Captain Smit back at tighthead

Written by Warren Smith (war1)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 Mar 2011 at 13:39
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Despite the injury concerns coming as a result of a bruising encounter with the Western Force, most of the players who were doubtful have been passed fit to play.

Lwazi Mvovo returns to the starting team in place of JP Pietersen who has returned home to undergo knee surgery, with Adi Jacobs coming in to the 22 jersey vacated by Mvovo. Odwa Ndungane has been cleared following him being stretchered in the win against the Force and is named to start the match in the 14 jersey while Willem Alberts has also been cleared to play. Jacques Botes moves onto the bench with Keegan Daniel taking the 6 jersey and Ryan Kankowski the 8 one. And the final change sees John Smit back to captain the side from the tighthead prop position as Jannie du Plessis moves to the bench. It is clear from this team that the coaching staff are not taking the Rebels lightly and are set on securing a win which will further cement their position among the tournament front runners at this early stage of the season.

The Sharks team is as follows:

1.Tendai Mtawarira
2.Bismarck du Plessis
3.John Smit ( Captain )
4.Steven Sykes
5.Alistair Hargreaves
6.Keegan Daniel
7.Willem Alberts
8.Ryan Kankowski
9.Charl McLeod
10.Patrick Lambie
11.Lwazi Mvovo
12.Meyer Bosman
13.Stefan Terblanche
14.Odwa Ndungane
15.Louis Ludik


16.Craig Burden
17.Jannie du Plessis
18.Anton Bresler
19.Jacques Botes
20.Conrad Hoffmann
21.Jacques-Louis Potgieter
22.Adrian Jacobs


  • Nice to see Odwa is fit.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.03.11 13:42:02 by war1 Reply
  • Should have left Stef as captain, he’s our lucky charm imo.
    Great team none the less and im super stoked Barneys back.

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.03.11 13:42:05 by billy Reply

  • Glad there’s not more injuries! Perhaps being in good condition helps! They played a cracker of a game – so some soreness and niggles was to be expected – thank goodness not lasting! Good Team to face the Rebels – great to see Adi back in the set-up.

    Bring on Friday!!

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.03.11 13:43:37 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @war1 (Comment 1) : And that. Was a terrible sight to see him in a neck brace.

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.03.11 13:44:09 by billy Reply

  • Is John at 3 a good idea?He shed plenty of the kilos he had to pick up to play there in the first place, throwing him back into that spot without the bulk can’t me clever.

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.03.11 13:44:36 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @billy (Comment 4) : Precautionary, you don’t want to risk that kind of injury, even if it is only a small chance of it being that.

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.03.11 13:46:43 by war1 Reply
  • anyone who read the SA Rugby preview for this week will find this selection bloody hilarious 🙂

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.03.11 13:46:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • will be nice to see john starting. his defence has been a little off. but then he hasn’t had the game time the other players have had, and jannie did miss a few on saturday. surpised to see we aren’t rotating a few more players. but if we keep winning i cannot complain.

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.03.11 13:47:12 by try time Reply

  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 5) : Plum said in pre-season that Smittie didn’t actually need the extra bulk for tighthead. I don’t think tighthead is his best position but he will do all right provided his tighhead lock and flank scrum properly.

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.03.11 13:48:27 by war1 Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : which SA rugby? .net, .com or keo?

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.03.11 13:50:10 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 10) : never mind, I saw it now. What a silly article to write before the team has even been announced.

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.03.11 13:51:22 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 9) : Cool, I’m with you, shove Sykesie as Smits lock and things should be just fine.

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.03.11 13:53:43 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 5) : did you read the interview with Plum during the pre-season? Reckons the Boks told John that he needed to pack on the kilos to play tighthead and that the Sharks didn’t agree wit the advice.

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.03.11 13:55:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 12) : I personally think there is too much emphasis on props when it comes to scrummaging. Any lock or former lock will tell you that they are actually the ones who provide the power ( any guesses to which position I played? 😉 ). Bias aside, a scrum is made up of 8 men and not just one or two.

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.03.11 13:57:57 by war1 Reply
  • I reckon this is a very calculated gamble. The Rebels are not a strong scrummaging unit and John will be fine against them, I’m sure. We have Jannie on the bench anyway and if he needs to come on after the first scrum, then so be it.

    But it won’t happen… John will be fine.

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.03.11 13:58:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 14) : my first ever interview was with Danie Saayman and he told me the exact same thing. Said a tighthead can’t scrum without a proper lock behind him, which is why Johann Muller was so highly rated by all the props he played with.

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.03.11 14:00:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : I seem to remember something of the sort.

    @War1 Ive also heard that, props must just make sure they take the hit.

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.03.11 14:00:40 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Read Smit’s autobiography and he says something similar too.

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.03.11 14:05:48 by war1 Reply
  • Glad Odwa is fine and ready to go. I dont like the idea of Smit starting at 3, but I’ll support him nonetheless.

