Sharks player ratings v Bulls

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 27 Feb 2012 at 08:00
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We always prefer to get our season ratings articles off to a nice positive start, but I’m afraid that Firday night’s performance from the Sharks simply wasn’t good enough to warrant particularly high scores.

Let’s have a look at my totally subjective analysis of how the guys did, but also keep these ratings completely in context; it WAS the first game of the season and the guys looked a little underdone. I know that each of them will be determined to do a lot better this week and in the weeks to come.

1) Dale Chadwick. On debut, I thought Dale did well. The kid is STUPIDLY strong and even on the odd occasions that Werner Kruger got the better of the hit, Chadders generally managed to use his upper body to shove the more experienced Bull back. Good on defence, but needs to work harder in the loose. 6/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. A frankly shocking effort from one of the guys who was supposed to be leading the team. Discipline and basics were shoddy and he made little progress on the drive either. Bissie, we expect better than this from you, boet! 3/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. Did slightly better than his baby brother, in that at least he stood firm, for the most part, against Dean Greyling in the scrums. Was anonymous in any other phase of play, though and pays the price for the collective failings of a tight five that he should have been helping to lead. 4/10
4) Steven Sykes. Did very little to remind us that he’s a 50-capper in this tournament and the Sharks “go-to” hard man in the tight five. For all his experience, Sykes allowed himself to be bullied by less-experienced opposition, which isn’t good enough. 4/10
5) Anton Bresler. Endured a torrid time in the lineouts, which could partially be due to his hooker’s throwing. That said, Anton did some very good things on defence and handled the ball well when asked too. Taking into account this was his first start, we’ll score him a little higher than the guys who should have known better! 5/10
6) Keegan Daniel. The going got tough and the captain, frankly, disappeared. Not good enough, Keegan – these boys are looking up to you for leadership and inspiration. 3/10
7) Marcell Coetzee. The stand-out loose forward for the Sharks, who played with fire and commitment. Not quite as effective on the drive as we’d like and often looked a little one-dimensional, but otherwise had a fine game. 7/10
8) Ryan Kankowski. Can we PLEASE get the Hoff we know and love back? Kanky fell off tackles and generally contributed little elsewhere, apart from one exciting dash down the left flank which, shockingly, failed to deliver points as he missed an obvious inside pass to his skipper. 4/10

9) Fred Michalak. Played like a man under enormous pressure, a lot of which was self-inflicted. Fred looked hassled and harried by the Bulls all game long and his service, frankly, simply wasn’t good enough. 4/10
10) Pat Lambie. Not one of his more assured outings, but also not a bad performance. Received slow ball while at flyhalf, but managed to pass it on as best he could to a back line that tried hard all night. Looked the business at fullback, as we’ve come to expect. 6/10
11) Lwazi Mvovo. Always looked dangerous, but as we’ve come to expect, did very little to get his hands on the ball often enough. 6/10
12) Tim Whitehead. The Sharks best player on the night, both on attack and particularly defence. When 50-cappers were losing their heads all around him, this youngster showed real class and silenced what few doubters he had. 9/10
13) JP Pietersen. A wonderfully confident first outing at centre and showed enough in all phases of the game to suggest a bright future in the jersey. 7/10
14) Louis Ludik. Always looked keen to get involved and was mostly solid, apart from a high-ball or two that went astray. Lacks the genuine pace and guile to be a real threat on the wing, one feels. 6/10
15) Tjoppie Viljoen. Riaan didn’t do all that much wrong on the night, with his huge boot sparing a few blushes and generally solid positional play proving useful. Limited opportunities on attack, which was disappointing. 7/10

16) Craig Burden. On a night when the Sharks were desperate for some penetration and go-forward amongst the pack, this man was inexplicably unused.
17) Wiehahn Herbst. In just 23 minutes, delivered the best performance of any of the the Sharks tight forwards. This kid is simply superb and on form, surely must push Jannie du Plessis for a starting spot. 8/10
18) Ross Skeate. Had little impact when he came on, which was disappointing given his experience and lineout acumen. 5/10
19) Jacques Botes. A huge improvement over Kankowski, even though he lacks the bulk to really challenge the advantage line. Ever present on attack and defence and followed up nicely to score the only try of the game. 7/10
20) Charl McLeod. Service to the backline improved markedly when he came on. Not sure what’s up with the hair, but Charl must keep playing like this! 7/10
21) Meyer Bosman. A revelation at flyhalf late in the second half, where his superb distribution succeeded in getting the Sharks backs into good attacking space. 8/10
22) Paul Jordaan. Very busy debut and ran good supporting lines all over the show. 7/10


