Richard Ferguson

John and John making big calls

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 30 Jan 2012 at 07:34
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Sharks coach John Plumtree might want to listen to his fellow countryman coaching the Lions, John Mitchell, as Mitchell has come out saying that he wants to build his Lions team by giving the youngsters a chance, instead of buying players.

This might be a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, as Mitchell himself signed two rather experienced campaigners in Butch James and CJ van der Linde, but this could be put down as bringing in much needed experience which needs to be rubbed off onto the youngsters.

The Lions went down to the Stormers on Friday night, but in the process, Mitchell had given a bunch of youngsters the chance to feel what it is like to face a SupeRugby team, and should they be called upon during the season, a very long and usually injury filled season, they will possess the necessary skill and level headedness to perform.

The Sharks are already facing a big decision, and the season hasn’t even started yet, as Beast Mtawarira has been ruled out for up to three months. The question now lies whether the Sharks bring in an experienced prop on a short term loan, or back the youth structures and play a guy like Dale Chadwick to see if he has what it takes.

There have been varying opinions on this, mine being quite clear in playing the youth and giving the youngsters a chance to shine, while others say that you cannot win the SupeRugby trophy with backup players. Neither opinion is wrong, and both sides make valid points, the only thing we as fans can do for the time being is wait and see.

The big difference between John Mitchell and John Plumtree, is that Mitchell can afford to risk playing every youngster he has, as his team will be more than happy to finish between eighth and twelfth position, whereas there is a huge amount of pressure on Plumtree to finish top of the South African conference and make the play-offs.


  • John P must surely follow John M’s example…. Backing youth. He would’ve done so if Beast picked up an injury mid-season and was out for 2/3 weeks. So why not do it now? Not one of those youngsters will let you down in my opinion. It will be for the best in the future as well. Instilling confidence goes a long way!

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.01.12 07:58:16 by SharksRTB Reply
  • That’s the way you build depth, give the young players a chance. If he’s good enough he’s old enough. It will pay dividends in the Currie Cup

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.01.12 08:15:22 by Mutley Reply
  • I say back Dale, the guy is very good. Only question is whether Jannie or Wors is able to cover loosehead.

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.01.12 08:16:08 by King Shark Reply
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  • Dont make a mistake . i think Mitch is under pressure . He will not merely be happy with finishing 8 – 12th . He will want to go big .

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.01.12 08:30:08 by Zibbie Reply
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  • In todays Witness Van Zyl sais they will be trusting the psition to Chadwick and Herbst (who plays on both sides of scrum) and will not be shopping for props.

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.01.12 08:32:45 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • We can’t plead for Plumtree to play the youth and then get cold feet and want them to break out the cheque book when the youth are thrust into spotlight. BACK THE YOUTH! Sykes should strengthen the scrum a touch

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.01.12 08:34:13 by RuckingFun Reply

  • Back the youth!

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.01.12 08:41:53 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @RuckingFun (Comment 6) : Fair point -agreed.

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.01.12 09:26:01 by vanmartin Reply
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  • John Mitchell giving younger players a go? 😆

    He’s got probably the oldest starting line-up of any SA side… and when he’s lacked talented players in a certain position he’s gone the other direction – not given younger players a go.

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.01.12 09:33:28 by hendrikp Reply

  • Lions don’t have any shot of winning Superugby this year, so they might aswell develop their youngsters. The Sharks always have a shot at that Title, and Backing the youngsters, especially in the tight five is something that can be very risky against the other top sides. Currie Cup is where Youngsters can be giving their real chance to develop and prepare for Superugby.

    I believe one Currie Cup is enough to prepare a youngster for Superugby; but if you play in the Tight five or at 10/12 more real experience can be critical to the result of a game. Especially in those scrums, defensive aspects and the very Physical and faster nature of Superugby.

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.01.12 10:00:58 by JJR Reply
  • @hendrikp (Comment 9) :

    Elton Jantjies , Jaco Taute …

    We established last year that the Sharks and the Lions have more ore less the same avg age within the starting line ups .

    But i think he was referring to Callie Visagie, Caylib Oosthuizen , Stephan Greeff , Ruan Botha and Anthony Volminc who all played on Friday .

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.01.12 10:05:23 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 4) :

    No offence meant with that part of the article.

    The point I was trying to make was to say that there is a bigger expectation on the Sharks side than there is for the Lions.

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.01.12 10:07:22 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 12) :

    None taken 😛 i still have hope we can make something out of this season 😛

    but i think that is a problem we had at the Lions before . We where happy with being mediocre. And i think that is being changed . Mainly by Mitch . Might be a year or 2 to late ..

    What im saying is i dont believe Mitch will be preparing the guys to end 10 or 8th . He will be preparing them to win it .

