Inclusively exclusive

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 5 May 2011 at 10:12
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Leadership groups in sport is important, but when does a leadership group turn into a clique?

A rugby team is a dynamic environment which is in a constant state change.  One of the primary goals in this environment is to create balance.

The challenge in a team sports environment like rugby is that this dynamic changes from day-to-day depending on a thousand factors. Things like injuries, wins, losses, loss of form and probably a thousand other things have a direct influence on both the mental and physical dynamics within a team environment.

To try and maintain some sort of balance, any rugby team and union relies heavily on mechanisms of control, the most important of which is leadership and management of the environment.

There are different areas of leadership in a team. Administration exercise this, the coaching management exercise this, and of course, players themselves are tasked in performing these duties.

When does leadership become a clique as per my question above?

The answer is quite simple; It is when the leadership core in any of these areas become exclusive, rather than inclusive.

The Sharks team has been the victim of many vicious rumors in the past on this very subject. Personally, I don’t like to deal in rumors when raising points of interest or discussion for the simple reason that it almost always only serves to satisfy a personal agenda, or even vendetta.

It is when a player himself raises the issue of being excluded in a team environment however that I take notice.

In 2007 Waylon Murray had the season of his life. His rise to fame was sudden and dramatic which saw a young 20-year old (at the time) earning his first Springbok cap. It was also the season where the Sharks had a magical year ending top of the Super 14 table and hosting the first ever Super Rugby final in South Africa.

Murray’s form was of such a nature that many individuals were bitterly disappointed when he was overlooked for the Springbok World Cup squad of that year, but where there was no doubt, is that we were seeing the emergence of a special talent.

What followed was probably as dramatic as his rise to prominence. Injuries and an apparent loss of form saw Murray all but disappear from the rugby scene. At his union, the Sharks, Murray also became more of a bench player and utility option (being selected on wing rather than his preferred position of outside center) than a regular starter where he was once described as the Sharks answer to Jaque Fourie.

Last year, Murray left it all behind and moved to the Lions. The move seemed to have done wonders for him as a player and although he is far from the impressive 20-year old we saw in 2007, he is most definitely improving and getting back to some of his best form.

An SA Rugby article recently had an interview with the player, most notable for me was references to a re-birth, or a new lease on life and second chances.

Murray also made specific references how his confidence took a massive knock at the Sharks but more importantly, how he felt excluded from the team dynamic he played such a huge part in their successful 2007 season.

Of course it can be argued that Murray’s fall from grace has as much to do with the player himself than it does with the union or the team and that would be a very important point, but what was interesting was the comments of another Sharks player, his team mate in 2007, all but confirming the situation.

In 2008 promising young center and team mate of Murray, Bradley Barritt left the Sharks to apply his trade in Europe. At the time, similar murmurs of unhappiness within the squad or from certain players did the rounds.

In the same interview with SA Rugby Magazine, Barritt made mention of the fact that he understood exactly what Murray was going through (at the Sharks) and that his ‘re-birth’ at the Lions is testament to his former team mate and center partner’s character.

The Sharks of course have lost many super talented, or in the very least, very promising youngsters since 2007. Apart from Barritt and Murray, players like Francois Steyn and Ruan Pienaar also left the union.

It is not suggesting that all of them left because of unhappiness within the Sharks environment, but the fact that they left as youngsters just starting out their careers does leave one a bit perplexed.

The Sharks have some of the best players, and strongest leaders within their setup at all levels, but one area they are seemingly failing at continually is nurturing and developing young talented players.

Some of these youngsters have started believing their own press too often I believe, and possibly felt they were better than how they were used and managed at the Sharks – but then, part of inclusive leadership is to nurture these youngsters effectively even if they overstep the line, and not exclude them on grounds of ego trips.

I have no doubt that the majority of the individuals within the union are happy and feel part of the setup, what they need to guard against though is that the slightest hint of exclusive leadership, or cliques, as this has the potential to mutate and grow into a potential disaster which can take years to fix.

The May edition of SA Rugby magazine in on sale in most retail outlets


  • I wonder how much of an effect John Plumtree has had on this?!

    Great read as alwyas Morne..

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.05.11 10:19:21 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • OMF, now Plums responsible for “rumoured” unhappiness in the squad post 2007.

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.05.11 11:44:54 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • How many of those players left due to sa rugby in general???I can’t see a team who is unhappy but wins a currie cup twice in two years..

