Sharks bolstered ahead of final

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 23 Oct 2012 at 09:05
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There’s been further good news as they prepare for Saturday’s Currie Cup final against Western Province, in the return of to stalwarts to the squad.

Jacques Botes, the 109-cap veteran, has excelled (once again) on the open side flank for the bulk of the competition, before a back injury forced his late withdrawal ahead the final league match against Griquas. Another “old-timer”, increasingly rare in this squad of keen youngsters, Odwa Ndungane, suffered an ankle injury in the opening minutes of that same game. They both went on to miss out on last week’s semi-final triumph against the Bulls.

The good news is that both Botes and Ndungane will return to training today; aside from Jannie du Plessis (who won’t take contact until Thursday, but is nevertheless expected to play after a concussion scare) and long-term casualties Bismarck du Plessis and Francois Steyn, the Sharks have a full squad to choose from ahead of the final. That situation, though, may cause further headaches for coach John Plumtree, as finding room for Botes and Ndungane in his matchday squad could prove tricky indeed.

Plumtree has already hinted that he’d like to include young Pieter-Steph du Toit as a utility forward on the bench this week, making it unlikely that a space could be found for Botes without dropping either Willem Alberts or Jean Deysel, both of which are close to unthinkable at the moment. The problem at wing is equally bad, with both Lwazi Mvovo and JP Pietersen in fine form against the Bulls.


  • Sometimes too much depth is a bad thing 😈

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.10.12 09:10:12 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 1) :

    Depth like that is never a bad thing..

    The juggling and keeping the players happy is the tricky part.

    But both Botes and Odwa have been around the block, so they know what is expected of them and if they are to miss out, they are both professionals and will get on with it.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.10.12 09:16:11 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Despite the good form shown by Lwazi Mvovo, in wet weather I’d opt for Odwa to start, with Lwazi to inject pace and flair in the latter stages of the game.

    Not sure what to do with the loosie situation though…

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.10.12 09:19:05 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : I agree fully. I was being sarcastic. The Sharks really are fortunate to have so many quality players.

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.10.12 09:19:25 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 3) :

    Agree, weather will play a part in the coaches mind, and even though Lwazi is a fantastic finisher, tries aren’t the easiest thing to score in a final.

    I would stick with the same recipe as the semi, let Deysel and Marcell soften them up and bring Alberts on to further bruise them in the final 30..

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.10.12 09:22:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @JarsonX (Comment 4) :

    I know..

    Just wanted to add to the comment..

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.10.12 09:22:45 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 5) : Agree with that for the most,

    Lineouts are a problem so i have a feeling Sykes will start this week with Bresler as lock pair.

    I agree with Deysel should start as Deysel is the closest we have to a fetcher with Bismark out, I think Deysels play must be to take care of Deon fourie.

    It seems it will be raining come Saturday so i have a feeling we will be seeing another 5-2 split, accept only one prop on the bench, with PSDT coming in as Lock/Flank cover in place of the extra prop.

    This means the backline will probably stay the same as last weekend, with bench cover the same.

    For me the team could look something like this,

    15 Ludick
    14 JPP
    13 Jordaan
    12 Whitehead
    11 Mvovo
    10 Lambie
    09 Reinach
    08 Daniel
    07 Deysel/Alberts
    06 Coetzee
    05 Bresler
    04 Jandre/Sykes
    03 Jannie
    02 Burden/Cooper
    01 Beast

    16 Cooper/Burden
    17 Herbst
    18 Sykes/Jandre/PSDT (not sure why but I know Plum called PSDT into the squad)
    19 Alberts/Deysel
    20 Mcleod
    21 Bosman
    22 Odwa/PSDT

    Not sure if he will but if Plum does go with a 5-2 split? you might find and extra flank on the bench as PSDT covers 7 and 5,4

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.10.12 09:42:03 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Only change Id make, if any, is starting the Beast.
    If Plum drops Chadwick completely then maybe bring Botes onto the bench.
    But thats at a push.
    I really wouldnt be tinkering with the side too much.

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.10.12 09:44:08 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • Is Jacques Botes still going to be around next year?

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.10.12 09:47:55 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @John Galt (Comment 8) : And Burden for Cooper. Cooper’s lineout throwing was terrible last weekend.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.10.12 09:50:08 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I think Plum has to go for continuity for the final.

    Team to stay exactly the same, unless he opts to not play two props from the bench, in which case he should drop Chadwick for Beast – I’d prefer to have Beast on specifically for minute 50 – 80 at least.

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.10.12 09:56:05 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • We’ll get to see how well Lambie performs under pressure, you just know that Prooovince will target Lambie the way they targeted Jantjies.

    We’ll truly get to see what this wonder boy Lambie is really made of.

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.10.12 10:02:36 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I think I would start Odwa. Have Lwazi on the bench. At the very least I would make room for Odwa. He has been in great form.

    It’s a little harder making room for Botes. I don’t think he’d make any real impact from the bench, so if he is considered it should be as a starting player and I just don’t think you can drop Marcel for Botes even when Botes plays a role more suited to the 6 jersey in clearing the rucks and his work rate off the ball.

    My team would look like this:



  • Comment 13, posted at 23.10.12 10:14:14 by Letgo Reply
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  • I think the best thing would be to continue with the currie cup team. The boks we need for the super rugby so leave them to a bit of rest. It can only help our cause next year. Plus when they come on hungry for a trophy i think the WP will be hurting when they do

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.10.12 10:16:33 by Dunx Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 14) : Probably true, although I would still like to see a spot for Odwa. He has been in excellent form and I think he can be an asset for the Sharks in the Final.

