Searching for a new skipper

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 1 Apr 2010 at 09:33
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Something that occurred to me just a day or so ago. With Johann Muller already confirmed to leave after the Super 14 and both John Smit and Stefan Terblanche unlikely to play any Currie Cup, the Sharks are getting to the point where they need to appoint a new captain, not only for that competition but also to take them forward from here.

The problem with having a leader of the calibre of Smit is that it tends to dissuade you from developing others to take over. We’ve seen this in the Bok camp, where there isn’t a clear candidate being groomed to take over from Smit when he does step aside after the 2011 World Cup. For the Sharks, Muller has done a good job when required, but he has confirmed that he will join Ulster in mid-year. Terblanche is older than Smit anyway and according to my understanding, will retire after the Super 14 as well. He may stay on to play Currie Cup, but my feeling is that we really should be looking to develop a new captain this year, rather than sit with a void once Stef and John are gone.

John Smit is going to have a lot on his plate in 2011 and keeping him in shape for the World Cup should probably take priority over him starting every match for the Sharks in the expanded Super 15. If we pick a promising candidate and let him take the reigns during the Currie Cup, then we’ll have an experienced skipper ready to fill in for John when required next year.

It all sounds good on paper – until you start looking around for candidates, though. My feeling is that a captain needs to able to hold down a regular starting spot and the amount of rotation going on in the Sharks right now makes that difficult. Steven Sykes and Ryan Kankowski are the only two forwards to have started every game so far, yet neither really strikes you as the captain type. The former is a quiet workhorse, while the latter seems far too laid-back. The only current members of the Sharks pack that boast captaincy experience are Willem Alberts and Alistair Hargreaves and I believe either could develop into a very good skipper in time. Alberts still needs to find a regular starting spot, always difficult with Jean Deysel also in the picture and the fact that he is new to the system will make it that much harder for him.

Hargreaves, on the other hand, has all the credentials, having led his country at junior level and has been a part of the Sharks setup since he was a schoolboy. He is maturing as a tight forward and is a near certainty to take over the number 5 jersey on a permanent basis once Muller moves on.

If there are any suitable candidates among the backs, then I’m afraid they’re really not immediately obvious. If memory serves, Riaan Swanepoel may have captained the Sharks under 21s few years ago, but again, Swannie strikes me as a guy who’s more interested in quietly getting the job done, rather than the vocal, inspirational leader sort of player.

What do the readers think? Is there an obvious candidate I’m missing? Or is Hargreaves the guys to take the Sharks forward into 2011 and beyond?


  • Rob, For a future captain at the Sharks. I would select Hargreaves, he has captained before. No need to look further. He is young and will probably be at the Sharks for a long time to come.

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.04.10 09:43:47 by Puma Reply
  • @Puma (Comment 1) : Yes please, never thought of him, I think he’ll be perfect.

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.04.10 09:46:02 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • I reckon Kanko could do the job, at the moment he may seem a bit laid back, but given the task and responsibility of captain, i think he could mature into quiet the orchestrator at number 8.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.04.10 09:49:21 by justinwhufc Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 2) : Fires, For sure he done a fine job at junior level.

    See plenty changes to the Reds side.

    Some that never played in the game against the Cheetahs are back.

    7 – Daniel Braid
    2 – Sean Hardman
    4 – Adam Byrnes

    Digby Ioande switched to wing. Will Chambers from R. League outside centre. Mmmmmmmm! Interesting.

    Faingaa and Simmons drop to the bench.

    Hope we have someone other than Strauss that will start at outside centre. My feeling it will be Waylon. Someone mentioned here the otherday to put Stefan at outside centre and bring in Mvovo to wing. Maybe it was Rob, just forget who mentioned that. I think that would work very well.

    Think Sharks are going to have a tough battle tomorrow.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.04.10 09:54:10 by Puma Reply
  • @Puma (Comment 4) : sorry typo there. Ioane

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.04.10 09:55:37 by Puma Reply
  • @Puma (Comment 4) : Yep, I think the Sharks will lose tomorrow.

    Luckily we’re only playing on Saturday :mrgreen: , will be tough though.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.04.10 10:05:11 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • I agree with Hargreaves being the next captain, he is the obvious choice

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.04.10 10:11:00 by war1 Reply
  • Hargreaves, no question.

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.04.10 10:13:52 by Morné Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) : 😳 Feels like Friday……hehehehe. Have the long weekend feeling already 😛

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.04.10 10:15:54 by Puma Reply

  • Pat Cilliers, Sharks and Bok Captain, not in the immediate future, but sometime soon

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.04.10 10:19:42 by Greg Reply

  • @Greg (Comment 10) : Interesting, any particular reason you’re backing Pat?

