robdylan

Cometh the hour, cometh the man


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 18 Oct 2011 at 06:58
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Sharks fans will universally look back in horror when recalling the last time the Cheetahs came to Durban to play in a Currie Cup semi-final. That was in 2009 and with the table-sopping Sharks expected to cruise through the semi-final on their way to a home final, it was instead the visitors who emerged with the unlikeliest of victories.

The architect of the Cheetahs victory that day was their enigmatic flyhalf – a man who scored 18 of his side’s 23 points including a try, two conversions, two penalties and, most crucially, a 79th-minute drop goal to give his team the unlikeliest of 2-point victories after the hosts had stormed out to a 15-3 lead by half time. That man was Jacques-Louis Potgieter, these days to be found cutting a mostly forlorn figure on the Sharks bench, if not in the stands, with the Sharks coaches seemingly only deigning to pick him in the match 22 when there is nobody else fit.

Potgieter, some will say, had his big chance earlier in the season, when injury forced Pat Lambie out for a few weeks. Handed his favourite number 10 jersey ahead of the big game against the Crusaders in London, Potgieter will admit that he fluffed his lines a little, particularly when it came to goal kicking. The Sharks backs were ruthlessly exposed on defence that day, with Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams breaching the line seemingly at will and Potgieter seems to have been saddled with most of the blame for that showing – unfairly so, if you ask me. To my mind, his play at flyhalf during the Super 15 was of a high standard, with option-taking and distribution in particular a stand-out feature of his game.

I’m not advocating a return to flyhalf, of course. With the debate in Sharksworld circles currently raging about which of Pat Lambie or Fred Michalak should be entrusted with number 10 this weekend, the last thing we need is another name in the hat. Potgieter showed against the Lions on Saturday – in only 20 minutes on the field – that he remains a superbly versatile option that can be used anywhere in the backline. He was forced to play wing last week and after initially putting in some big hits on defence, proceeded to rip the Lions’ defence to shreds in the process of setting up a late try for Stefan Terblanche.

Potgieter, in other words, is a solid distributor and playmaker who knows how to break the line and has showed, in the past, that he has the temperament for big rugby matches. Taking these factors into account, I can see no reason not to give him a start against his old team on Saturday, in the number 12 jersey, where Marius Joubert continues to be disappointing. With Michalak and Lambie taking pressure off Potgieter by being first and second-choice goal-kickers respectively, Jacques-Louis would be free to concentrate all his efforts on creating space for the deadliest outside back division in the Currie Cup, a mouth-watering prospect to say the least.

I can think of no more fitting way to ensure a fairy-tale ending for the Sharks on Saturday than for Potgieter to unbreak the hearts he played such a big part in breaking 2 years ago, by putting in a massive performance to help his team mates advance to the Currie Cup final. Call me an old romantic if you must, but from a purely pragmatic point of view, I’d prefer to face the Cheetahs with our own match-winning drop goal specialist on the field, knowing that theirs, young flyhalf Johan Goosen, will need no second invitation to win a close game with his massive boot.


44 Comments

  • Soooooooo amped for this game! Shark tank here we come 😀

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.10.11 07:06:10 by Poisy Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 1) : it’s gonna be a blast!

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.10.11 07:10:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : are there curtain raisers?

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.10.11 07:12:21 by Poisy Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 3) : I’m sure there will be, but I’m not sure who/what…

    Won’t be the u21s, unfortunately, cos they’re playing in the Cape on Friday night.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.10.11 07:14:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : okay thanks

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.10.11 07:15:34 by Poisy Reply
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  • Agree. JLP deserves another chance, not sure about starting though.

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.10.11 07:21:46 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 6) : I’m sure he should start at 12 but not sure Plumtree agrees.

