A closer look at the team

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 10 May 2012 at 14:21
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Can you believe it took 12 weeks for the Sharks to name an unchanged 22? The Bulls have been naming the same 22 since Hougaard came back from his 2 or 3 week ban. Continuity in selection, although coaches in a long Super Rugby season use rotation to rest players,  is very important. Continuity builds combinations and should also help with the accuracy of handling and passing as communication between players improve, which is something the Sharks have been having trouble with.

I like the balance of this loose trio. If you look at individual performances it is probably only Marcell Coetzee that stands out, but as a combination they have been playing really well together since being put together in the second half of the match against the Chiefs. We also have two loose forwards waiting on the bench, Deysel has really been looking good when playing for the Vodacom Cup side and I would like to see him get an extended run in the second half, hopefully making an impact at the breakdown, and with his strong abrasive way of tackling and attacking he could run havoc against a tiring opposition.

It’s great to have Beast back, he had a huge influence on our pack last week, whether they were just better because of the combination or because of his individual impact I don’t really care, I just know we haven’t had a solid scrum like that in a while, then there’s the added bonus of Beast as a ball carrier, we didn’t see this last week, but it can’t be too far off.

Bresler and Sykes are coming together nicely, the set pieces are looking much better, they’re a good solid defensive unit and as long as Bismark, Marcell and now Beast take on most of the ball carrying duties their lack in ball carrying effectiveness won’t be a problem. Obviously it would be nice if they can work on this area of their game, but right now being effective in the basics that your position requires is much more important.

Like everyone said here before, Charl McLeod also needs to get back to the basics, forget about the ref, forget about sniping runs (which he’s not even really good at, he almost always loses the ball) and just get the ball out to the backs or your ball carriers, quick and clean clearing from the rucks will be his most important role. He is capable of it, he just needs to focus on this part of his game specifically.

It’s good to see JP back at the wing with Lwazi, hopefully he’ll get back to his best in this position soon, the back three just look better with him there, he should take the experience he gained from playing closer to the ball for 9 weeks and apply that to his game, just because he’s back at wing doesn’t mean he shouldn’t join the line. Ludik may not be a game breaker in the mould of Israel Dagg or geez has anyone seen Andre Taylor play this year, but he completes a balanced back three and he has been so committed since replacing the injured Odwa Ndugane, he really deserves his spot.

I looked at the weather for the weekend, the whole week should be clear and sunny, so hopefully we’ll see some running rugby. If the game plan requires a more expansive running game I am confident that Lambie will execute it well, it is in fact the stronger part of his game, but isn’t it good to know that we have a rounded level headed player leading the backs. Now we know whatever the game plan, running or even kicking, Lambie is the man for the job. Hopefully this week we’ll see him taking on the line, slipping through a few gaps and putting his two exciting centres into space, a centre combination that I think can be very successful for the Sharks and will hopefully be given an opportunity to grow.

If this continuity can continue in the next few weeks and Plumtree can select basically the same team for the final run of 6 games, we could see a great improvement in how the Sharks move forward, and hopefully this is the team that can get us into the play-offs, improving each week and become a strong enough to contend for the title.

The Team:

Louis Ludik, JP Pietersen, Paul Jordaan, Tim Whitehead, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel ©, Marcell Coetzee, Jacques Botes, Anton Bresler, Steven Sykes, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira

Reserves: Craig Burden, Wiehan Herbst, Pieter-Steph du Doit, Jean Deysel, Ryan Kankowski, Frederic Michalak, Meyer Bosman


  • great write up,I think if we can get our basics right,they should start believing in themselves,which I feel is missing

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.05.12 18:38:41 by clarkville Reply
  • I agree that if we can get the basics right then we can improve a lot but – and it is a big but – we need a big change behing the scenes and get in some extra support staff and decent assistant coaches.

    We have the players but they are not being fully utilised.

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.05.12 20:17:35 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • When last have we been this positive before a match?

    Not sure if it`s a good thing or not. . .

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.05.12 22:04:47 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • I’m looking for more from Beast in the loose …. Felt he went missing last week in the rucks.

    Hoping the center combination will settle early and will get front foot ball from the forwards.

    We need to attack their lineout and in particular Nathan Sharpe… He’s their goto man. If we can interupt it we will get the upper hand early.. So locks, its time to step up.

    And vary the play a bit … some pick and drives down the middle – not just kicking

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.05.12 07:45:26 by byron Reply

  • just to give Sykes his due, though, I feel the lad is a very underrated ball carrier… just because he has some pace and prefers to run into space, rather than other players, doesn’t make him ineffective in this area, in my opinion.

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.05.12 08:31:50 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I prefer all my ball carriers to run into space as long as it is in front of them

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.05.12 08:39:08 by Bokhoring Reply

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