robdylan

Somebody is going to be disappointed


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 Feb 2012 at 11:04
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Sharks coach John Plumtree has indicated that he will select a squad of 28 for Friday night’s warm-up match against Boland at Kings Park; it’s not currently clear whether he’s intending on picking what he considers to be the best 28, though, or if he’ll leave some stalwarts out in order to further evaluate his fringe players.

Knowing Plum the way I do, though, my strong feeling is that we’ll see the first meaningful “trimming” of the enlarged Super Rugby training squad take place this week, with only those still considered as serious contenders for Super Rugby being retained as part of the 28. Expect to see some experimentation within that group against Boland, with Plumtree then picking what he considers to be his best 22 for the game against the Kings next weekend.

Whatever the case, there are going to be some disappointed players this week as Plum and his mates make a few difficult decisions.

A squad of 28 will surely include four props, two hookers, at least three locks, at least five loose forwards, two scrumhalves, two flyhalves, at least three centres and at least five outside backs. That leaves room for two other players, who may quite typically be forwards. Looking at the squad as it stands, there are obviously a good number of certainties, but also a few positions where there is going to be a real bun fight for the few remaining places.

Props seem quite settled, given the injury to Beast Mtawarira – Dale Chadwick, Jannie du Plessis, Wiehahn Herbst and Julian Redelinghuys will be the men chosen, while Bismarck du Plessis and Craig Burden are clearly going to be the two hookers. That’s pretty much where the certainty ends, though. Amongst the locks, we currently have six players vying for at most four, but possibly only three positions and I would say that of those, only Ross Skeate is an assured selection. Alistair Hargreaves can probably be 90% certain of a place in the group, as can Steven Sykes, whom I’m sure they didn’t bring back to play Vodacom Cup. That leaves one spot, which will probably go to either Anton Bresler or Jandre Marais, while Pieter-Steph du Toit is a rank outsider, despite his good trial form.

The ongoing absence of Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel means there is additional scope for a few young loose forwards – at least for now. Keegan Daniel and Jacques Botes will be in the final 28, as will Ryan Kankowski and Marcell Coetzee. Tera Mthembu might find himself retained for the time being as well, unless the coaches opt to keep du Toit on as a utility forward. The lack of genuine blindside options in the squad may just see this happen, although it’s unlikely that they would go with du Toit if there are already four locks in the group. Francois Kleinhans looks quite certain to drop to the Vodacom Cup squad.

Charl McLeod, Pat Lambie and Fred Michalak will use up three of the halfback slots, with Cobus Reinach odds on to be retained as well. I think the Sharks realise that using Michalak as a backup scrumhalf is a short-term solution, while Reinach is the man who needs to be developed there with the future in mind. Meyer Bosman and JP Pietersen will occupy two of the centre slots, while Odwa Ndungane, Lwazi Mvovo, Louis Ludik and Riaan Viljoen will be definites amongst the outside backs.

Doing the sums, that leaves at most three, but more likely two backline places up for grabs and reading between the lines, I’m quite sure that Sbura Sithole has his name firmly stamped on one of them. Marius Joubert, Paul Jordaan, Tim Whitehead and Wandile Mjekevu are the other names in the reckoning and it’s here that the coaches are going to have to make some BIG calls, because at least two of those will miss out for the time being. Clearly we all want Joubert to be one of them, but will the coaches really send a guy that’s earning that much money down to Vodacom Cup? Economic reality suggests that that scenario is quite unlikely and with Jordaan earmarked for great things in the near future, it’s probably a pretty safe bet that it will be Whitehead and Mjekevu who start the season playing in a predominantly white jersey.

Here, then, is the 28-man squad that I feel will be picked for the Boland game.

