A timely injection?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 24 Jul 2010 at 23:17
Tagged with : , , , ,

News just out is that the Sharks will be able to call on the service of most of their returning Tri-Nations Boks next week, with Beast Mtawarira, Ryan Kankowski and Ruan Pienaar all released for Currie Cup duty on return from the disastrous Antipodean tour.

The availability of this lot, together with further returnees in the form of Jean Deysel and Odwa Ndungane should leave John Plumtree scratching his head as he searches for the right combinations to give his team the best possible chance of victory over the cheetahs in Bloemfontein this weekend. Somewhat bizarrely, though, only Mtawarira should be expected to walk into the team, with Pienaar and Kankowski coming up against two of the most in-form players in the entire Currie Cup, Charl McLeod and Keegan Daniel respectively.

With Daniel’s position at the back of the scrum already under threat from Willem Alberts, the diminutive number 8 underlined his credentials in impeccable style in scoring three tries against the Pumas – making him the competition’s leading try scorer with 5 scores. The other Sharks try was scored by McLeod, who has revolutionised the Sharks backline with his great positional play, pace and crisp service from the base. With the aforementioned Alberst, as well as the enigmatic Rory Kockott both in the squad and raring for action, Plumtree now finds himself in a bit of a delicate three-way balancing act in both the number 8 and scrumhalf positions.

Then again, Kankowski did pretty well playing at bilndside flank for the Springboks in Brisbane and with Deysel presumably earmarked to play off the bench (if at all), it might make sense for the popular Hoff to play in the number 7 jersey against Free State, where he will have his hands full against the irrepressible Juan Smith.

Other players to be released to the Currie Cup are Dewald Potgieter, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Flip van der Merwe, Francois Hougaard, Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Francois Louw and CJ van der Linde. The Springbok squad for the home leg of the Tri-Nations will be announced on 7 August.


  • Good news for the Sharks and for WP!
    De Jongh and Whitehead is an exciting prospect and Gio at 14 will be Awesome!! 😎

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.07.10 00:11:22 by wpw Reply

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.07.10 04:21:53 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I hope it doesn’t disrupt the team setup.. It would have been far worse had we had the usual 8 – 10 players in the squad.

    WP are the best affected team, aplon and de jongh along with Flouw will make a huge difference!

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.07.10 06:06:58 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • I don’t like this,it will only disrupt things – my FL team and the CC teams

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.07.10 06:23:36 by Hammerhead Reply

  • I wouldn’t play Deysel at all, I am not sure if he has been training whilst recovering, but he is too valuable to just chuck back in the mix…

    Beast will make an impact and must be considered for the team, our props have been looking good, and Beast adds value.

    Odwa will battle to make the match day 22 and will need to dig deep to regain full form. He is a valuable player too, so we can’t write him off, but JPP and Mvovo look a solid option.

    The loosies is an interesting area for conversation and decision making, and I entrust Plum makes the right call here.

    Rocket, Pienaar must fight it out for the subs bench, McLeod deserves another shot, but Pienaar is world class and Plum might be too desperate for a vivtory over this bogey side not to consider him, but with the travelling and all, I would in all fairness leave all the Boks out for this one and stick to our current squad.

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.07.10 09:28:24 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • Will be fun to watch Aplon against JPP.

    Pienaar must surely feature along with Mcleod: Rory has a long road, filled with soul-searching, to walk.

    I don’t envy Plumtree the job of selecting the loose trio. Rhodes’ form has meant that even now they are well-balanced.

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.07.10 09:47:54 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I wouldn´t be too quick to rush he Boks back in. One or two returnees could strenghten our squad in he right positions, but wholesale replacements would not only be unfair to some, but could disrupt our side the way it did last year.

