robdylan

Three youngsters make the grade


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 15 Feb 2011 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Sharksworld has learned that three youngsters from the Sharks XV Vodacom Cup squad were summoned to join the Super Rugby practice group yesterday, a good indication that they impressed enough during the recent trial match to be considered for Sharks selection in the near future.

Prop Sabelo Nhlapo has been moving up and down between the two squads for the last few months and now looks a near certainty to be given a taste of Super Rugby action at some stage during the course of the season. With the Sharks lacking specialist loosehead cover – John Smit and Eugene van Staden are the designated stand-ins should Beast Mtawarira break down – it makes perfect sense to have the big former second-rower Nhlapo as close to the squad as possible, so that he may be called in at a moment’s notice should his services be required.

Another player who is no stranger to the setup is Ross Cronje and it now appears as though the third scrumhalf spot in the Sharks group is his for the taking, whereas earlier in the year it appeared as though a loan deal would see Pumas link-man Tian Meyer grab that berth. Meyer has been sent back to his province and it seems as though the Sharks don’t intend to pursue him any further, with Cronje set to be given another chance to prove that he’s ready for Super Rugby. The talk is that both Cronje and his Vodacom Cup lieutenant, Cobus Reinach, seemed a lot sharper that Conrad Hoffman during Friday’s trial.

The third player comes as a bit of a surprise, although those who know Marcell Coetzee and have seen him play will, of course, understand the huge potential that the Sharks coaches have seen in the young man. The bad news for Eagles number 8 Jacques Engelbrecht is that the Sharks have apparently decided not to include him in their squad going forward and rather want to give younger men, such as Coetzee, the opportunity to shine on the Super Rugby stage. Coetzee, who is only 19 years old, captained Port Natal High to an incredible 22-match unbeaten streak and is also a virtual certainty to be included in Dawie Theron’s SA Under 20 squad to attend the IRB Junior World Championship later this year. Built to roughly the same dimensions as Ryan Kankowski, the explosive eighth man now looks to have leapfrogged a number of more experienced competitors to find himself right on the fringes of Super Rugby selection.

Don’t expect John Plumtree to name any of these three in his match 22 to face the Cheetahs on Saturday, of course. When that team comes out, probably on Thursday, it is unlikely to differ drastically from the unit that started against the Stormers 10 days ago. While the Sharks are sure to use a fair bit of rotation as the season progresses, the need to get the campaign off to a good start by winning well at home will see the coach pick as many established combinations as he can against the Free Staters, who have so often spoiled the Sharks’ party in the past.


46 Comments

  • I feel sorry for Engelbrecht but take my hat of to Plumtree for using local youngsters rather than imports.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.02.11 08:11:31 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
     
  • Im stoked for the youngsters that have been involved with the sharks setup since school days. They deserve to get the benefit of the doubt. Especially happy for Ross!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.02.11 08:14:32 by Ozbok Reply
    Ozbok
     
  • @Ozbok (Comment 2) : He needs to make use of this oppertunity to FINALLY deliver on the early promise he showed.

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.02.11 08:16:33 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : He is my cuz so anything I say might seem biased. The twins sat out most of last year due to injuries they going on to 22 this year so they still young and I have no doubt they will make it. The problem is that their size is something that will affect their selections, especially in Guy’s case. I think Guy is brilliant but the big question is will he get a fair shot. I believe the Melbourne rebels were interested at on stage so the boys have options.

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.02.11 08:24:09 by Ozbok Reply
    Ozbok
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : I dont think he hasnt delivered to be honest. He hasnt done anything wrong at the age level teams. If he did he would lose his place to someone better. Compare Ross to the 9 that captained SA schools and SA u19 in the junior WC. Where is he? He isnt in any senior squads is he? Give Ross a shot and you will see. I wasnt keen on hoffman 1) i dont know much about him 2) Ross should be making the step up. If he isnt good enough give another junior a chance.

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.02.11 08:29:09 by Ozbok Reply
    Ozbok
     
  • The twins have never really impressed me,but they have not had that much chance to do so.
    Pathetic that we did not get Engelbrecht,we probably just want to save some money.
    We need another strong ball carrier

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.02.11 08:31:40 by Honey Badger Reply
    Honey Badger
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : True.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.02.11 08:34:11 by Honey Badger Reply
    Honey Badger
     
  • Wish Lindeque could`ve joined them as well . . .

    And I feel sorry for Engelbrecht, give him a taste of the good life then “sorry here`s your plane ticket back to George!”

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.02.11 08:36:28 by Original Champion Reply
    Author
    Original Pierre
     
  • Not all youngsters will end up like Lambie and Steyn. They got pretty decent opportunities and they end up being permanent starters in the team. If you look at the u19 sharks team that won the junior currie cup, not all of them are still around. The twins will get their chance and you will love them or hate them depending on which team they play:) Ill remain a Shark regardless. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.02.11 08:43:08 by Ozbok Reply

    Ozbok
     
  • @Original Champion (Comment 8) : Why did they even bother to give him a chance,he did not do badly.

