A timely injection? (Or unwanted disruption)

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Springboks on 1 Aug 2011 at 07:17
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

It’s three rounds into the 2011 Currie Cup and the Sharks are sitting pretty, having won all three of their games to date. More impressively, though, two of those games have been against fellow “top five” opposition, with a squad containing close to a dozen players who are playing their first full season of Currie Cup rugby.

This happens every year, of course, with the Sharks unearthing a gem or two in the first few (understrength) rounds of the Currie Cup, only for the big boys to come in and take over once the Tri-Nations is over. What makes 2011 different is the fact that so many of these youngsters are coming through all at the same time and lifting their games – as a unit – to deliver, frankly, some of the most exciting rugby we’ve seen from the Sharks in quite some time.

The away leg of the Tri-Nations is over, though and we should expect an injection of experience as a few of the players who went along on that tour are released to the Currie Cup. Making life a little more difficult, though, is the fact that the Sharks are unlikely to receive quite as much of a boost as certain other teams, given that many of our players, I feel, enhanced their reputations on the disastrous tour down under. Certainly the likes of Pat Lambie, Jean Deysel and Lwazi Mvovo did enough, I’d think , to warrant further selection for the home leg of the Tri-Nations, at least, if not the World Cup itself.

The Sharks, though, should probably expect that Ryan Kankowski, Alistair Hargreaves, Odwa Ndungane and Charl McLeod will be released to play this weekend, while the fact that Adi Jacobs is a contracted Bok player means he may be forced to sit out even if he’s not still in the immediate Bok plans. With Ross Skeate in doubt for the weekend’s Kimberley trip, Hargreaves’s inclusion will be a real boost, while McLeod and Conrad Hoffman (who should be fit to play again) will add much-needed experience at scrumhalf. Ndungane’s experience is such that you simply can’t leave him out either – ditto Kankowski – and it’s in these two cases that the Sharks coaches are going to have to do some quick thinking in order not to disrupt combinations that seem to be playing very well at the moment. Certainly in the loose forwards, it would be wrong to drop Marcell Coetzee for Kankowski, while the back three of Mark Richards, Sbura Sithole and Louis Ludik was also in exceptional form on Saturday.

Plenty to think about for the Sharks coaches as a new week starts.


  • Its a tough call for Plum and the boys. But I think they have to go with the returning Boks unless they have any injuries or niggles. The youngsters have done really well and I dont think the game plan should be changed at all, well besides an improvement in defense, but Plum cant really leave out his top contracted players! That would make no sense. It is unfortunate for the youngsters but a few that have put up their hands will retain their place i think!

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.08.11 08:29:08 by SheldonK Reply
  • In the tribune Plum sais while the bok boost is wellcome they will have to compete for their spot in the team they will not be immediate inclusions. The pack is just fine as is leave it as is, is my honest opinion! Even our line outs are working! Which haven’t for the entire! And do we really whant to have Sburra’s pace on bench? As much as I love Odwa I would start Sburra rather

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.08.11 08:35:34 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply
    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • Man these youngsters really stepped it up – it would be a pity to disrupt the unity of the team now…just my opinion…

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.08.11 08:41:10 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • I agree with Ice, these youngsters really stepped up, personally I feel that Ross Cronje had a very good game this weekend, he was all over the place looking for the ball and making it available for at least two great tries (Jacques’ try and Sithole’ try). Allistair could really came in handy at lock but maybe Plum should let the youngsters start and let the others play from the bench…Just my housewife’s opinion 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.08.11 08:58:56 by Nita Reply

  • I’m gonna sit back and enjoy the ride. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.08.11 09:20:34 by JarsonX Reply
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  • The ONLY definite change I would call for is at 9.

    The other will be difficult calls.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.08.11 09:21:07 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Ross Cronje had a good game in the first half, I feel he let himself down in the second. There was a little more pressure on him and he didn’t react well.

    Instead of using less time on the ball he got caught with possesion quite a lot.

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : I think I would play him again this weekend, with Hoffman or McLeod on the bench. He has potential to become an excellent player and I feel Plum needs to show some faith.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.08.11 10:10:19 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : hoffman will be back at some point and mcleod 🙄

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.08.11 10:11:21 by rekinek Reply
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  • The only changes I would make to the 22 for this weekend would be Hargreaves for Skeate if Skeate is injured, if not leave it as is. And Hoffmann to start if he is ready. Let the returning Boks recover from all of that travel and give them them time to slot back into the Sharks way of doing things.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.08.11 10:38:37 by war1 Reply
  • i thought the Bok players wern’t going to play the CC

    but it would be great to see them play and a shame to see the youngster back to their team mates again

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.08.11 11:08:55 by chaz Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 3) : agree they helped win sofar but this happens year in and year out

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.08.11 11:11:02 by chaz Reply

  • @war1 (Comment 9) : I will leave Jandre Marais as lock pairing with Bressler. They know each other very well from age group. Look at their stats and you will see that Marais had an outstanding game although he only played 60 minutes.

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.08.11 12:44:08 by FS Shark Reply

    FS Shark
  • Can’t wait to see Hofman getting a run again. He can provide a lot of additional play making at 9.

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.08.11 12:50:27 by Viking Reply
  • kanko on the bench,macleod on the bench.would like to see what jandre marais and bresler bring to the team in combo again.therefore either hargs or skeate on the bench.

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.08.11 13:02:16 by bergshark Reply

  • @FS Shark (Comment 12) : I can definitely live with that. Plum needs to be very careful in managing the returning Boks, as the headline of this article implies.

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.08.11 13:05:25 by war1 Reply
  • 1.Chadwick
    8.Daniel (C)

    17.van Staden

    AS little disruption as possible. As unfair as it may seem, I think Sithole will drop out of the 22, to give Ndungane a chance to get 40 minutes to slot back in, in time for the Province match. Kankowski is a no-brainer on the bench. Cronje has matured tremendously, he has shown some rather impressive counter-attacking ability, and not withstanding his occasional lapse, I’d start him this weekend, with a view to playing McLeod against Province.

    Any chance that SARU could buy Gerhard Mostert out of his French contract so that we can keep him around?

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.08.11 13:27:23 by MerckZ Reply

  • The following players have been released back to the Sharks


    Plum will have some hard decisions to make this week.

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.08.11 15:17:18 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 17) : Deysel must have impressed enough to stay with the group them. I see Steyn has not been released so he must still be 2nd choice flyhalf after Butch. 🙄

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.08.11 15:20:03 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 17) :

    Mostert also not released from Bok squad…..good for him!

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.08.11 15:23:01 by Pokkel Reply
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