Sharks player ratings v Stormers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 4 Mar 2013 at 10:26
Tagged with : , ,

Once again, the Sharks divided opinion in dishing up a performance against the Stormers that fell somewhat short of expectations, yet nonetheless delivered the most important result: four ore log points. While they will concede that they failed to fire on attack against perhaps the best defensive outfit in the competition, there were still areas of the Sharks’ game that stood out as positives. Let’s rate the individuals concerned.

My rating for the team over all this week is something around 6/10, so use that number as the benchmark against which you measure the individuals.

1) Beast Mtawarira. Gave away a few early scrum penalties, but otherwise turned in a virtually flawless display; had both Frans Malherbe and then later Pat Cilliers under huge pressure at scrum time and also made all his tackles count this week. 7/10
2) Craig Burden. Some careless handling, which saw him turn the ball over on no fewer than five occasions, detracted from a fine set-piece display. Burden threw the ball in with precision at line-out time and appears a different player this year when it comes to this particular set piece, which was the Sharks’ downfall in the latter stages of the Currie Cup last year. 5/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. A fine scrumming performance, but perhaps not quite as much of a contribution in open play as we saw from him the week before. 6/10
4) Anton Bresler. Strong on defence as always and sure of his line-out ball, but needs to show a little more in general play than we saw this week. 6/10
5) Franco van der Merwe. Showed up reasonably well in the middle of the line-out against the huge Andries Bekker, but otherwise had a quiet game. 5/10
6) Marcell Coetzee. Another whose hands let him down badly on the night. A fine defensive performance, as always, but much attacking momentum was lost as Marcell committed far too many individual errors. 5/10
7) Jean Deysel. A very good showing from a man who is clearly desperate for regular rugby. Deysel looked like the player of old and used his formidable strength to good advantage. Also a few trademark steals, one of which probably saved a certain try. 8/10
8) Ryan Kankowski. Another good, physical display from Kanko. We’re still waiting to see him get into his running game, but this was not the match for that to happen 6/10

9) Cobus Reinach. A bit of an uncertain display from the scrumhalf, who seemed to struggle a little both in terms of decision-making and execution. He’ll improve with more experience, I’m sure, but my feeling is that Cobus transferred too much pressure onto the rest of the backline by not being clinical enough in what he did. 5/10
10) Pat Lambie. Superb goal-kicking, as always, which spared the Sharks the blushes that many felt were their due. wasn’t quite on song in terms of options, though, with far too much ball being aimlessly kicked away, rather than entrusted to the safe hands outside him. 6/10
11) Lwazi Mvovo. A great game. Concerns over work rate are a thing of the past and Lwazi finally seems comfortable wearing the mantle of one of the country’s finest wingers. 7/10
12) Frans Steyn. A very solid performance, marked by a few brief glimpses of magic. Didn’t have enough ball to be really dangerous, but was a rock on defence and did what he could on attack. Leadership was a step up from last week as well. 7/10
13) Paul Jordaan. Impressed with his defence and showed one or two brief glimpses of what he can do on attack. Needs to improve his options with ball in hand, though, because he doesn’t ever seem able to link up with others once he’s made a break. 6/10
14) JP Pietersen. Little to do on attack, but was composed and assured on defence. Also showed the improvements in his kicking game, which was nice to see. 6/10
15) Louis Ludik. The best “buy” the Sharks have made in recent years, bar none. Ludik remains unflappable and steady on defence and plucked the ball out of the air with consummate ease. Probably the player who came closest to scoring for the Sharks on the day as well. 7/10

16) Kyle Cooper. Not a great cameo, with a missed lineout and a missed tackle within his first minute on the field. Recovered well enough, though and put in some strong carries towards the end. 5/10
17) Wiehahn Herbst. Kept up the scrum pressure while contributing well in general play. A good run. 6/10
18) Pieter-Steph du Toit. Lost a fair bit of ball, but added plenty of bulk, which was needed in the closing exchanges. 5/10
19) Jacques Botes. Always good to have a player of his calibre available on the bench, but I feel he was introduced too late and in the wrong position this week. 6/10
20) Charl McLeod. Unused.
21) Meyer Bosman. Unused
22) Odwa Ndungane. Unused


  • would be a good idea to give a guy like charl some game time against the kings. Just to keep the rust away

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.03.13 10:33:11 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • Agree with the ratings. Think our forwards are not laying the platform for the backs. Our locks have not shown us anything to date and Kanko needs to be given time to workout, given Terra a lokking into.