Dale Chadwick, Jannie du Plessis, Wiehahn Herbst, Julian Redelinghuys, Bismarck du Plessis, Craig Burden, Steven Sykes, Anton Bresler, Ross Skeate, Alistair Hargreaves, Keeagan Daniel, Jacques Botes, Marcell Coetzee, Ryan Kankowski, Tera Mtembu, Charl McLeod, Cobus Reinach, Pat Lambie, Fred Michalak, Meyer Bosman, Paul Jordaan, JP Pietersen, Marius Joubert, Odwa Ndungane, Lwazi Mvovo, Sbura Sithole, Louis Ludik, Riaan Viljoen


62 Comments

  • Man i hope we can get Alberts/Deysel fit for the first game…don’t need to start, just to have one of them give 20-30 minutes off the bench will be good, until they get their match fitness up, and then obviously look for a starting spot.It looks like Alberts might be ready for contact come the Bulls game; but we will see what happens….don’t wanna rush them back.

    Stef du toit must be involved in the 22 if not one of them is fit for the Bulls game…we have talented loose forwards, we just short of a much needed bash it up ball carrier…gonna be important if we want Bosman and JPP to be effective against the Bulls.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.02.12 11:29:26 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • I hope Whitehead does not get demoted. If he is just going to play Vodacom cup for the Sharks we might as well send him to the Bulls or Lions now and save some time.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.02.12 11:31:24 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @war1 (Comment 2) : We will keep him to takes joubert’s place when he leaves…how long is joubert’s contract? Please tell me it ends this year…we wasting money on a guy that hardly gonna play the way things are going. I mean we have Bosman, JPP, Jordaan, Whitehead and Mjekevu…average age must be around 22-23-ish, we don’t need Joubert, these guys are our future.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.02.12 11:36:46 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • @JJR (Comment 1) : I’m afraid in the witness today Dr Ewoudt sp? Sais that neither Alberts nor Deysel will be available for the Bulls match they are hoping to have them available for the Stormers game πŸ™

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.02.12 11:44:56 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
     
  • @JJR (Comment 3) : Joubert signed a two year contract starting July 2011

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.02.12 11:46:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : That decision is really going to cost the Sharks. I can’t see Whitehead staying long if Plum picks Jouba ahead of him. This is another reason why playing JPP at centre is a bad idea.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.02.12 11:51:16 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @war1 (Comment 6) : I’m a little surprised that you rate Whitehead so highly. How much have you seen of him?

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.02.12 11:59:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 6) :

    That’s the first negative I’ve seen on the JPP move. (Admittedly, I don’t spend as much time on the site during the day anymore)

    Why are you against it? I’d like to hear your thinking..

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.02.12 12:01:42 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : πŸ˜₯

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.02.12 12:03:06 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
     
  • I like to think the Joubert situation is a big “serves you right” to all those fans who just comment ad infinitum about how the Sharks must “buy XYZ” all the time.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.02.12 12:05:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 4) : Ahhh No… πŸ™ @robdylan (Comment 5) : Ahhh…No @war1 (Comment 6) : Whitehead isn’t that good, i really wouldn’t mind if he left to be honest. With Bosman, JPP, Jordaan, Mjekevu, Piet Lindeque and Riaan Viljoen at 12 if needed…i’m happy. Ndungane can cover Viljoen at 15 if that happens or Gouws Prinsloo.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.02.12 12:06:51 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : I believe he is a better option than Jouba.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.02.12 12:06:52 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 8) : A few reasons. Firstly JPP is our best wing and we minimize his impact if we play him out of position. I think we should play a centre at centre and not stuff around a talent like JPP. To be honest I am not just against this idea, I am angry that it was even considered.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.02.12 12:10:48 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • “…at least two of those will miss out for the time being. Clearly we all want Joubert to be one of them…”

    Man, I actually feel bad for the constant negative criticism being levelled at Marius Joubert (he may be a great guy after all; I’m not in a position to tell). having said that, in all honesty my own feelings towards him is nearing the peaks of semi-irrational disdain I normally reserve for Beyonce and Tom Cruise. Terrible to say, but the thought of him continuing in a Sharks jersey could make me stop supporting the Sharks altogether.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.02.12 12:11:13 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 12) : but so is JP

