Time for Coetzee to shine

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 11 May 2011 at 09:00
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The suspension of Keegan Daniel for the Sharks’ next Super Rugby encounter against the Bulls opens the door for impressive youngster Marcell Coetzee to establish himself in the Sharks team – as well as staking a claim for a regular spot in the Currie Cup 22.

The young number 8 from the somewhat unfancied Port Natal Hoërskool has enjoyed somewhat of a meteoric rise over the last few months and the work that he has put in over the off-season seems to be paying big dividends. After playing regularly for the Shakrs under 19s last year (and it must be said, failing to stand out in any big way) he has taken huge strides this year, establishing himself as season MVP in the Sharks XV Vodacom Cup side and winning selection to the senior team on the back of those performances.

Coetzee made his Super Rugby debut in coming off the bench against the Brumbies last week and did enough in just 5 minutes on the paddock to convince me that he’s ready to be used in a more meaningful capacity by the Sharks – perhaps even in a starting role against the Bulls.

John Plumtree is finding his loose forward options diminshing – Ryan Kankowski’s cheek injury is likely to sideline him for some weeks still and with Daniel out, Coetzee should join Willem Alberts, Jean Deysel and Jacques Botes as the only fit back-rowers in the squad. The number of available permutations is staggering, with Deysel able to play on either side of the scrum and Alberts comfortable at either blindside or number 8. Jacques Botes has worn all three back row jerseys as well. Given that the Sharks have lost a fair bit of skill with Kankowski and now Daniel being ruled out, I would give serious consideration to starting Coetzee in his natural number 8 position and allowing him to express himself in tandem with two brutish flanks in Deysel and Alberts.

The Sharks showed against the Brumbies that they are lacking in creative options in the back row and with Deysel, Alberts and Bismarck du Plessis hopefully improving in the offloading stakes next time out, it would be sensible to have a somewhat looser player there to capitalise – I feel Coetzee could fit this bill perfectly. We know what we have in Jacques Botes – to overuse a hackneyed phrase – and while the 30-year-old will never let the side down, I feel he’s lost some of the explosiveness and unpredictability that made him so dangerous in the past. He’s still a bloody good insurance policy to have on the bench, though, just in case the Coetzee experiment doesn’t come off.

One thing that will not benefit the Sharks much, though, is sticking Coetzee on the bench, only to be brought on as an absolute last resort after 75 minutes, once the game has already been either won or lost. Unfortunately, I’ve seen enough of these situations in the past to know that it is this scenario that is overwhelmingly likely to play out.


  • Have to agree with you Rob..

    Marcell looked great coming on for those few minutes, really getting stuck in, showing he wants to play!

    Plum will almost certainly stick the guy on the bench and give him 5 minutes, but we can only hope he thinks outside the box and gives Marcell a starting role.

    You cannot keep him out of the team for too long, and he is sure to make a big impact in the Currie Cup!

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.05.11 09:04:07 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Have a feeling Plums going to play it safe, its the bulls after all!

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.05.11 09:05:05 by billy Reply

  • i must agree with you Rob 🙂 the guy needs more game time he is only going to become the best in him as he goes along with the sharks we need to bring the young ones in sometime the snr guys are going to leave so why not use the young players

    plum might play it safe but sometimes the Y players seem to a maise me they all seem to have the spirit to win the game and show themselves

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.05.11 09:30:17 by chaz Reply

  • As much as I agree with you Rob, I don’t think this will happen. We are talking about Plum here…. Most likely to be our back 3 is 6 Botes 7 Deysel 8 Alberts.

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.05.11 09:37:08 by Ben Reply
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  • Anyone notice that Coetzee threw a bit of a “Sonny Bill” right at the end of the game…? 😆

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.05.11 09:38:23 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • Pity that Keegan is out; somehow he always pulls something special out of the bag against the Bulls 😈

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.05.11 09:39:33 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • I might be mistaken but Alberts seemed a little quiet at 8 this past weekend.

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.05.11 09:45:36 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Ben (Comment 4) : Well it is the SR game maybe he’ll give him more of a chance in the CC

    which is a shame really 😳

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.05.11 09:48:45 by chaz Reply

  • @Original Pierre (Comment 7) :

    Alberts made a few big tackles and looked hurt and slow in getting back up again..

    I think he was just battered to be honest..