  • Bismarck and Keegan should each have received Red Yellow and White cards, with a season suspension (from captaining) for their shocking leadership skills on Friday. I remember watching a headless chicken running around my property when I was a lighty and it had more direction than the Sharks did. I thought some of the Shark’s players thought the touchline was the tryline with the direction they were running. Pity the touchline wasn’t the tryline, the Sharks would have had a 4 try bonus point.

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.02.12 08:06:54 by waje Reply
  • Fair ratings..

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.02.12 08:11:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Agree with the ratings… Even though some “experienced” players should get one point less!

    I was at Loftus for the game. And it must be said, the atmosphere was electric! So a 10/10 for all the supporters (both teams) going out there for the season opener. A packed Loftus on game 1 is remarkable! Pity the game didn’t live up to the hype.

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.02.12 08:18:36 by SharksRTB Reply

  • The Sharks just seemed to play too slowly for the first 60min. McCloed and Bosman looked the business at 9/10 and Lambie again showed he is a class 15! Will be the same starting lineup for next game if Ludick shake soff hbis injury otherwise Odwa will replace him…

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.02.12 08:31:37 by SheldonK Reply

  • The coaches should also get rated. It is unfair the players take the flak, when it was quite obvious there was no proper game plan. For a team that has two backline “coaches”, for the last year the backline has been directionless. And looking at the skilled players we have in the backline, the problem seems higher up.

    Compare the Sharks backline to that of the lesser Cheetahs and Lions, and the Sharks re an embarrasment.

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.02.12 08:32:19 by waje Reply

  • Agree with the ratings except whitehead. He had horrible passes. Peterson deserve higher rating that Tim. Great momentum after Mc Cleod and Bosman came on. Disgusted in the kicking game of Riaan. Hope for the best for the weekend.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.02.12 08:34:06 by springbok Reply

  • Generous with Chadwick and Bresler ,5 and 4.5 respectively. Back three also deserve to have much lower scores.

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.02.12 08:46:20 by Talent Reply
  • Consider though it’s the start of the season, 2 players not playing their old positions ( Michalak, Pietersen )and a bunch of youngsters plus playing without either Deysel and Alberts and also Beast, I think there’s not much to worry about except that it can only get better

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.02.12 08:47:20 by tokozaan Reply

  • @Talent (Comment 7) : Agreed, our lineout was a weakness.
    Hopefully they work on this before facing SA`s best lock this weekend . . .

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.02.12 08:51:25 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Fair ratings!

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.02.12 08:52:18 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Agree on most, but I wont give anyone more than 7.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.02.12 08:53:04 by JarsonX Reply
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  • The Sharks lost this game cause the tight 5 just did not pitch up in the frame of mind thats required to win at loftus.

    Guilty players was #’s 2,4 and 5.

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.02.12 08:53:11 by csb Reply

  • I NEVER thought I’d say this but I hope that Bissie gets dropped from the Sharks side!!! We HAVE to start with Burden and have Cooper on the bench if we want any penetration on attack!

    Bissie looks like he’s bulked up too much and this has affected his speed. No longer do we see his bullocking runs where 27 playeers fly off in each direction while the medics stand poised to pick up the pieces! He now takes the ball standing still and hopes that his teammates can puch hi over the gain line πŸ˜₯ ❓ 9 times out of 10 they can’t and he’s caught behind the gainline!

    I think his bulking up has also affected his lineout throwing as it was shoddy!

    Bigger isn’t always better!!

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.02.12 08:54:23 by ChrisS Reply
  • Things can only get better! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.02.12 08:55:45 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Freddy’s prob the worst scrummy of the 1st week of super 15.
    Pathetic to say the least, took ages to get the ball out.

