Sharks player ratings v Lions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 9 Aug 2010 at 08:00
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Another week and another good Sharks win. Let’s see how the individuals performed. As always, this is subjective, so let me know if you agree.

1. Beast Mtawarira: A really strong outing in every aspect other than the scrums, where he struggled to dominate and was repeatedly penalised. Made huge progress with ball in hand, though, but alas cannot score highly due to the poor scrumming performance. 6/10.
2. Craig Burden: Burden’s best all-round showing yet, which is really saying something this season. He was huge with ball in hand and the set pieces were much improved. Superb anticipation to poach the Sharks 4th try, the one that effectively sealed the game. 9/10.
3. Jannie du Plessis: Was this really his first game back after a month out? He’s clearly been keeping VERY fit, because Jannie was awesome. While the scrums weren’t a high point for the Sharks, the doctor was all over the park all game long, putting in big hits and making decent yards with ball in hand as well. 8/10.
4. Steven Sykes: The entire Sharks pack was on fire and on song and Sykesie was at the heart of it. This man is growing in stature with each game and finding the sort of form that earned him a spot on the Bok bench last year. 8/10.
5. Alistair Hargreaves: Demonstrated a simply monumental work-rate and featured prominently both on attack and defence, as well as marshalling the line outs to perfection. Hargs has simply beautiful hands for a tight forward and he demonstrated these on numerous occasions. 8/10
6. Keegan Daniel: With Willem Alberts there to do the donkey work, along with a tight five that had the opposition well under the cosh, Daniel was free to play the game that suits him best and he did it to perfection. His best all-round showing in a Sharks jersey yet this season. 8/10
7. Jean Deysel: Alas, poor Wolla didn’t last long enough to be rated.
8. Willem Alberts: There are no superlatives quite superlative enough to describe this man. Big Vic was, simply, immense in everything he did. 10/10.

9. Charl McLeod: A few errors crept into the game this week, but given the frankly ridiculous tempo at which it was played, you can forgive the old man for a slip-up or two. Service was crisp and quick as always and Charl remains the fuse igniting the Sharks back line in the 2010 Currie Cup. 7/10
10. Pat Lambie: Superstar. We could make an excuse or two given that it was his first game at flyhalf, but Pat simply didn’t do anything wrong, so no excuses are necessary. What an unbelievable talent. 10/10
11: Lwazi Mvovo: Perhaps guilty of not looking for enough work in the first half, but made up for it with some superb poaching in the second. His intercept try turned the game for the Sharks and his second was pure poetry. This boy has Bok written all over him. 8/10
12: Andries Strauss: Dries was bloody good out there. He’s one of those players who does a lot of good stuff that goes unnoticed, but his calming presence on Lambie’s outside was immense and the line lost none of its potency by having him there. 8/10
13: Stefan Terblanche: Stef is playing out of position at inside centre and lack the pace and incisiveness to really make success of the position. He’s giving his all for the team, which is great, but again, on form, he is not up with the others. 6/10
14: JP Pietersen: So strong on both attack and defence that he is an absolute nightmare to play against. That said, he seems to have lost his nose for the tryline just a little. 7/10
15: Louis Ludik: Ludik showed that his defensive game is every bit as classy as his attacking skills. A superb player who is only a week or two away from recapturing his pre-injury form. 8/10

16: Bismarck du Plessis: He was clearly very rusty, having played no rugby in 4 months. Bismarck needs more game time and needs to keep his discipline in check, because he did little other than to concede a number of penalties. 5/10
17: Eugene van Staden: This bloke just goes from strength to strength. Somewhat of an unknown quantity as a scrummager, but always very busy around the field and capable of doing some damage with ball in hand too. 7/10
18: Ross Skeate: Skeato is still adapting to the increased pace of Southern Hemisphere rugby, but again made an impact when he came on. Needs to work on body position and ball retention, but always brings something to the team. 6/10
19: Jacques Botes: Despite being named on the bench initially, Botes ended up playing virtually the entire match and was close to his brilliant best. Adapted well to playing out of position on the blind-side flank and was particularly effective on defence and as a link-man when required. 8/10
20: Rory Kockott: Looked sharp and in control when he came on for McLeod and made a few trademark breaks. 7/10
21: Monty Dumond: Didn’t really get enough time to warrant a rating.
22: Riaan Swanepoel: Swannie has clearly taken a long, hard look at his game and made some changes, because he looked a different player out there. He was quick, decisive and really mixed it up well when he got his hands on the ball. Very unlucky to be denied a try in the corner on full-time. 7/10.