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.03.13 10:38:58 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • The one thing which frustrated me was passing the ball to Lambie who then passed it on to Ludik who cleared out of our 22 a few times (with one massive booboo). Ludik is fine, but if you have Frans at inside centre with his boot, why not get him in there and a nice 80m kick and try disrupt the Stormers outside their 22 inside of inside our own half?

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.03.13 10:39:56 by Butchie34 Reply
  • Looking

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.03.13 10:40:01 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 1) : Maybe in the second half. Let the current team try to gel a little more before making any changes.

    It’s going to be great to have Alberts back. Manage both Alberts and Deysel by having them each play a half. The other team will be stukkend!

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.03.13 10:41:32 by Butchie34 Reply
  • Think Mcloed should get at least 20-30 minutes off the bench this week depending on the situation, Reinach not making any unforced errors, but needs to be more confident in his decision making. Would like to see PSDT also get about 30 minutes next week.

    Ludik was solid on the weekend, but his kicking out of hand has been pretty poor these first 2 games, imo. Also Dell must come onto the bench so that we can give Beast a rest after the 60 minute mark.

    Very happy Deysel looked very good against a very good defence…i can’t wait to see what he’s going to do to the Kings.

    Sharks need to spread some go forward ball and get the 4 tries this weekend; hopefully the weather is good. Would also like to see Steyn look for some offloads this weekend.

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.03.13 10:55:32 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 6) : my changes for this weekend are to start Botes at 6 and McLeod at 9… otherwise team stays the same.

    Plenty of time for experimentation later. Agree with you, though, that Plum should go to the bench earlier this week, provided the game is going the right way.

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.03.13 10:59:32 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : Definitely want to see some more “clever” rotation this season…Rebels game will be a nice opportunity to rotate, especially in the forwards.

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.03.13 10:59:47 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 8) : have you been watching the Rebels this season? I rate them as 3rd-strongest Aussie side this year.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.03.13 11:04:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • I thought Pat did pretty well in the circumstances.

    3 flyhalves were on display and none shone on attack – simply because the forwards on both sides were unable to provide clean ball.

    However, I thought Reinach made things particularly hard for Pat, who opted for safety rather than adventure. The net result was a talented backline living off scraps.

    So while I think Pat has had better days, in my opinion the problem was further up the line.

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.03.13 11:14:26 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : ok, so the only relevant question here (and one I did struggle with)…. did Pat deserve a 7, rather than a 6?

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.03.13 11:20:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I thought the defense on display was excellent. We outdefended the best defensive team in the competition. That combined with the fact that we were able to come out on top in a gritty, difficult game to me is a good sign for this season.

    Agree that McLeod should get some game time this week. I think the youngster should also so that they can gain the experience to perform at this level early on in the season. Maybe give Cooper and PSDT a full half.

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.03.13 11:23:09 by Orelando_G Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Agree with those changes…i’ve been a bit dissapointed with Reinach. I don’t think he is making the most of his opportunity at the moment.

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.03.13 11:23:51 by JJR Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : exactly. I dont think we are fully appreciating what Deysel on form means to us, with a well rested Alberts heading back. Not to mention Bismarck at the business end. 2013 could be it

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.03.13 11:27:28 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : You don’t think Mvovo deserved an 8?