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.02.11 08:44:21 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
     
  • @Original Champion (Comment 8) : i feel for engebrecht, but as our supporters of the sharks has been calling for the academy/younger players to be included, i think this is a brilliant step forward.

    Its like arsenal in football, everyone knows that they dont mind giving youngster a start, thus nowadays, when some 16 year old gets noticed and everyone comes running for his signature, they ussually sign with arsenal, as they know they will get a chance.

    Same with the Sharks, this sends out a strong message for schoolboys looking for a province to play, at the sharks you stand the best chance to play…

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.02.11 08:45:30 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilder
     
  • Maybe they think Dan Adonga has more potential then Vleis, he is definitely more versatile.

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.02.11 08:46:00 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Ozbok (Comment 9) : I don’t think they have that X-factor but maybe they can prove me wrong.

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.02.11 08:48:02 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
     
  • Marcell Coetzee is a bit of an unknown to me, but its good to give the young one a chance.

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.02.11 08:49:01 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 12) : I did not think of that,now I feel much better.

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.02.11 08:49:39 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
     
  • @VanWilder (Comment 11) : you are completely right.

    While my heart absolutely breaks for Vleis, who is an awesome guy and deserves better treatment than this, we HAVE been calling for the union to back our own youth structures for a few years now.

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.02.11 09:03:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : I hope it’s the reason for not signing but we probably never know.

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.02.11 09:09:04 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
     
  • I remember when Port Natal were crap… Our thirds used to play their firsts…

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.02.11 09:09:14 by CapeShark Reply
    Author
    The Great Couch Shark
     
  • @CapeShark (Comment 18) : Doppies le Grange also matriculated at that school ,i think?

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.02.11 09:19:54 by Talent Reply
    Author
    Talent
     
  • Just remembered. Yesterday was my 1 year anniversary as a non-smoker 😛 😎

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.02.11 09:23:12 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 20) : congradz 🙂

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.02.11 09:26:52 by Talent Reply
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    Talent
     
  • The sad reality for loose-forwards is that there are just too many quality options in South Africa. If i were a schools coach, I would try and groom any potential players to be centers. Goodness knows we could do with more options there. The NZ centres are basically flanks standing in the backline anyway…

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.02.11 09:36:02 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch Shark
     
  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 20) : not bad 😀

  • Comment 23, posted at 15.02.11 09:46:06 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 20) :
    Well done, keep it up.
    You can now change your nick to (once was AddicteD)

  • Comment 24, posted at 15.02.11 09:47:00 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 24) : I’m now Addicted to rugby and the Sharks :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.02.11 09:58:09 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • Great move Plum, you won’t hear any complaints from me…I personally would have also gone for Adongo and looked within the system. Important to reward loyalty. As I said last week, with these rules we can’t have too many guys that offer us the same thing..i.e. Alberts, Bismarck, Beast, Jannie, Deysel , Mostert, Smit, Eugene..we are a bit short on the Keegan and Kanko type players, I think Adongo fits the bill.

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.02.11 10:37:06 by GreatSharksays Reply

     
  • Why did they allow warren whiteley to leave??

  • Comment 27, posted at 15.02.11 11:00:25 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • @Cape Shark: have a look @ the stats of our centres..fruen and swb are tall and have some weight,but conrad smith is given as 1.86m and 95kg(hardly physically intimidating)..
    Remember:the dutch are the tallest nation in the world.
    Meyer bosman is 1.92m and last I read he was 102kg..frans steyn is 1.91m and over 100kg..
    And a guy like juan de jongh plays with the heart of a player that weighs 110kg..

  • Comment 28, posted at 15.02.11 11:08:18 by bergshark Reply

    bergshark
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : it will get more difficult for the sharks to use young guys, as we already have such a good squad of contracted/older players. but i still feel that in a group of 30, 3 or 4 spots each season should go to the best performing u/19 and u/21 players.

    i also have to add that, this time last year we were all asking plum to leave, even from myself, but it seems as though he implemented his structures now, and part of the reason of all those big name offers that was rejected from our players is down to Plum i feel. We all thought that there was a rift in sharks rugby last year. if that was true, most of the players would have left by now… so, plum, i do apologise… 😐

    just hope we can kick of this season better than the last one. 😉

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.02.11 11:13:11 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilder
     
  • @Ozbok (Comment 9) :

    They (Steyn and Lambie) got their chances by coming on in the CC. And the rest as we say is history. Neither had to be given second chances they both showed their worth from the 1st game.

    The Cronjes have had limited chanceS yes, but a true star only needs ONE

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.02.11 11:31:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
     
  • Wonder how Nhlapo will cope at Super Rugby level if he was getting scrummed badly at fridays trials?? Eish 😕

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.02.11 11:32:44 by s.h.a.r.k.s Reply

    s.h.a.r.k.s
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 30) : I don’t know about your last statement KSA Shark. How would you define our current first choice scrummy – Charl Marais ❓ He seems like a guy who’s had to pay his dues and he’s been up and down the pecking order in the past. Last year this time he’d fallen back down to 3rd choice. This season he’s looking sharper than ever.