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.10.12 10:29:21 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 15) : Agree – Odwa has been great so far – would like to have him in the team.

    I liked the fact that the big guns were being used as super-subs against the Bulls. I’d like that to be the same for this weekend.

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.10.12 10:48:00 by Ice Reply
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  • Thought the headline might have something to do with John Mitchell, but I guess this puts that possibility to rest:

    Apologies if that’s old news, first I’d read about it though…

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.10.12 10:49:46 by MerckZ Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 9) : I’m thinking the same thing, ill put him on the bench

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.10.12 10:58:48 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • 1 Beast*
    2 Burden*
    3 Du Plessis
    4 Marais
    5 Bresler
    6 Coetzee
    7 Deysel
    8 Daniel
    9 Rienach
    10 Lambie
    11 Mvovo
    12 Whitehead
    13 Jordaan
    14 JPP
    15 Ludik

    16 Cooper
    17 Herbst
    18 PSDT
    19 Alberts
    20 McCleod
    21 Bosman
    22 Ndungane

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.10.12 10:59:13 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • Difficult call with Odwa but ill stick with JP and Mvovo starting 15 and Mcleod, Bosman on bench

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.10.12 11:01:38 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 12) : Sorry mate, but how many times does Lambie have to prove himself??

    You think he never got pressure from the BUlls?? when he play springboks???

    Hell you guys amaze me, after 3 years we still questioning Lambies ability?? 😯

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.10.12 11:38:54 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 21) : 🙄 Moet nou nie die dam onder die eend se gat uit pluk nie 🙄

    You’ve read way more into my comment than what I actually said.

    Lambie now has a target on his back, he has now once and for all proven that he is all that us Sharks supporters (yes, me included) have been saying. That argument is dead and buried.

    Enter the next phase: The opposition WILL target HIM, they will put ALL their efforts into targeting HIM, I am not sure in which previous game Lambie was singled out as the definitive leader of the Sharks backline?

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.10.12 11:53:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I am starting to get a little concerned. Dont want to be negative but there is just too much good news floating around at the moment. No injuries, best form, best defense, best attack etc. I think it is time to slow down and let the team talk on the field. They are going to start believing that they just have to pitch up for the victory.

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.10.12 12:08:52 by Amateur Reply

  • how many players can spend that much time out…have no time at all…sit on a bench…and run out and perform to that level ? hardly any..the only one i can think of is JPP…must be a sharks thing. QUALITY IS ETERNAL !!

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.10.12 12:09:50 by The Duke Reply

    The Duke
  • @Amateur (Comment 24) : I’m with you…


    I don’t see the fans getting carried away just yet. In fact, I’ve yet to see one comment on this site suggesting anyone thinks we’re going to just pitch up and thrash Province.

    I think we’re confident – and we have a right to be – but I don’t think the cart is before the horse. Let’s wait and see.

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.10.12 12:14:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : Not the fans, more like the newspapers, Rugby365 etc.

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.10.12 12:19:39 by Amateur Reply

  • @Amateur (Comment 24) : Fans’ state of mind has absolutely zero impact on the game on Saturday. Rather depends on players’ and coaching staff’s state of mind.

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.10.12 12:20:01 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 28) : I hear you. It is not the fans I am talking about. It is the hype from the media. Players cant help reading all this stuff. Just saying.

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.10.12 12:27:47 by Amateur Reply

  • just had to share this with the afrikaanse mense…

    Sing saam (deuntjie: My oom se motor van Laurika Rauch)

    My pa se blou span het sy gat gesien
    Hy brand sy trui met dieselien en
    Hy skree op my ma en hy skree op my broer
    Die blou bul span het weer pak gekry!!!
    Oh, stuur ons maar net ‘n nommer 10
    Want Morne Steyn het ook sy gat gesien
    En Seen my ma en seen my pa
    En bid vir die kinders met ‘n blou bul pa!

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.10.12 12:28:11 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @SharksRTB (Comment 30) : that’s awesome!

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.10.12 12:30:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Amateur (Comment 29) : The players need to be professional enough to read the hype, and shrug it off as just that.

    Surely during their team sessions, looking at the WP team man for man, they’ll realise that they’ll yet again have to bring their A+ game for these boys.

    WP has got a lot to prove, and no silverware 11 years counting will surely help them punch above their already impressive weight.

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.10.12 12:32:39 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Has Riaan Viljoen been seen training with the team. Plum has use him as a secret weapon against Province before. 😈

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.10.12 12:56:54 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 33) : including Tjop for this game would be a massive, massive mistake. He simply cannot be considered as a starter above any of Lambie, Mvovo, Pietersen, Ndungane or Ludik…

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.10.12 13:25:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) : Nope, but having him sightedon the training pitch with the team could send the Province coaches into a bout of hyperventilation.

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.10.12 13:49:56 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 35) : hehe… good point, good point.

    I can confirm that Riaan is definitely training with the team this week, along with all the other available players 🙂

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.10.12 13:53:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • This is good news!

    Wonder what our possession stats were against Potgieter this weekend.

    Prima Facie I`d start both Botes and Odwa ahead of Marcel and Mvovo this weekend.
    Fourie might not be Flo, but he will keep us busy this weekend. We know this, start our fetcher, secure possession and put pressure on them. Simple.

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.10.12 16:45:18 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Will start Odwa but don’t think Botes will make match 22.

  • Comment 38, posted at 23.10.12 18:35:37 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 38) : i would start odwa too.

  • Comment 39, posted at 24.10.12 07:55:56 by rekinek Reply
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  • talking about final, any tips on parking at / around Kings Park if one does not have a parking ticket? 😛

  • Comment 40, posted at 24.10.12 07:56:55 by rekinek Reply
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