Turning paper into reality

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 18 Feb 2010 at 05:30
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The Sharks have too much class – on paper – for the Cheetahs to pose any realistic threat on Friday evening. Problem is, the game of rugby is played on grass and we’ve seen the Durban boys come nastily unstuck against their less illustrious Bloemfontein cousins far too many times for there to be any hint of complacency this time around.

If anything, the two unexpected Cheetahs victories over the Sharks last year should work more in the home side’s favour, as they won’t be underestimating the opposition this time around – nor will they be short on motivation. A number of pretty shrewd selections on the Sharks side have resulted in a far stronger-looking outfit than the one that came unstuck against the Chiefs, despite the injury-enforced absence of some beef in the second row. Call it rotation if you like, but there’s probably little coincidence that the three players most obviously “dropped” from the team – Bismarck du Plessis, Monty Dumond and Andries Strauss – where the ones who did the least against the Chiefs,

The battle up front is going to be a titanic one. The Sharks have the more experienced individuals, for the most part, with three Boks in the front row and two in the back row. Locks Steven Sykes and Alistair Hargreaves are both almost there, with the former having sat on the bench and the latter played for the midweek team. The Cheetahs have fewer out-and-out stars, but appear to be the better coached outfit, both in the scrums and the loose. The difference, as so often, may well be the bench, with the Sharks boasting a pair of Boks in du Plessis and Deon Carstens, along with stalwarts in Keegan Daniel and big Willem Alberts. The Cheetahs have Ashley Johnson and the precocious Coenie “Shrek” Oosthuizen, but the other bench forwards are journeymen – and none more so reserve hooker than Ryno Barnes.

Jean Deysel and Juan Smith will wage their own private war out there, of that you can be sure, while the contest at openside will also prove fascinating. Last week, Heinrich Brussow found that many of his oldest tricks aren’t going to wash under the new laws and Jacques Botes will be keen to show that his more “ball-in-hand” approach to the openside role may be the way forward. He’ll also be keen to prove that he’s over his pre-season niggle and nowhere near the end of the road, despite his age!

Once again, if we look at the names on paper, the Sharks have all the pedigree at 9, 10 and 12, whereas the Cheetahs have all the consistency. While the combination of Rory Kockott, Ruan Pienaar and Adi Jacobs should always make Tewis de Bruyn, Naas Olivier and Meyer Bosman look average, there are so many “other factors” at play in the Sharks setup right now that betting your house on the former three coming off as we know they can would most likely guarantee a one-way trip to the homeless shelter. Should the Cheetahs have the upper hand in the forward exchanges – which they may well do – they might just find that a pair of hard runners like Bosman and new outside centre Lionel Mapoe could make plenty of progress running at the gap between Pienaar and Jacobs. While right wing Danwel Demas is not really up to it at this level, Jongi Nokwe has more than enough gas and guile to make Odwa Ndungane look older and slower than he already is and the Sharks would do well to bear that in mind when kicking the ball down field. That said, I’d back JP Pietersen to smoke Demas pretty easily if the situation were reversed.

Ironically, it’s in the backs that the Sharks don’t have too many exciting options in reserve and the Cheetahs will be hoping that the electric Sarel Pretorius, in particular, can add something special, sniping around the fringes as the defence starts to tire.

So, what do I think will happen? Hard to say, because we don’t know which Sharks team is going to pitch up. I’m going to stay positive, though and back the Durban boys to put in a showing at least a little worthy of their great potential – on paper! Sharks to take his one by 6 points.

Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Adrian Jacobs, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Willem Alberts, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Monty Dumond, 22 Andries Strauss.

Cheetahs: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Frans Viljoen, 7 Juan Smith (captain), 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Hennie Daniller.


  • The Sharks are a bit thin in the backline reserves. We are going to sukkel if we start picking up injuries there.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.02.10 05:51:21 by MysticShark Reply
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  • I wonder what the Sharks gameplan is gonna be. I hope its not the kick and chase strategy.
    You think they might try to hold onto possession this time around and maybe run with the ball.
    I know it all starts with the forwards but i noticed most SA teams kick away possession only never to really get it back. πŸ™„

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.02.10 05:55:27 by wpw Reply
  • That’s your heart speaking Rob!
    While you may be right, I think the Cheetahs are the more constructive, and smarter side. I’m picking the Cheetahs by 8.

    I still think Plumtree is a major factor behind the Sharks poor record over the past couple of seasons (2008 CC aside).

    The Sharks midfield lacks penetration, and when was the last time we saw the Sharks back three running the ball in space? The Cheetahs won’t be afraid to have a go and I’m interested to see how Mapoe goes at centre. Could be a star.