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.10.11 07:31:10 by Ben Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 6) : @Ben (Comment 7) : Actually he should start at 12. Can’t be worse than Joubert, even if he tried 😈

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.10.11 07:35:27 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Frankly, I’d be happy to see JLP in either the 12 or 13 jumper. He’s a good distributor, but as we saw again this weekend, he also runs really good lines, and is actually quite elusive.

    The most important thing though was that in the small cameo afforded to him this last weekend, he played like someone with unwavering commitment to the Sharks cause, and that, more than anything else is what impressed me.

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.10.11 07:37:06 by Culling Song Reply
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  • We bumped to JLP at the Kearsney Schoolboy Rugby Festival over Easter. My friend’s 11 year old got an autograph from him. He came across as a friendly genuine down to earth guy.

    I understand completely that it’s what a player does on the field that wins the fans over. I imagine these will be his last few weeks as a Shark so I really hope he can go out on a high note and have at least a couple of good memories of his time with us to think back on one day.

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.10.11 08:01:31 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) :

    There is no curtain raiser on Saturday Rob..

    Only the one game..

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.10.11 08:07:16 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 11) : This is an area in which the Union needs to catch a wake up. The marketing should have have a continguency plan that could have kicked in once the home semi was confirmed. A bit of creativity to give rise to the impression that non-season ticket holders are getting some extra value for money wouldn’t hurt their attempts to put more bums in seats.

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.10.11 08:14:54 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 12) :

    I agree dude..

    Get the frigging Boswell Circus if you must, but don’t just leave it empty.. So all we get to see is the teams warming up, some women dancing (which is always good) and then the match..

    Where are the duikers?

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.10.11 08:17:34 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • My choice is Freddy @10, Lambs @ 15 and [email protected] and JLP @ 13…is Bosman ready to fly this weekend?

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.10.11 08:26:00 by Ice Ice Bokkie Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 13) : They do have Boswell Circus…Hugh Reece Edwards. JLP should have been moved to 1st center 8 months ago, but for some reason that clown has decided uncreative Bosman and going nowhere Joubert are better.
    @Ice Ice Bokkie (Comment 14) : I would drop Bosman move JLP to 12 and Stefan to 13. Stefan isn’t my favourite player, but Plumtree loves the guy so he will be picked. Even better would be 9 Michalak 10 Lambie 12 Bosman 13 JLP and Stefan at 15.

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.10.11 08:36:38 by waje Reply

     
  • @Ice Ice Bokkie (Comment 14) : I heard he’d broken his cheekbone so that’s his season done.

    I’d actually like to see JLP at inside centre. Think he has the distribution skills to really kickstart our backline.

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.10.11 08:39:27 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Ice Ice Bokkie (Comment 14) : ja, bossie is out for the season, pet. Adi might be fit though…

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.10.11 08:42:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : Pity! Ok then JLP @12 and [email protected] (but my guess would be ST)

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.10.11 08:52:10 by Ice Ice Bokkie Reply
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  • Firstly on the curtain raiser issue…what about the KZN 7s side or Womens side playing a game. Those teams hardly get any exposure. Just a thought-probably wont ever happen. As for JLP i think he and sum others have been dealt a bad hand. The Sharks appeared to have created a good squad for the season but then continued to play the same guys over and over unless injury intervened. JLP isnt international quality i dont think but he is one of the better domestic players. I would love to see a 10,12,13 combo of Viljoen,Bosman and JLP next year…again probably wont happen though.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.10.11 09:01:36 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Was never really too excited about JLPs play but I never thought he was a bad player certainly deserving of a start somewhere or at least a big part of a match 22.

    Is he sticking around with the Sharks for 2012 or looking to go elsewhere?

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.10.11 09:06:06 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • As I recall it was Ruan Pienaar who handed them the victory on a silver platter . . .

    Luckily he won`t be there this weekend so we should be okay?

    Goosen will be back for them which is a bit of a worry . . .