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.05.11 12:06:41 by shaniboi Reply

  • Not sure about Murray – but Brad, Steyn and Pienaar left because of SA rugby not the Sharks.

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.05.11 12:56:05 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • morne, surely barritt left to “ply” his trade in Europe rather than “apply” it 😀

    well it wouldn’t be the first time a player has spoken about cliques at the sharks, didn’t john write in his book that ollie le roux and some other player deliberately under-scrummed to make him look rubbish?

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.05.11 12:58:13 by Megatron Reply

  • @Just a Fan (Comment 4) : francois steyn got booed at the Tank by Sharks fans, nothing to do with SARU…

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.05.11 12:59:13 by Megatron Reply

  • Interesting article Morne.

    I havent seen the article thus the question…does the article mention these cliques or have you deduced from the article that they are a reality. From your article I deduce that they are a reality and that (reasding between the lines, subjectively) the race card could also come into play. This is very worrying.

    BTW I believe that the treatment that both Steyn and Pienaar received at the hands of the Bok management had a lot to do with their willingness to move on, that and a hefty paycheck. Barrit apparently wanted to try his hand at playing for England and to my knowledge left on good terms, even stepping in to play a semi when the Sharks were in need.

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.05.11 13:10:27 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 7) :

    Thanks for asking, I was interested on how Sharks supporters would take to what I wrote here so let me explain.

    The article does not claim outright that cliques exist, neither does it state that it was administrative issues, issues with coaches or issues with players.

    What does come over strongly is how the individual felt excluded from the team – now the context of ‘team’ can be looked at in many ways.

    It can be looked at as the players (actual team), the coaching team (management), or the union as a whole (including administration).

    For years I have been massively critical on WP rugby on this very issue, their inability to nurture and develop young talent.

    This now seems to have changed, if only slightly as can be seen practically within the Stormers setup.

    In a WP context, the issue has also always been ‘cliques’ for me, funnily enough though, not at player level, and not at coaching level even (or not in the sense that we think perhaps).

    In SA Rugby, a coach is as dispensible as players, just think back to last year where Plum was fighting for his future as Sharks coach when they went on tour in the Super 14?

    This clique is more on an operational level and with people we almost never see or read about.

    I believe this to be the case at the Sharks too.

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.05.11 13:33:37 by Morné Reply
  • In short, I don’t believe the problems to be at player level, or even coaching level (the individual), but it does manifest there.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.05.11 13:34:57 by Morné Reply
  • I sent Rob and email nearly a year ago with a story idea but it’s worth mentioning again:

    If you look at the names of the 22 man Sharks squad that started the Super 14 final in 2007. Here’s a link if, like me, you blanked it out of your memory bank forever:

    It’s frightening to note that only 7 of the 22 (and 3 of the starting 15) players are still contracted to the Sharks at this stage. We are only 4 years on from that fateful day & the player turnover is huge! Imagine if we had won that final? We could’ve built an empire that even the Bulls would envy…

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.05.11 14:06:17 by Gazman Reply

  • @Gazman (Comment 10) : That is quite scary actually 😯

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.05.11 14:48:11 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 8) : @Morné (Comment 9) :

    Thanks for that. I really hope that the coach/es dont allow cliques to develop amongst players and worse still is if a clique between coach/es and players are allowed to develop.

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.05.11 15:11:11 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Morne I agree with you after I read Jake Whites’ book. I know I might be harpering about the the Jake White book, I did just read it.
    In in he talks about his stint with the Sharks and how he felt like an outsider as the Sharks were this family clique. When he suggested getting rid of some old timers at the Sharks who were not pulling their socks, the message spread and the relationship with the Union turned sour.

    I’m actually looking forward to next year when the Stef and Smit era ends and a new leader emerges from a player perspective. I also hope Rudolf gets a new job.

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.05.11 15:18:41 by Mocho Reply

  • @Gazman (Comment 10) : I don’t think it is all that scary, several of those players were very near the end of their careers, here’s a list:
    Both locks, Ackermann and Muller (what has he done since leaving the Sharks)

    I think it is a testament to the Sharks transition planning that they won two Currie Cups since then, and have always been a force in the Super 14 (except last year). So, even with all the changes, the Sharks have done very well, which speaks volumes for their planning in my opinion.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.05.11 15:38:02 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Morne, don’t you think there is a problem with cliques at the Bulls? And they have been very successful.

