robdylan

Missing – the very first piece


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Jun 2011 at 14:08
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Looking ahead to the Currie Cup season (there – I started the trend!) the Sharks may well face an uphill struggle to fill some key positions in their team, given the large number of their players involved with the Springboks. Loosehead prop, though, stands out as a particular area of concern.

While we are not expecting all of the Sharks players named in the extended 49-man squad to be named in the final World Cup group of 30, the names of Beast Mtawarira, John Smit and Jannie du Plessis are as close to certainties as one can get, meaning a very definite void in the number 1 jersey for the Currie Cup. Since the departure of Deon Carstens to Saracens a year or so ago and the sale of Pat Cilliers to the Lions, the Sharks don’t appear to have an experienced player in the ranks ready to slot straight in.

There are, of course, a number of options, starting, I fear, with the least likely. In Dale Chadwick and Sabelo Nhlapo, the Sharks have a pair of young looseheads who have come through the junior ranks and earned their stripes playing in the Vodacom Cup. Both in the 22-23 year-old category, they are young for props, but one would hope that the opportunity now exists for one or both of them to make a big step up in the Currie Cup. Tempering that, though, is the reality that the Sharks haven’t thus far shown themselves incredibly keen to back young talent in the Currie Cup, making it unlikely that they’d be prepared to go into the competition with a completely untried loosehead.

Another option is to move Eugene van Staden into the number 1 shirt and let Wiehahn Herbst develop at tighthead. Of the youngster we have, Herbst represents, to my mind, the lowest risk approach since he’s arguably already proved himself at Super Rugby level. That said, with little cover at tighthead either should Herbst need replacing, one of the young props already mentioned would need to feature in the match 22 regardless.

The third – and I suspect most likely – course of action, would be to reach for the chequebook and buy someone experienced. I don’t have any names currently, but I also won’t fall over backwards if the Sharks announce a new signing at prop in the coming weeks. It’s not what I would do, though – because if experience is what we’re looking for, the Sharks could do worse than to call up one or both of Robbie Harris and Mox Mxoli from the club ranks, both of whom have represented the team in the Currie Cup in the past and could help to mentor the younger players in the system as well.


85 Comments

  • One thing that the sharks love doing is throwing the youngsters in..getting the job done and then pulling them out..its worked once but I would really like to see how it will work this year as the springboks won’t be in the currie cup at all..this might be the best chance to get the players ready for nexts years super rugby..

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.06.11 14:17:28 by shaniboi Reply
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  • @robdylan:eish,can’t recall robbie harris really impressing at cc level when he was at the sharks.and didn’t look like an answer in the one or two games I saw him play in vc.as for sangoni mxoli?not sure of him either.although I am no expert of front row play,I must quickly add.rather go to the mentioned youngsters then and give them the opportunities.let them grow and develop.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.06.11 14:21:32 by bergshark Reply
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  • Sign KSA Shark!

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.06.11 14:24:38 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Probably the worst thing the management could do is buy some above average prop just to make up the numbers.

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.06.11 14:27:21 by war1 Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 3) : 😯

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.06.11 14:38:38 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I fully agree with going with who we already have. But will we be as accommodating 6 weeks into the competition if things are not going well.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.06.11 14:40:43 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • For me Van Staden is more of a 1 than a 3 anyway. 1.Van Staden 3.Herbst. i have no problem with that at all. Either Nhlapo or Chadwick on the bench. Still want to see how Mkhize goes at u/21 first; but i think he is a good prospect. Also Schonert is already capable for Currie Cup Lvel in my opinion; but lets give him time in u/21’s. U/21 team gonna rock!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.06.11 14:40:56 by JJR Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 3) :
    πŸ˜† 😈

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.06.11 14:40:57 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 6) : you have my word that I will not condemn ANY young player called upon to step up this season.

    Hold me to that, please.

    I don’t see winning the Currie Cup as the be all and end all this year.

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.06.11 14:43:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • I will trade a baker’s dozen Currie Cups for a Super Rugby title. Plum, please listen to me now and use this CC to develop your squad! And about that restraining order…

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.06.11 14:49:16 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 8) :

    He hasn’t seen Wes yet so he might change his mind still! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.06.11 14:51:17 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : 😎

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.06.11 14:55:54 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Rob don’t u think having different coaches in the currie cup,super rugby might help..a coach in so many roles becomes one eyed until he is shown something different or fired..plum looks like he has to many roles and the same issues keep appearing year in and out….

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.06.11 14:58:55 by shaniboi Reply

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  • Any likelihood that cash will be splashed on Deon Carstens?

