Pondering recent departures

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Jan 2012 at 08:24
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While the dust has yet to settle on the news of a few recent departures from the Sharks squad – hell, in the case of Eugene van Staden we haven’t even had official confirmation from the union that it’s happening – I think we need to take a few moments to weigh up the potential implications of what has happened.

Firstly, it looks like Jacques-Louis Potgieter has left and while many of us will bemoan the loss of a hugely talented player, it would also require a hopelessly subjective reading of the situation to argue that he was a good fit for the Sharks. Don’t get me wrong here – I’ve got to know Jacques-Louis a bit over the last few months and consider him an awesome guy and a great player. The reality of the situation, though, is that the Sharks simply didn’t see him as part of their plans going forward and the decision to pursue his career elsewhere is a good one. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how badly you want what could be, in other words, if it isn’t what it is.

A number of players potentially fill the hole – and let’s be honest, Potgieter’s versatility was (or could have been) a great asset, particularly in a season where we are all hoping to see a little more rotation from the Sharks. Riaan Viljoen has been brought in primarily as a fullback, although he can play flyhalf as well and with Pat Lambie covering the same positions and Fred Michalak also an option at 10, the critical playmaker’s role is covered. Inside centre, though, remains a worry with Meyer Bosman an obvious first choice and the untried Tim Whitehead (and again Lambie) the potential understudies. The arrival of Wandile Mjekevu as a possible option at 13 creates more scope for Whitehead to be used as a stand-in 12, but my feeling is that, had Potgieter stayed, it is at inside centre that he would have been most useful this season.

Paul Jordaan seems to be impressing in pre-season and with inside centre being his favourite position, it’s just possible that we may see the youngster given the opportunity to shine in the 12 jersey. That, in itself, would be reason enough to view Potgieter’s departure in a more positive light.

In short, when looking at the backline permutations, there remain (as always) lots of options. Whether any of those paper combinations will actually get things right on the field, though, remains an area of ongoing concern.

Looking at the front row, though, we may suddenly find ourselves needing to dig a little deeper. Not that I have any concerns whatsoever about the readiness of Wiehahn Herbst for Super Rugby – in fact, I feel quite strongly that had van Staden not joined the Sharks two years ago, Herbst would already be very close to Bok selection. Assuming Big Gena’s move does come off (which we firmly believe it will) it is young Wors who will be the immediate beneficiary. The implications of the move will be felt on the loosehead side too, though, as van Staden’s ability to deputise there was a great boon to the side. Dale Chadwick, in other words, will face a baptism of fire as Beast’s only understudy and while the former emerged as a hugely destructive scrummager in the Currie Cup last year, concerns over the maturity of his approach to other aspects of loosehead play will need to be addressed and fast in order for the Sharks not to lose anything when Beast is rested.

It’s perhaps in the ball-carrying department, though, that van Staden will most be missed, with only the aforementioned Beast contributing more to the side as a ball-carrying prop. The challenge is very clear, though, to the trio of young props (including Julian Redelinghuys). The union appears to have shown great faith in all of them by allowing van Staden to leave. It’s time to repay that faith by showing just how good they are.


  • Kevin Buys is available . . .

    Oh Jannie Boshoff as well he can play centre right?

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.01.12 08:39:33 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Keen to see what the youngsters can do. I hope we go back to the 2010 brand of rugby and move away from crash rugby as our only option.

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.01.12 08:49:17 by StevieS Reply
  • Herbst and Chadwick will take their chances with both hands!!

    Looking forward to seeing them in the front row!

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.01.12 08:59:05 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • the next warm up games going to be on tv

    28 Jan Stormers vs Lions @ 19:00
    1 Feb Lions vs cheetahs @ 19:00
    5 Feb Stormers vs Lions @ 17:00
    10 Feb Sharks vs Cavaliers @ 19:00
    17 Feb Kings vs Sharks @ 19:00

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.01.12 09:01:19 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @BR (Comment 4) : Good news! 😎

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.01.12 09:07:04 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 4) : don’t you think one of stormers vs lions games is actualy stormers vs cheets

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.01.12 09:08:26 by Franshark Reply
  • @BR (Comment 4) : Awesome news 😎
    Cant wait to see the Sharks annihilate Megatron’s Kings 😈

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.01.12 09:14:10 by JarsonX Reply
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  • I’m positive that the youngsters will fill the holes to the brink and even overflow at times. Good luck to them all.

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.01.12 09:16:29 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 6) : yip sorry think the second one is stormers vs lions ss making another mistake and they have just added boland vs stormers on 21 jan @ 15:45

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.01.12 09:18:06 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @JarsonX (Comment 7) : 😆

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.01.12 09:19:34 by Franshark Reply
  • @BR (Comment 4) :
    The Stormers v Boland game on Jan 21st is also televised I think.