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.05.11 15:38:54 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • BJ and Jannie are very close in ability, Smit and Bissie are still there, Carstens has retired, but Beast is still there, and Van Staden is superb cover. Sykes and Ali have been excellent at lock, and right now our loosies are much stronger with Botes, Kanko, Deysel, Alberts and Keegan. Charl was in superb form last year, probably had a better year than Ruan. Lambie is stepping into Butch’s shoes very well, inside centre is an issue, but we have lots of cover, outside centre, Stef is there now, and Adi is still there. Wings are even better with Mvovo, JPP and Odders, and Ludik is an excellent 15, perhaps not a Monty, but maybe even better with ball in hand.

    So, even with all the changes, I believe the Sharks are as strong, and maybe even stronger than 2007. Change is not a bad thing, transition planning is a very good thing.

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.05.11 15:45:43 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Mocho (Comment 13) :
    Marius Joubert
    Van Staden
    Dup brothers
    Many good under 19s / 21s
    Plus others

    Above are some of the names that would have had to do with Straueli.

    I for one DONT want Straueli to go anywhere. I think he has done an amazing job when it comes to player procurement and retention.

    He is much maligned (much less so these days) and hardly ever gets the recognition he deserves for having helped build up the player base that was virtually non existent in Putteys era.

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.05.11 15:51:45 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 17) : Amen…

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.05.11 15:54:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 17) : Salmy, we are in agreement once again. Straueli has done an excellent job of transition planning. The fact that only 7 of the 22 are still here from 2007, and the Sharks have won 2 Currie Cups, and been a force in Super Rugby since then while going through this transition of players speaks volumes for the work he has done. While Gazman sees the change as a negative thing, I see it as a very positive thing, and a result of good planning.

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.05.11 15:55:46 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I’m not saying that the current Sharks squad is a bad one! What does worry me a little is the fact that we released so many talented youngsters from the Shark nets after 2007. I’m referring particularly to Pienaar, Steyn, Murray, Barritt who were all in their early twenties. They all had at least two years of Super Rugby under their belts! Now we’re stuck with Stefan & Adi who are both the wrong side of thirty…

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.05.11 15:59:58 by Gazman Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 17) : @Dancing Bear (Comment 19) : Sadly, Streauli will forever be remembered for that barbed wire campover thing. People forget that he managed to take the Sharks from stone last to a Super 14 (or was it 12 at that time?) final in one season, followed by a CC final, etc.

    I too think he’s done a great job behind the scenes.

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.05.11 16:04:33 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Gazman (Comment 20) : Don’t forget that Murray was injured and had a terrible run of form. He was not getting selected to play for the Sharks. He really needed to go, in his best interests because he was not getting back to his great form while with the Sharks. Barrett knew he would not get selected for the Boks, so went to give England a shot. Both Steyn and Pienaar were abused fairly regularly by the Sharks Supporters. So I think they left more for that reason than the Sharks management.

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.05.11 16:06:05 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 22) : I think, if anything, the Sharks management should be applauded for the way they handle players who want to leave

  • Comment 23, posted at 05.05.11 16:08:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 21) : Super 12 then. If you look at Straueli’s career as a whole, he was a superb player and has been awesome in whatever role he has performed for the Sharks. He was also an excellent coach in Europe. The only tarnish he really has on his resume is his stint with the Boks. Makes me wonder how much was SA Rugby and how much him.

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.05.11 16:16:16 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : I agree. The point that we have so few players from 2007 made me realize how good the planning by management has been. How easily could the Sharks have gone the way of the Brumbies.

  • Comment 25, posted at 05.05.11 16:17:52 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Sadly for Straueli Staaldraad cut his coaching career short but there is no doubt that he managed to get the best out of teams. His results with Border attest to this, he turned them into a really competitive union, and that in itself was close to a miracle.

  • Comment 26, posted at 05.05.11 16:42:43 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 26) : Most people can not see past Staaldraad. Too bad really, because I think he is a very good rugby administrator.

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.05.11 16:44:17 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 26) : players I’ve spoken to who have a direct (coaching) relationship with Straeuli only seem to have good things to say about him

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.05.11 16:54:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Who was the Sharks player in 2003 that left the Sharks because he said Straueli would not select Sharks players for the Boks? 😉

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.05.11 17:01:48 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Ok I admit I was wrong in criticizing Staueli. Never the less, we could still make an entire backline of Sharks players who have left the union and who could put a few international teams to shame. Yes some left for reasons that the Sharks could not control, but the mere fact that a backline such as the one mentioned below have all left the Sharks is a scary taught.

