Looking ahead to the tour

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 13 Mar 2012 at 08:00
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With the Sharks playing their last game in South Africa for a month – against the Reds on Saturday – our thoughts inevitably will turn towards the upcoming tour. The squad, we assume, will depart for Australia and New Zealand shortly after Saturday’s game.

With only 26 places up for grabs, competition amongst the squad is likely to be intense with a number of players unfortunately likely to be left at home; that said, with four tough matches lined up for the tour party, it’s inevitable that a replacement or two will need to be summoned at some point.

A number of players will definitely not be fit in time to tour – long-term casualties Alistair Hargreaves, Beast Mtawarira, Ryan Kankowski and Julian Redelinghuys are all definitely out of contention, but should hopefully all still recover in time to play some part in the Sharks’ 2012 campaign. Three other players, Kyle Cooper, Jean Deysel and Conrad Hoffmann are all on the comeback trail from injury and will need to prove their fitness via the Vodacom Cup this weekend in order to be considered for tour places.

The Sharks have used exactly 26 players so far over the last 3 rounds, but it would probably be naive to expect that it would be this exact group of players earmarked to tour; with Deysel in particular likely to be named in the group, it would probably be safe to assume that Tera Mtembu would be left behind, while Marius Joubert and to a lesser extent Louis Ludik are also far from certain tourists.

The stickiest problem at this stage is to find a fourth prop option – Dale Chadwick, Jannie du Plessis and Wiehahn Herbst are all certainties, but there must surely be some cover outside of these names taken along just in case. Plumtree is only using one hooker at the moment, so there surely won’t be any need for cover outside of Bismarck du Plessis and Craig Burden. That said, with Kyle Cooper having spent some time at loosehead prop for the Sharks XV on Friday night, it’s possible there might be a spot for him as a utility front-ranker in the squad.

Assuming all of Keegan Daniel, Jacques Botes, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee and Deysel make the grade as loose forwards, that leaves room for just three locks, with both Deysel and Alberts able to do a job in the second row if required. Ross Skeate, Steven Sykes and Anton Bresler are the men who have been entrusted in the second row so far and will probably be the three to go on tour.

With 14 forwards chosen, places among the backs will be hotly contested. We can assume that Fred Michalak, Charl McLeod, Pat Lambie, Meyer Bosman, Tim Whitehead, JP Pietersen, Odwa Ndungane, Lwazi Mvovo and Riaan Viljoen all have their places already sewn up. That leaves three spots up for grabs and it’s safe to assume that one of them will go to Paul Jordaan, who has been in the match 22 every week so far. Ludik should, barring accidents, crack the nod for the second-last place, with the coaches then needing to decide between Hoffmann and Joubert for the final spot – with the former’s fitness perhaps casting the deciding vote.


  • So whats up with the loan prop? I’ll take Hoffmann ahead of Joubert 10/10 times.

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.03.12 08:07:10 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Rob, do you think Plum will be brave enough to take only 3 locks?

    Skeate is very injury prone

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.03.12 08:09:28 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • 😈 Yip, it is going to be a tough tour. Hope either Hoffman or Joubert will be hungry to play. We need to see a lot more urgency from them both.
    Burden must also be in seriously eager to collect bones. Let’s ensure a victory against the AUZ and NZ teams everytime boys, starting with the Reds!! 😈

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.03.12 08:10:59 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 3) : Have to admit that I am not a fan of either Hoffman or Joubert…

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.03.12 08:14:59 by King Shark Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : I think he will definitely take no fewer than 5 loosies and there must surely be a 4th prop option… so unless he goes for 15 forwards and 11 backs (which is also possible) then I guess 3 locks it will be

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.03.12 08:18:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : just to add to that – if Skeate doesn’t play this weekend, I reckon either Jandre or Piet-Steph could play their way into the squad.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.03.12 08:19:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 4) : 😈 I can see why, but there is nothing like starvation to fix a slugish player. There is not a lack of talent, just direction, I think. 😈

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.03.12 08:20:02 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : 😈 I think the 15/11 split will be the way to go. 😈

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.03.12 08:21:50 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    Coz my thinking is that we can make due without either Hoffmann and Joubert.