  • A bit harsh on the Beast, but you have it right though, his main job is in the scrum, and that’s where he let us down. Good game otherwise..

    I’m really looking forward to the stats coming out, I’d love to see the meters gained by Alberts.

    Strauss looked a different player with Lambie on his inside..

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.08.10 08:09:50 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • You’ve got to remember we had a ref constantly penalising him despite this only being his second game at this level (the ref that is). And given his size, the closest he ever got to understanding scrum play is what people have told him. I don’t think he always got the calls right. Refs simply don’t understand scrumming and the sooner we sort it out so we don’t have resets and FKs and Pens at every scrum, the better for the game.

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.08.10 09:15:54 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 2) : that’s a fair point. Jafta had a superb game otherwise, though and punched well above his weight in terms of his calmness and maturity. A future superstar of the reffing scene, I’d say.

    Perhaps I have been unduly harsh on Beast – or rather, perhaps I should have docked Burden and Jannie a point each as well, since it can’t always have been only Beast’s fault?

    Hindsight… perfect science and all that.

    Whatever the case, I hope Pat Cilliers and Wiehahn Herbst enjoyed their rest, because they’re both back in now and are going to have to take us through the next month.

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.08.10 09:19:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • Agree with the ratings generally, but feel that Beast, Mcleod and JPP deserve more.

    Would love a front-rower or Oubaas to comment, but I think Jafta got a few scrum calls wrong: Beast simply outpowered his opposite and got pinged.

    Mcleod plays incredibly fast, and there were 1 or 2 lapses, but he creates so many options for us. When Rory came on, you could see the pace drop, and he quickly ran up 2 blind alleys.

    JPP may not be scoring, but he pitches up on both wings cnstantly, and mixes it well with both backs and forwards. Looking forward to seeing tje stats.

    Great game Strauss: made me eat my words as he was brutal on defence and creative on attack.

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.08.10 09:36:41 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • In my humble opinion I thought Beast had the beating of Buys and Geldenhuys.

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.08.10 11:02:23 by Oubaas2009 Reply

  • Such a shame to have lost Wolla again, can’t wait to see him working in tandem with Big Vic.

    Is it just me, or has Swannie lost a fair whack of weight? He actually looked like a centre when he came on, and not like a bulky loose forward. Strauss was more than impressive – guess you have to be if you captained Grey. I wouldn’t be surprised to see our first choice 10-12 axis for the Super 15 being Lambie und Straussie. ‘Ey man, so much of choice ek se!

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.08.10 11:05:21 by MerckZ Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 6) : Does anyone know what the status is with Deysel? How long is he out?

    Ok. Just checked other thread. 6-8 weeks with knee damage apparently awaiting confirmation of the scan… Damn!!!!!! I am sure Elton Jantjies was happy he went off.

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.08.10 11:09:32 by Oubaas2009 Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 6) : except that Strauss wants to play for the Cheetahs next year.

    I also thought Swannie had shed some bulk, but then I stopped myself… I mean, how much can he really have lost in just 2 weeks?

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.08.10 11:22:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • Without Charl McLeod we would not have been able to play the game at that tempo. 7/10? His service and option-taking was of the highest order and his error rate negligible, especially considering how many times he handled the ball. I would give him 9/10.

    If it was possible I would give Alberts 11/10. The best combined attacking and defensive effort I’ve seen from an 8th man in a long time. Spies and the rest should come and lick Big Willem’s boots so that some of his awesomeness can rub off one them.

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.08.10 11:22:44 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 9) : I reckon if I watched the game a second time, I may end up rating Charl higher. Let’s have a look at the stats once they come out, though and I’ll be more than happy to eat humble pie if it’s warranted.

    I just remember at one point during the first half noticing that his error rate seemed pretty high.

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.08.10 11:29:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • Sykes had good one. Great to see him back in some form!

    Hate to admit this re one of my favourite Sharks players of all time, but Stefan is not up to scratch in mid-field. When is Adie back?!

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.08.10 11:30:28 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : That’s a shame. Is that straight from the player’s mouth?

    I think he has lost a bit of weight. Maybe when you’re paid to gym for 14 days straight it’s possible.

    Would anyone welcome Francois Steyn’s return to the Sharks? No basis for suggesting he’s coming back, I just want to know whether people would welcome it…?

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.08.10 11:30:50 by MerckZ Reply

  • Shit… Whitely made 31 tackles and missed none!