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.02.10 06:32:32 by sanjaydeva Reply

  • The thing about paper is, it can be folded, coloured and put forward as you please. The truth is in the pudding. The Sharks should stand up to the hype that the image on the paper creates and until they do that, that paper is gonna be nothing more that toiletpaper.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.02.10 07:29:31 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • well i hope the cheetahs get paper cuts then

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.02.10 07:34:30 by willa Reply

  • @willa (Comment 5) : πŸ˜†

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.02.10 07:40:56 by rekinek Reply
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  • @sanjaydeva (Comment 3) : i also don’t think that cheetahs will be holding back. hopefully sharks defence, which I reckon is very good will hold and we can conjure something on the attack.

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.02.10 07:42:25 by rekinek Reply
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  • well last year it was ruan pienaar, juan martin hernandez, riaan swanepoel/ francois steyn vs tewis de bruyn, jaque louis potgieter, meyer bosman and the Sharks still got canned!

    Watch Wian du Preez roger Jannie du Plessis pap!

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.02.10 07:51:26 by Megatron Reply

  • @sanjaydeva (Comment 3) : i agree, the Sharks have regressed with Plum at the helm.

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.02.10 07:53:18 by Megatron Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 7) : Ja the only problem is that you can only make so many tackles.

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.02.10 08:01:38 by sanjaydeva Reply

  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 4) : Nice comment. At the end of the day it is all about results.

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.02.10 08:02:29 by sanjaydeva Reply

  • The difference on Friday will be in the heads, not on paper.

    The Cheetahs will believe in their heads that they can, and should, beat us and we will have this niggling little corner of doubt in the back of ours for exactly the same reason.

    There is a huge NO EXCUSES banner in the Sharks changeroom. That’s the only piece of paper I’m interested in.

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.02.10 08:33:44 by rhineshark Reply
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  • I’m very nervous about this game….a very difficult pick. The Durban humidity might just make the differance

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.02.10 08:36:37 by Pokkel Reply
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  • What the Cheetahs does not have thus far in this short season is a loosing streak which spans the orange river….’09 S14 Sharks came of a much hyped overseas tour, whereas the Cheetahs as per every S14 were the proud owners of 6 or 7 (realy can’t remember) consecutive losses, bottom line is they were underestimated which is why they were able to blindside the Sharks.

    This year however the Sharks goes into Friday night’s clash having what closely resembles the underdog tag with the Cheetahs coming off an impressive showing against the Bulls, no chance of underestimating them there.

    Lets not forget the weather conditions, just because it rained on Saturday does not mean the same will happen again. And if I’m not mistaken the Cheetahs only arives in Durban on Friday which leaves them with no time to get used to the humidity, which even the locals struggle with.

    If the Sharks backline fires this weekend we’re in for entertaining running rugby which will take some doing from the Cheetahs to contain, we’ve all seen the Cheetahs on deffence has more holes than Windows XP SP1 had(nerd joke πŸ˜€ ).

    Sharks to take it by 14. GO SHARKS!!!!

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.02.10 08:40:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Rob you say “We don’t know which Sharks team will turn up” We sounding more like the French now hey!! πŸ˜₯

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.02.10 09:01:35 by Puma Reply

  • Ruan is at 10 guys no worries! This one we will win!!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.02.10 09:04:41 by Miguel Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 13) : The humidity will that is if the rain don’t come again. Think the rain actually helped the Chiefs keep cool πŸ˜†

    Serious though we should win this one, I am nervous about it too but we have the players to do it. Remember Cheetahs did play very well against a superb Bulls side, but they lost by more than 20 points. We lost against Chiefs by one point. A game we should have won.

    DISCIPLINE…………..DISCIPLINE AND MORE OF IT. We do that we should win it.

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.02.10 09:06:46 by Puma Reply

  • Only 7 players in the team can be replaced by the bench so that means 8 players have to play 80 minutes. I doubt those 8 players’ ability or performance decreases too much towards the end… Correct me if I am wrong (this is a question not a statement) but when did we start judging teams on the bench? Surely all 15 players could play 80 minutes and should be fit enough to do so?

