Sharks player ratings: the Semi-Final

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 24 Oct 2011 at 09:34
Tagged with : , , , ,

Once again, Saturday’s performance against the Cheetahs was one of two halves and if we were to rate the Sharks players based solely on a first-half where they took a 13-3 hammering, there wouldn’t be all that many high numbers. The second half, though, was won to the tune of 17-0 and most of the guys redeemed themselves superbly. Let’s look at the individual performances.

1) Beast Mtawarira. A superb comeback game for Tendai, who I felt was one of the most influential forwards on the park, particularly in the second half. Scrummed well throughout and was deadly on the drive, scoring the vital first try in the process. 8/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. A somewhat subdued performance from Bissie. Technically very good in the scrums and lineouts and did manage one or two trademark steals, but did very little with ball in hand and guilty of the overly-upright position on the drive that has seen him concede turnovers in the past. 6/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. Absolutely murdered the highly-rated Marcell van der Merwe in the scrums, but was quiet otherwise. 6/10
4) Jean Deysel. Starting to look a little uncomfortable at lock and one feels that the Sharks may now be erring on the side of having too many ball carriers on the field – and not quite enough guys doing the grunt work at ruck time. Deysel conceded a few silly penalties for going off his feet at the breakdown too. 6/10
5) Ross Skeate. Bossed the lineout in a truly masterful display and got stuck into the tight phases effectively. Skeate has become a great asset to this side as his play his so consistent. 7/10
6) Keegan Daniel. A quiet first half, in which the Sharks tried to play the wrong game, was overshadowed by a monstrous, all-action second forty that saw Keegan emerge as official man of the match. Keegan operates best when the rest of the forwards are keeping it tight and sucking in defenders and when this happens, his skills come to the fore. 8/10
7) Willem Alberts. Another who started quietly, before going on to produce a storming showing. 7/10
8) Ryan Kankowski. Wasn’t afforded the same space to run as he was against the Lions, but showed the value of his tighter game with some strong work. Also worked to turn some quite dodgy possession into reasonable go-forward ball for the Sharks. 7/10

9) Conrad Hoffmann. Very low error rate, couple with good decision-making and excellent execution. Hoffmann continues to improve and put in his best performance for the Sharks to date. 8/10
10) Fred Michalak. Took an early knock, which clearly unsettled him as he only last 29 minutes. In that time, looked unsure of himself and fluffed two really easy kicks. 5/10
11) JP Pietersen. Pietersen’s class simply oozes out in everything he does. His workrate is exemplary and something to which other wingers should strive. 7/10
12) Marius Joubert. A pretty good game from the veteran Bok, all things considered. Tackled strongly throughout – although he needs to watch the height – and kept defenders at bay with some strong carries when required. Not a flashy, expansive player any more, but this is knock-out rugby now… 7/10
13) Stefan Terblanche. The same comments can apply as did to Joubert. Not flashy, but solid and in a close game, the low error rate and strong defence is what you need. 7/10
14) Odwa Ndungane. Didn’t seem to get involved as much as we’d usually expect of him, but popped up when needed to score a crucial try. 7/10
15) Pat Lambie. Looked assured at fullback… and then looked utterly untouchable at flyhalf. The entire complexion of the game changed the moment Lambie moved in and started running the show. 9/10

16) Craig Burden. Not used
17) Eugene van Staden. Only had 10 minutes at the end, but seemed to struggle against Trevor Nyakane. Put in a few good carries, to make up for it. 6/10
18) Marcell Coetzee. A reasonable showing, but not quite the all-action display we’ve come to expect of him. 6/10
19) Jacques Botes. Only got 3 minutes to mark his 100th game.
20) Ross Cronje. Unused.
21) Adi Jacobs. Tried manfully in his 20 minutes and kept the defensive line intact. Few opportunities to weave his magic on attack, though. 6/10
22) Lwazi Mvovo. Ended up playing 50 minutes and looked dangerous throughout. Lwazi won many metres for his team with strong breaks upfield. 7/10


  • Very disappointed with the turn out of fans half an empty stadium was sad to see especially since I had some americans with me from my 12 strong group,and they kept comparing rugby to american football and how full they stadiums get ๐Ÿ‘ฟ but good 2nd half from the sharks maney well spent

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.10.11 09:51:08 by Poisy Reply
  • Any Sharksworlders from Durban going up for the final?