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.05.11 09:59:49 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Another local boy pushing for starting honors ! I like 🙂

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.05.11 10:02:37 by Poisy Reply
  • I hope he really thinks outside the box. We’ll have too many crasher ballers in the pack .i.e. Alberts, Deysel, Bismarck, Jannie, Beast, Sykes and now Coetzee. Take into account our non-creative midfield, a scrumhalf that lacks urgency and you really start to get worried that our game plan can be exposed by a team that has a coach that at least passed matric with a D symbol. Team dynamics guys, you need balance and players that complement each other – that’s why any combination that has Daniel in it is always balanced! I’ve only see Coetzee play for 5 mins so will not give an opion (when we rate players that have been on the field for that duration, we normally state “too short to rate”) but I’ve been told that he’s an Alberts, Deysel type player. If Plum goes for this combination, he better make sure that he drills the guys in ball possession, we can’t afford to lose ball in contact or get counter rucked off our ball. Agree with you billy, Plum will play it safe and play Botes @ 6. If I was Plum I would be creative and throw Adonga at 6, with Deysel @ 7 and Alberts @ 8 and if Coetzee is as good as people say he is, play him off the bench. Just don’t think the Botes of 2011 will offer us much unless he has reconnected with the Botes of 2010. Hope the guys are training this week, they should only be given a 3 day break.

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.05.11 10:04:47 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • :lol:Culling was thinking the same

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.05.11 10:05:33 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 11) : I don’t think there is anything wrong with Botes. He just needs gametime to get back to his best.

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.05.11 10:07:54 by Ben Reply
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  • Another topic: I’m sold on Anton Bressler… I like what I see. Later, need to work.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.05.11 10:08:05 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 11) :
    I would not consider Adonga just yet. I watched him play and while he is an impressive physical speciman he doesn’t really have a ‘rugby’ brain and mentality yet. He tends to be in the wrong place in the wrong time too often and I certainly would play Coetzee before I even think of Adonga.

    I have been keeping an eye on Adonga and I don’t think he has been playing rugby very long if I look at his skills. I would certanly not consider him at 6 against the Bulls.

    I would rather have Adonga in the backline TBH. He apparently does the 100m in under 11 seconds and he is big and strong. I think he could be the next JPP. He doesn’t seem to have the hard edge you need in a forward.

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.05.11 10:30:52 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 11) :

    I honestly don’t see Marcell as a crash baller..

    He is more of a loose player..

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.05.11 10:35:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Its only fair i guess from a man management point of view, bench it will be.

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.05.11 10:37:20 by Talent Reply
  • Don’t agree with you on this one Rob, I don’t think Botes is of his game at all, I’m pleased that he will be back against the Bulls.

    Botes hasn’t played alot of rugby this year, he was injured within the first 30min of the first game, then started the Force game, only to be benched for 5 games, playing 5 min here and there and then got a start against the Hurricanes, only to be injured again. I don’t see how anyone could see that he’s off his game, Plumtree is simply favouring Keegan over Botes and in my opinion Botes is a better 6 than Keegan and Keegan should only be used at 8 where he plays his best rugby.

    If Botes starts against the Bulls, have a look out for his supportive play, always there for the off-load, always there to insure clean possesion. Good runner with ball in hand. Great handeling, great defender and integral to organizing the team around the rucks.

    Hey, but that’s just me. I don’t think anyone will be disapointed if he starts.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Coetzee get a decent run from the bench though.

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.05.11 10:40:40 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 18) : I agree, lack of game time is Botes’ problem.

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.05.11 10:46:16 by Ben Reply
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  • I like it, Rob!

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.05.11 13:15:30 by catfish Reply
  • @catfish (Comment 20) : thanks. Me too

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.05.11 13:52:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : I know its not the ideal time (when is?), but Big AL needs some serious downtime. We need him fresh for the play-offs and Desyel is back, so it makes sense.

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.05.11 14:48:07 by catfish Reply
  • @catfish (Comment 22) : I think the injury to Hoff has pretty much put paid to that agenda for the time being 🙁

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.05.11 15:29:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • Plumtree said that “Willem Alberts is struggling a bit still, Jacques Botes and John Smit are out, as is Ryan Kankowski”
    So we might well see Coetzee start and Groenewalt on the bench.

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.05.11 16:40:52 by Danman110 Reply

  • @Danman110 (Comment 24) : I thought he meant they are currently injured…. not that they will definitely not make the Bulls match?

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.05.11 16:50:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : It sounds like Kanko,Botes and Smitty are definitely out.
    Let’s hope I got it wrong.

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.05.11 17:48:12 by Danman110 Reply

  • How did Marcell Coetzee not make the baby boks?

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.05.11 18:18:30 by mikey Reply

  • Come on Marcel! Show them what you’ve got! I have a really good feeling about this guy. I don’t know how many of you remember when Bobby Skinstad and Pierre Spies were new on the scene and making the kind of big impact that the caught the whole nation’s attention. Well I kinda think we’re in for the same ride with Marcell

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.05.11 19:32:15 by beet Reply
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  • @Danman110 (Comment 26) : nah – I’m told Smitty is 50-50 and Botes more like 80% certain to play. Only Hoff is definitely out

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.05.11 19:58:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 28) : I’m with you Beet!

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.05.11 20:02:23 by Ben Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 29) :Thanx Rob that’s a relieve. I hope Marcel gets a start. Alberts definitely needs more than a weeks rest but Plum will probably play it safe and start Botes,Deysel and Alberts against the Bulls.

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.05.11 20:10:29 by Danman110 Reply


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