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.04.10 10:21:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 9) : Yep, yesterday I kept telling my wife it felt like Thursday.

    Gonna be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG weekend, especialy with all the valies flocking down to the coast…..everything will be congested this weekend, I’ll try my best to survive it.

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.04.10 10:25:16 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 12) : Fires, This is one weekend I don’t miss much down there….hahaha. Ag, Vallies can be fine. Just make the place over crowded. Still up in Joburg so the traffic will be less up here.

    Back in Umhlanga in June FOR GOOD heeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    Cant wait. Was going back in April but have some consulting work to do up here for April and May. Would have had to fly back each week. Just too much hassle. Will go in June. Best time of year there too. Love the winter there.

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.04.10 10:30:59 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 13) : Winter? What winter? 😆

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.04.10 10:36:32 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Greg (Comment 10) : Met him at a function a couple of years ago, chatted a while, just think he has what it takes

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.04.10 10:37:30 by Greg Reply

  • I don’t think Tereblanche is going anywhere for the CC….not judging on the article on sharksrugby

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.04.10 10:45:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • FINALY – Sharks team has been announced!!!…..

    15. Patrick Lambie
    14. Stefan Terblanche
    13. Odwa Ndungani
    12. Riaan Swanepoel
    11. JP Pieterson
    10. Andy Goode
    9. Ruan Pienaar
    8. Ryan Kankowski
    7. Jean Deysel
    6. Willem Alberts
    5. Alistair Hargreaves
    4. Steven Sykes
    3. Jannie du Plessis
    2. Bismarck du Plessis
    1. John Smit ( Capt )

    16. Tendai Mtawarira
    17. Wiehahn Herbst
    18. Craig Burden
    19. Jacques Botes
    20. Rory Kockott
    21. Waylon Murray
    22. Lwazi Mvovo

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.04.10 10:57:37 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Dick Muir reckoned that if Pat Cilliers managed to stay fit and develop his game, that he would definitely be a contender for Both Sharks and Sprinbok captain !

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.04.10 10:58:32 by GAZZO Reply

  • @GAZZO (Comment 18) : So is Greg then actually Dick? 😯

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.04.10 10:59:41 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : Jeez leaving Botes out after last weeks performance and with the Reds quick backs seem like suicide to me. I hope Odwa knows how to defend at 13 😯

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.04.10 11:06:23 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : I don’t know…luckily I haven’t made my superbru picks yet. I’d rather have a slow Strauss that knows the position than a slow Odwa in a unfamiliar position.

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.04.10 11:08:19 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : Is this another Aprils fool’s joke?? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.04.10 11:10:16 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 21) : If Plum wanted someone old at outside centre, why not go with Blanche? Much safer.

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.04.10 11:10:27 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 22) : You think Plum has a sense of humor? 😯

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.04.10 11:13:40 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • When will the team be announced? Why all the waiting?

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.04.10 11:15:24 by Puma Reply

  • I see the Reds backs running riot…Alberts too slow at 6….Odwa to slow and not familiar with 13…..well I’m busy with my superbru picks and they might just be a bit different than expected. The Sharks first line of defence isn’t great and Botes made some fantastic cover tackles last week. I just don’t see Albert doing the same….unless we keep the ball far away from their backline

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.04.10 11:18:56 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : Where did you get this team…nothing on sharksrugby yet.

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.04.10 11:20:42 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Puma (Comment 25) : it has been announced, just no one has put a team up here . . . I’ll work on it

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.04.10 11:22:09 by war1 Reply
  • We can thank our lucky stars Ioane has been moved to the wing.

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.04.10 11:22:17 by rhineshark Reply
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    Spirit of Rugby
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : stef is at 13

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.04.10 11:25:08 by willa Reply

  • From SharksRugby
    15. Patrick Lambie
    14. Odwa Ndungane
    13. Stefan Terblanche **
    12. Riaan Swanepoel
    11. JP Pietersen
    10. Andy Goode
    9. Ruan Pienaar
    8. Ryan Kankowski
    7. Willem Alberts
    6. Jacques Botes
    5. Alistair Hargreaves
    4. Steven Sykes
    3. Jannie du Plessis
    2. Bismarck du Plessis
    1. John Smit ( Capt )

    16. Craig Burden
    17. Tendai Mtawarira
    18. Wilhelm Steenkamp
    19. Jean Deysel
    20. Rory Kockott
    21. Andries Strauss
    22. Lwazi Mvovo

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.04.10 11:26:01 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Surely Odwa at 13 is an April Fools joke???

