Squad management

Written by (Villie)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 Jun 2011 at 07:25
Tagged with : , , , ,

Watching Willem Alberts in action against the Cheetahs on Saturday, it struck me that there were none of his trademark bullocking runs requiring 3-4 tacklers to halt his charge, none of the massive defensive hits which characterise his game when on song.
It was abundantly clear that this wasn’t the same hulk of a player that had terrorised opposition defences since he joined the Sharks. He appeared jaded and in desperate need of a period of rest to revitalize him and put the spark back into his game.

This also got me thinking about the whole issue of squad rotation and management of the players to obtain optimum performance from each individual. The Super 15 is a brutal tournament that certainly takes a physical toll and without judicious use of the entire squad, players performance levels are going to taper off. The new Super Rugby format doesn’t help in this regard and it’s noticeable that the teams with the stronger squads are the ones who are coming to the fore. A team like the Blues have suffered 3 defeats on the trot as they don’t appear to have the depth available to others. Obviously, luck with injuries plays a part too but if a coach selects a player in almost every game, he runs a much higher risk of that player breaking down at some point.

It’s clear that Big Vic is a vital player to the Sharks – much of our game plan is based around him, built around his explosiveness and power to get over the gain line and give us go forward, front foot ball. Alberts is probably one of the first players Plum pencils in on the teamsheet as he knows exactly what he is getting and his presence is a massive boost. The injury to Jean Deysel, the natural alternative if Alberts is rested, didn’t help Plum or the Sharks cause. This injury probably forced the coaching staff to select Alberts when they would have preferred to give him some time off and this is impacting on his performances now. This also creates a bit of a dilemma as we approach the business end of the Super 15, can we afford to rest him? Can we afford NOT to rest him?


  • We NEED to rest his this weekend, if only onto the bench.

    I said this exact same thing about 4 rounds ago. The guy is getting burned out.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.06.11 07:31:23 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • IMO this all boils down to this stupidly long S15. The administrators are only after the money.

    This tournament is going to be known as a career ender in the coming years. Not all the players are going to recovver from their injuries.

    And there is talk of making it longer!!??!!?? F*!?-n stupid IMO.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.06.11 07:35:07 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • gee, all of a sudden, the decision not to sign Jacques Engelbrecht – even on a short-term contract – looks a little silly.

    They said they wanted to “back a youngster”, so they gave Lambert Groenewald exactly 5 minutes before deciding they didn’t rate him after all and sent him packing. Then they tried Coetzee, who looked good, but also got hardly any game time and subsequently got injured playing club rugby.

    Willem actually can’t be rested this weekend, because we know we can’t win a Super Rugby game with Botes, Daniel and Kankowski as a combo. Tried it before and it’s failed every time.

    Mostert at flank?

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.06.11 07:37:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • Gerard Mostert can takeover as loose forward. He has done it before for the Lions. Although the Sharks could do it, with the 3 lighties on the park, this isn’t a game you want to take that risk. Because a 5 pointer here means the Sharks can rest the whole team against the Bulls.

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.06.11 07:39:12 by waje Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Snap!

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.06.11 07:40:17 by waje Reply

  • Problem is with Jean being suspended, who do we play at 7 against the Lions. Alberts seriously need a rest. Would rest Ludik as well in the Lions game. Move Stef to 15 and play Adi on 13

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.06.11 07:40:54 by Ben Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : And that big kid from the VC. Marcel Coetzee I think? He’s had like 5min of SR playing time, give him more.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.06.11 07:47:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @waje (Comment 4) : 😯 Why do you want to rest the whole team against the Bulls.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.06.11 07:50:11 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : Rob mentioned him. He got injured playing club rugby.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.06.11 07:50:29 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 9) : I read that. and then it got lost in the 3sec it took me to reply. 😯 😳

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.06.11 07:54:53 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 8) : A 5 pointer against the Lions gets the Sharks into the playoffs. The Sharks are then bound for an overseas trip of 3 weeks if all goes well. So why go and waste money sending an exhausted team that will lose their first game?

