robdylan

Warm-ups shed some light on selection for opening game


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 Feb 2011 at 14:19
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Having been through a fair bit of warm-up action, I reckon John Plumtree should be a fair bit closer to settling on his ideal 22 for the opening Super Rugby game, against the Cheetahs on 19 February.

Obviously, this is speculation on my part, but if I were in the coach’s shoes, my thinking would be along the following lines. Needless to say, any of this could change as the game approaches, what with their always being the possibility for injuries in training.

Starting in the front row, Plumtree will have to bench a Springbok – that much is clear. This is going to be the quandary that faces him every week, but I feel that, in the opening game at least, he needs to start his squad captain, John Smit, in his most natural position. With the captain at hooker, the props, Beast Mtawarira and Jannie du Plessis, essentially pick themselves, leaving Eugene van Staden and Bismarck du Plessis to cover the front row from the bench. It’s a bitter pill for Bismarck to swallow, but it’s going to have to happen at some stage and I’m sure everyone in the squad will be grown-up enough to deal with it and do what’s right for the team.

The second row is a little more tricky, with injuries queering the pitch. While we believe that Alistair Hargreaves may be fit, I wouldn’t throw him straight into the number 5 jersey, but would rather start with a combination of Steven Sykes and Gerard Mostert, with either Hargreaves ore possibly Anton Bresler on the bench. Ross Skeate won’t be available for this one. The loose trio of Jacques Botes, Willem Alberts and Ryan Kankowski should also select itself and Plumtree will probably go with Keegan Daniel as the bench option, although I feel that against the physical Cheetahs, Jacques Engelbrecht would also be a good option – assuming contractual negotiations go to plan.

The backline is far easier to pick, because the unit that played against the Stormers looked settled and confident. It is probably a bit risky to pick Odwa Ndungane at fullback in the first match, so expect a fit-again Louis Ludik to wear 15, along with JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo at wing. Meyer Bosman and Stefan Terblanche are clearly the form center pairing, while the same applies to Charl McLeod and Pat Lambie at halfback.

Picking only three backline reserves is going to be tough, but with Conrad Hoffman and Jacques-Louis Potgieter providing plenty of versatility between them, it would probably make most sense to include Ndungane as the third.

So, again, if I were to pick a 22 to face the Cheetahs, based on what I saw in Cape Town, this is what it would look like:
15 Ludik, 14 Pietersen, 13 Terblanche, 12 Bosman, 11 Mvovo, 10 Lambie, 9 McLeod, 8 Kankowski, 7 Alberts, 6 Botes, 5 Mostert, 4 Sykes, 3 J du Plessis, 2 Smit (capt), 1 Mtawarira
16 B du Plessis, 17 van Staden, 18 Bresler, 19 Engelbrecht/Daniel, 20 Hoffman, 21 Potgieter, 22 Ndungane


58 Comments

  • You don’t think Plum will pick Keegs at 6?

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.02.11 14:25:19 by war1 Reply
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  • Unless he goes for a 5/2 split on the bench adding Keegan and telling Hoffman to carry the towels. Definitely my squad aswell.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.02.11 14:26:47 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 1) : He might… In fact, he probably will. But JB has just looked the part in Suepr Rugby for so many seasons now…

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.02.11 14:33:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 2) : nah, you have to have a scrumhalf reserve.

    A 5-2 bench is not a bad idea, but then you have to have Hoffman and Potgieter, cos between them they can cover 9-15

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.02.11 14:34:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • good one, mite think of Keagan and Hargreaves in first 15.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.02.11 14:34:29 by franshark Reply
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  • @franshark (Comment 5) : I just worry about rushing Hargreaves straight back in after that injury.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.02.11 14:35:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : I think the lock pair should be Sykes and Bresler. Mostert and Sykes are the same kind of player, where Bresler plays a little differently. Sykes and Mostert are your tighter locks, while your Skeates/Hargreaves and Bresler are your locks who play more in the loose. I’m a firm believer in having a balance, so I wouldn’t start with Sykes and Mostert, in the same way that Hargreaves and Sykes as a combo made me nervous earlier in the year.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.02.11 14:46:17 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Do you think scrumhalf is a difficult position to play? I’ve played in almost every position in school except for prop, no8 and scrumhalf.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.02.11 14:50:32 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 7) : I agree. Bresler also did enough to warrant a starting spot.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.02.11 14:51:04 by war1 Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 8) : at this level, scrumhalf and hooker are your two most specialised positions.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.02.11 14:51:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 7) : I consider both Mostert and Bresler to be hybrid locks, similar to Johann Muller. They can do either 4 or 5….