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.10.11 09:19:05 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • that was a classic match, i still see jlp in my mind taking the drop, turning around even before the ball has sailed past the posts and PUMPING his fists in the air with a “eat that” look on his face. i 😛 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: love rugby

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.10.11 09:23:08 by Megatron Reply

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  • I remember Brussow having the game of his life. With Johnson and Mapoe playing well. I had to leave the stadium before the final lineout as I could see the future. I’m not too sure about JLP’s defence.

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.10.11 09:44:04 by mikey Reply

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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 21) : ja dude, but according to your version ruan pienaar also created cancer and caused the first world war…

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.10.11 09:47:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • Jacques-Louis Potgieter far too slow to ever play centre, in my opinion.

    You can forget about doing much with him in the 13 jersey.

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.10.11 09:48:39 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 25) :

    Wouldn’t mind him as a short-term solution in the 12 jersey though.

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.10.11 09:50:29 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @Megatron (Comment 22) : Have to agree on those lovely rugby moments, it happened again to me this last weekend, about 7 times actually, every time one of those Bolanders showed exactly what they thought of the mighty EP Kings.

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.10.11 10:05:48 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 25) : Neither player has serious pace but I’d love to know who is quicker between him and Lambie over 40m.

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.10.11 10:06:19 by beet Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 27) : 😈

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.10.11 10:09:39 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 28) :

    I’d back Lambie by far. Wouldn’t call him slow at all.

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.10.11 10:13:38 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @beet (Comment 28) : I would love to know the times of the whole backline over 40m…think could be interesting!

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.10.11 10:22:53 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 31) :

    You’d be better off testing their explosiveness through vertical jumps etc.

    How often does a rugby player run 40m? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.10.11 10:26:26 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 32) : Its those times that he thru a half gap and needs to run 40m that counts. U can be explosive and bust a tackle but if u dont go anywhere after that whats the point. Id love to know who is the fastest prop in the Sharks side.

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.10.11 10:40:20 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 33) : If I had to venture a guess I’d say it’s probably Beast. Eugene van Staden is pretty quick for a prop too.

    @Salmonoid (Comment 27) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.10.11 12:59:34 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 27) : 😀 good for you

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.10.11 13:07:43 by Megatron Reply

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  • @Megatron (Comment 35) : Thanks.

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.10.11 13:23:49 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • I don’t think JLP is too slow for 13 at all

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.10.11 13:32:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 34) : Yeh it probably could be Beast hey. And JLP def not too slow for 13…anyone remember him out running the Sharks to score for the Bulls when he played 13?

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.10.11 13:57:48 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I don’t think I’d be mad ro see JLP in the starting 15 for the semi’s, but I don’t think Plum would do anything as risky. He hasn’t played much rugby for a while. Plums fault unfortunately, but that rules him out as a starter for me.

  • Comment 39, posted at 18.10.11 14:28:54 by Letgo Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 32) : I think both tests are equally important but if you want to know who’s faster, the vertical jump ain’t gonna tell you that. 🙂

  • Comment 40, posted at 18.10.11 14:45:05 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 40) : @Letgo (Comment 102) : Do you remember the name of the Englishman who played a few games at flyhalf for the Sharks in about 1994? It was Charteris or Charters. Something like that.

    Comment 103, posted at 18.10.11 08:47:55 by beet

    @beet (Comment 103) : Are you trying to figure out my age? Or do you have a genuine question following my answer?

    I was hoping to find you somewhere on the site…I’m curious to see where you’re going with this.

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.10.11 14:48:29 by Letgo Reply
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  • Sorry to interrupt everyone’s who’s faster, who can jump the highest debate. 🙂

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.10.11 14:49:42 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 42) : I can’t keep up with you.

    If you’re not prepared to disclose your age, there is no point pursuing this conversation. :mrgreen:

    Jokes. I answered on the other thread just just before you posted this comment 42

  • Comment 43, posted at 18.10.11 14:52:15 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 43) : Cool, I’ll go have a look.

  • Comment 44, posted at 18.10.11 15:04:40 by Letgo Reply
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