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.06.11 15:05:13 by MerckZ Reply

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  • @shaniboi (Comment 13) : don’t get me started, please…

    I’m too busy stuffing my fist into my mouth about the coaching setup in order not to piss anybody off any further

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.06.11 15:08:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • Rob, what is going down in the life of Julian Redelinghuys. He must have been injured in Sep10. Add 8 mths = fit again. Or???

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.06.11 15:09:31 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 16) : just played his first game back last weekend

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.06.11 15:11:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • The Bulls have got that guy Frik Kirsten if the Sharks are looking to buy. He might be a little expensive tho.

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.06.11 15:12:15 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : thank you. That’s good news.

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.06.11 15:13:11 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 18) : I don’t think he is available nor ‘experienced’ enough.

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.06.11 15:19:16 by war1 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Maybe it would be better to actually pen the article and let us all in on the setup thats bugging you. Im sure if done unemotionally and constructively it will at most ilicit healthy debate but will also give us an idea of whats bugging you.

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.06.11 15:19:33 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 18) : I don’t think he is available and neither is he ‘experienced’ enough.

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.06.11 15:19:39 by war1 Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 21) : I think you’re right… but I already sort of did write it once… “Sharks losing the numbers game”…

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.06.11 15:25:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • anyone able to get to White River on Saturday afternoon?

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.06.11 15:26:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : For what? Not that I would be able to get there.

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.06.11 15:28:08 by war1 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : where is white river?

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.06.11 15:30:22 by beet Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 25) : Sharks u21 warmup game

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.06.11 15:32:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 22) : I don’t think experience is an issue. Availability and/or willingness to leave Pretoria would be if he was considered.

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.06.11 15:32:28 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 26) : somewhere near Nelspruit

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.06.11 15:33:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 28) : I’m not saying he is not experienced enough to do the job.

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.06.11 15:34:46 by war1 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : Okay Nelspruit. One of the easiest places to get to from Durban.

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.06.11 15:34:58 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 31) : Are the flights cheap?

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.06.11 15:37:04 by war1 Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 31) : secret tunnel, is there?

    Or am I getting mixed up with Cluedo?

  • Comment 33, posted at 29.06.11 15:37:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 32) : @robdylan (Comment 33) : My friend’s girlfriend works there. He finds it easier to fly to Jozi and rent a car to drive down to Nelspruit rather than drive there directly from Durbs.

  • Comment 34, posted at 29.06.11 15:45:57 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 34) : so you gonna head down for the game, then? πŸ™‚

  • Comment 35, posted at 29.06.11 15:54:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • White river is about 7 hours by road from Durban u can fly to Nelspruit then drive there – 40 mins or so, going through there in 2 weeks to KP for 10 days. πŸ™‚

  • Comment 36, posted at 29.06.11 16:44:06 by Caratacus Reply

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  • @Caratacus (Comment 36) : thanks… although I already knew where it was πŸ™‚

  • Comment 37, posted at 29.06.11 17:25:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • Surely they`ll go with Van Staden and Herbst?

    Or do you expect Heinke or Mujati to join us ? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 29.06.11 17:43:10 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 38) : Mujati is a tighthead. This is unusual for the Sharks, to be solid and deep at tighthead, but be running out of loosehead options. Where is Heinke playing now?

  • Comment 39, posted at 29.06.11 18:09:09 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • The Sharks turned Cilliers into a tighthead from a loosehead, because we had an abundance of looseheads and a shortage of tightheads. Then we allowed him to go to the Lions. Could have used him at loosehead.

    What is most worrisome is that other than Beast, we don’t have another loosehead available for SupeRugby next season. Either the youngsters must get blooded in the Currie Cup 2011 or the Sharks must look at purchasing another loosehead.

  • Comment 40, posted at 29.06.11 18:11:44 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 38) : Heinke vd Merwe? Hmmm…. #howtostartarumour

  • Comment 41, posted at 29.06.11 18:15:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 40) : actually, it was the other way round… Pat started as a 3 (remember him bursting onto the scene in the 2006 Super 12?)

  • Comment 42, posted at 29.06.11 18:16:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 40) : @robdylan (Comment 42) : We seem to have a recent history of converting no. 3’s to no. 1’s, only to let them go. Carstens, Cilliers… Ok, maybe calling two props a “history” is stretching it

  • Comment 43, posted at 29.06.11 18:20:13 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Ive played against Heinke once and weren’t impressed by him. Very strong but not very technical

  • Comment 44, posted at 29.06.11 18:26:38 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : Rob, he did burst onto the scene as a 3, but he was a 1 leading up to that. I was actually very surprised they started him at 3 with Carstens at 1, since I thought Carstens had much more experience at 3, and Cilliers natural position was 1. So yes, he burst onto the scene as a 3, but until that match, I am almost positive he was a 1. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.06.11 18:26:48 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 43) : Actually, the best move in Carstens career was moving to 1. His loose play was much better suited to loosehead. He was a good scrummaging prop on either side of the scrum, but he was so quick around the pitch, he was definitely best utilized at 1.

