Richard Ferguson

Sharks spread a little thin… for now

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 15 Aug 2012 at 11:00
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The Sharks have been fortunate over the past few years, in having a tough time finding spots in the starting line-up for all our loose forwards. That was again the case during the latter part of Super Rugby, where Willem Alberts was picked at lock, so as to accommodate four loosies on the park. Have things changed though?

Just to set the scene, I will remind you that the Sharks currently have three loose forwards with the Boks, being Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee and Keegan Daniel, while our form loosie from the last few rounds of Super Rugby action, Ryan Kankowski, has decided a move to Japan might be fun, and is also lost to the Sharks until Super Rugby 2013 kicks off.

That leaves the Sharks Currie Cup squad a little light on loose forwards, and scarily close to a bad situation, should we pick up a few injuries. The Sharks started their Currie Cup campaign with Jacques Botes, Jean Deysel and Tera Mtembu, while Francois Kleinhans sat on the bench and made quite an impact in the latter half of the match.

The problem is not with any of these players, but in fact, should any of these players get injured, the Sharks really are stuck without any form of backup. Looking at the squad of 28 players announced at the start of the Currie Cup, you will find no other specialist loose forward, with Pieter-Steph du Toit likely to have been earmarked to cover this position, should anything drastic happen. Du Toit though, is injured for at least the next month.

Looking beyond this squad we have one or two other names that could step in, should the Sharks run out of options in the loose trio. They are Chris Cloete and Brynard Stander. This should put us at ease, yet Cloete is injured and will only be back in two months’ time, while Stander is not ready, albeit not injured anymore.

The question that this all begs, is whether the Sharks should look at buying a loose forward. The very easy answer to that is simply – NO! Should the Sharks run into any trouble in the loose forwards, a U21 player, like Brendan Groenewald, Khaya Majola or Braam Steyn, even the young Guy Alexander, can step onto the bench and even get a bit of exposure, but there are way too many talented loosies running around within the Sharks structures to necessitate a purchase.

Looking forward to Super Rugby 2013, the Sharks will once again sit pretty in knowing that they have 5 international loose forwards (Alberts, Coetzee, Daniel, Deysel and Kankowski) along with stalwart Jacques Botes (if he is still around), as well as talented youngsters in Mtembu and Kleinhans. The loose forward depth at the Sharks is truly remarkable!


  • We’ll make a plan for Brussouw though :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.08.12 11:20:01 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • very good article this, Rich… having a look at the images from training yesterday, young Stander looks like a VERY fris perd indeed. As you say, he’s lacking a little match fitness after being out with injury, but should be able to do a good job in a ball-carrying role if asked to step in.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.08.12 11:22:06 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • i am excited to see us more and more growing our talent out of the academy instead of purchases.

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.08.12 12:22:40 by Dunx Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 3) :

    Its a positive thing with the Sharks at the moment..

    We don’t buy that many players, if you look at the amount of junior talent purchased by the Bulls in the past few months..

    The Sharks could become self sufficient over the next few years, with only emergency purchases required.. (hopefully)

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.08.12 12:27:56 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) : We just have bad luck with the cheque book (JLP, MJ, etc.) but we know we can find gems, Ludik, Alberts, Jannie, stalwarts of the Black and White have come from outside.

    Our focus should be local, homegrown talent, but we can not let another gem slip if the opportunity presents itself, just because we have potential

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.08.12 12:44:28 by Die Kriek Reply

  • No need to panic, if push comes to shove we can play Cooper/Hadebe at 2 and shift Craig Burden to the backrow. In all honesty, his ability in the loose, his speed, strength and backline nous would make him a much better loose-forward than he is a hooker (where he sometimes struggles at set-pieces), in my layman’s opinion.

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.08.12 20:59:31 by MerckZ Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 6) : Problem is, Coopy is out injured until October. That leaves us very thin indeed at hooker too…

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.08.12 08:48:12 by robdylan Reply
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