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.10.11 09:57:40 by Greg Reply

  • @Poisy (Comment 1) : As others have speculated, this may be due to the current economic climate in SA. I know of a lot of people up here in Gauteng who are feeling the pinch at the moment.

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.10.11 10:00:38 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : sigh it’s still sad to see ๐Ÿ™ but there’s always next year and maybe things will get better

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.10.11 10:03:14 by Poisy Reply
  • 10/10 for a team that looked nervous and rattled even(same as AB’s) in the first half to produce a good 2nd half in a game that matters..

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.10.11 10:03:33 by Franshark Reply
  • Oh ja, Goosen… Goosen who?

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.10.11 10:04:07 by Franshark Reply
  • @Franshark (Comment 6) : my sentiments exactly ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.10.11 10:05:54 by Poisy Reply
  • @Poisy (Comment 4) : its very sad, but I also think the amount of rugby we had this year with a longer S15 and the WC is also a factored but there should not have been excuses… Its after all a CC semi ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.10.11 10:07:24 by Franshark Reply
  • @Greg (Comment 2) : will you be there?

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.10.11 10:08:53 by Franshark Reply
  • Well done Sharks but let’s also give the Cheetah’s some credit. It must have been one of the strongest defensive displays I’ve seen from the Cheetahs in a long time. Alberts, Bissie and Deysel were heavily marked and especially the 2 Cheetah locks made some huge tackles.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.10.11 10:09:01 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Poisy (Comment 1) : 75000 pitched at Wembley, London to watch the Chicago Bears beat Tampa Bay in an NFL game

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.10.11 10:11:43 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Poisy (Comment 1) : Maybe with the American population at 300 million people and ours at a little less that’s to be expected. The same thing is happening in Aus and NZ where crowds are dwindling for the domestic competitions ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.10.11 10:13:29 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • I thought we gave them huge problems in the lineout, to the extent that no.2 ball became the order of the day, so a bit surprised that Skeate didn’t a score higher mark.

    I am a bit worried about our locks going into SR. Skeate has now emerged as the only specialist. I hope that the other guys can up their game in the offseason to at least persuade Plum to consider them.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.10.11 10:14:44 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @rhineshark (Comment 12) : They also have 32 teams + another 30+ really good College teams that pack stadiums weekly at higher ticket prices. But I guess they are a first world country with a much bigger middle class. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And their season is also much shorter. Someone mentioned this point about too much rugby and the effect it had on attendances, a week or so ago

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.10.11 10:19:12 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Franshark (Comment 8) : my thoughts exactly but eish it didn’t happen

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.10.11 10:20:38 by Poisy Reply
  • A few changes to those ratings.
    Conrad Hoffman – 5/10 he is terribly slow at getting the ball out to the backline. Seems to hesitate and then take 2 steps and then passes. The crowd at the game were voicing their frustration at this very thing.
    Tereblanche and Joubert – 5/20 combined. Passes not going to hand, Terblanche running into Michalak and effectively ending his game. Ok-ish defense although Stef missed one or two tackles but I for one dont think we can win this thing with these two in the midfield.
    Odwa had a superb game when going to FB I thought. Perhaps he should get the 15 jersey with lambie at 10 for the Final?

    Also, and most worryingly, Keegan seems to have no control as a captian. At some stages, when the Sharks were awarded a penalty, I saw Bissie pointing for the touch line, Stef pointing for poles and Keegan with his hands on his hips.
    He really doesnt have command of his players as a captain yet.

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.10.11 10:21:21 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @beet (Comment 14) : yeah much much shorter even for high schools its something like 11 games than play offs

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.10.11 10:22:50 by Poisy Reply
  • @beet (Comment 14) : I think another problem is the unprecedented live games coverage. It’s cheaper to get DSTV or SKY (where you get to watch all the sport plus sundry entertainment in the comfort of your home) than to take your family to the rugby every weekend.

