robdylan

Botes to miss the final cut?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 26 Oct 2011 at 08:55
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

He came onto the field in the 77th minute of last week’s semi-final, earning his 100th Currie Cup cap in the process, but for all his stalwart service over the last 5 years, don’t be too surprised to see Jacques Botes ommitted from the match 22 when coach John Plumtree names his Sharks side for the Currie Cup Final.

It was quite telling that Botes came on for Ross Skeate last week, the latter having played an inordinate amount of rugby over the last month or so. With the Sharks experimenting with Jean Deysel at tight lock – a move which adds to the ball-carrying prowess of the pack, while arguably removing a lineout option – Skeate has been the only recognised second-rower in the match 22 and Plumtree has in recent weeks fielded an extra loose forward on the bench.

The role that Botes played on Saturday though – coming on with minutes to spare, thus forcing Ryan Kankowski into the second row to partner Willem Alberts – makes no sense and, to my mind, is not something the Sharks need or can afford to carry into the final. With Alistair Hargreaves again fit, my feeling is that he must certainly be recalled to the number 18 jersey to provide proper tight five cover and another safe lineout option should Skeate succumb to injury during the game.

That scenario would leave Botes to fight it out with young Marcell Coetzee for the number 19 spot and that decision simply has to go the way of the 20-year-old, based purely on utility value. While Botes is undoubtedly still valuable as a back-row playmaker, the fact that Keegan Daniel will be expected to play out the full 80 minutes as captain makes it unlikely that the Sharks would need Botes to perform that role and with both Deysel and Willem Alberts expected to get through a huge amount of work, having Coetzee available as another ball carrying option, able to slot in anywhere in the back row, should swing the selection argument in his favour.

I’ve long been of the opinion that the Sharks struggle when Daniel and Botes are on the field at the same time and with the side already lacking height and bulk due to Deysel’s inclusion at lock, having both in the match 22 to face the Lions’ forward onslaught would be too expensive a luxury to contemplate.


33 Comments

  • I don’t know what has got into Botes of late. Twice in the last few games he has been involved in real vuilgat of-the-ball stuff, such as deliberately shouldering players in the face at rucks. Totally out of character for him.

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.10.11 09:00:20 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 1) : maybe a little bit of frustration?

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.10.11 09:02:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • Why use Deysel at lock and not Alberts?

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.10.11 09:03:25 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 3) : Isn’t Deysel considered more of an open-side?

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.10.11 09:05:04 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 1) : He is frustrated thats why. He is still lucky to be in the side in my opinion. He is a good player but to play for the Sharks you need to be more than just “good”! Im not a fan of Deysel at lock as I feel that the best players should be on the field irrespective of position BUT the tight 5 must be specialists!

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.10.11 09:06:50 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JarsonX (Comment 3) : Deysel has performed well there in recent games

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.10.11 09:07:23 by mikey Reply

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  • @mikey (Comment 6) : So did Alberts and he’s taller πŸ˜€

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.10.11 09:10:13 by JarsonX Reply
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  • With regards to the lineouts the Sharks should not be overly concerned ..frankly its been our weakest set-piece all season.

    We don’t compete we’ll in the air but cover that with good defence on the ball reciever.
    Also Maku tends to throw more than usual skew balls during a match.

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.10.11 09:10:35 by CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! Reply

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  • Alberts should play lock in my opinion and deysel play openside taking this combo to even the super 15.our lineout is weak anyway why not have a weak lineout but buffer it will ball carrying abilities of alberts

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.10.11 09:14:56 by Poisy Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : I can understand that, but his attitude sucks. Against the Cheetahs he did it to Andries Strauss and then laughed about it when we got penalised.

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.10.11 09:19:22 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 3) :
    Alberts is more a more devastating 7 than Deysel, simple as that.
    Plum wont want to tie Willem up in the tight stuff which is exactly what will happen if you play him at 4.

    Odd selection policies by Plum indeed.

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.10.11 09:21:51 by John Galt Reply

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  • @JarsonX (Comment 7) :continuity is crucial going into a final πŸ™‚

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.10.11 09:21:53 by mikey Reply

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  • @rhineshark (Comment 10) : wow πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.10.11 09:22:11 by Poisy Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :
    Yeah, out and out frustration.
    It happens when a player is trying too hard to make a point and ends up playing the type of game he’s not known for.

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.10.11 09:26:09 by John Galt Reply

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  • @rhineshark (Comment 10) :
    I doubt it was meant to be vindictive. Botes is a devout Christian and a real gent by all accounts.

    However, if you have ever watched him at a live game, you will know that he absolutely flies into rucks from 20 metres out – kamikaze style. I used to worry that he would hurt himself – but maybe a tad of rust means that he is inaccurate and may possibly hurt others instead.

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.10.11 09:30:25 by Big Fish Reply
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  • I like Alberts for lock and Deysel at flank as well, but we`ve gone down this track now and it seems to be working . . . why change it now?

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.10.11 09:38:08 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • Just becuase Alberts plays at Looseforward doesn’t mean he can’t jump in the lineout πŸ™„ It is about the balance of the pack…we have 3 looseforwards who are good in the lineouts, Deysel is a bit slower than he was before his long term injury; but his physical nature, Strength at the breakdown and ball carrying is immense…he can easily play the role of an enforcer at 4, when we have a backrow with the good lineout attributes.

