply
  • @Villie (Comment 3) : it’s a nice way of saying he’s slow as sh*t… 🙂

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.03.09 18:11:28 by robdylan Reply
  • Zuks will be fine – he seems to be really confident, to go with some power and pace.

    Great on defence and at the rucks too.

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.03.09 18:57:28 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 5) : what’s up with your lovechild, Fish?

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.03.09 19:01:07 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : what’s up with murray – is he ever going to be back – feels like forever since we’ve seen him last

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.03.09 19:55:40 by rekinek Reply
  • I don’t think he has what it takes…
    But the Sharks have enough good players to cover for him…..

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.03.09 20:00:09 by Hmmm Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :
    JPP or Waylon? 😳

    I reckon Waylon might have been carrying something for a while – looking at his sub-par performances last year.

    This injury is taking yonks to heal, but these youngsters start out so early that maybe a prolonged rest will do his body, and hunger, the world of good.

    I can only hope he has been watching Adi and JP and can combine a bit of both in his play – I have always suspected he has it in him.

    Thing is, in SA we have so much talent that you have to grab your opportunities (ask Brent, Big Joe, Gaffie etc). With Swanepoel and Zuks playing the way they have, Waylon is gonna have to come back smoking.

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.03.09 20:00:42 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • But the Canes have a good backline and a good back 3….

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.03.09 20:01:02 by Hmmm Reply
  • Hmmm is back… 🙄

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.03.09 20:12:34 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 11) :

    WPW is on at night… … … 😛 🙄


  • Comment 12, posted at 30.03.09 20:14:22 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Hmmm has never left
    My work blocked Sharksworld cozz they have bloggers than type a whole lot of crap…
    Some round guy from the Cape apparently….

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.03.09 20:24:27 by Hmmm Reply
  • Did you guys watch the T20 yesterday..

    WoW…Roelof is the young find of the decade….

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.03.09 20:26:06 by Hmmm Reply
  • G’day Sharksworld bloggers.

    Long time reader, first time poster. Lions supporter but could be swayed. Is there an initiation for newbies?

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.03.09 21:41:03 by Clanerk Reply
  • And how do I change/upload my profile pic?

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.03.09 21:41:47 by Clanerk Reply
  • @Clanerk (Comment 15) : no initiation for Lions fans. You poor bastards have suffered enough 🙂

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.03.09 22:36:20 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) :

    Aren’t you gonna tell our new mate about the tradition of giving R10 000 to Rob? 😎

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.03.09 22:49:56 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • 22. will the real slimJAN23 please stand up :
    March 30th, 2009 at 10:37 pm
    Hostage drama at Sharks Academy
    30/03/2009 21:21 – (SA)

    Want to know more?
    Answerit can help.

    Get published on News24!
    Send your news photos to us

    Johannesburg – A large contingent of police were outside the Sharks Academy in Durban on Monday where a man armed with a firearm had been holding people hostage.

    All hostages who were inside the academy had since managed to flee to safety and no one had been injured, said police spokesperson Superintendent Jay Naicker.

    “He’s alone in the house, everyone managed to flee to safety,” he said.

    Naicker said police were still trying to negotiate with the man, whose identity could not be revealed, to give himself up.

    It also emerged that the man was earlier this afternoon involved in an accident but fled the accident scene, heading straight to the academy where he lives.

    According to the Durban-based newspaper, the Mercury, the man is a member of the development team of the provincial rugby side.

    He arrived at the house and crashed into a wall, entered the home and began drinking alcohol, becoming more belligerent as the afternoon wore on, the newspaper said.

    At some point he reportedly produced a gun and began threatening his colleagues. Some of those who escaped from the home said they had the gun pressed to their chests.

    The man apparently took two colleagues hostage in a room in the house while some of the remaining players took refuge in their own rooms. Those who could left the house.

    The newspaper said police arrived at the home and negotiated the release of the two hostages, but not before the player fired about six shots at the officers.

    – SAPA

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.03.09 22:50:45 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld sharks_lover
  • @Big Fish (Comment 18) : IG?

    You’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more of me on here. I’ll help you Shark fans see the error of your ways. We are red, we are white, we are, we are…

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.03.09 22:57:25 by Clanerk Reply
  • @Clanerk (Comment 15) :

    Hi Clanerk.

    =Click on “Site Admin” under the Sharksworld Logo.
    =Click on your name “Clanerk” at the top right of the page (in the grey header)
    =At the bottom of that page is the section to upload your avatar.
    = the smaller the file size the better obviously. 😉
    = If you have a problem give us a shout.

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.03.09 06:45:01 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • moving stefan is not an option. stefan is vital at fullback as his ball fielding and defence is important. he will be needed to look after zuks from behind. i think zuks can handle the pressure with a safe defence behind him. with gear out it will also make it a lot easier.