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.03.13 11:27:50 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 15) : I did consider it… but then again…. convince me why he deserves an 8. As an absolute score… that is, relative to what he’s done in other games to get an 8.

    To be honest, I wasn’t even going to give Deysel an 8

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.03.13 11:30:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : I just think our tight 5 will kill them…set pieces and Breakdown; i also don’t rate their defence. They have some good individual players…but i think they will get pumped when they come up against a side that can Win the comp.

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.03.13 11:30:50 by JJR Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) :
    Agree – matter of inches, not miles.

    However, given that he scored all our points, my question would have been 7 versus 8.

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.03.13 11:34:27 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 18) : oh indeed? Ok, fair enough….

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.03.13 11:36:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Does the strength of the opposition not come into it? I would have bumped quite a few players up based on that. However, since it’s your article and your scale then maybe the option of giving Deysel a 7 is better. IMO Deysel and Mvovo were the best players on the park for the Sharks and both played vital roles in our victory.

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.03.13 11:37:07 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 20) : ok, so let’s say Pat and Lwazi each deserve a point more.

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.03.13 11:38:55 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • it just goes to show, though, how subjective all this stuff is.

    Plum was full of praise for Franco… I saw him do nothing. Likewise, Keohane is all over Reinach, calling him the best scrummie in the country. I thought he had a poor game…

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.03.13 11:39:41 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 22) :
    Rob, it IS all subjective. Maybe I am over-rating Pat a bit. Certainly, I feel that our talented backline is going to waste.

    On Franco, I actually thought that he had a very good game. Bresler, by contrast, really needs to work on his body position going into contact.

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.03.13 11:45:03 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : Well Reinach being the best we’ve got isn’t saying all that much.

    Reinach vs.:

    van Zyl

    ….the list does not instill a ton of confidence, with Houghaard being the pick of the bunch – scary and sad.

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.03.13 11:49:16 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Sharks need to earn the right to go wide this Saturday. We must make the mistake of playing a loose game against the Kings. The Force made the same mistake and played into the Kings’ hands. The Kings are small and want to avoid the collisions. Let’s panel beat them first and then send the ball out wide. Bring back Mcleod, start PSDT in Bressler’s place.

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.03.13 12:04:01 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 1) : Good ratings! Sorry to say but Cobus is not up to scratch with his scrum half deliveries.
    Although he had 2 great steals, he has been off target in delivering quality ball to get us on the front foot. Not only in this game but last week as well as I commented last week.
    Play Cobus of the bench to get the best out of him.
    But what was more frustrating: 1. Owen’s senseless commentary; 2. The fact that we do not train at the times we play games (even a touch rugby game) or 3. That we only got 1 penalty when the WP frontrow popped up on several occasions and 4. JK struggled to follow the small detail in the rucks!!! šŸ™„

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.03.13 12:27:45 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 24) : Reinach, Hougaard, Van Zyl are all great scrummies…they just not on top form at the moment…Shaun Venter of the Kings had a very composed game against the Force…i was very impressed, he has a really cool head. He was already good when at the Pumas,but he has now shown us that he can play with the big boys.

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.03.13 13:11:15 by JJR Reply
  • @JJR (Comment 8) : Can’t agree more. Need the guys to be “fresher” for longer and that mean proper rotation. There’s always the temptation to play the number 1 team though

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.03.13 13:38:50 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 3) : With you there.
    Frans should take the long kicks, why give everything to Lambie or Ludik?
    When we need a big clearance from our 22 Frans should be our go to man, plain and simple.

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.03.13 09:17:01 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 29) : The new Frans seems to have lost quite a bit of his youthful confidence – the old Frans would have come running up to claim all the kicks for himself.

    One thing is that Frans has a history of charge downs in his 22 when the oppo pressure him – mainly to his kicking action. So in those scenarios it does make sense to skip him for someone in a better position (as far as players all over him). However I don’t understand why he does not take the line kicks from penalties.

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.03.13 09:43:57 by Bokhoring Reply

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