What to do, what to do?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 1 Sep 2010 at 09:58
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When John Plumtree was forced to send Pat Lambie in at flyhalf against the Lions, you got the feeling that it was pretty much a gamble that the coach was forced to make, after Steve Meyer ruled himself out for the season. A short-term fix, but not to worry, because replacements were on their way…

After a frankly disastrous Super 14 campaign, at least as far as the pivot position was concerned, the Sharks were up the creek without a paddle and needed to procure some decent flyhalf depth – and urgently. Andy Goode had left, Ruan Pienaar announced that it was his plan to do the same (not that he ever wanted to play flyhalf anyway) and outside of the dependable Monty Dumond, the Sharks had, quite literally, nobody to pull on the jersey. Meyer duly stepped up and to some degree atoned for his shock resignation just before the start of the Super 14, but his injury again threw things wide open and exposed the lack of good depth in the Sharks system.

Rudolf Straeuli had been working pretty hard behind the scenes, though and while the process of getting Andre Pretorius match fit again has only now been completed, moves were made to bring in a host of players ahead of next year’s Super 15 – including flyhalf options in Meyer Bosman, Jacques-Louis Potgieter and Conrad Hoffman. All good stuff and the right sort of things to do, apart from one glaring problem. Lambie actually turned out to be a bloody good flyhalf!

Not only does he look the part himself, but he seems to be completely reinvigorating the careers of whoever is fortunate to wear the number 12 shirt outside him, with both Dries Strauss and Riaan Swanepoel looking completely different players to the staid “bash-it-up merchants” we’ve seen over the last two years. In a case of the most supreme irony, the Sharks right now look to be in the sort of position that they probably don’t really need all of the players they have bought for next year and the coaches now, once again, are going to have the sort of selection and player management issues last seen when Brad Barritt, Frans Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Strauss and Rory Kockott were all trying to squeeze into just 3 jerseys.

Let’s not get too carried away here, though. Rugby is a contact sport and we all know that anything could happen. One injury to Lambie (God forbid) could throw the entire debate wide open again, so I don’t for a second believe that the Sharks have erred in buying Potgieter and Bosman. I do feel though that, particularly in Potgeiter’s case, the situation has moved on from what it was when he was made the initial offer and if he’s intending on coming to Durban with an automatic right to the starting flyhalf spot, he should probably think again. Not to say that Potgieter isn’t a valuable addition to the squad and one who, along with Andre Pretorius, can impart a huge amount of knowledge to Lambie. The option that does warrant serious consideration is to move Lambie back to the inside centre position come Super 15 time (let’s not forget how good he looked there too!) and allow Potgieter and Pretorius to share the flyhalf duties. Bosman would be the big loser in this situation and I still need to be convinced that he should be an automatic selection ahead of Swannie. Too many flyhalf options inevitably has a knock-on effect, with too many options at 12 as well! And that’s not even to talk about scrumhalf, with Conrad Hoffman joining the likes of Rory Kockott (we assume), Charl McLeod as well as a brilliant pair of youngsters in Ross Cronje and Cobus Reinach.

My take on this is that we need to identify and protect our key long-term assets, while using the short-term “gap fillers” like Potgieter as exactly that. If anyone is going to get disgruntled and want to leave, I’d prefer if it wasn’t Pat Lambie. Who would want to be the Sharks coach!


  • Luckily we know Potgieter is only a one year contract, but what you say is concerning Rob, and the last thing you want to do is lose the youngsters..

    Does anybody know how Lambie feels about the positions he has played? Does he have anything against playing 12 or even 15?

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.09.10 10:06:20 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 1) : I think Pat is pretty chilled at the moment and pretty happy to just be playing.

    But I don’t think he’d want to go back to 15.

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.09.10 10:07:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’d like to see him playing some more rugby at 12, especially at Super rugby level.

    Super rugby is a big step up from Currie Cup, and I reckon it would be better to ease him into that pivot position.. Outside either JLP or Pretorius..