    9 Kockett
    10 Butch
    11 Murray
    12 Strauss
    13 Barrit
    14 Steyn
    15 Pienaar

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.05.11 17:19:57 by Mocho Reply

  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 29) : what?

  • Comment 31, posted at 05.05.11 17:22:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Mocho (Comment 30) : Kockett replaced by a better McCleod, Butch career over, Lambie has his whole future in front of him. Murray is a centre not wing, and JPP is a better left wing anyway. Barrett was never a 13, Steyn was never his best on wing, and Pienaar never his best at 15 either. Sorry, can’t agree that I would want to see that backline over anything the Sharks can field today.

  • Comment 32, posted at 05.05.11 17:27:37 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : You don’t remember that? I remember it very clearly, I think it was one of our loosies at the time that said it.

  • Comment 33, posted at 05.05.11 17:28:18 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 33) : I remember now, it was Warren Britz.

  • Comment 34, posted at 05.05.11 17:33:39 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 34) : oh right

  • Comment 35, posted at 05.05.11 17:35:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • Just to add, the Sharks made the Super 12 finals in 2001, and comparing the team to the the finalists in 2007, there are only two of the same players. So if only 2 players transitioned from a winning team in 2001 to a winning team 6 years later, surely retaining 7 players from 2007 to 2011 is actually very good.

  • Comment 36, posted at 05.05.11 17:35:41 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 35) : Actually that is the only player I have heard say anything negative about Straueli as a coach. I wonder how much of staaldraad was his idea?

  • Comment 37, posted at 05.05.11 17:37:15 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • John Smit and Stefan Terblanche both played in the 2001 final. Of course Stef did not play in 2007, but AJ was the second player who played in 2001 and 2007 finals.

  • Comment 38, posted at 05.05.11 17:38:44 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 37) : it wasn’t…. it was that Heyns chap that came up with the idea and (I think) Dolf was under so much pressure anyway that he just went along with it without really thinking it through.

    Funny, though, that some of the players who went through it are actually quite positive about what they learned from the experience

  • Comment 39, posted at 05.05.11 17:44:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 39) : The players never complained about it, it was the public that had such an issue with player pumping balls up while naked in freezing water. If they had managed to keep it secret I wonder what would have happened.

  • Comment 40, posted at 05.05.11 17:45:44 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 40) : what was Smitty’s take on it? I remember he was quite negas about it…

    But he was Jake’s man through and through back then… I’m pretty sure the latter used him as a tool to sew misinformation about Straeuli.

  • Comment 41, posted at 05.05.11 18:02:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 41) : Remember that Smittie was one of Straueli’s squad captains, along with Joost, Skinstad and Krige. As I recall, he never said anything negative about it, but I could be wrong.

  • Comment 42, posted at 05.05.11 18:03:14 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 42) : Smit did captain the team in one match at RWC 2003.

  • Comment 43, posted at 05.05.11 18:04:24 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • It will be interesting to see Alberts back at 8. That is where he played most of his rugby with the Lions.

  • Comment 44, posted at 05.05.11 18:30:08 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Turned out a nice discussion…

    This is what worried me about the comments by Murray, backed up by Barritt, they felt excluded.

    Now immediately I had visions of the SA Cricket team and the well publisized clique there.

    IMO, the leadership role in all this (to ensure the team environment is all inclusive) is Plum’s boss he reports to. Cliques, favourtism, division, all of that is a result from how things are managed from top down…

  • Comment 45, posted at 05.05.11 19:20:03 by Morné Reply
  • DB,

    Your one question about the Bulls.

    Wynand Olivier said no to a much more lucrative contract at WP because of the culture at the Bulls…

    I seem to be writing about management and leadership issues a lot lately 😉

    Don’t know why, my column on the perfect fit was interesting as an example though.

    On here, people related or believed I related it to the Sharks, elsewhere, they thought it was about the Lions…

    Interestingly, my base from where I wrote it was the Boks and the appointments of Erasmus and Coetzee…

  • Comment 46, posted at 05.05.11 19:25:01 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 46) : Morne, Beast also turned down more money from the Lions to stay at the Sharks because of the Sharks winning culture. Just like Wynand. I don’t think that one player choosing to stay means there is not a clique problem, they may just be part of the clique.

