Knock-out places on the line

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 4 Oct 2012 at 14:38
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With news filtering through that Bok players will be released back to their provincial teams on conclusion of the Rugby Championship tournament on Sunday, this weekend may well be the last round of the 2012 Currie Cup where teams will field so-called “under strength” line-ups.

This has historically been somewhat of a contentious issue and looking at the Sharks specifically, the reintroduction of Springbok players just ahead of the Currie Cup knock-out phase did little to help their cause in either 2009 or 2011. In fact, last year in particular, both the Sharks and Western Province came unstuck against a Lions side who went into the knock-outs with nowhere near as many star names on paper, but rather had form and continuity on the field of play, which proved to be worth more.

That said, the Sharks will definitely look to use their returning Boks for the final round-robin game against Griquas next Friday – as well as the knock-out games to follow – meaning that Saturday’s outing against teh Cheetahs in Bloemfontein may represent the final opportunity for some of the players who’ve played big roles so far this season to prove that they deserve to retain their places once the big boys are back.

There are bitterly few in the current team who can be absolutely ensured of a stay of execution; only Anton Bresler, Keegan Daniel, Charl McLeod and Cobus Reinach can be sure of places for the semis, while the loss of Frans Steyn to injury means that Meyer Bosman, Tim Whitehead and Paul Jordaan won’t all miss out. Likewise, you’d fancy that one of Louis Ludik and Riaan Viljoen would feature, with Odwa Ndungane’s experience also likely to secure a match 22 place at least.

For the rest, though, Saturday may just represent their last chance saloon for the season and if they don’t manage to quite do enough to convince the coaches to pick them ahead of established Boks for next weekend’s game, they’ll hope, at least, to erase any lingering doubts about their suitability for Super Rugby squad places next year.


  • If it was my decision to make, the returning Springboks would be on the bench and only come on later. The guys who have played in the tournament are the reason we’re so close to securing a home-semi (and hopefully final). They deserve to be able to see it through to the end.

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.10.12 14:41:32 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : a nice sentiment, but if we’re going to face the Lions in Joburg again, I want Beast, Vic, Marcell, Pat and Lwazi in the team, at a minimum

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.10.12 14:56:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : Too true, have Beast, Jannie, Marcell, and Mvovo on the bench. Give Alberts the week off. Start with Craig Burden at hooker. And if Plum reads this, please please please prove that you are better than Meyer and give Lambie same game time!

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.10.12 14:57:54 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : The last time in Joburg in 2012 though (other than a ref who had decided who was going to win) it was only in the last quarter that the Lions were able to pull us in and overtake to win. If we have those guys on the bench to come on at the 60 minute mark we can probably destroy the Lions through talent and fresh legs.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.10.12 14:58:22 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : There’s only one place where I’m going to differ and that’s with poor Lambie. The poor guy hasn’t played rugby in half a year, I doubt he’s really match fit anymore. Have him on the bench, but it would be unfair to expect him to be able to front for a semi after such shoddy treatment with the Boks.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.10.12 14:59:57 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : I think people might want to lynch me for that statement. ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.10.12 15:00:32 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 6) : he’ll have 80 minutes against Griquas to sort himself out.

    Come on, man… this isn’t a human being we’re talking about, it’s PAT LAMBIE FOR GOODNESS SAKE! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.10.12 15:03:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : True. Apologies for that… after having that facist Meyer treating Lambie like the dirt caught under his shoe for the last six months, I forgot we’re dealing with SuperPat :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.10.12 15:05:53 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 8) : nothing would please me more than to see Lambie first have Goosen for breakfast in the semi, then destroy Jantjies as an afterthought in the final ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.10.12 15:08:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : That makes two of us.But like I said, I’m worried about his match fitness, but I’m sure he’ll be up to it.

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.10.12 15:10:07 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : If he is not ready to start in the CC then he can hardly be ready to start against the All Blacks. Maybe that’s Meyers view as well.

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.10.12 15:14:06 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 11) : True… but let’s be honest, it’s that guy’s fault in the first place than if he isn’t match fit. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.10.12 15:16:10 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 11) : It certainly doesn’t help that he doesn’t have some pansy flower on his blue rugby jersey!! I’d love to be able to stare into an alternate universe where Lambie was playing for the Bulls and see how differently our blue-goggled national coach treats him a little differently.

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.10.12 15:17:30 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : I agree, but at least give SuperPat 40minutes on the park.

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.10.12 15:21:36 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @Butchie34 (Comment 12) : It was all a cunning plan by Herr Meyer to keep Lambie hamstrung.

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.10.12 15:23:26 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 14) : Maybe that should be the plan from next week. 40 minutes vs Griquas, 60 vs Cheetahs and the full game to make Elton’s life a misery in the final.

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.10.12 15:23:55 by Butchie34 Reply
  • Wouldn’t it be great if we can make it to the final again and Lambie scores 20 or 30 points by himself again?

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.10.12 15:25:33 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 15) : Of course :mrgreen:

    When he finally brings on Lambie and he’s not match fit he can turn around and see “See, I let him play and he had problems.”

    Jokes on me I think. Thought he was the perfect replacement when they appointed him, now I’m definitely not so sure. Fixated on rugby that was good a few years ago and not interested in changing his opinion.

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.10.12 15:25:58 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 17) : He hands off Derick Minnie ala Schalk Burger 2010 to score under the sticks!! It would be awesome.

