Got to keep Pienaar – simply have to

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 19 Apr 2010 at 15:46
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There’ve been a few developments on the player front over the last week that we probably need to spend some more time discussing. Deon Carstens has confirmed that he will leave after the Super 14, but it’s yet another round of halfback developments that cause me the most concern.

That’s not to say that Carstens isn’t a fantastic player or that he won’t be missed; far from it, in fact. The likeable prop has amassed a truly staggering number of Sharks caps since starting his senior career back in the early 2000s and has has successfully reinvented himself a number of times since then – always based on what the team needed most. Right now, while unfortunately somewhat injury-prone, he’s an incredibly useful option on either side of the scrum and can play the role of either starting, or impact, prop when required. The current surplus of front-row talent in the Sharks setup makes it easy to overlook the value that a Carstens brings to the squad, but his particular value always seems to come to the fore when the other lads are away on Bok duty and we need an experienced campaigner to shore things up.

It’s perfectly understandable, though, that the big fella would choose this point to call time on his Sharks career, since he’s not getting regular starting team action and is also not getting any younger. Having recently got married, it’s about time Deon started looking at lining his pockets a bit and let’s hope that the move to Sarries works out well for him. He’ll be missed, along with Johann Muller, but the Sharks will need to use this opportunity to blood some of the promising young tight forwards coming through the junior ranks. Wiehahn Herbst and Pat Cilliers are our future stars and it’s these guys who will need to step up in the Currie Cup and fill the enormous set of boots that Carstens is vacating. Cheers, Speenvark and best of luck for the future. You’re a legend and we appreciate everything you’ve done for us!

Looking to the latest Ruan Pienaar rumour, though, there is definitely cause for concern. Once again, it’s a case of he-said, she-said here, with the Irish papers reporting a move to Ulster as a done deal, while the Pienaar camp (in the form of his father Gysie) denies that anything is on the cards. Now while I can definitely see this one from both sides, there’s only one real way to look at this, from my point of view: Ruan Pienaar is playing superb rugby at scrumhalf for the Sharks and our backline, while still far from setting the world alight, simply looks twice as good with him at nine than it does with anyone else there. Retaining his services are an absolute must for the Sharks, as together with Patrick Lambie, he needs to form the nucleus of the backline to take us forward in 2011.

The flyhalf position remains undecided as ever, with yet another journeyman in Sias Ebersohn somewhat unreliably linked with a moved to Durban. Guy Cronje should be fit to play in the Β Currie Cup as well and with a number of other possibles emerging from the club scene as well, the opportunity is really wide open for a youngster to stick his hand up in that competition and show that he’s the man to wear the jersey in the inaugural Super 15. With an ample supply of good ball from Pienaar and the rapidly developing and the infinitely-reliable Riaan Swanepoel on the other side, the prospect of developing a young flyhalf might not seem so daunting after all.

Let Pienaar leave, though and we’re starting completely from scratch in both halfback positions.


  • Fair enough Rob… I agree Ruan just looks better in his preferred position then at 10 where some would like him to play. The problem thou is that Ruan might feel that he does not have what it takes to wear the No. 9 jersey in the Green & Gold… or let me put it this way, he has come to terms that RJ would most likely be selected ahead of him in the No. 9 spot.

    But maybe he should consider this, FdP will leave our shores next year and that would mean that the race for a replacement will be wide open.

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.04.10 16:01:41 by Farlington Reply
  • Developing a young flyhalf has my vote. “Grow” a fyhalf just the right way to suite the Sharks and stop wasting money on outsiders who might be over the wall or don’t fit in with the team. And keep our assets we can’t keep losing player.

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.04.10 16:02:52 by Nita Reply
  • I don’t think Pienaar would leave before the RWC2011….and ethe Sharks won’t easily let Ruan out of his contract that apparently is valid till end 2011 (for what that’s worth)

    I hope the Sharks have secured and signed Lambie up till he is at least 35…I can see a lot of offers going his way and the Sharks better not be sleeping.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.04.10 16:04:31 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I know you don’t rate Sias that much but to call him a journeyman is just ridiculous.

    He is what, 21 years old isn’t he?? And he has hardly had an opportunity to prove if he is indeed good enough at CC or S14 level.

    He is much more talented than any of the current Sharks lot and would be a very good signing for any side, especially one that has how many young up and coming flyhalves??

    Guy Cronje is injured and also didn’t cover himself in glory during last year’s CC.

    Come on Robbo, try being a bit objective here!! πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.04.10 16:08:02 by wpw Reply
  • By the way Rob, do you still want to play Lambie at 10? And what do you think of maybe giving Louis Ludik a go at 10 when fit? I just can’t see us leaving him on the sidelines.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.04.10 16:08:41 by Farlington Reply

  • @Farlington (Comment 5) : Lambie MUST al least be tried at 10 for a couple of games with Ludick to 15 (or even centre)….and it’s not about stuffing Lambie around…he’s young and talented enough to make the change.

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.04.10 16:12:29 by Pokkel Reply
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  • good day guys

    Ok B van Zyl has denied that Sias Ebersohn is on his way to the Sharks , as well as the ruan going to Ireland story

    Todays daily news

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.04.10 16:22:38 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 7) : πŸ˜›

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.04.10 16:24:23 by rekinek Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 7) : are you guys (ie. your supporters club) going to the game on 1 May in Ptown?