  • Comment 47, posted at 05.05.11 19:52:40 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 46) : Also, didn’t JLP jump from the Bulls the first chance he got? Just saying that one player turning down a better contract to stay somewhere does not mean that team does not have a problem with cliques.

  • Comment 48, posted at 05.05.11 19:54:07 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 47) :

    The difference here is that players the Sharks & WP (two of the bigger, richer unions in SA) are losing players that have just started out their career, evidence which is obvious for everyone to see, is that the difference at the Bulls is their losing players moving on in the twilight of their careers…

    When last did a young Bulls player move on or away from the union (there are some cases of course), and compare it to WP/Sharks…

  • Comment 49, posted at 05.05.11 19:55:33 by Morné Reply
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 48) :


    Now there is a story best reserved for another day and possibly site 😉

  • Comment 50, posted at 05.05.11 19:56:21 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 49) : JLP, Brummer just two from the last year. Both young players leaving the Bulls for lack of opportunity. Read the clique that includes Morne Steyn and not them.

  • Comment 51, posted at 05.05.11 19:56:41 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 50) : Bandise Maku is another one. The Bulls lost quite a few young players in the last year.

  • Comment 52, posted at 05.05.11 19:57:13 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 17) : So he`s the one who signed B. ??? 👿

  • Comment 53, posted at 05.05.11 19:57:24 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • Also crazy Jaco left the Bulls for Japan during the height of his career. I don’t know Morne, there are a lot of young Bulls players that have left. I just think they are very cliquey and if not in the clique, you just leave.

  • Comment 54, posted at 05.05.11 19:58:56 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 52) : Maku was not in the clique that Chilliboy and Gary Botha are.

  • Comment 55, posted at 05.05.11 19:59:50 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I’m not saying that WP and the Sharks don’t have problems with cliques, I am just saying the Bulls have the same problem and they have been quite successful.

  • Comment 56, posted at 05.05.11 20:00:36 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • It is very easy for a healthy, close-knit “family” of a sports team to turn into a cliquish environment populated with people who distrust outsiders and outside ideas.

    It can happen to both losing and winning teams – driven by fear and paranoia in the former, and complacency and hubris in the latter. Think Lions and Sharks respectively.

    I do believe that Murray was frozen out, and that the Sharks did not manage some of their young talent well. I just hope that we have learnt from that.

    I remember being one of a FEW people who rated young JPP back in 2006/7. At the time, he was seen as lazy and arrogant – unwilling to learn.

    By contrast, Murray was ranked as a great prospect by management, given his attitude and leadership ability.

    Murray was a Bok at 19, yet never got a look-in when he was injured and out of form – much like Adi since last year.

    For me, I believe this is a sign of loyalty to certyain players and gameplans going to far.

  • Comment 57, posted at 05.05.11 20:14:30 by Big Fish Reply
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  • DB,

    Names you mentioned from Bulls;

    Brummer, Maku, JLP…

    Names from Sharks;

    Steyn, Pienaar, Barritt, and of course, Murray…

    On the one hand, you have players leaving (the Bulls) who has little to none Super rugby experience.

    On the other, you are talking about capped Boks leaving the Sharks (apart from Barritt but Rob will tell you he should have been capped at birth 😉 ).

    Also, Maku – they have Chili and Gary, both Boks, both countless caps in Super rugby as back up.

    JLP – He was not rated at the Cheetahs (how does one manage that), not rated at the Bulls, and the Bok incumbent is there (sure no back up)

    Brummer – arguably the only stupid move by the Bulls but how many quality 10’s we got floating around in SA?


    Pienaar, Kockett – and given the loss of faith in the ability of McCleod, who have they got? Hofmann? No Super rugby experience.

    Barritt, Steyn, Murray – all centers, who is their back ups now? oupa? Bosman?

    The Sharks made those youngsters Boks.

    When you agree to let players go, you either have good back up for them, or you don’t rate them.

    Surely the signs at the Sharks in this regards is as obvious as it has been at WP for the last 10 years?

    Someone is not doing their job very well…
    @Big Fish (Comment 57) :

    That mate, is a top post.

  • Comment 58, posted at 05.05.11 21:02:14 by Morné Reply
  • How Adi Jacobs cannot get a start at the Sharks is absolutely ridiculous.

    This guy cut defenses apart when Mossie was injured in 2009 partnering Jean at center.