  • Comment 22, posted at 31.03.09 07:35:22 by try time Reply
  • Shuffle the backline?

    There is nobody left to ‘shuffle’… don’t do a Rassie… slot Vulindlu in… he’s still raw positional play-wise (joins the line too far forward on attack, not sure where to stand in broken play defence)… but it’s the natural slot-in choice without Murray…

    “I reckon Waylon might have been carrying something for a while – looking at his sub-par performances last year.”

    Ironically some said the same of JPP last year to which I disagreed as well… Murray got no game time and was shuffled around out of position…

    @sharks_lover (Comment 19) :

    Hope this tool is thrown out of his position at Sharks rugby…

  • Comment 23, posted at 31.03.09 07:51:27 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 19) : he will fit in well in nz.

  • Comment 24, posted at 31.03.09 07:54:31 by try time Reply
  • Could anyone please tell me what was the out come of Bissie’s citing?

    The idiot I don’t know what brain fart came over him, with the game in the bag and only 2 mins to go!!!! 👿 and the same can be said about Keegan a metre down the field from where Bissie was carded! But fortunately I do not think he was cited!

  • Comment 25, posted at 31.03.09 08:42:23 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply
    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 25) :

    Bissie’s Citing?

    He was not cited, was he?

  • Comment 26, posted at 31.03.09 08:47:41 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Word to the wise, a week at low altitude COMPLETELY screws up your fitness regime. 👿

  • Comment 27, posted at 31.03.09 08:56:33 by klempie Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 27) : Bwhahahaha

    Air a bit thinner now? 😀

  • Comment 28, posted at 31.03.09 08:59:56 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 19) :

    It’s Look trying to get back into the Sharks setup. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 29, posted at 31.03.09 08:59:59 by klempie Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) : The Natal Witness said that Plumtree stated that Bismarck had been sited for a tackle which he did not think was a spear tackle. The rest of the media is quiete on the Subject, I am worried 🙁

  • Comment 30, posted at 31.03.09 09:00:53 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply
    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 28) : Dude I gave up at 1.8km. Pathetic.

  • Comment 31, posted at 31.03.09 09:02:54 by klempie Reply
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 30) :

    no i think you missread it.

    There was also good news regarding Bismarck du Plessis. Sharks head coach John Plumtree said on Saturday night that the competitive hooker had been cited following his “reckless” tackle, but there were no developments yesterday.

    I would read the extract as “Plumtree said Bismarck was cited but the good news is it seems he was wrong, as there have been no developments on it.”


  • Comment 32, posted at 31.03.09 09:33:21 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @klempie (Comment 31) :

    I did 4km on the tread mill at altitude last night. (Our Gym is on the 1st floor) 😛

    My first k was at a slow 5m/km to warm up and then 3kms at 4:16/km.

  • Comment 33, posted at 31.03.09 09:34:59 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 32) : That is excellent news!! Where did you get that, ’cause in last night’s witness it said what I read! Surely I wasn’t so drunk after only one Hunters gold at my son’s rugby practice 😳

  • Comment 34, posted at 31.03.09 09:38:41 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply
    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 34) :

    Maybe you were :mrgreen: 😉

    I got it from the Witness. 😆

  • Comment 35, posted at 31.03.09 09:40:16 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 34) :

    remember…us small ladies cannot go one for one with the guys…we can TRY though…nothing wrong with that!!

  • Comment 36, posted at 31.03.09 09:47:37 by Prof. Ice Reply
  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 36) : 😆 Can’t blame a girl for trying though!

  • Comment 37, posted at 31.03.09 10:06:32 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply
    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 33) : lol “altitude” 😛

  • Comment 38, posted at 31.03.09 10:15:07 by klempie Reply
  • i dont really know anything about Zuks, but he looks freaking fast, best we give him a shot then.

  • Comment 39, posted at 31.03.09 18:03:19 by JarsonX (tantric shark) Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) : Cheers KSA.

    I’ve tried that but just takes me to a page with the following message: “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.”

    It did the same thing when I registered instead of redirecting me to the homepage.

  • Comment 40, posted at 31.03.09 20:00:31 by Clanerk Reply
  • @Clanerk (Comment 40) : KSA is forgetting that we have no access 😉

    Try to go to Site Admin it takes you to the same page which you get when you’ve just logged.

    then click profile (top right corner)
    then at the very bottom you have option to upload your photo.

    Once uploading is done you apparently wait for approval of higher forces.

    If all the above works you tell KSA I’m not a blonde 😆

  • Comment 41, posted at 31.03.09 20:25:33 by rekinek Reply
  • @Clanerk (Comment 40) :

    @rekinek (Comment 41) : and remember to update your profile

  • Comment 42, posted at 31.03.09 20:35:30 by rekinek Reply

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