No more imports?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 6 May 2010 at 07:01
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You’ve got to hand it to Craig Lewis of the Daily News. For a young journo, he certainly knows how to get Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl to spill the beans!

I’m referring to Lewis’s wide-ranging interview with van Zyl, which you can read here. We highlighted the aspect about John Plumtree being the Currie Cup head coach in an article yesterday, but there is plenty more food for thought in what van Zyl had to say.

To me, one of the most significant things is that he seems to have ruled out the possibility of the Sharks looking abroad for (yet another) flyhalf, insisting that it has never been a policy of theirs to do so, but rather something that has come about through necessity. While I’m not sure I completely buy that argument, one would have to assume that there is pretty widespread unhappiness with the results of the latest spate of foreign signings, those of Juan-Martin Hernandez and Andy Goode. Neither has had the desired impact and it looks as though the Sharks now might be forced to bite the proverbial bullet and give a local youngster, such as Patrick Lambie or Guy Cronje, the chance to make the position his own.

More worrying, though, is the CEO’s denial of any serious problem with the Sharks’ backline play, reducing any talk of that nature to a media creation. He highlights a lack of tries as the only real issue – which to me goes to show that he doesn’t really understand what a backline is actually used for. He and Plumtree must get on very well!

A last point that raised an eyebrow for me was the admission that Plumtree has allegedly not yet signed the offered 3-year contract extension. The Sharks have flip-flopped on this particular issue so many times in the last few months (with one interview saying that he has signed, only for the next to deny it) that it does make one wonder how much of the other stuff van Zyl has to say can actually be taken at face value.


  • This is good news…I think. Pity Brian is blind to the Sharks backline problems though. We need a specialist backline coach fast…..and Brian the main reason you have a backline is to score tries 😳

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.05.10 08:17:56 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Well, it’s good news about the flyhalf situation. Maybe Plum is waiting til after the Super 14 to sign the contract?

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.05.10 08:37:25 by war1 Reply
  • I hope we can get our backline sorted out. I just hope that playing Lambie at 10 will not hurt his career. Like Pokkel suggested, a backline coach might just sort out all our problems. Hell he might even be able to sort our midfield out without replacing anyone.

    So I see only two problems in the Sharks squad at the moment.
    1.) Flyhalf (Lambie might be an option and hope he will be able to cope with the pressure)
    2.) A proper backline coach (Any suggestions??)

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.05.10 08:55:49 by Farlington Reply

  • Gregor Townsend, JM Hernandez, Tony Brown, David Knox, Andy Goode…

    Not a policy my arse! Does van Zyl think we’re all bloody idiots?

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.05.10 09:08:20 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Farlington (Comment 3) : Todd Louden would be my choice as backline coach

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.05.10 09:11:29 by war1 Reply
  • ‘He highlights a lack of tries as the only real issue – which to me goes to show that he doesn’t really understand what a backline is actually used for. He and Plumtree must get on very well!’

    πŸ˜† 😈

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.05.10 09:36:49 by wpw Reply
  • @rhineshark (Comment 4) :

    You forgot Freddie Michalak!! πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.05.10 09:42:26 by wpw Reply
  • and Thierry Lacroix..

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.05.10 09:58:20 by voltage Reply

  • @war1 (Comment 2) : Or to pack up and run

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.05.10 10:10:30 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I personally dont give a hoot how many outside flyhalfs we recruit as long as they are better than what is available.

    JM Hernandez was / is a world class flyhalf and would surely have contributed big time, the injury to him, and then Adi left our backline floundering. These were situations beyond the control of anyone.

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.05.10 10:13:46 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 10) : Agree πŸ˜‰ I am availeable as backline coach for so long :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.05.10 10:39:25 by Charlie Reply

  • I went and read the article, I got a different interpretation to Robs though. I understand van Zyl as saying that the media harp on about the backline weakness, and that yes, they havent scored enough tries and that there is a present shortage of depth – which if you want to be honest about it is not a denial that there has been a weakness in the backline but actually acknowledges that there IS a problem.

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.05.10 10:46:14 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Charlie (Comment 11) :
    Just because you are injured does not mean that you can hang around on the beach all day. Get your ass over to the tank and weave your magic.