    The mix in our pack is great, We have two guys who compete at the breakdown (Not primary role). Deysel and Bissie. We have 4 close in Big ball carriers, Bissie, Deysel, Willem and Beast. We have 2 guys to run slightly wider with pace, in Kankowski and Keegs and then in the lineouts we have Skeate,Kankowski,Alberts and Keegan. We have all our areas well covered and shared amongst an average of 3 players…this pack has the potential to become unstoppable!! Sharks forever!

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.10.11 09:39:01 by JJR Reply
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  • In Short when choosing between Alberts and Deysel for Lock. Doesn’t matter who wears 4 or 7 both can jump in the lineout regardless. Deysel is slower than Willem and his slightly more compact frame is perfect for scrumming. Deysel for lock i say πŸ˜‰ A Fetching, Bulldozing , scrumming lock πŸ™‚

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.10.11 09:48:11 by JJR Reply
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  • Alberts is only 1cm taller than deysel. Hardly a meaningful difference

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.10.11 09:58:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • If the Sharks are dead-set on putting together the best possible squad for SR, I’d say release Botes and get that Pumas player Corne Steenkamp.

    I’d really like to see how Steenkamp goes in a better team against stronger opposition.

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.10.11 10:09:42 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : He looks taller πŸ™‚

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.10.11 10:12:59 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 20) : but ideally down the line it wud be nice if we could develop or import an out-and-out quality fetcher to wear the 6 jersey in the future.

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.10.11 10:13:16 by beet Reply
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  • I would have Botes in my match 22!

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.10.11 10:19:53 by Letgo Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 20) : I agree i think that Steenkamp guy looks good against decent opposition so wonder what he will be like with quality around him. Having said that though surely the Sharks should back guys coming through like Kleinhans and Cloete etc.

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.10.11 10:43:09 by SheldonK Reply

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  • That’s good for you. Botes vs Minnie isn’t good for the Sharks.

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.10.11 10:55:51 by Speed7 Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : I think the Sharks have big plans for Kleinhans and I wud really like to see him succeed at the Sharks. I’m also a fan of Chris Cloete. He has just the kind of ground contesting skills that we need at senior level.

    My feeling is just that I’d rather have Steenkamp in our squad than Botes.

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.10.11 11:03:43 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 20) : I have actually always liked Minnie; not fetching as much as he used too; but we can turn him into a proper fetcher; and with Deysel and Bissie in the pack we will have a lot of contesting at the breakdown going on.

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.10.11 11:35:21 by JJR Reply
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  • I know Kyle Brown is very important to our springbok Sevens side; but i think he has developed so much, i believe he could make a very good 6 for a Superugby team.

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.10.11 11:38:39 by JJR Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 26) :

    Would be nice if the Sharks could find a very good fetcher who is also a good offensive player.

    Even Heinrich Brussow gives up quite a bit when on offense, but he does the fetching role so well so can’t ignore him.

    So either find a guy who’s irreplaceable as a defensive fetcher (like Brussow), or an all-rounder like Keegan has to do :mrgreen:

    I’d have backed the Sharks to win the Super 15 if they’d managed to nab Brussow from the Cheetahs, but happy at the same time that the Cheetahs can retain some of their starters.

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.10.11 11:50:07 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @beet (Comment 26) : Botes has served the Sharks well but in the last year or so he just hasnt been able to keep up with the rest. I agree that Kleinhans and other youngsters should be given a go but surely our loosies for super rugby will be Kanko,Daniel,Alberts,Deysel and Coetzee. Who would be next in line is anyone’s guess…Adonga?

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.10.11 11:54:38 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JJR (Comment 27) :

    Yeah Minnie has been surprisingly good this year. Didn’t expect it with him coming out of nowhere. Also a decent ball-carrier.

    I’m going to get shot for this – but Coenie Oosthuizen recorded the most ‘steals’ in the 2011 Super 15. He had 15… the second highest I believe was 9.

    Gives away a lot of penalties at the moment, and needs work on his scrummaging, but he’s a rough diamond. He’ll be a superstar the next couple of years :mrgreen:

  • Comment 31, posted at 26.10.11 11:55:26 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 31) : You know Hendrik, for a prop to be given the thumbs up to represent his province as a teenager, as Coenie has, there has to be something very special about him.

    I had a friend living down here in Durban for a while who was a former Grey College master and coach. He said that Coenie had a strong back. This must be true cos it doesn’t matter how good a young prop is in every other facet of the game, he’s not going to be thrown into the deep end unless he CAN scrum and hold his own against grown men with experience.

    Whatever his setbacks have been this season, I’m sure they’re related to technique and I believe it will be addressed and corrected.

    Coenie is a ballplayer in a large frame

  • Comment 32, posted at 26.10.11 12:23:35 by beet Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 15) : Sorry, but “Devout Christian” says nothing to me about a person’s character. On the contrary, some of the most vindictive people I’ve ever met are “Devout Christians”.

    Not that I think Botes falls into that category. He has always impressed me as one of the gentlemen of SA rugby.

  • Comment 33, posted at 26.10.11 12:23:50 by rhineshark Reply
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