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.02.12 09:04:13 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • How does the scoring for Fantasy League work? I thought you only got scored on your starting XV? 😯

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.02.12 09:08:12 by StevieS Reply
  • Perhaps watching live, its difficult to judge, but I am not so sure I agree on Tim’s score. He was very invisible (ok not always he’s fault) but I was not impressed untill perhaps when McLeod and Bosman came on and the backs got a bit of ball. What did he do that was worth a 9 rating?

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.02.12 09:09:44 by Ice Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 15) : Also depends on the protection you get from your forwards and quite often we weren’t securing the rucks properly! I think that Fred behind a decent pack would have looked a lot better!

    We need to change 2, 4, 6 and 8! Bring in Burden, Skeate, Botes and PSD (Marcell switching to 8).

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.02.12 09:10:58 by ChrisS Reply
  • Rob, why did you score Bissie so highly? Subtract 2 points for each of the penalties he gave away!

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.02.12 09:14:35 by StevieS Reply
  • @Ice (Comment 17) :

    Tim probably doesn’t quite deserve a 9 because of a couple of wayward passes but he was one of the best backs of the night.

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.02.12 09:15:03 by Pokkel Reply
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  • IMO, Freddie gave Pat terrible ball to work with, but having said that he was getting terrible ball from his forwards. The Bulls pack were just better, harder and faster to the key impact points. Sharks really missed Alberts and Deysel. I’ve had my reservations about Keegan’s captaincy, purely because he can be found wanting in big up front battles and won’t always be the first choice 6. Now Botes is playing out of his boots and should be pushing for a a starting spot but that then becomes awkward because you have to drop your captain. As for Kankowski, i didn’t notice him on the field, not once… I feel the true value of a player (and captain) is appreciated when he’s not there. John Smit was sorely missed.

  • Comment 21, posted at 27.02.12 09:15:06 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • The Sharks gameplan made no sense. they played slowly which allowed the slow Bulls pack to get around the park and chase up their kicks etc. At the end of the 2nd half the Sharks played quicker which meant the Bulls pack had to move side to sidfe quicker and therefore their kicking game was nullified cos they couldnt chase up as hard. It pretty much the same way the All Blacks use to nullify the Boks kick and chase game.

  • Comment 22, posted at 27.02.12 09:16:02 by SheldonK Reply

  • @The Quirk (Comment 21) :

    I agree about Kegaan. With the way the game is being played at the moment he’s just too light, plain and simple. Botes is also too small IMO but he looked great against some tired legs towards the end. I doubt whether Botes would have a better option if he played the whole 80 minutes.

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.02.12 09:19:13 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @The Quirk (Comment 21) : Talking of which…did anyone notice Spies on the field?…

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.02.12 09:19:31 by Ice Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 22) : We seemed to lack a Plan B in the first half, which is why a good captain is essential. We should have sussed out their gameplan and come up with a counter. That didn’t happen until Plum chatted to them at halftime.

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.02.12 09:19:57 by StevieS Reply
  • @Ice (Comment 24) : He was there, are i saw him run on at the beginning of the game and in the post match interview with Xola Whatisname…

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.02.12 09:22:27 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • @SheldonK (Comment 22) : Game plan has not made sense for the last two or three years πŸ™

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.02.12 09:25:26 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : replacing a slow wing with an even slower wing.

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.02.12 09:26:03 by lostfish Reply
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  • Obviously after a loss it natural that we are looking for reasons and guilty party’s to blame for the loss… IMO the difference between the team we’re @ 9 and 10, hougaard kept our team busy, and Morne’s kicking out of hand was very good. We at some stage were leading on possession but it was all through getting the ball in our 22 from a Steyn kick… Our attacks always had to come from deep in our own half..

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.02.12 09:32:14 by Franshark Reply
  • His ‘kick-offs’ was good hanging kick and we were always under pressure trying to get the ball with the opposition’s players in between…

  • Comment 30, posted at 27.02.12 09:36:23 by Franshark Reply
  • Intensity, commitment and controlled aggression is all that were lacking from most players.

    Plumtree said that the way they played in the last 10/15 minutes is the way they should have played the whole match. I totally agree, but who’s job is that?