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.02.12 12:16:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 13) : ??? JPP gives our centres some much needed energy and x-factor…and JPP at centre makes space for players like Mvovo/Sithole…Ludik would also not see much gametime this season if JPP stays on the wing, not that i rate Ludik, i just think he could get some more gametime if JPP plays at 13. @Culling Song (Comment 14) : I do think Joubert will be a lot better after the Conditioning this pre-season; i just feel why we wasting out time with someone over the hill when there are very promising youngsters coming through and with JPP possible switch to 13, it makes less and less sense to have joubert there.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.02.12 12:21:07 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : JP is a wing or a fullback.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.02.12 12:21:27 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @war1 (Comment 12) : I wud be equally sad if Whitehead isn’t retained and given more of an opport to prove his worth.

    It’s a sad state of affairs if pro rugby has come to the point where the size of your contract counts for more than what you have to offer on the field.

    At the trial match Joubert didn’t look committed or very interest. I’m worried about his attitude.

    Injuries are a reality and as big a fan as I’m of talented Jordaan, if the coach isn’t prepared to throw him in just yet if a frontline player gets injured then rather back the player who can slot straight in.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.02.12 12:21:35 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Great Reply! πŸ™‚

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.02.12 12:22:07 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • In a perfect world, I would pick JPP and Bosman to start, with Whitehead and Jordaan as backup, and with Freddie covering scrummy and flyhalf, Jordaan will be able to cover for Lambie when Fred’s doing duty at 9. And since we are paying so much for Joubert, without much return on field, why not ship him to Vodacom Cup to help with the shaping of our future centres. He may lack his ability of old, but he has heaps of experience.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.02.12 12:22:22 by Die Kriek Reply

     
  • @war1 (Comment 17) : From what i know, JPP was a Fullback, and converted to Wing, and now JPP was a wing and has converted to 13 πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.02.12 12:23:29 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • @Culling Song (Comment 14) : When the %&$#* did Tom Cruise creep into the disdain equation. You obviously haven’t watched the latest Mission Impossible movie :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.02.12 12:23:40 by beet Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 16) : JP thrives on having that little bit of space so why bring him into the midfield traffic? Can he defend like at centre? I’m not sure.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.02.12 12:24:11 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @war1 (Comment 13) :

    Does it not excite you though? We might have uncovered a gem in a problem area as well as opening the door for another winger to shine?

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.02.12 12:24:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Die Kriek (Comment 20) : Agree, our vodacom Cup side doesn’t have any real experienced players, compared to the past, so why not pop joubert at 12 give him the captaincy and Lindeque/Mjekevu can learn a thing or two from him. Go win Vodacom Cup and Superugby…hell ya!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.02.12 12:25:47 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • Good article Rob.

    I wud like to see Jandre Marais in ahead of Bresler. I think this decision will require quite a bit of discussion amongst the coaches. It won’t be an easy one to make. It could potentially have far reaching effects for each player’s career.

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.02.12 12:27:36 by beet Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 21) : Because he moved successfully from fullback to wing does not necessarily mean he will make a successful move to centre.

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.02.12 12:28:03 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @war1 (Comment 23) : He can tackle, it’s all about his mentality which even Plum has said he has to work on…To be honest i would rather want JPP running up from 13 than Whitehead…whitehead is 90kg and jpp 103kg…and JPP is even faster…so why not, Adi Jacobs wasn’t always the best tackler, but everytime he played for the Sharks he was great…Attack trumps defence for me when playing 13, thats why 13 is often know to be an outside back position.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.02.12 12:29:10 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • @JJR (Comment 25) : Captaincy should make him feel suitably special. Good plan, now all we need to do is get that master plan into Plum’s head

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.02.12 12:29:44 by Die Kriek Reply

     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 24) : I actually scares me. This kind of decision could cost us. We have Bulls and Stormers away first up, there is no margin for error in those games. If we lose both we will be in trouble.

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.02.12 12:30:55 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @war1 (Comment 17) : why can’t he be a centre?

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.02.12 12:31:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 28) : Tim was definitely looking like a 90kg centre the other night. I think he does need to pack on an extra 5kgs or so. 90kgs in the Stormers gameplan might go down fine but the way we like to do things makes him a bit on the light side.