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.02.10 09:10:05 by deanoelsch Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 17) : I think the discipline issues have been thrust into the light majorly by bis and keegs being dropped

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.02.10 09:10:54 by Miguel Reply
  • I am also a bit worried about RP. The dude had an op 2 months ago. Are these guys rushing him back in to the side or does someone have full knowledge that he is 100% fit? He only started training last week and if I started training last week, I would be fit by July. If he got injured now we would be tickets.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.02.10 09:12:11 by deanoelsch Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 13) : you nervous a lot recently :mrgreen:

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.02.10 09:13:09 by rekinek Reply
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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 20) : 25 % Fit Ruan = 100% better than Monty

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.02.10 09:13:57 by Miguel Reply
  • @Puma (Comment 17) : The Cheetah’s defence isn’t great, but neither has the Sharks attack been great….but this backline has a lot more potential so let’s see what happens…I just picked the Sharks on Superbru so GOOOOO SHARKS

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.02.10 09:14:00 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Puma (Comment 17) : Howzit Puma, how goes….bleeding hot here again, rained yesterday but today is clear blue skies….oh so very much too hot, glad I’m not in Durban today.

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.02.10 09:14:05 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Miguel (Comment 22) : 1000% correct :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.02.10 09:15:08 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 23) : Can’t see us losing twice in a row at home…has anyone else read that the Cheetahs only arives in Durban on Friday…I can’t see that helping them at all

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.02.10 09:16:24 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 25) : My only fear is the ill disciplined du plessis brother nr 2

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.02.10 09:16:25 by Miguel Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 26) : don’t jinx. it did happen last year.

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.02.10 09:17:44 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Miguel (Comment 27) : I’m nt a big Jannie fan, but I do think Bis will keep his temper in check, especialy after basicaly single handedly losing Saturday’s game for us

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.02.10 09:17:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 21) : It’s because I’m too passionate about rugby and the Sharks….they give me bloody nightmares πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.02.10 09:20:03 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 29) : Yeah it would be benefitial if we can have a better disciplined bis

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.02.10 09:20:06 by Miguel Reply
  • @rekinek (Comment 28) : But never in February :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.02.10 09:20:24 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Miguel (Comment 19) : Maybe Bissie was dropped or is it horses for courses? Think maybe cause the Cheetahs have a good scrum we need to play John at hooker, but if Bissie was dropped then I am all for it, after he cost us the game last Saturday.

    @Pokkel (Comment 23) : Let us hope their defences stays like that πŸ™‚ They do have some blitz players in their side. Like I said yesterday their front line is very good and so is their loose trio but our loose trio is good too. So have to see what happens. Mapoe is a unkown at outside centre, my guess he is going to be very good there.

    @FireTheLooser (Comment 24) : Fires, I am up in my Joburg home at the moment, so pleased I am missing the heat of Feb month in Durbs. The most humid month of the year there. Will be back in my home there in April when the weather is bliss. πŸ™‚ Hope it is just too humid for the Freestate boys πŸ˜› Thay can handle the heat they used to it but not the humidity, then we can hardly handle it either πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.02.10 09:20:57 by Puma Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 32) : 2005?

    didn’t we only win one game then (or was this one in Feb).
    How horrid of me to have such darks thoughts so early in teh morning :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.02.10 09:22:45 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Miguel (Comment 22) : Yeah I agree but it was a knee op wasn’t it? One Jean Smith tackle to the knee and we have Monty for 13 weeks!

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.02.10 09:23:51 by deanoelsch Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 34) : Eish, the bad old days, was Putts still the coach back then?

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.02.10 09:23:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 30) : πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.02.10 09:24:27 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Miguel (Comment 27) : hehehehehe. Hope number 2 has been given strickt orders about discipline. He better watch it seeing that BJ is wanting to come home again. Rather have BJ there for Fridays game any day of the week to number 2…..hehehe. Good one that. Will call him that from now 😎

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.02.10 09:25:03 by Puma Reply

  • typo meant strict

  • Comment 39, posted at 18.02.10 09:25:48 by Puma Reply

  • @deanoelsch (Comment 35) : lets just hope and pray that Ruan sees it through…. im happy with him shifting the ball and staying out of contact, Jp might actually get a touch

  • Comment 40, posted at 18.02.10 09:29:50 by Miguel Reply
  • @deanoelsch (Comment 35) : That would be tragic if we lose Ruan so early, we lost him early last year too.

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.02.10 09:32:00 by Puma Reply

  • @Miguel (Comment 40) : Ruan also has a pretty decent foot pass in his arsenal….we gonna see a few tries from JP like that

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.02.10 09:33:23 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 42) : Oh yes plus im keen to see some bombs on demas

  • Comment 43, posted at 18.02.10 09:34:08 by Miguel Reply
  • @deanoelsch (Comment 35) : @Miguel (Comment 40) : @FireTheLooser (Comment 42) :

    Come now, enough with the negative talk, Ruan won’t get injured again.