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.09.10 10:16:48 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • lambie cannot play 15 as effectively as he can 10. he wants to be in the action and tends to leave the back exposed. on friday he was also shown a little wanting for pace and defence when it comes to one on ones. where in the basson’s third try, pat was left in the dust. pat has to stay at ten. i would like to see pretorius have a go at 15.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.09.10 10:20:08 by try time Reply

  • jlp as inside center

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.09.10 10:20:26 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : interesting article. where did you get the idea from? maybe some comments on a skeate thread? 😉 it is an interesting topic and deserves an article. it would have been lost otherwise.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.09.10 10:23:54 by try time Reply

  • That’s a bit unfair TT, not many people can catch Basson at full pace, you can’t blame Lambie for not getting there..

    I actually thought he did bloody well to get in close enough to attempt the ankle tap!

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.09.10 10:24:21 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 6) : I was wondering the exact same thing….but could the have written the article that fast?

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.09.10 10:25:32 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 6) : you wanna go copy and paste some of your comments 🙂

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.09.10 10:25:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) : you’d be surprised how fast I can churn this shit out

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.09.10 10:28:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : you already did 😈 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.09.10 10:28:56 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) : ha ha! touche!

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.09.10 10:30:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : It takes me forever but I suppose with some practice it I’ll get better. 😉

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.09.10 10:30:41 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 5) : my thought exactly

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.09.10 10:32:03 by Ice Reply
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  • I can’t see why the sharks even bothered with Pretorius. I may not be a local but seriously… What were they thinking… The only good he does to any team is, he keeps their medical staff on their toes… Pat should stay at 10, with JLP starting on the bench… Dont move pat around to much last time the sharks moved a player that much… He left for the northern hemisphere (frans steyn)

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.09.10 10:32:31 by Vlad Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : I’ll should turn some of my comments into articles rather.

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.09.10 10:32:32 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Hey Rob, I would love to be the Sharks coach. 🙂

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.09.10 10:33:35 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 13) : the only way to get better is to do it more… kinda like s*x 🙂

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.09.10 10:36:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 17) : ah yes… don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten our deal!

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.09.10 10:36:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Vlad (Comment 15) : Sharks should be using Pretorius and Stefan (and John Smit) increasingly in off-field roles, imo

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.09.10 10:37:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) :

    Why do I inreasingly get the feeling you will not see John in a Sharks shirt again…

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.09.10 10:39:25 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 21) : I fear the same… although perhaps Currie Cup semis?

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.09.10 10:42:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) :

    Ahead of what at that stage will be a settled front row of Beast, Bismarck and Jannie?

    Perhaps on the bench for sure…

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.09.10 10:44:40 by Morné Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : I don’t think he’ll be allowed to play CC

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.09.10 10:45:34 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I’m actually think Bosman is a better player than he’s been given credit for. I would definately have him at 12 or 10 with Lambie. I don’t really rate JLP but wouldn’t mind having him on the bench. If you only want to come to a team for one year to see if you can make the bok squad you won’t see much loyalty.

    The youngsters will be used in the CC until they’re ready for s15.

    Here’s how my team would look like, tell me if if you disagree.

    15 Ludik
    14. JPP
    13. Adi
    12. Bosman
    10. Lambie
    9. McLeod
    8. Kanko
    7. Alberts
    6. Botes/Keegan/Deysel
    5. Al
    4. Sykes
    3. Jannie
    2. Bismark
    1. Beast

    16. Van Staden/Herbst/Cilliers/John
    17. Burden/Cooper/John
    18. Moster/Skeate/Rhodes
    19. Deysel
    20. Keegan
    21. Hoffman/Kockett leaving???
    22. JLP/Odwa/Stefan retire???

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.09.10 10:46:15 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) : fair enough but a full back gets a lot of those tests and should do better. especially when sarel pretorious and basson stood on opposite sides of the field and called the move.

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.09.10 10:46:22 by try time Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 25) : I’m sorry, I’m actually seeing the problem. But it seems like player management would have to come in with the forwards more than the backs. Will A.Pretorius still be here for s15, I wouldn’t bring him near the team. Let him play VC.

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.09.10 10:46:32 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : True, that is a very good plan.

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.09.10 10:47:18 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) : look how many articles he churns out? i think he can.

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.09.10 10:47:30 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : nah you have put them nicely in one article. 😆

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.09.10 10:48:34 by try time Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 27) : I don’t think Petoors will hang around at the Sharks long without a contract.