    Guess we know who the Lions best player was…

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.08.10 11:32:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @MerckZ (Comment 12) : I wouldn’t welcome Frans back. Selfish, inconsistent player who rated himself far more highly than was warranted. Talent without application and the correct work ethic and attitude is not enough.

    I’ve heard the story about Strauss from two people who know him well. So not from the horse’s mouth, but from another pair of horses who share the same stable 🙂

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.08.10 11:35:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : After looking at the stats Rb, you still sure you want to give Alberts a 10/10?

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.08.10 11:41:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 15) : ah bugger. He missed 4 tackles?

    hmmm… damn stats! Subjective opinions are far more fun

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.08.10 11:52:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • I was also unreasonably harsh on Charl. Only 3 handling errors out of 80… Pat also made 3 out of 48.

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.08.10 11:59:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good ratings. However, I thoughts both Alberts and wee Lambie were awesome but just short of 10, after all that can’t be beaten. And McLeod is the man who makes The Sharks tick at this incredible pace so I think he deserves more. But, what the hell, they were all fantastic and I get excited just thinking of how well they are playing!

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.08.10 12:08:14 by Donald Reply

  • Great ratings and great game now we had Lambie at 15 12 and 10 what i want to know is what position must he make his own and jumping in and out i think and agree to what Rob said when he first played for the big guys he can play in all the no but me i think he does great at 10 so leave him there 🙂

    Great Lambie u and the rest of the team made me proud to be one of the 1000’s of Sharks supporters great work done guys :mrgreen: 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.08.10 12:29:55 by chaz Reply

  • @Donald (Comment 18) : I was very close to giving everyone (bar Stefan and Bis) 10 🙂

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.08.10 12:31:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @chaz (Comment 19) : reality is, with Steve out for the season, Lambie is going to be our ten. He looked great there and we need to stick with him and let him grow into the position.

    There is no reason not to let him play 10 in the Currie Cup and move him back to 12 for the Super 15. Those positions are interchangeable.

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.08.10 12:32:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : well we agree on sth :mrgreen: but will plumpie do us the honners and leave him in 10 for the S15 ❓

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.08.10 12:41:41 by chaz Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : why can’t we leave him at 10 or do u think is better in 12 😳

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.08.10 12:42:41 by chaz Reply

  • Beast threw away a clear try when he decided to go for the line with three players on his outside and no defenders. It might not have been important in this game, but I just don’t like it when players are selfish like that.

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.08.10 12:47:13 by Letgo Reply
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  • sth off the talk 😳


  • Comment 25, posted at 09.08.10 12:50:25 by chaz Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : I agree with you Rob, moving a player between 10, 12 is no problem, as long as they keep him away from 15 now.

    Maybe we will leave him at 10, but maybe, depending on the players he has around him, it will be better for the team if he plays 12.

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.08.10 12:50:49 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : That’s a shame, Strauss has been a good player for the Sharks and it’s always nice to have a player who’s always willing, on the bench or starting, but with Bosman and JLP coming to the Sharks I don’t see him getting much game time.

    I don’t think it’s that he wants to going to the Cheetahs, more like he’ll have to go if he wants any game time.

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.08.10 12:54:28 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 27) : Dries has been in the shadows for 4 years now. His career has essentially been wasted. Maybe he could have become something at the Cheetahs,,, who knows?

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.08.10 13:42:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) :
    I’m not gonna lie and say that I think he is world-class, but the real problem for him was that we had some really good 12’s (Frans, Barritt and Adi) and his style never fitted in with the backline.

    We always had steady 10’s and with the exception of Adi, steady 13’s; this meant we needed a linebreaker at 12. As shown yesterday, he could be a perfect foil to the mecurial Lambie (after all, he also played 10 in the VC), but the problem is that Stefan outside him is another steady performer.

    Stick Adi there, and things change. But I suspect you are right about the competition next year.

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.08.10 14:13:04 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : He’d probably do well to go overseas. Solid, reliable, good team player.

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.08.10 14:16:30 by MerckZ Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 30) : funny though, as Fish says… put an exciting 10 into the mix and suddenly both Dries and Swannie start to look superb.

    Correction – a quick 9 and an exciting 10.