    @war1 (Comment 9) : I won’t complain if Bresler starts, but knowing Plum as I do, I wouldn’t put any money on it happening.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.02.11 14:52:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 9) : but i would start with mostert and bresler and let sykes ease his way back into action.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.02.11 14:53:27 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : was going to say the same. 3 positions that need to be covered from the bench are hooker, prop and scrummie

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.02.11 14:55:13 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @war1 (Comment 13) : my bad… left out tighthead prop πŸ™‚ Or I guess prop in general.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.02.11 14:56:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 12) : Agree completely. Another option would be to start with Alberts at lock as our more physical lock and then we can start Keegan as well.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.02.11 14:58:05 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • This is off topic but am I the only one who thinks the Sharks need one more warm up game?

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.02.11 14:58:06 by war1 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I’m just thinking that if the pawpaw hits the fan and both your scrumhalves is injured, who in the match 22 will do a half decent job at 9 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.02.11 14:58:51 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Judging from the Sharks bench on Saturday, maybe you don’t need a prop on the bench πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.02.11 14:59:45 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 16) : I agree, they might have a game against the Sharks XV.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.02.11 15:01:00 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 16) : Nope, I think we seriously need another run-out even if it is only for confidence sake so we can at least win one of our warm-ups.

    @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 17) :
    For some reason, I think Keegan Daniel would do a good job covering.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.02.11 15:01:17 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 18) : I might be mistaken but I think it’s actually a law stating that you need to have cover for your props on the bench.

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.02.11 15:02:07 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • I think keegs deserves a starting position in this game (if indeed fit) after the currie cup that he had.

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.02.11 15:02:40 by Ben Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 15) : you want a loose trio of Keegan, Botes and Kanko?

    Let’s kiss that trophy goodbye before we’ve even started… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.02.11 15:04:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 22) : The only thing is that if Bismark doesn’t start then we need a fetcher on the field and while Keegan is good, JB is even better as a fetcher.

    Bismark acts like a fourth loosie when he plays. It’s part of what makes him so good.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.02.11 15:04:28 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 24) : Fetcher smetcher! Blah

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.02.11 15:06:12 by Ben Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : No, that loose trio is too light. Maybe if we had uncontested scrums and rucks! πŸ˜†

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.02.11 15:06:20 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • Wonder why player profiles have not been updated yet on the official Sharks site….rugby is about to start and we still have a Kings player and a few lions on our site….

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.02.11 15:06:38 by Ice (KCM) Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 21) : correct. You ahve to have two frontrankers (prop/hooker) on the bench.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.02.11 15:07:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 25) : They are more effective than only fetching beer from the fridge for JW!!

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.02.11 15:07:40 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Ice (KCM) (Comment 27) : because the guy who runs it is still waiting for the union to give him an official squad list…

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.02.11 15:08:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 25) : Besides the ‘new’ fetcher have to be more versatile than pre-law changes though. That’s why Bismark is both the hooker and the fetcher.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.02.11 15:09:03 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • My favourite team 4 whole Comp.-

    1.Beast
    2.Smitty (c)
    3.Jannie
    4.Sykes
    5.Mossie/Hargreaves depending on who we play and what we want from the lineouts and overall lock play.
    6.Keegs
    7.Deysel/Alberts…rotation when one needs a break.
    8.Alberts/Kanko…depending on conditions and opposition.
    9.Charl
    10.Lambie/JLP…i might like to play JLP on a wet day cause of his long and accurate kicking game.
    11.Mvovo
    12.Bosman
    13.Stef
    14.Jp
    15.Odwa

    16.Bissie/Burden…rotation when required.
    17.Eugene van Staden
    18.Bresler…think he will make a good impact.
    19.Botes/Engelbrecht…rotation and weather conditions, and also depends on the fitness of Deysel and Alberts and Keegan.
    20.Hoffman
    21.Jlp
    22.Adi Jacobs

    Ross skeate will be needed if hargreaves gets injured…skeate is probably just behind hargreaves when it comes to lineouts.

    I really really like our squad…gonna be an awesome year.

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.02.11 15:09:21 by JJR Reply
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  • @Ice (KCM) (Comment 27) : you just want to find a pic of Dan without his shirt on πŸ™‚

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.02.11 15:09:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Smit counts for both :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.02.11 15:10:15 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : aaahhhhh – they must move their asses! Need to get to know the newbies!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.02.11 15:10:39 by Ice (KCM) Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 29) : Hahaha no you make a fair point.

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.02.11 15:11:21 by Ben Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 33) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.02.11 15:11:56 by Ice (KCM) Reply
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  • But no point in thinking of a 22…our whole 30+- squad will be needed in the Super 15…rotation is gonna be important.