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.09.10 10:49:22 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Vlad (Comment 15) : i said the same about stefan. sa teams are quick to throw their stars away when the next best thing arrives. i feel pretorius can add a lot to pat’s arsenal and maybe help out on the park a little. pat cannot be expected to keep playing for 80 minutes every game.

  • Comment 32, posted at 01.09.10 10:51:17 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : damn this is one of those rare days we actually think alike.

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.09.10 10:54:12 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : no definitely not. he is too tired. maybe as a cameo appearance in the last 20 of both games. but no more than that.

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.09.10 10:55:40 by try time Reply

  • The one year contracts should be exactly that. One year, if you deserve it, and JLP or AP out plays Pat, sure extend the contract.(Which if current form is carried through, will never happen.) But do not let the youngsters fly the coup please!!!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.09.10 10:55:47 by SharksRTB Reply

  • I think hofman, JLP and Bosman were great buys, because they can cover all the positions in the back-line between them, which makes them very good bench options and when injury prevails, they’ll also be good starting players.

    Maybe with hofman covering 9/15/11/14
    JLP 10/12/13

    We’ll only see 2 backs on the bench with more space for forwards.
    Won’t we see the extra front row reserve next year also?

    We have 5 loosies that’s good enough to start every game, I think we should at least make room for them on the bench. Who loses out completely. Keegan, Botes, Alberts, Deysel, Kanko???

    Swannie’s hasn’t prooved himself to be good enough for s15 or even CC IMO.

    Who have I left out here?

    Our VC side will be pretty good. At least during the s15, they’ll be playing there, right.

  • Comment 36, posted at 01.09.10 10:56:34 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 25) : drop jpp for odwa. odwa assists the fullback a lot more and shouldn’t get dropped.

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.09.10 10:57:08 by try time Reply

  • wasn’t there a divvie article up? where has it gone or am i hullicinating again?

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.09.10 10:59:33 by try time Reply

  • Remember one very important thing.

    Hoffmann signed with the Sharks for one specific reason – promise of more game time…

    I would think Potgieter would have asked for the same during his negotiations with the union.

    Interesting times ahead…

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.09.10 10:59:39 by Morné Reply
  • @try time (Comment 37) : That’s a big call. I would have JPP in my team every day of the week.

  • Comment 40, posted at 01.09.10 11:03:04 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 39) : hoff should get more and jlp will play inside centre at least. my concern is ryan leaving. there is only space for one hoff in a team. 😆

  • Comment 41, posted at 01.09.10 11:03:45 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 38) : Rob probably took it of again.

  • Comment 42, posted at 01.09.10 11:03:55 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 38) : Acid flashbacks??? 😉

  • Comment 43, posted at 01.09.10 11:06:32 by Pokkel Reply
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  • We keep lambie at flyhalf. Jlp bosman and swannie can fight it out 4 no 12.

  • Comment 44, posted at 01.09.10 11:06:34 by RuckingFun Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 40) : i have felt he has not offered much on attack since dick left. i don’t think he can find ways to be useful. he needs to be coached the whole time. and because of this he gets lost in games. whereas odwa may not have the pace, but he knows where he is needed on the field. he falls back, he attacks, but he always is in the right place. jpp is often found in the middle not sure what to do.

  • Comment 45, posted at 01.09.10 11:07:04 by try time Reply

  • Hmmmmmmmmmm. Interesting one. Potgeiter must be a little uneasy thinking ahead to S15 and his quest for game time. I would keep Lambie at 10 and have Bosman and Pottie fighting it out for 12.. One plays, one sits bench and covers both.. Great position to be in for Plum. Don’t forget Bosman can also slot in at 13… I think what we will find, is Lambie and one these others interchanging alot anyway as any good 10/12 do..

    Pretoors is not on a contract anyway and will be back for the Force in the S15.

  • Comment 46, posted at 01.09.10 11:24:45 by Oubaas2009 Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 43) : yup. better than acid reflux though. 😆

  • Comment 47, posted at 01.09.10 11:28:28 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 47) : definately 😀

  • Comment 48, posted at 01.09.10 11:34:15 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Nice article – it is an interesting conundrum. Better than the situation we were in at the beginning of the S14.

  • Comment 49, posted at 01.09.10 11:43:21 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Oubaas2009 (Comment 46) : Depending on their form, but I think that’s how it will pan out.