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.03.11 14:06:56 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 14) : Ahh, that’s why they moved me from lock to centre, I always though I wasnt tall enough 😳

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.03.11 14:09:04 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 5) : That’s my concern as well. He’s going to be playing against Yoda (Greg Sommerville) as well which is also concerning.

    But I’m sure he’ll have been working on technique and strength as well.

    If I were superstitious though, I would be worried because the Sharks have won 79% of all their games when both Dup brothers start but only 62% when they don’t. But those are only stats.

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.03.11 14:12:54 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 21) :

    Yoda is a tighthead himself.

    Okay I am not overly concerned with this but cannot say I am ecstatic about it either.

    Smit was always going to be used to ‘cover’ all three front row positions.

    Fair enough, he is good to pack down in anyone of them if required or needed in a crisis.

    The situation is compounded by the fact that he is captain though.

    Technically there is a massive difference between all three positions.

    This requires massive adjustments from the player if he is to move around in each one.

    ‘Covering’ all three to me means ‘in case of injury crisis’.

    For instance, an in-game injury or injury on-tour 2 days before kick-off when it is too late to fly specialist cover in.

    Surely Smit must play where he is the best at, and that is hooker.

    Is he a better hooker than Bismarck? Not willing to enter that debate but the fact is he is captain, Bismarck is not.

    As skipper you have enough to worry about on and off the field than to be overly concerned changing technical aspects of your game jumping between three, very specialist positions.

    How specialist are they? Well the Sharks premier front-row (Smit excluded) can only play in one position, and there is only an elite club of front-rowers that can cover two, and not one, not in my mind that covers or is asked to cover all three like Smit is asked to do right now.

    Rotation and resting of players is also a valid point, but surely even then, you rotate players with specialist back up players not your captain?

    I wanted to write an article about this but I reckon this should serve as one anycase.

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.03.11 14:27:12 by Morné Reply
  • very pleased with our side – the sharks can and will beat the rebels on friday – wish it was when we all could watch the game live, not be at work and rely on facebook, etc with updates – and we have the same for the next two games. Come home, SHARKS so we can go to KINGS PARK. 🙄

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.03.11 14:27:14 by Ardent Shark Reply

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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 21) : somerville got penalised a lot inthe last game, so expect him to be watched by the referee.

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.03.11 14:30:15 by try time Reply

  • @Ardent Shark (Comment 23) : unless the saders game is moved to twickenham.

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.03.11 14:34:24 by try time Reply

  • This is a good team. Kinda early in the week for Plum to announce? He usually leaves it till Thursdays – sometimes late Thursday.

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.03.11 14:49:51 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @SharksRTB (Comment 26) : The game is Friday

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.03.11 14:53:14 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Ardent Shark (Comment 23) : That’s what my Drifta is for.

    So stoked my boss greenlit mine. It makes Super rugby Fridays a lot more bearable.

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.03.11 15:32:47 by Butchie34 Reply
  • All the best to the Sharks 🙂 We should send them good luck wishes while they’re on tour 🙂

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.03.11 17:19:54 by s.h.a.r.k.s Reply

  • @s.h.a.r.k.s (Comment 29) : that’s such a good point… we usually do that. Can’t believe I forgot this year

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.03.11 17:35:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • I would not have made Smit captain for this game, would let him focus on his own game and get his A game back then make him captain later, in a month or so.

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.03.11 19:33:05 by Ben Reply
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  • We should have too much for the Rebels.

    I`m not happy about Smit at 3 but Jannie needs some rest as well . . .

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.03.11 19:45:15 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Wow,actually reckon ,by the look of things(intensity of the games and fact that you only get one off-week in this comp),there is an argument for an even bigger squad.

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.03.11 20:32:40 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 33) : Dude eacg team has 3 byes if I’m not mistaken.

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.03.11 20:37:32 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben:Checked the fixture table.seems as if sharks have 2 byes :rounds 9 and 13.

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.03.11 21:16:18 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 35) : Yeah you’re right.

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.03.11 21:55:14 by Ben Reply
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  • I’m a big Smitty fan, but playing him at tight head is not such a good idea. The dynamics between loose head, hooker and tight head is huge in difference. Smitty is a good option to use as a stop gap in a emergency at tight head, but not as a starter. Luckily the Rebels don’t have cohesion in their scrum yet, such cohesion only comes after scrumming together as a unit for a looong time.

  • Comment 37, posted at 10.03.11 07:20:28 by KingRiaan Reply

  • I am a firm believer in judging a player on his performance in the game rather than basing my judgement on what has gone before. Previous weeks form etc will play a part in the selection but i think we shouldnt judge until after the game and then if he is bad then we say so, but if he is good then we must also say so.
    The old saying form is temporary but class is permanent has been proven over and over again!

  • Comment 38, posted at 10.03.11 08:20:56 by SheldonK Reply


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