  • Comment 32, posted at 01.04.10 11:26:32 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 27) : :mrgreen: Hook line and sinker….at least I caught me one fish :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.04.10 11:26:53 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @lostfish (Comment 32) : Yes it was :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.04.10 11:27:23 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • What happened to Murray, see Strauss is on the bench ❓

    Can’t tell me Strauss is better than Murray…..Hearl Rose is better than Strauss….okay, maybe that’s a bit far fetched.

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.04.10 11:29:25 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 31) : new thread up

  • Comment 36, posted at 01.04.10 11:31:08 by war1 Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 35) : perhaps murray is injured?

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.04.10 11:31:53 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 37) : I hope that’s the reason, can’t see Strauss being better than Murray.

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.04.10 11:34:30 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 33) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.04.10 11:36:04 by Pokkel Reply
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  • No Murray???

    So we have 3 slooow backs (Odwa, Stefan and Strauss) against the Reds backs…

    Lets hope the IPL is fun.

  • Comment 40, posted at 01.04.10 11:36:21 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 40) : Swannie isn’t going to win any 100m races either 🙄

  • Comment 41, posted at 01.04.10 11:44:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 41) : We’re very thin at FH and 12…..big problem, I think Monty might actually have done better at 12 than FH….sadly it’s a bit late now.

  • Comment 42, posted at 01.04.10 11:46:25 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 41) :
    Neither is Rocket.

    But I can live with slow scrummies and crash ball inside centres.

    Outside backs HAVE to be quick though.

    I don’t understand this one.

  • Comment 43, posted at 01.04.10 11:51:22 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 43) : Surely Balnche haven’t lost all of his speed, I know he’s speed is not close to what it was in his prime, but he still has gas…..I would like to see whom the fastest backs are at the Sharks and how the veterans goes.

  • Comment 44, posted at 01.04.10 11:58:24 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I reckon Stef is still more than fast enough for 13

  • Comment 45, posted at 01.04.10 12:18:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • 😯 thought u guys were looking for another Skipper Badenhorst when i read this heading. Thank goodness!! 😈

  • Comment 46, posted at 01.04.10 12:32:05 by VanWilder Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 45) : another guy that would have been a great leader is Jacques Botes. know him personally. Also the age factor. 🙁

  • Comment 47, posted at 01.04.10 12:33:22 by VanWilder Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 45) :
    You really think so? 😯

    Even if that were true, how is his cover defence?

    And where is the sense in playing a 34-year old ahead of a young Bok (should Waylon be uninjured)?

    If he is injured, then I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.

  • Comment 48, posted at 01.04.10 12:49:32 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I’ll be the captain :mrgreen:

  • Comment 49, posted at 01.04.10 13:35:26 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @VanWilder (Comment 47) : Age is the big thing counting against him, IMO

  • Comment 50, posted at 01.04.10 13:59:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 48) : Waylon has issues and they’re all in his head. Have you seen the way he jumps everytime he catches the ball? I think the dude is scared… Terrible to see. I hope they get him sorted out.

  • Comment 51, posted at 01.04.10 14:01:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • Willem Alberts hasn’t been there long enough and he doesn’t strike me as a leader. I’d go for Alistair Hargreaves as a long term solution, with Jacques Botes playing a strong leadership role. I think he took over the captaincy on Saturday when Smit left the field. If Botes was younger, it would be a no-brainer; he’s a team man, modest, hard-working, omnipresent on the field, yet sadly not in the starting XV :/

  • Comment 52, posted at 01.04.10 14:52:24 by MerckZ Reply

  • I think we could have a fairly exciting bunch for our Currie Cup squad this year, while the Boks are away:

    5.Hargreaves (C)

    With Lambie at 10 I think Swannie will perform better – with Lambie taking over the creative duties. We’ve been relying on an out-of-sorts Pienaar (till recently) and the relatively uncreative duo of Goode and Swannepoel for our backline spark. I think that youthful team would score a lot of tries…

  • Comment 53, posted at 01.04.10 14:53:10 by MerckZ Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 53) : You don’t think Deysel will be selected for the Boks?

    Terblanche will still be there for the CC.

    As for the rest of the team, sure is a strong team….the Boks might as well take a break after the tri-nations….make this the team to take us all the way.

  • Comment 54, posted at 01.04.10 15:02:14 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 54) : Deysel has taken a step backwards this year, I fear. Still think he’s the best 7 we have after Smith, but he needs to be proving it every week.

  • Comment 55, posted at 01.04.10 17:05:21 by robdylan Reply
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