Who needs rest?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 5 Oct 2010 at 09:53
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So John Plumtree has announced, in no uncertain terms, that he will not ever pick a B-team to represent the Sharks, because as coach, he has too much respect for the jersey to ever willingly lose a game (or, I guess, pick a team that he doesn’t feel has a good chance to win the game). Good on him, I say.

What he does go on to concede, though, is that he will take the opportunity to “freshen up” some players, given that he’s had to make do without a fair whack of big men this campaign and that others have really had to carry a heavy workload. He has the luxury of a few Bok players coming back this week as well and reckons that anyone who “knows their rugby” will be able to tell who he’s going to rest.

That’s a challenge that I simply couldn’t ignore!

It’s not quite as simple as that, though. Plumtree only has Bismarck du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Beast Mtawarira and Adi Jacobs coming back into the mix this week (we say only!), while if one looks at the accumulated game time that his team has amassed over the last 13 rounds, there are plenty more of them needing rest than he can safely leave out. Another player who should return to the squad this week is Alistair Hargreaves, who sat out last week’s game due to a foot injury. Hargs himself, though, has played a lot of games this year.

The obvious candidate for a rest, just looking at the game time stats, are Keegan Daniel, Willem Alberts, Steven Sykes, Craig Burden, Andries Strauss, Stefan Terblanche, Pat Lambie and Lwazi Mvovo. Those are the blokes that have been in the match 22 virtually every week throughout the campaign, many of them starting every game. Mvovo, for example, has played every minute of every game bar one, the away game against the Pumas, where he was replaced in the second half. In an ideal world, Plumtree would leave all of those players out entirely, but the reality is that he can’t do that without completely throwing the game. His hand looks likely to be forced when it comes to Alberts, at least, with the burly loose forward forced to sit out for a week with a knee injury.

Terblanche enjoyed an enforced rest last week and I’m sure he’ll be raring to go, such is his level of fitness and conditioning. With few suitable backline replacements waiting to step in, though – and given that Strauss ideally should be rested, along with Mvovo – it’s at the back where Plummo’s juggling task will be the most challenging. He can start with either of Charl McLeod or Rory Kockott and has indicated that Andre Pretorius will stay at flyhalf. Pat Lambie doesn’t look tired and should probably start at 12, with Terblanche at 13, to be replaced there by Adi Jacobs in the second half. With JP Pietersen not available, Mvovo may have to soldier on this week, although moving Terblanche to wing when Jacobs comes on would mean that the top try-scorer would only have to see out 40 minutes. A more adventurous option would be to pick Luzuko Vulindlu on the wing.

Up front, Keegan Daniel should probably be left out entirely, with Kankowski coming back in at number 8 and Mike Rhodes taking over for Alberts at flank. Sykes is another who ought to miss the trip, with Gerhard Mostert partnering Hargreaves in the second row. The front row picks itself and the fact that Kyle Cooper should probably be used to help the under 21s ensure top spot on their log, implies that Burden will probably need to come along too, although hopefully du Plessis could see out the full 80 minutes.

So here you go, Plum. Here’s my match 22 and substitution plan. You may use it, if you like!

Starting 15:
15 Ludik, 14 Ndungane, 13 Terblanche, 12 Lambie, 11 Vulindlu, 10 Pretorius, 9 McLeod, 8 Kankowski, 7 Rhodes, 6 Botes, 5 Hargreaves, 4 Mostert, 3 J Du Plessis, 2 B du Plessis, 1 Mtawarira
16 Burden, 17 van Staden, 18 Bresler, 19 Ndlovu, 20 Kockott, 21 Jacobs, 22 Swanepoel

Substitution plan:
40 minutes: Jacobs on at outside centre, Terblanche to right wing, Ndungane off.
40 minutes: Swanepoel on at inside centre, Lambie to flyhalf, Pretorius to fullback, Ludik off.
50 minutes: Bresler on at lock, Mostert off.
50 minutes: van Staden on at tighthead prop, Jannie du Plessis off
55 minutes: Kockott on at scrumhalf, McLeod off
60 minutes: Ndlovu on at flank, Botes off
70 minutes: Burden on at hooker, Bismarck du Plessis off (if needed)


  • Since I am not going to be on tonight, let me give you my prediction, WP to take this game this weekend.