    How Mvovo has to sit on the bench is equally perplexing, this youngster can change a game in a second.

    I have always said, when Mvov’s is on the bench when they play WP/Stormers, I am one happy chappy.

  • Comment 59, posted at 05.05.11 21:05:44 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 58) : did I miss something? Did Brummer leave the Bulls? When?

  • Comment 60, posted at 05.05.11 21:18:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 60) : I’m the idiot that said Brummer, best part is Morne went right along with me. 😆 I think I meant to say Burton Francis. Burton Francis, Francois Brummer, same thing right? 😆 Sorry fellows.

    Morne, you conveniently forgot Crazy Jaco who was a Bok and in his prime when he left the Bulls to play in Japan.

    Also Gary Botha left in his prime and went to Europe, not any different from Ruan and Fransie leaving the Sharks. I’m sorry, for each Shark, I can name one Bull. I am not arguing that the Sharks have a clique problem, I am saying the Bulls have a similar problem/situation and have done very well.

  • Comment 61, posted at 05.05.11 21:26:43 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Morné (Comment 59) : Mvovo is on the bench because his work rate is about 20% of what Odwa Ndungane’s is.

  • Comment 62, posted at 05.05.11 21:27:14 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • Luke Watson left WP in the prime of his career.
    Francois Louw is leaving at the end of this season and he too is in his prime! 🙄

  • Comment 63, posted at 05.05.11 21:44:44 by wpw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 60) : @Dancing Bear (Comment 61) :

    At least we had the same player in mind!!! 🙂

    @Dancing Bear (Comment 61) :

    Jaco left and the Bulls had Krusty (better known as Kirchner) recruited in 2008 (year after the RWC) capped in 2009 B&I Lions tour.

    Also, in 2007 they still had Roetsie playing believe it or not, along with Mametsa, Akona, and Marius Delport to cover that position.

    Then let’s not forget Tiger Mangweni who was another guy they had available to them post 2007.

    In 2008, Wacko Jaco was 30 years old already and by that time he was not a Bok in his prime, he lost favour at Bok level in 2006 already, hence my point on players leaving in their golden years, not the start of it…

    When Gary Botha left they had another Bok to replace him (Chili), while blooding another in Maku…

    @Dancing Bear (Comment 62) :

    Mvovo is imo, the most dangerous outside back in SA rugby at the moment.

  • Comment 64, posted at 05.05.11 21:45:34 by Morné Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 63) :

    And WP/Stormers back up in those positions then (Luke) and now (Flo) is/was what?

  • Comment 65, posted at 05.05.11 21:47:08 by Morné Reply
  • Pat Barnard was very promising at the time of his departure!
    Bob Skinstad??
    Marius Joubert?

    All in their prime imho.

  • Comment 66, posted at 05.05.11 21:47:49 by wpw Reply
  • @ Morne: When Luke left it worked just fine cos we had one extra loosie in Flo who was deffo good enough to take over from Watson.

    As for Flo’s replacement, Nick Koster?? Pieter Louw??

    I see what u mean! Lol

  • Comment 67, posted at 05.05.11 21:53:01 by wpw Reply
  • Percy and Bob was hated at the time they left by all.

    Marius was simple not good enough anymore replaced by Jaque Fourie in 2006.

    Pat who? ( 😉 )

    Bob’s inclusion in 2007 is still questioned, especially since his prime was in 1997/98 which was a decade prior.

    Percy, well he pulled an Os.

    The point is not the void these okes left in Bok rugby, but their provincial setups.

  • Comment 68, posted at 05.05.11 21:59:21 by Morné Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 67) :

    The only anomaly in the Bulls team is this year at flyhalf where they let both Burton and JLP go with no seasoned backup to Morne.

    Other than that, comparable to examples of the Sharks as stated above, the difference for me at least are quite obvious.

  • Comment 69, posted at 05.05.11 22:02:23 by Morné Reply
  • Anycase, time for me to call it a night.

    Good to catch up again DB and Wes.

    Chat soon.

  • Comment 70, posted at 05.05.11 22:07:30 by Morné Reply
  • Matfield also left the Bulls and Bakkies had about 100 signed contracts to leave.

  • Comment 71, posted at 05.05.11 22:57:13 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 71) :

    He left the Bulls at age 31…

  • Comment 72, posted at 06.05.11 09:18:20 by Morné Reply

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