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.02.11 12:24:44 by beet Reply
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  • Charl Mcleod?

  • Comment 33, posted at 15.02.11 12:26:46 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 32) : you mean Charl McLeod?

  • Comment 34, posted at 15.02.11 12:27:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 33) : Sorry I aways say that. Can’t get the stupid WP hooker’s name out of my head.

  • Comment 35, posted at 15.02.11 12:27:51 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) :
    A Scottish surname does not follow naturally after Charl, Marais does. Still, you could be calling him Sarie McCleod.

  • Comment 36, posted at 15.02.11 12:35:07 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 32) :
    I think Charl had no real chances and the ones he had he grabbed and showed he was better than Kockott. How many times did we bitch when Kockott got selected ahead of him and how many of those occasions were chances for Kockott to “redeem” himself.

    The writing re Kockott has been on the wall for ages.

    Eseentially we the fans knew/felt Charl was better for ages and were calling for his inclusion. I’m not hearing to much of a call for the inclusion of Cronje after we’ve seen him play.

  • Comment 37, posted at 15.02.11 12:48:51 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 37) :
    I’m with you there – the SW annals bear you out too.

  • Comment 38, posted at 15.02.11 12:52:16 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big Fish
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 37) : @Big Fish (Comment 38) : Funny enough I thought Rory Kockott was a better fit for KSAS’s statement re: “a true star only needs ONE”. He arrives in Durban a few months ahead of McLeod, is backup to Ruan, seizes the opportunity, impresses the Sharks fans, goes on to play a pivotal role in the 2008 C/Cup winning campaign and is acknowledged for his part in the SA rugby award nominations. Much of the good Kockott did was before Sharksworld came into being (I think)??? Mcleod in turn struggles for recognition, temporarily loses his fight to be the starter along the way, soldiers on and wins the battle, becoming in this his 5th season with the Sharks the undisputed recognised starter at long last. Mcleod is 27, has had plenty of chances. Ross Cronje is 21, has had how many chances???
    I’m not challenging what the selectors do or annals recorded, just once again trying to get KSAS to see the other side of the coin – not all true stars are born out of ONE opportunity only eg. Charl Mcleod.

  • Comment 39, posted at 15.02.11 15:28:29 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 39) :

    Feb 08 we came into being.

  • Comment 40, posted at 15.02.11 15:35:51 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
     
  • @beet (Comment 39) : Rory was impressive in 2007 CC and 2008 Super 14 after which he faded away. 2008 CC he was injured and then benched. To me he’s sadly a star of one season.

    Agree that Ross Cronje had very very few chances. And it would be a pity to wait till he’s 27. But there seem to be a huge competition for No 9 jersey.

  • Comment 41, posted at 15.02.11 15:39:52 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 41) : Yikes! You’re right. He was nominated for his efforts in the 2008 S14. My bad.
    BTW I really like Jaco Reinach. I’m hoping he can turn his Rob assigned rank of lieutenant into general during the next couple of seasons.

  • Comment 42, posted at 15.02.11 16:41:34 by beet Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 30) : “A true star only needs ONE”

    We both know thats not true KSA. Getting a starting spot in a senior team is definately not something that the majority manages to do. If Lambie was a really good scrumhalf he still wouldnt have had a chance. Well how could he if he had to compete with Ruan Pienaar, Kockett, Mcleod and now Hoffman. How do you tell a senior player like Pienaar sorry youngster X had his one shot and he is a super star please make way and warm the bench. Its not going to happen KSA! A harsh statement bro!!!

  • Comment 43, posted at 15.02.11 22:38:05 by Ozbok Reply

    Ozbok
     
  • Ross Cronje got one chance. He played 10min in a super rugby match and when they got home he wasnt in squad anymore. Does that really count as a chance? Did Lambie impress you in his first 10min of being on the field, did Steyn? A true star does something special when its needed… That I can agree with… I would be interested to know how many games (with the twins playing) the Cronje haters have watched. How many have you watched KSA? Just asking…

  • Comment 44, posted at 15.02.11 22:48:27 by Ozbok Reply

    Ozbok
     
  • @Ozbok (Comment 44) : Hey Ozbok. How close are you to MHS. I’m looking for their 2011 rugby fixtures and in particular the date of the DHS game. Also very sad to see there is no match vs Glenwood this year. In 2008 this game was the highlight of the KZN season. Sad 😥

  • Comment 45, posted at 15.02.11 23:04:12 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 45) : I dont really follow MHS rugby. The only reason i watched was because of the twins. Maybe check out the school website they usually have good info on there. I really enjoy the rivalries between the big schools its something I missed out on at school. I went to a small private school in JHB and rivalries and traditions were non existant. There is something special about preparing for a big clash knowing that each year for the last 80 years 22 guys put their bodies on the line and gave their best for jersey. I love it…

  • Comment 46, posted at 16.02.11 04:35:20 by Ozbok Reply

    Ozbok
     

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