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.04.10 16:25:38 by rekinek Reply
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  • on a different note. It looks like during sat game Ruan passed 200 S14 points.

    And I was not born like this. This stats obsessions must be KSA’s fault πŸ™„ πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.04.10 16:31:09 by rekinek Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 7) : good. We don’t need him

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.04.10 16:31:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • yup will be at the game

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.04.10 16:37:24 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • πŸ˜† rob np i aint saying he is good , just tellin ya whats in daily News :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.04.10 16:38:06 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) :geez that’s a bit harsh on poor sias he is far from a journeyman. From what I’ve seen of him and cronje is that he is much better technically. The major issue the cheetahs have is his kicking not his general play. He is a really good distributor and running flyhalf. The kicking usually takes a while to come right. Remember morne steyn couldn’t kick when he got to the bulls.

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.04.10 17:22:40 by zenrugby Reply

  • Pienaar wont leave until after the world cup. Really don’t see him staying after that. Probably the money will be the attraction after wc. We need to start playing some of our youngsters now in the CC. Need to be ready for 2012. Think we are covered for next year at scrummie with Ruan. Need a FH for next year though.

    Agree with Pokkel, hope we have signed Lambie for a few years. Really don’t need us to lose him. Pure class is Lambie and will get even better.

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.04.10 19:52:38 by Puma Reply

  • Didn’t anyone notice Lambie playing first receiver on a number of occasions against the Lions? He looked exceedingly comfortable in the role – and has lots more pace than I initially thought. I think he’s a better prospect at 10 than Guy Cronje. I have a feeling, that when Goode goes back before the Currie Cup, we’ll see Kockott at 9, Lambie at 10 and Ludik at 15 for the better part of the tournament. Would be nice to see Waylon Murray get a run at 13 too πŸ™„ I don’t think playing Wing for the Sharks XV is doing his confidence any good, unless he’s still struggling with injury?
    We have lots of guys out crocked; Mostert, Jacobs, Ludik, Kankowski – who am I missing?

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.04.10 20:14:50 by MerckZ Reply

  • Geez Rob, give Sias a break, he is a kid still and you are already calling him a journeyman, if he is given a chance he could still develop into a very good flyhalf. I watched him at Craven week a couple of years ago and he was brilliant. Now the question I would ask, is he the right person for the bright lights of Durban and how will he adjust, away from the security blanket of Bloemfontein. Give him a chance he aint no journey man!! You Guys should have grabbed Lionel Cronje when you had the chance, he is going to be a good one, if he is able to behave himself, but I am sure the Stormers will set him straight after his little altercation.

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.04.10 05:28:37 by Whindy Reply
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  • @MerckZ (Comment 16) : Why are you all obsessed with puting Lambie at 10 he is a very good fullback leave him alone this Guy will become a Sprinbok, if he is allowed to play at the back, dont do another Frans Steyn on him!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.04.10 05:31:16 by Whindy Reply
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  • i am on the fence about pat. for the sharks i feel he could become a great flyhalf, but the boks lack a decent fullback for the 2011rwc. and lambie has the pedigree to get there. i wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get any cc cos he is with the boks.

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.04.10 07:57:25 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 19) :

    Kirchner is really playing well at the moment and then there’s Joe Pietersen who has been around for a few seasons now!!

    And let’s not forget Conrad Jantjes who on his day can be really solid.
    Lambie should not be thrown in at the deep end.

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.04.10 08:03:01 by wpw Reply
  • conrad won’t make it back. he is another ashwell willemse. Joe is a good prospect. But Zane Kirschner is shit. Fourie makes him look good by fielding most the kicks, but in an international situation fourie is to busy to make Zane look good and he is shown up, like he was last year. I see joe as first choice and pat relegated to utility back. That is what has made the bok team good the last few years is their utility backs that can step in and fill any gap open.

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.04.10 08:15:30 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 21) :

    Nah bro, you are crazy!! πŸ™„

    Jantjes is only 28/9 now and I think he will be back. If he plays as well as he did in 2008 S14 then he will get selected.

    Lambie has played a handful of first class games and you want him to play for the Boks?? Is jy mal??

    Kirchner played what, 2 tests for SA. Have you watched any of the Bulls games this season?? Oh wait, even if you did, i doubt you can be objective!! 😈

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.04.10 08:27:14 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 22) : i am talking about his injury woes not his age. there are players that just can’t play a season and he is one of those. like pretorious, willemse, chilliboy etc.

    did i say start for the boks. by the time the boks play he will have played 8 s14 games and on current form he is the second best fullback after joe. The bok schedule is also hectic this year and de villiers has hinted at widening his squad to protect his heavyweights. so why wouldn’t he use pat for the lesser games?

    kirschner is overrated. and i say that not cos he plays for the bulls, but because he is. there are other bulls players i would like to see given a shot like pretorious. so my black and white goggles don’t completely blot out talent in other teams.

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.04.10 08:51:49 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 23) : Jaco Pretorius? I’d also like to see him shot ;). By the way, speaking of unpopular centres, wasn’t it great to see the Sharks dishing out love to Marius Delport this weekend?

  • Comment 24, posted at 20.04.10 09:00:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : :mrgreen: 😈

  • Comment 25, posted at 20.04.10 09:11:16 by wpw Reply

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