    We have backs who can cover multiple positions.

    Just a thought

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.03.12 08:22:46 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • 4th prop Janro Van Niekerk/Kyle Cooper…Kyle used at 1 last week, so clearly The Sharks are trying something. Deysel is a definite for the touring squad, we don’t even need to question that. Coetzee/Keegan will need a bit of a break at some stage, so a Loose trio combo of Botes, Deysel and Alberts could def. be a possibility on tour.

    Our squad depth is looking lekka with Alberts and Deysel back from injury…they so important for The Sharks.

    PSDT, should also make the touring party for me…his versatility and ability to cover 3 different positions will be very useful on a month long tour, when players need to be kept as fresh as possible.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.03.12 08:31:13 by JJR Reply
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 9) : no, I agree with you. Centre is well covered without Joubert and unless Hoffmann really delivers a superb 40 minutes against WP, I’m not sure why we would want to take him. Rather let him play his way in via the Vodacom Cup over the next month.

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.03.12 08:39:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 1) : Just 10/10 times? 😈

    I’d tell him he made the squad but that the budget was too tight for him to get a plane ticket, so he has to swim over to the Antipodes for the game!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.03.12 08:42:16 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) :

    The only bad thing about Hoffmann staying is that he will keep Reinach out of the Vodacom Cup team.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.03.12 08:45:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 10) : What 3 positions does PSD cover? Lock, blindside flank and…?
    Please say eighthman because that would be ideal looking towards the future. He’d be our Danie Rossouw 😀

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.03.12 08:50:38 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 14) : 4,5 and 7.

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.03.12 10:44:48 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 15) : Well in that case he can play 4 maybe 5 positions.
    and maybe 8


  • Comment 16, posted at 13.03.12 10:47:26 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • So Sharks touring squad 26 players-

    Chadwick, Jannie, Herbst and Cooper(we need 3 hookers)/Van Niekerk.

    Bissie, Burden

    Sykes, Skeate, Bresler and PS Du toit(also looseforward cover)

    Loose forwards-

    Coetzee, Keegan, Botes, Alberts and Deysel.


    Mcloed, Fred, Lambie and Hoffmann.


    Whitehead, JPP, Bosman and Jordaan(also wing cover)

    Outside back-

    Mvovo, Ndungane(also fullback cover) and Viljoen.

    I hope the touring squad looks like this.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.03.12 12:00:29 by JJR Reply
  • we will have good cover and back up for all positions if that 26 man squad is selected.

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.03.12 12:02:43 by JJR Reply
  • Any idea how Cooper went at 1? I met Cooper last year and he’s not the biggest frontrower I’ve ever seen.

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.03.12 12:09:12 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) : how you on here, your power out too 🙂

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.03.12 12:13:19 by Franshark Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) : Yes, he is not built like a Prop, especially a loosehead (he’s shorter than 1.80m); but he has gone up from 106kg to 109kg, and we all know he is a very strong guy, so he should be able to cope at 1, just how well he will be able to do is still a mystery.

    SS are televising The Sharks XV this weekend, so we will hopefully be able to have a little look at how he does at 1, if he is played there sometime during the game.

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.03.12 12:20:49 by JJR Reply
  • Franshark. Ja dit lyk my die hele NC is uit. Op my BB.
    Where has my reply arrows disappeared too?

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.03.12 12:21:31 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 22) : slow internet, the power’s back…. ja ons kan niks doen sonder krag nie, darm hou die foon so n rukkie 🙂

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.03.12 12:28:39 by Franshark Reply
  • But Watson disagrees with the Lions coach.

    “They (the assistants) made no conspicuous errors and only did their job.