    We now have a proper team, we short a game plan for that particular team and THEN….we need someone to whip the boys into shape mentally.

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.02.12 09:56:13 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver Fox
  • @lostfish (Comment 28) : Yeh but we both know that will [email protected]Just a Fan (Comment 27) : I disagree- the gameplan for the 2010 Currie Cup was perfect…they just seemd to abandon it after that! Gone is the aggressive rucking that the Sharks were good [email protected]StevieS (Comment 25) : I could have told you 3 months ago that the Bulls were going to kick,kick and kick in this game! Surely someone should have planned for that and devised a counter or where they all sitting at Coyote Bar having lunches!

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.02.12 10:15:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • @StevieS (Comment 16) : Go to the “about FL” tab to get a full description of the scoring system.

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.02.12 10:19:23 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

    KSA Shark Β©
  • I generally avoid the ratings articles but I HAD to check it out this week and what a PLEASANT change it makes to see the centers get the highest ratings. 😎

  • Comment 34, posted at 27.02.12 10:22:08 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

    KSA Shark Β©
  • I thought the Bulls did an excellent job of double and triple teaming our ballcarriers at crucial times. We recycled ball most of the time despite being driven backwards in these tackles but it’s hard to build momentum when you lose 5-10m and have to start over again against an advancing frontfoot D.

    Also the Bulls won the aerial battle via the kick and chase game. That said, I’m not big on Louis Ludik the attacking player but so glad he’s there to cover the back right when the ball in high in the air.

    These are 2 areas I feel the Sharks need to look at.

    Also Bissie’s lineout work was also poor at the start of last season. I’m looking forward to seeing him bounce back.

    I hope the coach goes with an unchanged team this week injuries permitting.

  • Comment 35, posted at 27.02.12 10:24:18 by beet Reply
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  • Marcell Coetzee is second to none in world rugby right now when it comes to tackling.

  • Comment 36, posted at 27.02.12 10:26:10 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 35) : We got tackled backwards as quite often we didn’t hit the ball at full pace but rather caught it standing still and then tried to run.

  • Comment 37, posted at 27.02.12 10:26:48 by ChrisS Reply
  • Good to see Tim Whitehead getting off to the right start with the fans as well.

  • Comment 38, posted at 27.02.12 10:26:54 by beet Reply
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  • Fair ratings, I would adjust a point here and there, but not much

  • Comment 39, posted at 27.02.12 10:53:51 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 24) : Spies and Kanko should pay for their tickets, they watched rugby the whole night.

    Kanko what a joke, at this stage Ashley Johnson is a better player than Kanko.

  • Comment 40, posted at 27.02.12 11:19:04 by Reynier Jacobs Reply

  • I’d give Lambie a 7 – his defence and composure was great, even with terrible service from 9
    Tim I’d also give a 7 – he was solid but made a few mistakes early on. He came into his own in the last 10 minutes of the game.
    I’d give Bosman an 8 – he didn’t put a foot wrong in his time on the field. Is he better suited to 10 than 12? It’s going to be interesting to find this out as he gets more time in both positions this season.

  • Comment 41, posted at 27.02.12 11:39:01 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I would have docked 2 points off Whitehead’s score for butchering an almost certain try with a shocking pass.

  • Comment 42, posted at 27.02.12 12:16:01 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 42) : seems like all of us that was at the game, have the same take on Tim..?

  • Comment 43, posted at 27.02.12 12:28:00 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 43) : Yup. He didn’t impress me that much. Maybe I should watch the game on the Tele to get a better perspective.

  • Comment 44, posted at 27.02.12 12:32:00 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 44) : Yeah, I mean Morne thought he had an awsome game and debut at 12! And I rate Morne’s oppinion very highly…but I differ from what I perhaps we should!

  • Comment 45, posted at 27.02.12 12:40:23 by Ice Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 38) : Think I spoke too soon 😳

  • Comment 46, posted at 27.02.12 12:45:49 by beet Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 43) : I watched the game again this morning and, although he had a pretty decent game, it doesn’t warrant a 9/10 score. I was more impressed by Jordaan when he came on, but by then the game had opened a bit when we actually started playing rugby in the last 15 minutes.