  • Comment 46, posted at 29.06.11 18:27:52 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 44) : I always thought that Heinke was a very strong scrummager, but offered almost nothing else around the pitch.

  • Comment 47, posted at 29.06.11 18:30:37 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 47) : Howzit, uncle DB.

  • Comment 48, posted at 29.06.11 18:35:23 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 48) : Howzit Ben, finally brought myself to the point I could post here again after the debacle on Saturday πŸ˜‰ So frustrating, but also proud the Sharks were able to make the playoffs.

    Hope all is well with you?

  • Comment 49, posted at 29.06.11 18:37:15 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 38) : Well it`ll be easy to turn Mujati into a loosehead but he can still provide tighthead cover. Win Win.

  • Comment 50, posted at 29.06.11 18:37:58 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 50) : Just as easy to turn Van Staden or Herbst into a loosehead no?

  • Comment 51, posted at 29.06.11 18:39:09 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • OK, I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for years, we are short on loosehead cover, I can’t believe nobody has mentioned signing Kees Lensing! πŸ˜† :mrgreen: 😈

  • Comment 52, posted at 29.06.11 18:40:04 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 49) : All is well thanks. Such a disappointing game.

    You are proud are you? To me its been a massive failure. Honestly with the squad we have we should at least have finished 4th on the log.

    I’m disgusted, not proud. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 53, posted at 29.06.11 18:41:06 by Ben Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 51) : Not really, we need them both to start in their original positions right now.

  • Comment 54, posted at 29.06.11 18:45:59 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 53) : I didn’t say they could not have played better, just proud they made the playoffs. Even with the poor season as you so accurately point out, the Sharks were still the second best team in SA, no doubt.

  • Comment 55, posted at 29.06.11 18:47:50 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 54) : ummmmm both are tightheads, so how do they both start in their original position? Only one tighthead in a starting team. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 56, posted at 29.06.11 18:48:30 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 56) : I thought Van Staden played loosehead for us already?

    Sorry my mistake. πŸ™„

  • Comment 57, posted at 29.06.11 18:50:42 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 57) : just teasing a bit, I think Van Staden may have had some game time at 1, but he is definitely a 3.

    Maybe you should actually read Rob’s whole article first. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€
    “Another option is to move Eugene van Staden into the number 1 shirt and let Wiehahn Herbst develop at tighthead. Of the youngster we have, Herbst represents, to my mind, the lowest risk approach since he’s arguably already proved himself at Super Rugby level. That said, with little cover at tighthead either should Herbst need replacing, one of the young props already mentioned would need to feature in the match 22 regardless.”

  • Comment 58, posted at 29.06.11 18:53:04 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • OK, off to a meeting, cheers everyone! πŸ™‚

  • Comment 59, posted at 29.06.11 18:58:39 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 59) : Enjoy Uncle.

  • Comment 60, posted at 29.06.11 18:59:50 by Ben Reply
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  • I think this watered down Currie Cup season will be a good time to blood some of the talent on offer. Dale Chadwick should be one of the players given every oppo to prove that he has what it takes. The Sharks have already shown some faith in his ability by taking him on tour as an out of possie TH nogal. He’s meant to be a pedigree after all having made SA Schools along with the much maligned Coenie O.

  • Comment 61, posted at 29.06.11 19:09:51 by beet Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 47) : Spot on. Heinke is probably the best scrummaging prop that SA has…but as you say doesn’t offer much else

  • Comment 62, posted at 29.06.11 19:47:09 by Villie Reply
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  • Carstens was a very good loosehead but an average to poor tighthead. He got shown up as a tighthead at international level and the best thing for his career was to move back to number 1!

  • Comment 63, posted at 29.06.11 19:48:41 by Villie Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 61) : Seems that you, me, the rest of Sharksworld, the thinking rugby public, the public in general and the homeless man on the corner who thinks I am Shiva reborn understands that this Currie Cup is the time to develop young players. Think the light will go on in the corridors of Sharks HQ? Personally, I’m not holding my breath πŸ™„

  • Comment 64, posted at 29.06.11 19:53:29 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 64) : Since SupeRugby is now the pinnacle of provincial rugby in SA, the Currie Cup should become the time to develop youth. With both the Vodacom Cup and the Currie Cup, there are lots of opportunities now to give our youngsters significant game time through the year.