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.01.12 09:20:49 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • okay the complete correct list looks like this

    21 Jan Boland vs Stormers 15:45
    28 Jan Stormers vs Lions 19:00
    1 Feb Lions vs Cheetahs 19:00
    5 Feb Stormers vs Cheetahs 17:00
    10 Feb Sharks vs Boland 19:00
    17 Feb Kings vs Sharks 19:00

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.01.12 09:29:33 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • stil 24 days before we see the sharks in some sort of action, can’t the action just start already

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.01.12 09:36:07 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • 😈 We have enough fire power up front when it comes to crash ball attacks, speed from the set pieces and stealing the ball from the opponent’s hands but we have proven to be well slow to secure loose ball on the ground, buckling in the line-out at critical times and ill discipline. The loose trio and in fact all five need to bring more to this season. We were beaten off the grouned ball in several occasions (CC final 11) is a good example. We struggled to secure the line-out ball and put it into ruck pressure (and we were masters at this in 2010) simply because we could not organize ourselves amongst the front five. Hoff needs to take the direct route more often to set up go-forward ball. The foxtrot has cost us a lot of momentum. Maybe the centres will be able to attack faster with more space available? And Hoffman took a glance too many at these times as well. I think these are the reasons why we lost the shark’s flair. We need to do the basics right first. Our centres (even the older guys) are more than willing and able to attack – they lacked serious defence heart not abillity! 👿

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.01.12 10:30:25 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 14) : securing Lineout ball is going to be our biggest achilles heel this season, we are going to have woeful figures on lineouts given away.

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.01.12 11:05:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) :

    Why do you think so?

    Hargreaves/Skeate at 5, Daniel and Kanko are good at lineout time as well. Depending on who Plum decides to use at 4(if it’s not Deysel) you have another jumper there in Marais or Bresler.

    I’m more worried about our abilities on the ground.

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.01.12 11:09:14 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) : The more I think about it the more worried I get.

    Awesome Front row
    Awesome Loosies
    POOR locks.

    We struggled in the CC at lock and it wasn’t because our locks were at the RWC. What are we going to do against SR sides. 😳

    Our loosies are bulkier than our locks. 😥

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.01.12 11:11:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) :


  • Comment 18, posted at 17.01.12 11:12:34 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Pokkel (Comment 16) : Sorry I was supposed to reply to your comment not mine. 🙂

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.01.12 11:12:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) :

    We can only hope that the locks step up this season. Skeate was the best lock in the Currie Cup for the Sharks, we need him up there again!

    I’d prefer Bresler with Skeate..

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.01.12 11:15:01 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • 😈 Our locks are competent, tall and strong enough – but they need to be vigilant and sly. Watch the Matfield factor in the Bulls game! 😈

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.01.12 11:18:57 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @BR (Comment 12) : u sure the stormers vs cheetahs game is on the 5th of Feb? as it is on a sunday…

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.01.12 11:21:02 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 22) : thats the date ss gave, but hey you can’t always trust them can you

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.01.12 11:55:37 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @VanWilder (Comment 22) : it is the 4th ss getting the dates wrong

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.01.12 12:05:32 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 20) : I also think its Bresler season to step up, Skeate semented his place end of last year, but we have to focus and get this are right…

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.01.12 12:28:45 by Franshark Reply
  • @KSAShark: our line-outs were problematic during last season’s sr campaign.let’s see what work has been done in the off-season.
    The other thing with the departure of sykes&mostert is that we also lost a combined weight of 240-245kg experienced muscle in the second row, ball carrying dept .
    @RichardFerguson: was impressed with what I saw from jandre marais.bresler has the sr experience,so I suppose he will have the inside edge.both he and jandre seem good prospects – hope they push and pull each other (and the rest of the locks)to a higher level.
    Dunno how hargs will do this season..?

  • Comment 26, posted at 17.01.12 12:28:48 by bergshark Reply

  • I am worried about the scrumhalf position, neither McLeod nor Hoffman got it right last year and IMO that’s the biggest reason our backline is struggling…

  • Comment 27, posted at 17.01.12 12:32:13 by Franshark Reply
  • @bergshark (Comment 26) : That weightloss is what leads me to believe we will see Deysel and Alberts on the park at the same time a LOT more than we expect, and not as looseforwards.

  • Comment 28, posted at 17.01.12 12:39:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Franshark: yes,sh is crucial position.let’s see what has been done done in the off-season.
    Also remember the rumours of kockott late last years of kockott maybe heading back to the tank? (If he does return,I’d welcome it-he is a serious competitive player and if he can get his passing game spot -on ,will push for bok selection.also is a fine goalkicker).

  • Comment 29, posted at 17.01.12 12:43:06 by bergshark Reply

  • @Franshark: then there is under 21 sh cobus reinach.have not seen much of him (maybe 20 mins all in all ,but those who have seen more of him says he can go a long way.he does come with the right pedigree,having a former bok winger and sa 400m record holder as a dad).

  • Comment 30, posted at 17.01.12 12:46:57 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 30) : I also haven’t seen much about Reinach but with our ‘not backing the youngters too much’ attitude I don’t know if we will see him this season either…
    Let’s hope

  • Comment 31, posted at 17.01.12 12:55:32 by Franshark Reply
  • @KSAShark: I hope not .. Hope our line out can come right,would love to see the sharks mauling again.

  • Comment 32, posted at 17.01.12 12:55:40 by bergshark Reply

  • @BR (Comment 4) :

    Where did you see that ? link please

  • Comment 33, posted at 17.01.12 13:27:30 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner

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