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.10.12 15:26:38 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 13) : In that universe we would’ve won the 2012 RC wit SuperPat at 10 for every game, palying the exciting rugby we know he can create from there. Cheetah and Lions bloggers would’ve been moaning about their guy not getting game time, and people on Sharksworld would’ve desperately tried to find out if Pat likes surfing.

    Oh and Laerskool Diepsloot’s u/7b coach and PE teacher, mr. M. Steyn would’ve called into Boots ‘n All to tell them how wrong this kid in the Green & Gold nr10 jersey is, and that kicking must be the future of SA rugby

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.10.12 15:27:55 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 20) : ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

    Too true. Meyer could have also said at the beginning of the tournament that the team really understands the game plan he wants to play because he has a flyhalf willing to take the ball up and get in the faces of the opposition, instead of having to wait until the penultimate round when he finally dropped his loved one.

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.10.12 15:30:16 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 13) : I dont think that in any universe Lambie would be able to wear a daisy on his chest, honestly I think their criteria is first and foremost how far and high someone can kick a ball – pass that and then move on to the next test,…knowledge of Steve Hofmeyers family tree, starting with Steve himself. and so on..

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.10.12 15:31:31 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 22) : I forgot that they don’t select based on intelligence or ability rather on the basis on how big your donkey foot is!! :mrgreen:

    Well, aren’t all the Bulls players the love child of the great Steve anyway? ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.10.12 15:33:45 by Butchie34 Reply
  • I feel any player who got less than 4h game time should be released. The rest should be rested (that’s 50% game time out of the 6 games played by the Boks in the RC).

    It’s not that 3 games would make that much of a difference, I just don’t want the final 3 weeks of CC to be a whole different competition as I have been enjoying this one. I like seeing all the new players and I would like to see who really was the best of the 6 teams featured this year, not just the best after the Boks came back.

    So players that should come back in my opinion come back –

    F vd Merwe
    L Mvovo
    J Kruger
    J Goosen
    P Cilliers
    J Taute
    P Lambie
    T Liebenberg
    J de Jongh
    E Jantjies

    And all the players who didn’t play at all.

    C Burden – and I don’t know who else?

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.10.12 15:36:51 by Letgo Reply
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  • I agree with Butchie…play the Boks off the bench. And only those guys that havnt already been played into the ground. Give the rest time to rest and re-condition themselves as the rest of the players get this time off after CC but the Boks go on tour and then not much time after that its pre season for Super rugby. Guys need to refresh body and mind.

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.10.12 15:38:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • Uhhhh, any permutations on what needs to happen for the bulls to not make the semi’s…..again?

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.10.12 15:41:52 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 26) : I have a feeling that if they lose one of their next two games they’re done. WP should do that tomorrow.

    If the Bulls play their Boks next week, they might be able to beat the Lions and pull them back and hopefully we can win the next 2 games to top the log.

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.10.12 15:44:14 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : i agree fully. Lambie is lacking MF and at least his ankle should be healed fully. just put him at fh plz

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.10.12 15:48:18 by Dunx Reply

  • I’ll take the Beast, Jannie, Marcell, Lwazi and Pat. Mixed with the bench and starting xv.

  • Comment 29, posted at 04.10.12 15:48:38 by JarsonX Reply
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  • As much as I think we’ve got the Bulls’ number, especially at Kings Park, I’d still prefer not to face them, with all their Boks back and angry as hell, in the Currie Cup play-offs

  • Comment 30, posted at 04.10.12 15:54:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : No matter who we play in semi’s it will be hard, but that said yes it would be nice to see the bulls and kings play promotion/relegation match! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  • Comment 31, posted at 04.10.12 17:09:41 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 31) : That would be great, considering we (Kings) beat them back before one of the Super Rugby campaigns quite recently.

  • Comment 32, posted at 04.10.12 18:43:25 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : Unfortunately the coaches are going to go with the guys that will win them the matches and not with who may deserve to be there. Harsh, but it’s true.

  • Comment 33, posted at 04.10.12 18:45:00 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
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  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 33) : hmmmmmm Last I checked, Rugby Union is now a professional sport. Who could possibly be more deserving of a spot than someone who will win the matches.

  • Comment 34, posted at 04.10.12 19:44:25 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 34) : I agree with you, but read the comment I was referring to and you will see why I said that.

  • Comment 35, posted at 04.10.12 19:53:58 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
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  • I`m in two minds here. The logical reaction would be to rush our bokke back but after what happened last year I`m not so sure.

    Ludik, Jordaan, JP, Whitehead, Mvovo, Lambie, Reinach, Keegan, Deysel, Bresler, Alberts, Marcel ? ( but then we don`t have a real fetcher ?? ), Jannie, Burden, Beast.
    Not a bad side, pity Heyneke got Frans injured!

  • Comment 36, posted at 04.10.12 19:57:29 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 35) : I did read the comment you were responding to, but I still don’t see the logic in your response. Quite simply, in a professional environment, the players that win games are the most deserving. Granted an argument could be made that returning Boks that are rushed into the team are not the ones that will win you the match (like last year) in which case they are less deserving to be in the team. But bottom line is the players that “deserve” to play are the ones that will win you matches, not the ones that have gotten the team this far in a watered down comp. What is important is how one integrates the returning Boks without disrupting the team. Of course this is just my opinion, and probably not worth the cost of the internet time to post the message ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 37, posted at 04.10.12 20:03:06 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 37) : Point taken ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 38, posted at 04.10.12 20:15:07 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : Robert – you have BBM…..

  • Comment 39, posted at 04.10.12 20:25:28 by Ice Reply
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