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.10.10 10:02:03 by Morné Reply
  • I need rest, a Restonic will do fine :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.10.10 10:03:09 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 1) : i don’t know if they will hope nt but if it won’t hurt us at all just and extra game lost on the log 😕

    But the Sharks arn’t going to make it easy for the WP team 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.10.10 10:13:11 by chaz Reply

  • @Jarson (Comment 2) : i do to :mrgreen: although just got back from hoilday and hv to still get another +-
    20 000 points to get me to my 1st platinum star and me needs a new bed i think the one i got it to hard so a RESTONIC will do just great :mrgreen: 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.10.10 10:16:57 by chaz Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 1) : Seeing that you need a win more than we do, I have to agree. I’d still love it if you lose though 😈

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.10.10 10:21:45 by Jarson Reply
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  • Surely Mvovo does not need to rest this game out? Do wings really need to rest? Especially with the kind of wing he is, I am sure that he can soldier through to the Final 😉

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.10.10 10:28:19 by Mocho Reply

  • Nice team Rob, only change I’d make is to start with Rory. What other loose forward options do we have? Any news on Skeate-O and when he’ll be fit again?

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.10.10 10:30:32 by MerckZ Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 7) : with that i agree he ‘s not getting enough game time at all 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.10.10 10:34:29 by chaz Reply

  • Good plan. Lets see if Plum falls for it . . .

    Have a feeling wp might clinch it though. Look for Upright Vermeulen to run down Lambie`s channel every chance he gets . . .

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.10.10 10:44:34 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • I have come to the conclusion that the Sharks are the Red Light District of the South African rugby. We have and produce the best Hookers out there.

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.10.10 10:57:43 by Mocho Reply

  • @Original Pierre (Comment 9) : think Lambie is up to the task The boy can tackle

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.10.10 10:59:36 by Fattmann Reply
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  • The forwards will win us the game this week and next week.

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.10.10 11:26:52 by Honey Badger Reply

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  • I would somehow find a place for Keegan. He too does’nt look tired at all. And his play is inspirational. Even if he just comes off the bench for 20min. Just what the Sharks at that stage might need to lift the spirits.

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.10.10 11:49:49 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 7) : All I know about Skeate is that he’s definitely not fit for this week (confirmed on Twitter).

    As for loosies, I thought about that one. I’m told Ndlovu will not be resigned next year, so it’s a bit of a waste to play him. But I feel Daniel really MUST be rested completely and we don’t have Downey or Lusaseni available any more, so it has to be Skols,

    No point taking any under 21 guys, cos they have a huge game on their hands.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.10.10 11:50:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • put lambie on the bench and play swannie. he hasn’t played much this season. mvovo doesn’t need a rest cos he only plays 10 minutes of rugby each game (i really don’t want to see vulindlu in the team). and adi should be given a start so rest ludik and move stefan to 15.

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.10.10 12:17:29 by try time Reply

  • I heard that Plum is looking to use Petoors for the semi’s too ahead of Lambie…

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.10.10 12:24:42 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 16) : you don’t need bonus point tries in playoffs. not a totally shocking decision.

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.10.10 12:39:38 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 17) :

    Not to me either, but I can see some Sharkie supporters jumping up and down on that call.

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.10.10 12:43:09 by Morné Reply
  • @try time (Comment 15) : I’m trying to work with what Plum has already said… and he’s said he wants to use Adi off the bench

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.10.10 12:43:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • Maakie saakie !!! Bring it on WIE PIE !!! 😈

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.10.10 12:46:43 by Charlie Reply

  • Hey the Sharks u/21 side has thus far scored the most tries (73) and conceded the least (26) 😎

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.10.10 13:16:50 by Jarson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : I would have started with Adi to see how long he can hold out. That would have been a good test of his match fitness.

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.10.10 13:33:10 by Letgo Reply
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  • So we all agree that the Boks will all be playing in this game. Beast, Bissie, Jannie, Kanko, ….Adi of the bench…John/Jp injured.

  • Comment 23, posted at 05.10.10 13:35:32 by Letgo Reply
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  • Guys that will definitely rest, Sykes and Alberts. And then the front row on the bench. And then one of Swannie or Struass might lose out. I think Swannie, maybe.

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.10.10 13:37:49 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : oh ok, i thought this was more a lets see who we felt should play rather than plum. minor misunderstanding. still would prefer adi starting. (strange considering i always said he was a better impact player. 😆 )

  • Comment 25, posted at 05.10.10 13:39:37 by try time Reply

  • So here’s what I think Plum will do, this one is hard to predict.

    15. Ludik, 14. Odwa, 13. Adi/Stefan (depending on fitness) 12. Lambie 11. Mvovo 10. Pretorius 9. McLeod 8. Kanko 7. Keegan (c) 6. Botes 5. Al 4. Mostert 3. Jannie 2. Bismark 1. Beast

    Reserves: Van Staden, Burden, Rhodes, Sykes, Kockett, Strauss, Stefan/Adi

    I don’t think he’ll rest quite as many as we would like him to rest. And I think Keegan will captain the side one more time, with Stefan coming of the bench.

    I would like to see McLeod, Mvovo and Keegan to get a rest also.