    Its a real pity about Hernandez and Adi. A backline with those 2 in and playing to potential would have had us singing the praises of our team.

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.05.10 10:49:44 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 13) : ya – I must agree – “Adi” thinks he is on holidays, even neglecting blogging duties πŸ™„ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.05.10 10:51:34 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 10) : We should have had back-up for these guys. Only one quality player in each position, not good enough anymore. You need a decent-ish back-up player. You need players that’s always pushing for a place in the starting 15. Like Mvovo this year and Kockett and McLeod and Scrummy, both can take over from Ruan with success.

    Prop, we have guys showing potential and more guys waiting on the bench for their chance to play. Hooker looks good with Burden and even Kyle Cooper. Lock, we have some cover even though we decided to get a Bulls guy. Mostert should be ready soon and Hargreaves are playing really good rugby.

    Flank and 8thman, 5 guys playing for 3 sports and some good talent with the Sharks XV. We have good wings, Mvovo should have played more this year and vulindlu is not a bad player. He’ll gain some experience in the CC. Fullback – Lambie, Ludik, Stefan and some of the wings can cover that.

    Flyhalf – Center…um? No Goode? Who for 10? Ruan, doesn’t want to play there, Lambie will it ruin him, Dumond will never be good enough, Cronje…can’t tell if he’s the answer. That is not good.
    Center, Swannie and Adi, Murray if he decided to ever gain some form and… nothing.

    Two injuries shouldn’t leave a team with nothing to fall back on. That’s not situations out of you control. That’s bad management.

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.05.10 11:06:06 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 10) : Kanko got injured and look how Alberts and Deysel stepped up. That was good management, signing alberts.

    Odwa got injured and Lambie came into the picture, again we had some back-up, even after Ludik also got injured.

    JP got injured and Mvovo finally got a chance.

    Muller got injured and Hargreaves showed that he’s a top player.

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.05.10 11:07:22 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 10) : Why don’t we have good back-up players like this in the centers? When Barritt left we needed to find a replacement that would fill he’s shoe’s Swannie sort of did that for a while, but then Steyntjie left to and we still didn’t get anyone to replace the gap they left at 12.

    After Buthcy left, what did we do? We got a temp import and forced another player to play out of position.

    These are two of your most important positions, why aren’t the Sharks treating it like that?

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.05.10 11:07:46 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 15) :
    I agree with all that you say – Im just saying that if they had remained injury free it could have been different. But on that point, how many teams have a JMH and Adi quality player sitting on their bench waiting for a game. This brings our hooker and scrumhalves into the picture – I cant imagine why they are still with us because they are good players who will add to any team. I dont believe that they are still there because of blind loyalty but more because they have contracts that prohibit them from moving. By saying this I am in no way questioning their loyalty to the Sharks but lets be honest a player wants to play first and foremost.

    So having a squad where all positions are strong and interchangeable with an equally strong bench must obviously be strived for, the reality is that it will seldom happen and certainly not on a consistant basis.

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.05.10 11:21:24 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Oki – Andy got a boot πŸ™„

    The Sharks

    15. Patrick Lambie
    14. Odwa Ndungane
    13. Stefan Terblanche
    12. Riaan Swanepoel
    11. Lwazi Mvovo
    10. Ruan Pienaar
    9. Rory Kockott
    8. Ryan Kankowski
    7. Willem Alberts
    6. Jean Deysel
    5. Alistair Hargreaves
    4. Steven Sykes
    3. Jannie du Plessis
    2. John Smit (Captain)
    1. Tendai Mtawarira

    16. Craig Burden
    17. Patric Cilliers
    18. Wilhelm Steenkamp
    19. Keegan Daniel
    20. Jacques Botes
    21. Andy Goode
    22. Andries Strauss

  • Comment 19, posted at 06.05.10 11:30:23 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 17) :
    I dont have the answer for that but I cant imagine that it is done on purpose, afterall you have pointed out that they have done well with back up for certain positions so I will naturally presume that they would try and do the same for all positions. Maybe they got the best of waht was available for those positions. I have asked it many time recently – which flyhalf (local or international) should we have been playing, JL Potgieter is /was not an option. No one can answer this question.