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.08.10 14:37:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 4) : I am not sure how many penalties Beast gave away at scrum time, but there was one scrum where he was penalized for walking around and that was simply wrong. Buys scrummed in on Burden, exposing his ribs to Beast, who, like against the BIL, took advantage, attacked his outside ribs and drove him back and up. Because Buys was scrumming in on the Hooker, it looked like Beast went around, but he definitely did not, if there was to be a penalty, it should have been against Buys for scrumming in. On a second scrum, Beast was pinged for putting his hand down, again this was wrong, the opposing TH lost his feet (slipped) and went down, even through this, Beast never dropped his bind, his elbow was the first to hit the ground as the scrum went down, not his hand. If you look at the replay, you can actually see the opposing TH drop his hand, but Beast never dropped his bind and was pinged. So yes, in at least two scrums he was unfairly penalized. In my opinion as an old, very old front ranker. 😆

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.08.10 15:36:57 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : Finally agreement that Ruan was useless at 9 !

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.08.10 15:37:34 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : How’s that pie tasting? :mrgreen:

    Don’t worry, I chow plenty of it all the time, especially Mvovo Humble Pie. Happy to, though 😎

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.08.10 15:42:16 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 34) : it’s my favourite flavour,,, “Winning Sharks Pie” 🙂

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.08.10 16:35:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 32) : and looking at the stats, Beast only gave away two penalties in total.

    Hmmm… guess I’ve been shown up here somewhat, haven’t I?

    Is there anyone that I rated too highly? Apart from Alberts and Lambie, it seems 🙂

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.08.10 16:38:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 32) :
    Thanks DB: was hoping you would mosey on around. I saw it the same way. Also felt the Lions often were quick on the engage.

    @robdylan (Comment 36) :
    To be honest, I thought you were a tad generous with Stef, Rory and Ludik.

    The latter was good, but not as good as Taute, Stef was invisible except for the van Rensburg try, and Rory was slower than Mcleod, and twice tried to break when he had good options wide.

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.08.10 17:45:07 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • All I hear is Adi, Adi, Adi, but he never plays, Strauss, is not good at all, Swanie needs to get of the big macs. We still dont have a good 12.

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.08.10 18:09:57 by Tiger Reply

  • Why is Rory not at his best, because someone has a problem with him???????????, I will select him for the Boks .

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.08.10 18:12:46 by Tiger Reply

  • Stefan is not a bad centre but he is not on par with his fullback performance. Beast needs to get his scrumming together, he hasnt performed well for since the s14.

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.08.10 18:19:09 by Jarson Reply
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  • @ Tiger, relax Adi will be back in action on 4th September 😉

  • Comment 41, posted at 09.08.10 19:10:16 by Charlie Reply

  • I think you are short-changing Charl – great pace and distribution – this was a serious fast game! Unless of course u r measuring him against previous games… 😉 Super all-round performance by the guys!

    I read a interview they had with Lambie – says very thankful for the opportunities, but would like to be settled down in one position now…I was not TOTALLY convinced yet with him at 10, but also not totally unconvinced. Imagine him having Steyn’s boot and morte accuracy (ok 9 out of 10 was good, but relatively easy kicks)- he will then be a monster!!

  • Comment 42, posted at 10.08.10 08:58:53 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 42) : Yip, I don’t think everyone realizes just how big a contribution Charl has made to the improvement of our backs. We’ve made so many changes to our centers and flyhalfs these past few years and nothing…now Charl plays and suddenly we’re scoring tries again. The only other change to the backline is Lambie and I do believe he has contributed his fair share also, but I think it would have been much harder for him to come out and perform like he did at 10 if he had Kockett on his inside taking an age to get the ball out and putting pressure on his backs.

    I hope Charl keeps his spot for the S15, he deserves it.

  • Comment 43, posted at 10.08.10 09:07:43 by Letgo Reply
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  • I think you judge Beast harshly in the scrum department, his opposite number was scrummaging illegally and still chirped Beast quite a bit, he eventually had enough and the prick went off with an injury immediately afterward. The pings he received were for doing what The Lions were doing, but his STRENGTH made it obvious! Well played… You BEAST!!!

    Deysel – confirmed 6-8 week injury knee ligaments… Not as severe as ACL, but it is a PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament)- wish the injured Sharks a speedy recovery…

  • Comment 44, posted at 10.08.10 10:03:49 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @Tiger (Comment 39) : P Div, haven’t you been told to keep quiet these days?

  • Comment 45, posted at 10.08.10 10:13:56 by Baldrick Reply

  • Not going to repeat about Beast being pinged wrongly.Beast was great in driving up getting over advantage line,. Alberts was a monster. Ludik has improved, seemed to be pacing himself after injury but hitting some form.The whole team were great. What’s news on Kankowski’s calf.
    Can’t believe that Shark’s play WP on the same day as Test at soccer city. THe WP clash is going to be hugh and KP relativly empty for a big game.

  • Comment 46, posted at 10.08.10 10:42:07 by Ernie Reply


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