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.06.11 07:55:38 by waje Reply

  • Although the Crusaders Blues game this weekend will open a 4th place finish up for the Sharks.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.06.11 07:58:45 by waje Reply

  • I would like to see the Bulls and Sharks agree to a four try each draw in the last game.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.06.11 08:03:32 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 11) : I’m not sure I agree. if the Sharks pick up five against the Lions, they can still miss out altogether if they lose badly enough against the Bulls. That’s assuming the Bulls win this weekend and the Tahs pick up two more wins.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.06.11 08:15:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • This is like something old…respect to Villie though, but I warned regarding this in the pre-season Tri-Series…

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.06.11 08:17:42 by Charlie Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : And so can the Bulls lose out if the Sharks win. So rest the players and settle on a draw. It financially suits both teams.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.06.11 08:19:34 by waje Reply

  • The correct management of players is so vital in the professional era as the players want to play and earn as much as they can but playing tired/injured can result in a long term injury thus influencing their income. Its a tough situation as the coaches are also judged solely on results. Guys like Alberts, Terblanche, Ludick, Bosman have played almost every minute of every game if im not mistaken. These guys are in need of a break as it may come back to haunt the Sharks later in this comp or the Currie Cup! The question is- do the Sharks management have a realistic alternative that they back??

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.06.11 08:35:43 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 15) : Aren’t you Glad Adi hasn’t started every game? 😛

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.06.11 09:18:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Good read Villie..

    Have to agree with you 100%, I miss the old Alberts!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.06.11 09:33:18 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • sharks apparently eyeing bobby ebersohn! 🙄

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.06.11 09:42:06 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : Again?

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.06.11 09:44:43 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 21) : yes… 😆

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.06.11 09:47:31 by Megatron Reply

  • The teams are going to have to start employing a squad structure like that of the European football teams. By this I mean you are going to need at least 2/3 players for each position in the team and a few utility players.

    With Bosman, JLP, Michalak and Joubert coming into a team already including Lambie, Jacobs, Stef, it seems that this is the way forward.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.06.11 09:48:48 by Mole Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : For sure…conditioning wise he will be tip top come World Cup 2011 😉

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.06.11 10:00:41 by Charlie Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : Bobby 🙂

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.06.11 10:08:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : Agree with you KSA…it’s ridiculous. Why do we want to play so many SA derbies when we already have the CC for that? Only because the Aussies don’t have a decent domestic competition. Everything in this new format benefits the Aussies…and once again we go along with it.

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.06.11 10:12:56 by Villie Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 25) : Which one is the brother that needs a toutjie to skop?

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.06.11 10:13:28 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • I am pinning my hopes on the Sharks proving they deserve a place in the playoffs. It is not up to other teams to sort out the mess the Sharks put themselves in. The Sharks need to win 5 in a row now, it is as easy as that.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.06.11 10:14:10 by waje Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : I just read an article in an SA newspaper (last week) where he states his love for the Free State and that he’s been approached before and couldn’t bring himself to leave. Also seemed to indicate that him and his brother come as a “package”!

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.06.11 10:14:21 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 29) : only stumbling block will be sharks already have lambie @ 10, otherwise it’s a package deal with this States boerseuns look @ bissy & jannie 😀

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.06.11 10:17:15 by Megatron Reply

  • @Villie (Comment 29) : Another freestate “pair” ??? 😯 A bit inexperienced to be starting to make ‘demands and conditions’ like that, innit?? Klein k*** 😈

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.06.11 10:17:57 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Wait a minute. What happens if we win our last 2 games and Stormers lose their last 2? We finish above them! 😛

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.06.11 10:19:07 by Villie Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : Is it really that long when compared to the Heineken Cup and Aviva?. In the NH the teams can have 4 days between games. Although it is two tournaments the demand on the teams is as strenuous. Sanzar has to look at incorporating the Local tournaments (NZ Cup and Currie Cup) into the overall tournament. With a mid season break for the 3N. Knock out the weaker teams before the tours start to save cash and spare viewers pointless games like the Rebels vs the Lions.