    A simple case of finances and logistics, especially now that things are tight for many.

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.10.11 10:28:46 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • Just wanted to say it was more like a 4/1 and 4/3 game. The Cheetahs didn’t score a sigle point from the 23rd minute in the game. That says something about the performance, especially since we also started the game of really well, but just didn’t get the reward because of three bad kicks.

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.10.11 10:31:50 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Greg (Comment 2) : I am!

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.10.11 10:32:32 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I don’t know if it’s just me, but on a few occasions Conrad Hoffman was slow in getting the ball out of the loose. On turnover ball especially the ball needs to come out quickly and get fed to the backs so that they can run at the opposition. In general I think he had a decent game … but you just cannot stand behind a loose scrum and think about your options. It’s giving the opposition defense time to get set.

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.10.11 11:07:25 by Flintshark Reply

  • I also think that is one of the reasons our ball carriers were being tackled backwards …

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.10.11 11:11:16 by Flintshark Reply

  • @Flintshark (Comment 21) : number 4 lock is a problem as are our centers, next year I expect much of the same in super rugby …
    We should be looking at 2013 super rugby season if we want to be trophy contenders .

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.10.11 11:15:35 by Talent Reply
  • @Flintshark (Comment 21) : Sometimes the problem was that there was no-one to pass to. The ball carriers didn’t get into position fast enough. I see your point, but I think on this occasion it was more the ball carriers than it was hoffman, they also tried too go at it alone to much and run straight at the defence instead of trying to run into spaces.

    It chanced in the second half and so did the speed of Hoffman’s service.

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.10.11 11:17:06 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I agree Hoffman’s service was too slow. Ross Cronje getting no game time might be an indication that he will be playing in JHB next year.

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.10.11 11:22:07 by mikey Reply

  • We need to give our young locks game time … the only way that they are going to improve is by playing and learning. Somebody like Skeate is in my eyes a huge asset if he can show the guys the ropes. It’s a pity we lost Mossie but Bresler and Marais have the makings of great locks. Of course if Hargreaves is back to his best he will be No.5 lock … but once again game time is essential. You are not giving the guys a whole lot of confidence if you start using flankers at lock.

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.10.11 11:25:32 by Flintshark Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 24) : I still think Hoffman is a distant distant second to Mcleod and that may becuase Mcleod was one of the catalyst players in last years high tempo game

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.10.11 11:25:44 by Talent Reply
  • @John Galt (Comment 16) : 1. Now that you mention it, Flintshark might be right, Hoffman did take to long at times…I was one of the fans screaming for him to get it out.
    2. I think our center pair is safe, and for the final that will be enough, for the future…rubbish.
    3. You’re right, I also thought Odwa had a great game, and would love to see the team selected as it was after Fred left the field.
    4. Keegan as captain also worried me. There were a few guys on the field that felt they needed to take some of the leadership responsibility as Keegan was just standing around when decisions had to be made. I also donโ€™t like the fact that he is the last man to the scrums and line-outs. His attitude between plays was very lacklustre, itโ€™s not something I want to see in a captain. Iโ€™ve been very disappointed this season. I expected more of him.
    He also never speaks to his team and disregards their queries on the ref. Which I have noticed, is frustrating for some players, since they would like to know whatโ€™s going on, and canโ€™t talk to the ref directly, but their captain wonโ€™t do it for them.
    Iโ€™m very happy with the way he stepped his general game up in the second half though.

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.10.11 11:29:49 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Okay, okay … Hoffman was too slow at times, but…

    I’m happy with the low error rate and the fact that he did get the ball out cleanly and did at times get the ball out quickly too.

    Maybe he just needs to get a better feel for when quick ball is important. I also felt we missed out a couple of times because of slow ball.

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.10.11 11:32:23 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Talent (Comment 27) : Yeah but he’s improved alot and had a clean game. If he can do the same in the Final, I’d be happy.