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.02.12 12:34:12 by beet Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 28) : True, but it may take him a while to know the ins and outs of defending at centre and at Super rugby level there is no room for error.

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.02.12 12:35:05 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : He could be a good centre but he is a great wing. Super rugby is not the time for experimentation.

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.02.12 12:38:02 by war1 Reply
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    war1
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 24) : that is exactly how I see it

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.02.12 12:40:36 by Franshark Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 34) :

    I hear what you saying, and those are valid concerns, I can see your logic..

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.02.12 12:40:44 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 34) :

    It could certainly backfire.. But I would love to see JPP get his hands on the ball more, and this will do that.

    Again, valid concerns you raise, I do see that.

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.02.12 12:42:17 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 22) : I actually don’t mind Tom Cruise in action roles, but I dislike him in serious movies. He has this way of acting where you practically see him drawing big neon arrows around him, pointing to him while a big sign flashes “Hey, look at me! I’m really, really acting!! Oscar-winning performance right here, folks!!!” No subtlety whatsoever. Same problem I have with singers like the lead singer of Nickleback with that feigned-emotional, I’m-really-feeling-this raspy-voiced style.

    DISCLAIMER: All of the above may actually be me trying to justify some completely irrational dislikes. I can’t help it, I’m wired that way. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.02.12 12:44:21 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Die Kriek (Comment 20) : @JJR (Comment 25) : This is actually a good idea; it limits the damage MJ can do to our Super Rugby campaign, and we actually get some return on (an otherwise very poor investment).

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.02.12 12:47:45 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : They COULD cut their losses and retain him in a “coach/player “position as the Lions did with Carlos Spencer.

    Then he need not play and could dispense whatever knowledge he can towards the younger players. Said knowledge is a debatable subject.

    If you absolutely need to rest someone, you can pull him in as a player.

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.02.12 13:04:49 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver Fox
     
  • @Culling Song (Comment 38) :

    I certainly share your irrational disdain for Beyonce …Im willing to bet my disdain is larger than yours for her … πŸ˜‰ seriously cant stand her.

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.02.12 13:28:24 by csb Reply

    csb
     
  • @Culling Song (Comment 39) :

    Jerry Maguire was perhaps his best serious work.

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.02.12 13:30:37 by csb Reply

    csb
     
  • In JPP’s case i believe the Positives of the move to 13 far overide the negatives of the move, because most of the negatives can be fixed. If JPP didn’t play 13, i woudn’t be surprised to see Joubert there…so JPP vs Joubert you choose. I don’t think Plum would start Whitehead or Jordaan in the early stages of the tournament. So we should be backing JPP’s move, not searching for negatives, for me they hard to find, i think JPP will be great at 13.

    I will always choose an attacking player over a defensive/conservative player, as i would also always choose a good bigger player over a good smaller player.

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.02.12 13:36:29 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • @csb (Comment 41) : You’re clearly a man of taste and distinction. So, on a Beyonce disdain scale of 1 – 10 (1 being no disdain, 10 being that the merest thought of the subject of disdain ruins your day, nay your week, nay your life), where do you rank? Personally I score 234,865,467,875,127,1325 x 10^298,543,746,876,654

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.02.12 13:49:06 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Yes JP had a good game on Friday night but guys, seriously, lets see how he goes against another good side with a pack that gives his oppostion backs good front foot ball to attack from.

    He put in one big hit on Ludik, that is not a true test of his tactical and defensive play. That’ll come against better opposition.
    He’ll always have great running lines etc, its his defense and distribution will be something Plum will have to watch very closely.

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.02.12 13:53:59 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
     
  • @Culling Song (Comment 44) :

    πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.02.12 14:03:38 by csb Reply

    csb
     
  • @Culling Song (Comment 44) :
    Your score to the power of 100 would describe my disdain for 2 individuals…Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.02.12 14:13:55 by Pokkel Reply
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  • That wailing harpy Beyonce is nowhere near as guilty of over-articulation as Celine and Mariah, so in theory they are actually worse… There’s just some quality to Beyonce’s voice that has a nails-on-blackboard effect on me. Ditto Bryan Adams.