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.01.12 10:11:11 by Zibbie Reply
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  • The Stormers did a beautiful job of blooding youngsters in the SR last season even tho it can be argued that some decisions like fast-tracking Scara were born out of desperation rather than good planning. Late in the season the same Stormers turned to experienced Schalk Britz who they used as a flank in the playoffs.

    There is merit to backing youngsters but the term fans that having high, sometimes unreasonably high expectations should rightfully be using is: BACK QUALITY

    A lot of the time backing quality means backing youngsters but this isn’t always the case.

    No one can show me a single SA SR team that has relied solely on products of their own youth system.

    Please don’t allow the 2011 Marius Joubert selection issue turn you into some kind of “back the youth” extremist :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.01.12 10:23:45 by beet Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 13) :

    He wil be preparing them to win it?

    His preparation must be terrible 😆

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.01.12 10:27:41 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 15) :

    lets see when last Province won any tournament …

    2001 was a vintage year …

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.01.12 10:34:16 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 16) :

    Only a matter of time, and when we get there, we will stay there…

    CC 2011 was a flash in the pan.

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.01.12 10:36:28 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 17) :

    Tell you what . lets talk after the Lions cheetah game . Before we make the place look like Keo again ..

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.01.12 10:38:29 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 18) :

    Will do 😉

    Province is very close to winning the CC you’d have to say.

    Young players who made big impressions in 2011 maturing… sorting out issues in key positions like 9 & 10, as well as the front row.

    Building depth in positions where we will lose players to the Springboks. Etzebeth in for Andries Bekker, plenty of loose-forward cover for Schalk, a few centres coming through (such as future superstar Springbok JP du Plessis, according to Richard 😉 ) where we have Jean & Juan. Brought in Gerhard vd Heever for when Bryan Habana is away…

    I think the Bulls & Stormers will set the benchmark for SH rugby over the next few years.

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.01.12 10:46:35 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 19) :

    Bulls already setting the pace . The rest off us need to catch up .

    think the next year or 2 might be Sharks years .

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.01.12 10:51:36 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 18) :
    @hendrikp (Comment 19) :

    Nevermind.. The Sharks will win the Currie Cup this season..

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.01.12 10:51:57 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 21) :

    as long as its not blue im happy 😛

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.01.12 10:57:48 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 21) :

    😆 Good luck to them!

    Depending on if Springboks play or not… I’d be backing either the Stormers (if they’re not) or Bulls (if they are).

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.01.12 10:59:24 by hendrikp Reply

  • @beet (Comment 14) : “back quality”..brilliant..!

  • Comment 24, posted at 30.01.12 12:24:02 by bergshark Reply

  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 5) : seems like we gonna be playing the first 3 months of sr with 3 props then _herbst,chadwick and jannie .
    Redelinghuys also there (but he has been injured for most part of last season?).

  • Comment 25, posted at 30.01.12 12:27:53 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 25) : Plum said on the official website that the Sharks are looking for cover but that it is difficult to find a prop at this time of year.

  • Comment 26, posted at 30.01.12 12:30:41 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 26) : @bergshark (Comment 25) : do Plum & vanZyl talk? The witness doesn’t mention Redilinghuis at all.

  • Comment 27, posted at 30.01.12 12:36:11 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 27) : Do you have a link for the Witness article?

  • Comment 28, posted at 30.01.12 12:42:12 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 26) : well I think beet mention an interesting name : jaco engels .
    Don’t think I rate his scrummaging that much,but he is a big strong ball carrier.
    and he comes with sr experience.
    Plus he is 1.86m so he will help with lifting the locks in the line-out (mr:green)

  • Comment 29, posted at 30.01.12 12:42:38 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 29) : Is he the former Bulls prop (who moved to the Kings I think)? Pretty mobile player if I recall correctly. Not a terrible option for short-term cover but I’d still prefer that we back our youngsters.

  • Comment 30, posted at 30.01.12 12:50:12 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @bergshark (Comment 29) : I also thought about it, Jaco Engels(Well done Beet) seems to be the best option at this point…don’t really think the Kings would stop him from getting some more superugby experience. And he’s a guy doesn’t matter what jersey he wears, he will play full out.

  • Comment 31, posted at 30.01.12 12:51:08 by JJR Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 30) : We want to win Superugby…Superugby isn’t a develop ur youngsters tournament. I don’t mind the outside backs getting blooded; but forwards, especially in the tight 5, u need some know how to compete well against the best in Superugby.

  • Comment 32, posted at 30.01.12 12:53:15 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 32) :

    How do they say… “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough”

    Really a case by case basis.

    Not that I know enough about Redelinghuys… but I’d definitely be backing Chadwick (who played more then enough CC) and Herbst (who has SR experience) ahead of getting in soon-to-be-retired Jaco Engels.

  • Comment 33, posted at 30.01.12 13:12:09 by hendrikp Reply


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