  • Comment 20, posted at 06.05.10 11:30:42 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 18) : you know Salmo, it may be a better thing for a player to be sitting on the bench of a winning team than being a first choice in loosing team. And I am not saying loosing sometimes but more like Lions.

  • Comment 21, posted at 06.05.10 11:32:47 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 19) : deysel with alberts together at 6& 7. looks like alberts got the foot through the door πŸ˜€

  • Comment 22, posted at 06.05.10 11:33:47 by rekinek Reply
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  • Looks like the Sharks are going for a forwards battle. Let’s see how this loose forward combination does….I hope we don’t miss Botes’s speed

  • Comment 23, posted at 06.05.10 11:42:50 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 21) :
    The Lions werent meant to lose all the time. 😈

    If I was Burden or McCeod or even Kockott I would rather take my chances with the Lions than to traipse all over the world doing nothing weekend after weekend.

  • Comment 24, posted at 06.05.10 11:44:51 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 22) : The Sharks are probably going to try and keep the ball away from from that dangerous Stormers backline.

  • Comment 25, posted at 06.05.10 11:45:36 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I see that Ashfak Mohammed reckons Duane and Flo are up against Kanko and co for places in the Bok squad. Interesting!!

    Duane definitely deserves a chance. Flo is good but Deysel has been good the last few games.

    I wonder which way PDV will go!! πŸ˜• ❓

  • Comment 26, posted at 06.05.10 11:48:21 by wpw Reply
  • Speaking of Flo, please ask him to keep his fingers out of Jannies eyes this time round. 😈

  • Comment 27, posted at 06.05.10 12:01:37 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • πŸ™„

    Jannie is a far dirtier player than Flo imo. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 06.05.10 12:11:15 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 28) : Jannie is an angel.

  • Comment 29, posted at 06.05.10 12:20:39 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 7) : @voltage (Comment 8) : I knew I forgot some – there have been so many and now they want us to believe the crap van Zyl is uttering.

  • Comment 30, posted at 06.05.10 15:16:37 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 23) : Forward battle by the choice of the two flankers and only two “backs” on the bench :mrgreen:

  • Comment 31, posted at 06.05.10 15:18:51 by rhineshark Reply
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  • Afternoon everyone :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 06.05.10 15:31:36 by Chaz Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 11) : way to go Charlie maybe we sharks are to win then but CC comes we need you on the field πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 33, posted at 06.05.10 15:34:48 by Chaz Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 14) : thats the way tell him holiday is over get blogging and on the field we want to take our CC back and put it where it belongs πŸ™‚

  • Comment 34, posted at 06.05.10 15:36:38 by Chaz Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 11) : What’s happening with your injury….how long before we can expect you back in the black and white…..we SERIOUSLY need you man

  • Comment 35, posted at 06.05.10 15:39:45 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Well must say something i just hope that all the coaches have learnt a thing or two we’ve got a CC coming up and then we got springbok doing their thing so if there was anything learnt by this S 14 well now is the time to do something about it for next year πŸ™„ or are the coaches going to sit again and wait for next year S15 to take the leed well then we might just end up again next year like this year we want the dam# S 15 Cup in Sharks Tank please πŸ˜†

  • Comment 36, posted at 06.05.10 15:42:49 by Chaz Reply

  • @Chaz (Comment 36) : Yeah, I’m tired of being content with making the final, making the semi and almost making the semi……time to win the cup or quit playing rugby.

  • Comment 37, posted at 06.05.10 15:46:44 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Have no problem with imports as long as they are game winners.

  • Comment 38, posted at 06.05.10 15:51:49 by Treehugger Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 37) : yep thats the way i’m afraid if we can’t win the CC and not v=even to mention the S15 well then me don’t know at all i think we or at least somebody at sharksworld could help or 😳 eeee get some to do a bit of magic something like strip poker (Rugby) or what do you say then you see our sharks win all the cups eeee 😳

  • Comment 39, posted at 06.05.10 15:55:19 by Chaz Reply


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