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.02.12 14:24:31 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Can anybody tell me: Who played 13 last year?

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.02.12 14:26:48 by Franshark Reply
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  • @John Galt (Comment 45) : He played against Sharks youngsters that want to take his place, can’t get a tougher test than that πŸ™‚

  • Comment 50, posted at 07.02.12 14:27:58 by JJR Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 49) : Oupa Stef….jy maar ‘n kort geheue. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 51, posted at 07.02.12 14:33:10 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 51) : Ha Ha…most of us just complained about his poor performances all season… πŸ˜†

  • Comment 52, posted at 07.02.12 14:37:27 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • @JJR (Comment 50) :
    You’re assuming the Sharks youngsters even got the ball to test him properly.

    But they didnt. Their pack got monstered and had little chance to show their worth. It was one of the criticisms I had of the trials.

    JP did play extremely well and even surprised me. Add to this the fact that Meyer Bosman looks a totally different player with a big, fast 13 outside him, I am really excited to see how he goes.
    But I’ll reserve my absolute judgement until he performs agaisnt better quality opposition.

  • Comment 53, posted at 07.02.12 14:38:18 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
     
  • @John Galt (Comment 53) : Ek weet, was just trying to back up/support the guys/youngsters he played against.

  • Comment 54, posted at 07.02.12 14:40:35 by JJR Reply
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    JJR
     
  • @Pokkel (Comment 51) : nee ek isi… But that’s the answer I was looking for… So an OLD SLOW wing/fb played last year and did ok, now we have second thoughts about a faster, younger current super star wing/fb that “won’t make it in SR” he’ll be great… Watch this space…

  • Comment 55, posted at 07.02.12 14:40:53 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 55) : Yes Yes

  • Comment 56, posted at 07.02.12 16:07:19 by JJR Reply
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  • Hope we can all come to a common ground soon…because guess what…i can see into the future and JPP will be at 13 against the Bulls πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

  • Comment 57, posted at 07.02.12 16:20:08 by JJR Reply
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  • Our trophy hope currently lies squarely on JPP’s shoulders. If he can make 13 his own, then we have a very good shot at the championship.

  • Comment 58, posted at 07.02.12 17:41:33 by King Shark Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 58) : ummm…I also think a lot depends on how well our forwards can adapt to the new breakdown interpretations. We didn’t do so well at the whole “attacking player must stay on feet” thing during the Currie Cup.

  • Comment 59, posted at 07.02.12 17:54:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 59) : True, gonna need a lot of focus on that in the upcoming warm up matches. The key is Speed to the Breakdown, if we get there fast the chances of infringing will be less. At least J.muller isn’t at The Sharks anymore πŸ˜† , great player, but hardly ever stayed on his feet when clearing out πŸ™‚ He did cause a lot of physical harm to the opposition(Clearing out), though…Gotta love it πŸ™‚

  • Comment 60, posted at 07.02.12 20:46:10 by JJR Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 58) : I agree is a sense…i think we will have a lot better shot at scoring a lot more tries with JPP at 13 than Joubert. Winning Superugby will come down to how our pack performs in all areas, but more critically for us, the breakdown and Lambie GoalKicking percentage. Also Viljoen’s long boot could also help us pull through tight games that could go either way.

    Talking about JPP’s defence, it’s key we have a hard working 6,8,9 and wingers, because cover work can save so many tries…Ndungane and even Mcloed have saved many tries with their good cover work on defence.

  • Comment 61, posted at 07.02.12 20:51:49 by JJR Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : You may counter that with how much have we seen JPP at 13 ?

    @war1 (Comment 13) : I agree with this sentiment! JPP passing game also leaves much to be desired. It’s not just about his ability to pass left and right but rather timing and accuracy of those acute difficult passes .

  • Comment 62, posted at 07.02.12 22:04:59 by Talent Reply
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