    “And they are highly specialised assistant referees who are respected by the IRB and SANZAR,” Watson told the Beeld newspaper.

    According to Watson there’s too much doubt to say with certainty that the wrong calls were made.

    “With (Lwazi) Mvovo’s try three camera shots did not show his foot touching the sideline and the fourth one also wasn’t clear enough.

    “Mitchell may have had a case with the alleged forward pass (which led to Meyer Bosman’s try) but one also can’t say with certainty it was forward.”

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.03.12 12:33:35 by Megatron Reply

  • @JJR (Comment 15) : Ok, I’m with you now.

    @JJR (Comment 17) : Burden can also cover flank and is he still fast enough to be a centre/wing? I’d love to see him played as an openside. I think that he has the build for it.

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.03.12 12:49:15 by ChrisS Reply
  • The type of game we play means that the attrition rate among forwards should be significantly higher than among the backs. I would therefore much rather see an extra lock in the squad than either Marius Joubert or Conrad Hoffman. I need not elaborate on my stance re: Joubert, and to expect Hoffman, whose best performance to date has been clearing rucks at the speed of continental drift, to return from injury and be up to Super Rugby standards is wishful thinking.

    I really, really hope Hoffman makes me eat humble pie at some point in the future, because scrummie is a serious area of concern for me at the Sharks, but the tour is not the time to gamble.

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.03.12 12:50:01 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 22) : @Franshark (Comment 23) : Nie geweet Krag bestaan in Newcastle ni!? 😆

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.03.12 12:50:32 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 27) : Happy Birthday, Ben 10!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.03.12 13:14:14 by Ice Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 25) : Yes he could play 6 or even 8,IMO…the only thing is we have many quality loose forwards ATM and we have youngsters like Kleinhans, Cloete, Majola,etc…so unlikely it would happen; but he could be an option as impact off the bench at 6 now and then.

  • Comment 29, posted at 13.03.12 13:19:53 by JJR Reply
  • @Culling Song (Comment 26) : Not just at the Sharks but at Springbok level too. We have Francois Hougaard and possibly Fourie du Preez. Who’s next in line?

  • Comment 30, posted at 13.03.12 13:27:24 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 27) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 31, posted at 13.03.12 13:29:26 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 28) : Thanks Ice Ice Baby. 🙂

  • Comment 32, posted at 13.03.12 13:33:24 by Ben Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 30) : also been worrying me…maybe S.Pretorius will finally get a call up for Boks. Du Preez, Hougaard and Pretorius…prety darn good top 3 scrummies if you ask me…after those 3 though, it is wide open.

    For Sharks, C.Reinach is a quality talent, hope he gets his chance this year.

  • Comment 33, posted at 13.03.12 13:36:17 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 29) : I’m thinking of him, Kyle Cooper and PSD as being the ultimate forward reserves for the Sharks going forward. Between them they’ll cover the entire pack!!

    @JJR (Comment 33) : I’d like to see Ruan Pienaar getting more gametime at 9. He’s looked good for Ulster and has looked good in the few runs he’s had there for the Boks.

  • Comment 34, posted at 13.03.12 13:48:50 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Ben (Comment 27) : hey hey… 😉

  • Comment 35, posted at 13.03.12 13:55:22 by Franshark Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 34) : Ja, they do give Plum a few extra options.

    Ruan…Hhhhmmmmm, i have seen enough from him to say i don’t wanna see him in a Bok jersey…he is so inconsistent and we can’t have that at international level; but maybe Heyneke can get him playing well game in and game out…we will see what happens.

  • Comment 36, posted at 13.03.12 16:51:23 by JJR Reply
  • Oud Bolander Janro van Niekerk gaan toer.

  • Comment 37, posted at 14.03.12 09:52:53 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 37) : ja – ek sien dis in Beeld. Got the story up.

    Do you know the lad?

  • Comment 38, posted at 14.03.12 10:14:20 by robdylan Reply
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