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.10.11 11:33:47 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • My Team for the final:
    3).Doc Jannie
    7).Willem Alberts/Jean Deysel
    9).Michalak (is this not the position he was contracted for)
    13).Oom Stef
    16).Herbst\Van Staden
    18).Deysel\ Alberts

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.10.11 11:40:15 by Flintshark Reply

  • Lambie was awesome: I have been looking for more structure from 10 for some weeks, given our average midfield, and Fred just isn’t that kind of player.

    Pat came in and brought structure and directness to the backline. In addition, his tackling noticeably stopped them getting over the Advantage Line in his channel – the lad can tackle!

    Also thought that JP’s physical presence really helped us out wide at times, when an ability to make yards up front meant that he had to take on a number of tacklers at a time with ball in hand.

    But really, this was a team performance, and the whole team should receive credit for responding in adversity as they did. Even the midfield were solid on defence and carried well in contact.

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.10.11 12:14:20 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Letgo (Comment 28) : You should be the Sharks Lady Rugga ๐Ÿ˜€

    I also get frustrated with the slow service by Sharks scrumhalves in general but 2 things I noticed is that:

    a) we’re not really a quickball/counter-attacking type team. Our guys never set in formations quickly enough to suggest this. It irritates me coz I think we lose some of our decoy strategy and look a bit predictable.

    b) we are pretty much geared towards the big ballcarriers at the moment. This is where our strength lies. We have some guys who are really good at punching holes at the gainline and shifting defensive backwards In other words it makes sense to slow things down and give the set up pop and drives for these ballcarriers and their 1st arriving supporters.

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.10.11 12:20:40 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • The RWC won by Kiwi’s, and now a Kiwi will also win the CC!

  • Comment 34, posted at 24.10.11 12:53:52 by Ice Ice Bokkie Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • In recent weeks i have said that Lambie should stay at 15, but watching him on Sat was like watching 2 different players. While at 15 he coasted and things seemed to be easy and he didnt have too much to do and didnt look for much. When he moved to 10 there seemed to be a spark in him and the pace of the game etc changed. Michalak has looked a bit off his game and I just wonder if he is carrying niggling injuries or is just tired. Without a doubt Stef should go back to 15 with Adi starting and Lambie at 10 for the final. And please Mr Plumtree, include a goalkicker on the bench in case the 2 on the field get the jitters, Sat could have ended badly!

  • Comment 35, posted at 24.10.11 13:49:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • Eish… Very leniant to Hofman and Joubert.

  • Comment 36, posted at 24.10.11 14:15:38 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @beet (Comment 33) : I’m not air-heady enough to become anything called lady rugga. I tried out, they didn’t like me, but the persons involved didn’t know anything about rugby, so I dind’t mind to much.

    I’m much better at putting my thoughts into words when I’m writing anyway.

  • Comment 37, posted at 24.10.11 16:29:03 by Letgo Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 33) : Thanks btw! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Comment 38, posted at 24.10.11 16:29:31 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 37) : You’re probably right about the airhead stuff requirement. I must say tho that LR does much better on tellie than she did as a 5fm DJ.

  • Comment 39, posted at 24.10.11 16:44:29 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Letgo (Comment 38) : You have a good technical knowledge and eye for detail.

  • Comment 40, posted at 24.10.11 16:45:08 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Ice Ice Bokkie (Comment 34) : But maybe a Frenchman will have the last say this time. Who knows. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 41, posted at 24.10.11 16:45:48 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Flintshark (Comment 31) : you really want to throw Fred in at 9 for the Currie Cup final when he hasn’t played even one minute there this whole season?

    Wow, you’re like the anti-Plum ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Comment 42, posted at 24.10.11 16:46:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • A few comments here about hoffman being to slow to get the ball out. Which is true, but i dont think it was his fault. I’m sure he knows quick ball is better. The blame here is plum, bcos hoffman didnt know what to do with the ball, this points to lack of game plan. Also i would point at the other players who were not interested in being in the correct position at the right time.

  • Comment 43, posted at 24.10.11 20:34:44 by cody007 Reply


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