  • Comment 44, posted at 18.02.10 09:34:33 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @deanoelsch (Comment 18) : i think it’s more a case of fresh legs lifting the intensity of the whole team. Also looking at the players coming on adding a new dimension. A fresh, hungry Bismarck coming on with 20 to go is a better prospect than Ryno Barnes doing the same for the other side

  • Comment 45, posted at 18.02.10 09:35:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 44) : Yes siree i agree he is the MAN! Ruan for President

  • Comment 46, posted at 18.02.10 09:35:53 by Miguel Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 45) : bissie will also probably be supremely motivated

  • Comment 47, posted at 18.02.10 09:41:02 by war1 Reply
  • @Miguel (Comment 46) : :mrgreen: That’s the spirit, much more like it πŸ˜€

  • Comment 48, posted at 18.02.10 09:41:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @war1 (Comment 47) : Yes and if he is pumped the cheetahs will feel the pain

  • Comment 49, posted at 18.02.10 09:42:39 by Miguel Reply
  • Sorry guys, know this is a rugby thread. A bit of crici news. We been thrashed by India but the only one putting his hand up is our boy from Durbs Amla. On 91 now. Hope he gets his 100.

  • Comment 50, posted at 18.02.10 09:50:20 by Puma Reply

  • @Miguel (Comment 49) : @war1 (Comment 47) : That’s where bissy has always looked his best, coming from the bench as impact player…

  • Comment 51, posted at 18.02.10 09:51:18 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 50) : Are we still 7 down?

  • Comment 52, posted at 18.02.10 09:51:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 52) : yes, parnell seems to be holding out alright

  • Comment 53, posted at 18.02.10 09:55:48 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 52) : Yes, also AMLA JUST GOT HIS 100. Well done to our Durbs boy. Why can he do it and none of the others? He can play spin really well.

  • Comment 54, posted at 18.02.10 09:59:40 by Puma Reply

  • sorry guys, whos gonna win… tahs or stormers, considering that they dont preform well at home???

  • Comment 55, posted at 18.02.10 10:04:37 by willa Reply

  • @willa (Comment 55) : Difficult call, I went for the Stormers(if they play for 80 min) πŸ™„

  • Comment 56, posted at 18.02.10 10:10:36 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 56) : u cant really compare anything to last year with them, whole new team, ❓

  • Comment 57, posted at 18.02.10 10:15:24 by willa Reply

  • @willa (Comment 57) : I’m talking about last week, didn’t see the game but apparently the Stormers played great rugby in the first half and then stopped playing in the second half. Maybe the highveld got to them, but at home they should last the full 80

  • Comment 58, posted at 18.02.10 10:22:20 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @willa (Comment 57) : On paper (what’s with all the paper lately) the ‘Tahs should be one of the top 3 teams in the competition, but judging their performance against the Reds….I can’t see them beating the Stormers this weekend…unless our friend the ref has his one eyed way again.

  • Comment 59, posted at 18.02.10 10:24:07 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 59) : I forgot about the ref πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 60, posted at 18.02.10 10:30:27 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 59) : ja that bloody ref robbed me of a potential R40,000 last weekend, i had 6 out of 7, had the sharks to win by 5-10,

  • Comment 61, posted at 18.02.10 10:31:33 by willa Reply

  • @willa (Comment 61) : Damn, you deffinitely would not have been blamed if you through a brick or two at the ref….that’s bad, real bad loss.

  • Comment 62, posted at 18.02.10 10:34:32 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 45) : My comment was more directed at those questioning the depth of the backline reserves. We shouldn’t need Dumond for this game unless injury strikes. I don’t want Dumond on with 15 to go and we are defending a 2 point lead!

  • Comment 63, posted at 18.02.10 10:43:19 by deanoelsch Reply

  • Guys I`ve gotta admit I`m worried. Megatron pointed out that we lost agains the FS before with an even better backline.
    I was all set to go with the FS for this one but after seeing the changes to the sharks I have more hope.

    Might have to do the one thing I try never to do with superbru . . . go with my heart!

  • Comment 64, posted at 18.02.10 10:52:54 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 64) : The Sharks underestimated them last year, and if I’m not mistaken it was just after we returned from our rather grueling overseas tour.

    Remeber we’ve got the humidity factor…don’t know when last the Cheetahs played in Durbs in Feb….And I read somewhere the Cheetahs only arrive Friday, not sure if that is accurate but if it is…they gonna come short by a mile.

    Don’t worry, Sharks will do it.

  • Comment 65, posted at 18.02.10 10:57:46 by FireTheLooser Reply


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