  • Comment 26, posted at 05.10.10 13:47:47 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 26) : I think you have it just about right though i would start with Rhodes and Rory and have the other 2 on the bench

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.10.10 14:08:50 by Fattmann Reply
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  • oouurp! sorry i saw the name rory and vomited a little in my mouth. 😆

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.10.10 14:13:15 by try time Reply

  • My starting team would be The same as Rob’s, but i would put Jenneker at 19 and Arno van zyl at 22. Won’t happen, but i would love to see them get a run after their good showings in the SAA club champs. Would also move stef to fullback in the second half and take off Ludik, when Adi comes on at 13. I would do this because i would prefer stef to ludik at 15 in the knockout games.
    Finally my fav. combo of andre, pat and Adi might come together!!! Can’t wait.

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.10.10 14:18:29 by JJR Reply
  • Were are all those who said Andre was Sh*t and can’t offer us anything? I knew his experience and goal kicking would help us at this stage of the season.

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.10.10 14:32:06 by JJR Reply
  • I’m still annoyed that Alberts wasn’t rested last week against the Leopards.

  • Comment 31, posted at 05.10.10 14:39:25 by rhineshark Reply
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  • Good team Rob, I too would like to see Lambie start at inside centre this weekend.

    Does Stefan not need some rest though? Not sure to move him to wing Rob. Why rest Mvovo?

  • Comment 32, posted at 05.10.10 14:42:54 by Puma Reply

  • @JJR (Comment 30) : Hey, I never said he was sh…what you said, or that he can’t offer us anything. Although, I’m sure everything I said was very close to that. :mrgreen:

    JJR, you have to remember that he played the Leopards, everyone looked like they were the most awesomest rugby players in the world. I can admit that I was impressed with his play on Friday though, and would love it if he could continue playing like that for three more games, I just feel very uneasy when he’s on the field. Cause you just never know when that pressure moment will cause him to do something stupid.

    Then again, he’s about 5 years older than the last time he played three games in a row, so maybe he’s a little more steady now. :mrgreen:

    I still think starting him in the semi’s would be a mistake, maybe if he delivers another good performance against WP I’ll get a little closer to changing my mind.

  • Comment 33, posted at 05.10.10 15:08:33 by Letgo Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 29) : BTW, I remember agreeing that he’s a very talented player, but as I said, sometimes, and too often in pressure moments, he makes decisions that can take a team from a potential winning position to an almost definitely losing position.

    I won’t feel comfortable if he starts in the semis.

  • Comment 34, posted at 05.10.10 15:18:51 by Letgo Reply
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  • Only 3700 tickets in total left for Saturday’s game, Newlands will be a sell-out.

  • Comment 35, posted at 05.10.10 15:19:05 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 35) : How do you know?

  • Comment 36, posted at 05.10.10 15:36:20 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 36) :

    I know everything!!! 😉

  • Comment 37, posted at 05.10.10 15:45:02 by Morné Reply
  • @rhineshark (Comment 31) : Agree, i have no idea why we would ask him to carry the ball up against the leopards, we need him to do that against the big blokes. He should really have been rested.

  • Comment 38, posted at 05.10.10 15:59:25 by JJR Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 33) : Never said i was refering to u 😉 U do have your point, but u can’t deny that his goal kicking is alot better than pat’s. It will be very crucial come semi and final. Remember steyn in 2007 super rugby final? We don’t want that again.

  • Comment 39, posted at 05.10.10 16:02:08 by JJR Reply
  • My understanding is that most of a player’s physical fatigue comes whilst defending… seeing as Mvovo hasn’t done much of that lately I reckon he can play a full game :mrgreen:

    I would keep Ludik on the whole game… seeing as he was injured for most of the 1st half of the season, and because he allegedly didn’t even make one tackle last weekend 😯 Would rather rest old-man Terblanche.

    I like Letgo’s idea of starting with Adi (& Terblanche on the bench), purely to test his fitness… but reckon Plum will rather play him from the bench.

    I’d put Lambie at Centre for the full game… partly to test the combo with AP for the semis and final, but also if it works and he plays the next 3 “intense” games there, it’ll be a good trial for next year’s Super 15.

    I reckon Plum sees Strauss as his 1st back-up before Swannie… so reckon we’ll see Strauss on the bench instead of Swannie

    Start with Kockett, purely to rest Mcleod who has had the lion’s share of SH game-time this season…

    OK, so at first I thought I agreed with Rob except for a few tweeks… but based on my comments above I realise I haven’t agreed at all :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 05.10.10 16:12:46 by CS Reply

  • @JJR (Comment 38) : Exactly. Rhodes showed against the Leopards that he’s pretty capable as a stand-in ball carrying flanker.

    Alberts needed a breather and now he’s injured 👿

  • Comment 41, posted at 05.10.10 16:25:12 by rhineshark Reply
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  • I want to rest Mvovo cos he has played virtually every minute of every game the whole season. Crazy logic, I know

  • Comment 42, posted at 05.10.10 19:22:48 by robdylan Reply
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