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.06.11 10:22:22 by waje Reply

  • What is it with this ‘we come as a pair’ crap?

    The Rose bros tried it, the Doepie bros and now these two. 🙄

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.06.11 10:22:30 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 34) : its BS!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.06.11 10:23:29 by Ice Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 32) : Rob doesnt want that though – I wonder why?

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.06.11 10:31:39 by Salmonoid Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Ice (Comment 35) : potty mouth!

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.06.11 10:34:17 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 37) : That’s NUFFIN!! 😈 😆

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.06.11 10:35:27 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Again imma throw a spanner in the works, but a few players suddenly lost form at the same time P Divvy went to the Sharks to discuss the play of Smitty Etc

    I am in no way blamming Divvy here, or the Players etc, but merely seeing how at the time it suddenly changed and trying to think of reasons

    Can it be that Divvy did not want Alberts crocked?? with Jean having a very very slim chance of making it for the WC??

    If one looks at the more certain players to make the world cup squad the past 2 months , they sure not putting their bodies on the lines so much anymore
    Anyhows just a theory

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.06.11 10:54:28 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 39) : clutching at straws hehehehe 🙂

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.06.11 11:07:47 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 40) : :mrgreen: prolly transie , but just think of what i am saying , and go back and see when suddenly the likes of alberts etc started playing with less passion

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.06.11 11:18:05 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • really just trying to make sense of it all

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.06.11 11:19:26 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 42) : nah, i hear you, but remember pdv has had “bok” days with these players where they discuss plans & conditioning targets if he wanted to filter info to them he has plenty of opportunities, not just the time he went to durbs.

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.06.11 11:54:00 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 43) : i agree but i can also understand if Div did try getting the player not get himself injured etc via his coach of course

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.06.11 12:02:15 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 39) : @sharks_lover (Comment 44) : Why aren’t all the Boks ‘holding back’? 🙄

    That so far fetched, it’s frankly ridiculous. 🙂

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.06.11 12:08:14 by McLovin Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 36) : its not “want”, its “don’t think that gonna happen”

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.06.11 12:09:25 by franshark Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 45) : its my storie and i am sticking to it :mrgreen:

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.06.11 12:14:11 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • I like rugby, so the more they play the more I watch 🙂 but seriously I think the season might be to long this year… And I think that most teams are not using the squad system effectively… And then the refs.. Its too long for them too…
    The can’t keep up with the speed of the games. That’s why they are missing so many forward passes

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.06.11 12:16:33 by franshark Reply
  • @Ice (Comment 27) : Sias the Serias is the one with the toutjie. 🙂

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.06.11 12:19:29 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @waje (Comment 33) : How many off weekends does the Heineken Cup have? LOTS.

    You can’t compare the premiership to the S15. It needs to be compared to the CC. And If you want a 20 week CC it will have less of an impact on the players because there are lowly teams in there where you can rest players. The S15 doesn’t have that luxury, it is top teams week after week.

  • Comment 50, posted at 07.06.11 12:24:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 49) : what is a toutjie? rope/string..

  • Comment 51, posted at 07.06.11 12:25:36 by Megatron Reply

  • Would MJ start this weekend I wonder? 😕

  • Comment 52, posted at 07.06.11 12:33:02 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Megatron (Comment 51) : Yep – he has a piece of string (showing him the direction to kick) attached to te kicking ring, I am sure it’s a piece of baaltou affie plaas af! 😆

  • Comment 53, posted at 07.06.11 12:59:16 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice (Comment 53) : As Ice said, Toutjie is a small piece of string and then to try and mess with you further she said baaltou. 🙂

    That means haybale string. 🙂

  • Comment 54, posted at 07.06.11 13:29:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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