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.02.11 15:17:16 by JJR Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 7) : Agree with Rob…Mostert and Bresler can play both possies, but mossie probably more a 5 cause of his extra height…well that is what i think anyway. Bresler and Mossie were awesome over the weekend…the hard work and aggression was great.

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.02.11 15:20:12 by JJR Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 39) : They were very good and I’m ashamed to think I was worried about our locks. They did themselves proud.

    Still think Mostert and Sykes are our grafters and the others more our athletic locks, but anyone who is selected as our combo wouldn’t disappoint us.

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.02.11 15:27:19 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • Adi above Odwa Rob – plenty of FB cover in the squad, but 13’s are thin on the ground.

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.02.11 15:27:54 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Adi not even on the bench?? 😯

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.02.11 15:46:24 by Original Champion Reply
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  • Hot team..let’s hope the boys know this is prob the year they have the best chance of mounting a serious threat…

    One thing that does kill me is lambies kicking..wish we had percy teachin him n not braam..

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.02.11 15:55:56 by shaniboi Reply

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  • Wonder how JLP`s kicking % weighs up to Lambie`s ?

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.02.11 16:21:18 by Original Champion Reply
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  • @Original Champion (Comment 44) : it wasn’t all that swell in the CC last year, hey…

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.02.11 16:23:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Original Champion (Comment 42) : Agree, we need an out and out centre on the bench…we have enough wing cover…plus Adi is a awesome impact player at 13…just needs to get some gametime so that he can get into things again.

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.02.11 16:38:28 by JJR Reply
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  • @Original Champion (Comment 42) : I can go either way with Adi v Odwa.

    Not wanting to read too much into pre-season form, but if you have to back the guy that’s more likely to deliver in 2 weeks time, I’ll pick the oke with the dreads. And that’s simply based on what I saw on Saturday. I agree that Adi is the classier player overall.

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.02.11 16:47:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : Here is why I take Odders over Adi. Adi would cover 12 and 13, he is not very good cover for the back three. JLP who is 10 cover can also cover 12 and 13. So a backline bench of Hoffman/JLP/Adi leaves a hole in covering the back three. If one of the back three are injured who is their cover with that (Hoffman I suppose). No, I would rather have Odders, he can cover the back three and 13 if needed. JLP can cover 10/12/13 and Hoffman can cover 9.

    This is nothing against Adi, but it is more a horses for courses thing.

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.02.11 19:16:43 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 48) : I reckon either Hoffman or JLP could cover wing or fullback in a pinch, though.

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.02.11 19:23:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 49) : Fine, but what are you gaining by having Adi there over Odders? You may have coverage, but is that the best coverage available?

  • Comment 50, posted at 07.02.11 19:48:16 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 49) : Oh and only in JLP’s mind can he cover wing!

  • Comment 51, posted at 07.02.11 19:48:48 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Generally, Adi has been superb at 13, but has been less than spectacular at any other positions he has covered. He has never done well at 12, and certainly has never been successful at 10. My opinion is he is a rather limited player, covering only 13, which is fine if starting, but makes him a very limited bench player. My opinion. Odders offers much more off the bench. Now if I were to choose between the two to start at 13, without a doubt I am going with Adi.

  • Comment 52, posted at 07.02.11 20:04:22 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 50) : I agree. That’s why I put Odders forward in my article πŸ™‚

  • Comment 53, posted at 07.02.11 20:18:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 51) : in JLP’s mind, he can cover anything – even prop.

    I don’t mean that in a negative way either. I think it’s great to have such a mentally strong guy in the squad.

  • Comment 54, posted at 07.02.11 20:19:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : hehehe agreed, confidence is very important, I just wish his speed lived up to his confidence. I think JLP is a very good player, but he is a 10/12.

  • Comment 55, posted at 07.02.11 20:24:24 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 53) : And I agreed with that choice, it is Original Champion that wanted to see Adi on the bench over Odders. I think you have it dead on.

    On a similar subject, I think that both JPP and Mvovo tend to stay on their wing and wait for the ball, Odders definitely looks for a lot more work than either one. I believe that you really can only carry one wing that sits around waiting for the ball, your other wing has to be a grafter. Remember that when the single match try scoring record was broken for the Boks, Odwa made the last pass to the other wing for three of the tries.

  • Comment 56, posted at 07.02.11 20:30:14 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • great team you pick

    lets just hope what ever team is pick that we win mosty of our games we don’t want to start the S15 like last year 😳

    that was just a kak season of SR

  • Comment 57, posted at 07.02.11 20:37:18 by chaz Reply

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  • I would put RS on the bench in CH place,I have never been impressed with him because he always looks scared on the field and did again the weekend.

  • Comment 58, posted at 08.02.11 08:54:59 by Honey Badger Reply

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