  • Comment 50, posted at 01.09.10 11:48:06 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 36) : we need special dispensation to select a match squad of 30

  • Comment 51, posted at 01.09.10 12:06:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • Think that the idea of Potgieter at 10 makes sense, but I reckon we need to, as South Africans, start backing our youngsters. Lambie has proved he has immense talent, lets give him our support.

    If only it was that easy though… Meyer/Lambie combo looked like one for the future in the short time they spent together…

    But it goes even deeper then that… Any of the above choices (JLP, Meyer, Lambie) all have the talent for 10. Where I see the problem arising – even though it is all rumours at present ie Smit to Lions – is Captain. If Smit does go, will that mean that Stefan has to play another season? The only other options for captain that I can think of are Botes (will he start?) and Hargreaves (will he start?).

    Seem my point? Plum, sorry mate, you have headaches on the horizon…

    9 McLeod 10 Lambie 11 Mvovo 12 Bosman 13 JLP 14 JPP 15 Ludik
    20 Hoffman 21 Meyer 22 Odwa

  • Comment 52, posted at 01.09.10 12:07:44 by Mole Reply

  • Good looking team, great team in fact, on paper. But remember that these great players have to gel together as a team and that can take time and a lot of patience.

  • Comment 53, posted at 01.09.10 12:08:33 by Donald Reply

  • @Mole (Comment 52) : I just don’t see JLP as a good enough 13 to put him there.

    Hargreaves HAS to be the captain.

  • Comment 54, posted at 01.09.10 12:23:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • This weekend might answer some questions…..JLP vs Lambie….really looking forward to it.

  • Comment 55, posted at 01.09.10 12:24:54 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : You think he is ready for the step up?? I’ll be honest, Im not entirely sure he will start…

    10 and 12 is covered, we need a specialist 13. I agree with you the JLP is not good enough, adequate cover, not the ideal candidate.. If we sell Smit, can we buy De Jongh?? haha

  • Comment 56, posted at 01.09.10 12:26:44 by Mole Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 55) : That is going to be a very interesting battle!

  • Comment 57, posted at 01.09.10 12:27:26 by Mole Reply

  • @Mole (Comment 56) : I keep hearing these Marius Joubert rumours, hey…

  • Comment 58, posted at 01.09.10 12:29:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 58) : Seriously…how old is he now. I’ve never been a big Marius fan but apparently he’s playing some great rugby in France at the moment.

  • Comment 59, posted at 01.09.10 12:32:34 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 58) : He’s 31 already…I don’t think it’s a good idea then to be honest.

  • Comment 60, posted at 01.09.10 12:34:48 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Mole (Comment 56) : I think that Hargreaves absolutely has to start. I know there’ll be a strong temptation to play Skeate with Sykes at times, but Hargs is the best captaincy candidate we have.

    The other option is to give it to Alberts. If memory serves, he captained the Lions a few times

  • Comment 61, posted at 01.09.10 12:35:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 58) : 😯 Really? hmmm, quality player, would be a good addition – squad is starting to overflow….

    Oh, I completely (sorry Charlie) forgot about Adi..
    JLP, Mvovo, Lambie, Adi, JPP, Ludik – iLike!!

  • Comment 62, posted at 01.09.10 12:36:01 by Mole Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 60) : I’ve never thought it a good idea, but like I say, the story keeps coming up.

  • Comment 63, posted at 01.09.10 12:41:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : now you are talking. who is going to disobey alberts? the du plessis might try, but even they can get hit by a bus.

  • Comment 64, posted at 01.09.10 12:42:51 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 63) : thats why i ignore it. he just makes me think back to the days the sharks bought, sorry wasted money on snyman.

  • Comment 65, posted at 01.09.10 12:44:07 by try time Reply

  • Steve Meyer will be out for at least a year, so he’s not in Super 15 contention 🙁

  • Comment 66, posted at 01.09.10 12:46:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • I like the idea of purchasing players of quality to bolster the squad. Buying to many player however can work against you.

  • Comment 67, posted at 01.09.10 12:47:26 by Mole Reply

  • @Mole (Comment 62) : You better 😈

  • Comment 68, posted at 01.09.10 12:53:25 by Charlie Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 66) : Was the injury that serious??