    If I was Plum (obviously easy when you´re not actually the coach) I would do the following:

    15. Terblanche
    14. JPP
    13. Ludik
    12. Lambie
    11. Mvovo
    10. Pienaar
    9. McLeod
    8. Alberts
    7. Daniel
    6. Botes
    5. Hargreaves
    4. Sykes
    3. Herbst
    2. Burden
    1. Beast

    16. Cooper
    17. Cilliers
    18. Kanko
    19. Skeate
    20. Kockott
    21. Dumond
    22. Strauss

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.07.10 09:55:42 by rhineshark Reply
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    Spirit of Rugby
  • @rhineshark (Comment 7) : Good idea to put Pienaar in at 10… I would also start Kanko at 7, he needs the game time in that position seeing as that is where he’s likely to play for the Boks. Playing opposite Juan Smith would be a good run0out for him.

    For the rest, I agree the travelling factor will have made most of them flat and in need of recouperation. Not to mention my FL team can’t take many more back at this stage!!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.07.10 10:58:28 by CS Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : You obviously know a little more regardin Rocket, whats happening with him? Has he some personal battles, or is it form related?

    @rhineshark (Comment 7) : Thats a strong team you have selected there and I quite like the thought of Ludik in the centres with Lambie. I would still have Meyer in the 22 ahead of Dumond. I think Meyer is a better player allround and has much better organizational skills and distribution, he is better at getting his backline involved.

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.07.10 11:09:48 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 9) :
    Dont know anything directly. But 2 seasons ago he was on the cusp of Bok selection, and since then he has become more famous for petulant behaviour and assisting in strangling our creativity.

    Just like with Waylon Murray, a player who is a star in his early 20’s doesnt just burn-out in 2 or 3 seasons – its either injury or something mental/ emotional.

    The top level of sports is an arena that can tear you emotionally or mentally – just like any high-pressure job.

    My thought anyway.

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.07.10 11:40:51 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : Makes sense…

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.07.10 11:47:50 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • Why try make way 4 the bok players when half of them r going 2 be gone in the home leg of the 3n in a few weeks anyway?? i think Ruan shud replace kockett on the bench and kanko shud at least b included in the match 22 if not the starting XV. wen is lambie going 2 move 2 flyhalf 4 a game, i wud of thought plum might of tried it agianst a side like the pumas but mayb stil i bit soon?

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.07.10 13:38:05 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • Possible Starting XV vs The Cheetahs:
    1 Cilliers
    2 Burden (who knows when Bissy is returning?)
    3 Herbst

    4 Sykes
    5 Hargreaves

    6 Botes
    7 Alberts
    8 Daniel

    9 McLeod
    10 Meyer (if not fit Pienaar)

    12 Lambie
    13 Terblanche (we have to find some place for our skipper)

    11 Mvovo
    14 Pietersen
    15 Ludik

    Reserves: Cooper; Beast; Skeate; Kankowski; Pienaar (Kockett if Pienaar is on & Meyer injured); Dumond; Strauss

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.07.10 13:48:25 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • Didn`t we get the bokke back before facing FS last year as well, then lost in the semi`s?

    Difficult decisions ahead.

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.07.10 17:30:12 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 14) : Yeah but Beast, Kanko and Pienaar are real options with minimal disruptions…

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.07.10 22:20:14 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 15) : I agree with that, only those 3 and we should be ok, but I’d still not have them all in the starting XV.

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.07.10 07:05:58 by Jarson Reply
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  • If we play like we did against the Pumas, it’s going to be a loooong night.

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.07.10 07:18:47 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 17) : We won’t!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.07.10 07:52:52 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Jarson (Comment 16) : No disrespect to Pat Cilliers, but Id start Beast. Id also start Kanko at 8 with Alberts and Daniel and give Botes a break. Pienaar can warm the bench behind Macleod. No need to rush him into the starting lineup, especially if he is leaving to Ulster next year. This is a rebuilding year after all.

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.07.10 08:01:02 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • The Team I would start with:



  • Comment 20, posted at 26.07.10 08:20:11 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 19) : I guess we agree,… exactly!