  • Comment 65, posted at 29.06.11 20:12:03 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 65) : Which again begs the question – why are the Sharks so poor at doing it? We have all the tools; an academy that could act as feeder system, the financial clout to recruit the best youth, multi-skilled, experienced players in the senior squad that should make it easier to accommodate new guys… *sigh*

  • Comment 66, posted at 29.06.11 20:42:32 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 64) : @Dancing Bear (Comment 65) : with the tri-nation and the WC being played at the same time, the CC will be 2nd string this year(accept for the real rugga lovers of cause)…
    Its sad to think that the CC may become a breeding place for something other than “springbok span” but we have to give the youngsters game time/exposure.

  • Comment 67, posted at 29.06.11 20:49:07 by franshark Reply
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  • @villie:can remember heinke playing for the sharks in the 2006 super14.even think he sarted vs the chiefs?(The game ruan pienaar scored that great try,side-stepping mils mileaena(sp?) ).but what I can remenber of him,and which stood out for me then,was in that crucial game vs stormers in dbn(remember the try waylon murray scored in the corner?).there was a loose ball and players from both sides going towards it,but it was heinke vd merwe who dived onto the ball to secure it for the sharks.showed real commitment and desire from the 20 year_old.was sad that the sharks couldn’t keep him for the cc or manage to get his services in later years.but the ones who know something about scrumming rated him very highly and that commitment to win a crucial loose ball,is all I want from my prop.how was his tackling at the lions near the end of his career with them?or maybe the case of a player that has already lost heart?I somehow remember seeing him a few times at lions and thinking his defence not so great..?

  • Comment 68, posted at 29.06.11 23:03:57 by bergshark Reply

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  • @bergshark (Comment 68) : Heinke never played for the Sharks. He went to Leinster from the Lions.

  • Comment 69, posted at 29.06.11 23:54:53 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 69) : He played Super 12/14 for us, on loan from the Lions.

  • Comment 70, posted at 30.06.11 00:00:54 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 70) : Oh I see.

  • Comment 71, posted at 30.06.11 00:18:14 by Ben Reply
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  • My apologies. I count remember him playing for us so I went and checked on Wikipedia. There they say he only played for the Lions and Leinster.

  • Comment 72, posted at 30.06.11 00:42:58 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 72) : couldn’t remember. I’m typing too fast for my brain to keep up! πŸ™„ πŸ™‚

  • Comment 73, posted at 30.06.11 00:44:43 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 72) : No worries. That’s like a random piece of trivia.

  • Comment 74, posted at 30.06.11 00:48:44 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 74) : What are you still doing up? Isn’t it past your bed time already? πŸ™‚

  • Comment 75, posted at 30.06.11 00:50:56 by Ben Reply
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  • Heinke played his SupeRugby Debut in 2006 for the Sharks against the Chiefs. Confirmation of this on the Lions website here:

    http://www.lionsrugby.co.za/index.php/archives/298-heinke-van-der-merwe

  • Comment 76, posted at 30.06.11 15:47:40 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 76) : He is a very short prop, only 1,71 Metres.

  • Comment 77, posted at 30.06.11 15:48:58 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 77) : can that be right? I’m not convinced.

    I’m about 1.78 and I remember meeting Heinke… I’m sure it would have stuck in my memory if he was shorter than me

  • Comment 78, posted at 30.06.11 15:55:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 78) : Rob, look at the link I posted, that is where they list his height, and that is the official Lions website. Interesting because sports teams have a tendency to exaggerate the height and weight of players, not cut them short. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 79, posted at 30.06.11 16:09:23 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 79) : when you google Heinke vd Merwe and height, many of the listings indicate 1.82 which seems about right. 1.71 is really short was about the height of Frans Erasmus maybe.

  • Comment 80, posted at 30.06.11 16:53:07 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 80) : I don’t know, never met the guy, just stating what I saw on the “official” Lions site. I thought it was strange enough to mention it here, so it would not surprise me at all if he were much taller.

  • Comment 81, posted at 30.06.11 16:58:45 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 81) : hehehe, Lions site lists him at 1.71 and 112 KG, Wikipedia lists him at 1.82 112 KG, and the Leinster site lists him at 1.83 and 109 KG. I bet one of those is probably pretty accurate. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 82, posted at 30.06.11 17:01:45 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 82) : Leinster also lists Steven Sykes, but no photo and no stats.

  • Comment 83, posted at 30.06.11 17:04:10 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear: have a match programme here,sharks vs reds 2006. Heinke vd Merwe is listed as 1.82m 111kg .

  • Comment 84, posted at 30.06.11 17:23:39 by bergshark Reply

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  • @bergshark (Comment 84) : 1.82 seems to be the most accurate listing. I am sure the 1.71 was a typo on the part of the Lions Official Website Administrator. πŸ˜†

  • Comment 85, posted at 30.06.11 17:29:52 by Dancing Bear Reply
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