Taking their opportunities

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 8 Mar 2012 at 10:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

For a number of the lads named to play for the Sharks XV in their opener against Border on Friday, their selections are just rewards for putting in the hard yards during pre-season and forcing the coaches to show faith in them, even though they may not have been quite so fancied in the past.

The side has a strong look to it, with many of the position nonetheless rather predictable. Players like Monde Hadebe, Jandre Marais, Piet-Steph du Toit, Francois Kleinhans, Tera Mtembu, Cobus Reinach, Sbura Sithole, Wandi Mjekevu, Gouws Prinsloo and, of course, Marius Joubert, have all been with the Super Rugby side for much of the pre-season, making it inevitable that they would play a big role in the Vodacom Cup campaign, at least until injury opens the door for some of them to return to the Sharks squad proper. Filling the gaps was always going to be interesting, though and I’m pleased to see that a number of players who have performed consistently on the local club scene have been rewarded with places.

Blind side flank Brynard Stander and wing Rosco Speckman are both players who featured for the Sharks at junior level, but according to the information I have were not exactly earmarked for greater things thereafter, but have nonetheless forced their way into the selection frame through hard work. Jors Dannhauser, picked to play of the bench, is another guy who has really come up the hard way but has against been picked on the back of great club form, as well as incredibly hard work during pre-season. Replacement scrumhalf Shannon Rick (or Rick Shannon, as he is known to his employers) is another who has come in as a bit of an underdog, after moving to Griquas for a spell last year, but has used his experience to establish himself as backup to Reinach.

A special mention must also go to Allan Dell, who is the only member of last year’s under 19 squad that has progressed directly to the Vodacom Cup team this year. Whilst Pieter-Steph and Fred Zeilinga are both of the same vintage as Dell, both of the former spent the majority of the 2011 season playing for the under 21 side, rather than the under 19s.

Look for Kyle Cooper to make an impact off the bench in his first game back after knee surgery – it will be interesting to see how he and Dell line up when coming on, since the Sharks have plans to turn both into versatile front ranker, with Cooper earmarked to cover loosehead as well as hooker. Dell, already comfortable scrumming on either side of the front row, may be given a run in the middle of the scrum at some stage too, to see if he can develop into the same sort of utility option for the Sharks that John Smit was.

Another interesting development is the selection of Jandre Marais to skipper the side. It’s a bit of an unexpected choice, but the Sharks are crying out for leaders and with Jandre coming across as a real grafter in the Johann Muller mould, he may just emerge as a strong leader and one who might provide the Sharks with another captaincy option in years to come.


  • Glad that Shannon Rick has been restored to himself. Was getting ready to write a Daniel / Daniels piece.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.03.12 10:24:11 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 1) : that mistake appeared on the official site and we alas weren’t quite quick enough to pick up on it! Rest assured I’ve already apologised to the man

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.03.12 10:27:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Ahaa, thus the reference to his employers, I did try and drop a hint in the article. 😎

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.03.12 11:41:21 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Allan Dell,while everyone raves about Kitshoff,I feel in the long run Dell will be of far greater value than Kitshoff to SA Rugby,coupled with his humility and his willingness to do whatever is neccesary to further the that’s,he has never seems to be shaken and his leadership is second to none. He has an aura about him that suggests he’s a special player. A John Smit in the making

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.03.12 11:49:21 by Ludz Reply

  • Hey Rob, I just have to say thanks for always keeping us up to date with what’s going on with the Sharks XV and the u/21 and u/19. This site is the best by far, especially when it comes to that. 😀

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.03.12 14:50:56 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well done to Fred Zeilanga, Fran Kleinhans and Kyle Cooper! Glenwood Old Boys are proud of you. The 1st team against Westville this weekend should try and emulate you! Ludz, agreed about Dell, definitely a John Smit in the making….

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.03.12 14:55:06 by Grasshopper Reply

  • Sorry about that comment,poorly written,if ever I were to name my 3 favourite schoolboy flyhalves it would have to be Lionel Cronje, Fred Zeilinga and Joshua Stander

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.03.12 15:28:21 by Ludz Reply

  • Any one have an idea what the new sharks xv team consist of. As of yesterday PS du Toit was still in the starting line-up for them but in today’s Mercury he is on the bench for the Super 15 side. Who’s out or injured?

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.03.12 18:17:13 by felicity Reply

  • @felicity (Comment 8) : this is news to me… let me find out

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.03.12 19:15:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @felicity (Comment 8) : no – nobody is aware of any such change. As far as we know PS Du Toit is still starting at 5 for the Sharks XV

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.03.12 19:29:59 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @felicity (Comment 8) : 😯

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.03.12 19:49:19 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :
    @felicity (Comment 8) :

    The team as the mercury has it.


    Du plessis
    Du Toit

    9 Subs with Skeate being on the bench and in the Starting XV. I think it is nothing more than a copy and paste error by the Mercury.

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.03.12 20:08:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Daniel also both starting and on the bench

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.03.12 20:34:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 12) : Daniel and Skeate are double, delete that error and you have a 7 subs bench, with PSdT instead of Botes. Odd

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.03.12 20:41:12 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 14) : Nothing odd other than poor copy and paste ability in my book. That bench is very similar to the one that played against the Kings.

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.03.12 20:50:15 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) : Indeed it is, the injured Julian Redelinghuys is suposedly on the bench. Correct XV, wrong bench. Poor journalism then, that game was a month ago!

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.03.12 20:58:27 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Anybody at this match who can update us on the game

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.03.12 16:20:50 by FS Shark Reply

    FS Shark

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