  • Comment 47, posted at 27.02.12 12:52:23 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 46) : Relax! We are not butchering the guy, just don’t feel he deserves a 9..he was good in the last part of the game, most probably because he got ball, but he did not start of too well..just my opinion

  • Comment 48, posted at 27.02.12 12:53:04 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 45) : Something I realised on Friday is you see less of the game the closer to the field you sit. Remember last time? We had a much better view of the entire field.

  • Comment 49, posted at 27.02.12 12:53:55 by Ben Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 47) : we are in agreement!

  • Comment 50, posted at 27.02.12 12:54:43 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 49) : we were also closer to the middlelast time!

  • Comment 51, posted at 27.02.12 12:56:09 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 51) : Yes but the higher up you sit the more you can see.

  • Comment 52, posted at 27.02.12 12:57:28 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiliboy’s line-out throwing wasn’t working as well-both the he and bissie need to step up .gonna be interesting to see the clash between strauss and chili in pta this weekend and bissie vs liebenberg at newlands.though I still back bissie all the way.
    We missed deysel on defence- he is the one player in the team that couldve stopped greyling in this tracks and brought him to ground in the tackle.he was big on d in last year’s s15 game at loftus and the 2010 game there.
    thought if kanko kept ball in hand (interplay between him and keegan) instead of kicking ahead,he and keegan couldve scored vs akona and kirchner.

  • Comment 53, posted at 27.02.12 13:39:42 by bergshark Reply

  • And please remember the value of the dropgoal..can’t recall morne steyn even attempting one in the crucial s15 game at loftus -very surprised at that.but unfortunately he remembered it this past weekend 😐

  • Comment 54, posted at 27.02.12 13:42:16 by bergshark Reply

  • I was also very disappointed at the game but felt a whole lot better after tele review on Sunday. We definitely did not pitch up as I was expecting but Bulls to their credit set their pace, game plan and executed both very well. Looking forward to Cape Town this weekend, hoping for a better game – more bang for my buck! Well done to all the ‘frenzies for pitching up on Friday – what an atmosphere! Have a great week.

  • Comment 55, posted at 27.02.12 14:15:09 by MikeN Reply

  • Hope for the best against Stormers this weekend. Think they must try Bosman with JP this weekend against JdV. His form is excellent, and never had a change to play next to a good 13 last year. His distribution and skills can be valuable this weekend. It was after Charl and Meyer came on, that the 12 and 13 look much better.

  • Comment 56, posted at 27.02.12 14:20:03 by springbok Reply

  • @MikeN (Comment 55) : Welcome Mike! Did u monitor the flights??

    @springbok (Comment 56) : But that’s what I said! πŸ˜†

  • Comment 57, posted at 27.02.12 14:42:21 by Ice Reply
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  • @springbok (Comment 56) : it’s easier to provide some impact with fresh legs when the game is tight and starting players already worn. πŸ™„ I would not get too excited for starting Meyer or Charl.

  • Comment 58, posted at 27.02.12 15:23:47 by rekinek Reply
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  • I guess I need a telereview too – very different when watching from the stands.

  • Comment 59, posted at 27.02.12 15:25:08 by rekinek Reply
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  • I’ll have you know that Morne Mellett is about two weeks away from getting back onto the park,yes I’m talking about the loosehead prop that kept Dale Chadwick out of the SA u20s in 2009,many feel it was due to Eric Sauls’ flawed selections that he got in ahead of Chadders. Tell you what this lad is IMO more talented than big Dean Greyling and he’ll probably get a run at some point this year with the senior side. Arno Botha also expected back in two weeks,good news for us Blou Bulle fans,bad news for the rest

  • Comment 60, posted at 27.02.12 15:59:26 by Ludz Reply

  • It’s only the first week of the season which ends in the second half of the year guys. Relax! Our boys didn’t have much of a preseason in terms of warm up games.

  • Comment 61, posted at 27.02.12 17:18:32 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 61) : relax ?? 😯 the stress just started and we’ve been waiting for it since October :mrgreen: we shall not be relaxed till earliest November :mrgreen:

  • Comment 62, posted at 27.02.12 17:29:57 by rekinek Reply
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