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.07.10 08:21:08 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 19) : Botes hasn’t showed his best form this year and his a great replacement to have, especially with an important game like this. We can never leave Kanko out and Keegan has played open side, with success, quite a few times.

    Ruan is leaving, but even if he wasn’t, he won’t be here for the rest of the Currie Cup and McLeod, Meyer and Lambie combine well so far. I’d have Ruan on the bench as a utility player.

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.07.10 08:26:48 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 20) : I think that that is going to be very very close to the starting 22. My only change – just because he added some serious grunt when he came on on Friday would be elevating Skeate to start ahead of Hargreaves. Other then that, please send a copy of the team list to Plum… 😉

    No need to make wholesale changes – we need consistency esp against the cheetahs, dont touch the backs… We are going to have to bring our game face! Johnson was epic for them against the Bulls

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.07.10 08:59:02 by Mole Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 22) : Great minds and all… Botes had some very good games in the middle of the super14, but he lacks the X factor Keegan has, and neither are really fetcher flanks. Kanko provides good ball skills, while Alberts has the muscle and can take over the tackle machine role Botes has. I think the backline should be left alone to form combinations, although Im still concerned about Stef at 13. The sharks need to look to next years super15 and Stef isnt the answer. I guess he is providing experience outside Lambie and holding the place until someone else steps up/returns from injury and takes it.

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.07.10 11:15:56 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @Mole (Comment 23) : I agree with you on skeate.

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.07.10 11:22:13 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 24) : Mapoe/Adi/JLP will come into contention for the s15. With JLP coming in at 10 it seems Lambie will stay at 12 for a while with Adi slotting into 13 and Mapoe providing cover on the Bench and to take that spot in the future. Also Steven Meyer looks a decent back-up for 10 and might even push for a starting spot if JLP doesn’t proof himself in the Sharks jersey early on. Looks like management has been thinking it through after all… 🙂

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.07.10 11:26:32 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 26) : Possibly. Im still a little concerned about 13. JLP is a 10 or 12. Adi hasnt played his best rugby in a while, and Mapoe is unproven in the position. This is now the key backline weakness (more so than 10, now that the sharks have Meyer and JLP for next year).

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.07.10 13:50:52 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 27) : Yes, but this is the key backline problem for every SA team bar anyone lucky enough to have Jacques Fourie. No SA side has great 13’s. Right now the Lions are playing Marius Delport. Cheetahs Eberson…he’s fast, but still don’t really rate him. Bulls has the other injury prone Pretorius and that Swanepoel guy, who I think has potential. Waylon Murray used to be a decent 13, but not for a while now, and now he’s being used at 12. Walter Venter is a pretty good center, I don’t know if he prefers 12 or 13.

    I do rate the centers WP has though, Boch, Whitehead and De Jong and with fourie there, they’re in a pretty healthy state. They might just loose one of these centers to us. They won’t be able to keep all of them happy.

    And that guy from the Bulls, Watermeyer isn’t bad either.

    All the guys that are showing some potential has only just started playing CC and s14. Maybe if we give one of our young players a chance we’ll find a decent center too.

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.07.10 07:55:50 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Piet Lindeque

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.07.10 08:04:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Good morning everyone could someone please bring me up to date. After 6 weeks away I have been left behind. What has happened to the following players – Mapoe; Bosman; and Peter Grant?

  • Comment 30, posted at 27.07.10 08:36:02 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 30) : Mapoe is pretty much a Shark now, still injured, but hoping to see him in black and white soon.
    Bosman was linked to the Sharks recently, but with the stocks looking quiet full and with Jacque Louis Potgeiter coming down to Durban, I doubt that he will leave.
    Grant – had a cracker S14, really stepped up. But because he was left out of the Bok squad =, last I heard he had been linked with either a move to Aus (think it was the Force) or a Japanese club, not entirely sure…

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.07.10 08:48:36 by Mole Reply

  • Mole thank you for that!

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.07.10 09:21:51 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette

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