  • Comment 69, posted at 01.09.10 12:56:01 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 69) : apparently. He has to have another op in January

  • Comment 70, posted at 01.09.10 13:02:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • McLeod, JLP, Mvovo, Lambie, Adi, JPP, Ludik
    Hoffman, Bosman, Odwa

    Reckon that this could a killer backline… Awesome game breakers, brilliant defensively (except for Adi – sorry Charlie 😉 😆 ), and excellent support from versatile players on the bench.

  • Comment 71, posted at 01.09.10 13:05:37 by Mole Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 66) : if i re-call one of his reasons for leaving the sharks was because he feared getting a serious knee injury. is he psychic?

  • Comment 72, posted at 01.09.10 13:08:37 by try time Reply

  • “The major motivating factor here appears to be Meyer’s fear that he would let the team down at some stage during the course of the season if his knee flared up again. He’d rather call it a day now – two days before the opening game! That’s kinda noble of you, Steve, really – but perhaps you could have done your soul-searching a few weeks ago and left us with enough time to find a replacement?” from Rob’s article written 12th Feb. Funny how his fears came to pass. Rob you must feel kak now. Eventhough you had a point, Steve should have decided earlier or at least played the first few games while the Sharks searched for a replacement.

  • Comment 73, posted at 01.09.10 13:22:40 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 73) : wow… you changed your mind so many times within the space of one comment, I’m not sure if I actually have to reply or not 🙂

    I feel very kak about the fact that Steve hurt himself, that’s for sure. But he and I are on good terms, so I’m not really too concerned about stuff I wrote back in Feb coming back to bite me. The air is clear.

  • Comment 74, posted at 01.09.10 13:52:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 74) : you obviously understood what i was saying, cos you answered it. the word eventhough tends to mean i am changing lanes. 😆 i wasn’t hinting you should feel kak about laying into steve, he deserved it. that is why i changed tune so you understood i wasn’t against what you said. but it is kak that only you wrote about the knee angle and that is the act that came to pass.

  • Comment 75, posted at 01.09.10 14:05:42 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 74) : at least you know someone reads your kak and remembers it. 😆

  • Comment 76, posted at 01.09.10 14:08:02 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 70) : crikey – what did he do to his knee?

  • Comment 77, posted at 01.09.10 14:18:23 by lostfish Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 76) : that will keep me warm tonight

  • Comment 78, posted at 01.09.10 14:37:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 77) : still trying to find out exactly.

    I think it’s safe to say he stuffed it up pretty comprehensively

  • Comment 79, posted at 01.09.10 14:38:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 79) : For him to be out for over a year, that must be a serious stuffing. Hard luck to him though because he was coming along nicely.

    The good to come out of that is that it pushed Lambie into the 10 jersey and we all know what a success that has been.

  • Comment 80, posted at 01.09.10 14:46:15 by lostfish Reply
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  • re Kockott and Smit – I’ve heard it said that they’re both on their way out – bringing in a new scrumhalf was the final straw for Rory. Apparently Smit has not been offered a contract with the Sharks and wasn’t allowed to train at the gym at the stadium when he was in Dbn between matches.

    If this is true – and I have no reason to believe it isn’t – it’s a pretty crummy way to treat a great ambassador for the sport.

  • Comment 81, posted at 01.09.10 20:19:35 by Scooby55 Reply

  • @Scooby55 (Comment 81) :

    The piece about Smit not being allowed to train at the Gym leads me to NOT believe much about what you’ve heard.

  • Comment 82, posted at 01.09.10 20:37:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • I got the info from someone who was there – BUT, trust me, I hope you’re right and I’m wrong.

  • Comment 83, posted at 01.09.10 20:40:38 by Scooby55 Reply

  • @Scooby55 (Comment 83) :

    After all the years of Service John has put in at KP I’d be VERY shocked if they wouldn’t let him train in the gym.

    Also I can’t believe that they haven’t offered him a contract. 😯

  • Comment 84, posted at 01.09.10 20:43:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 79) : 😥 What you,ve taken your love of Swannie to far now ,do you really believe swannie could be better than Bosman come on Meyer Bosman has been really unlucky not to make the springbok team more times ,This is worse than than your love of Monty Dumond ,Chris Jordan is a better FlyHalf

  • Comment 85, posted at 02.09.10 01:41:17 by zvision10 Reply


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