Herbst conundrum for Plumtree

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 1 May 2013 at 09:24
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When you pick a player out of position – as a last resort – to do a holding job for you, the last thing you really need is for him to deliver such a commanding performance that it complicates selection for the following week.

Obviously I write this with tongue firmly in cheek; the last thing that Sharks coach John Plumtree will be doing, I’m sure, is losing sleep over the excellent play delivered by makeshift loosehead prop Wiehahn Herbst against the Chiefs, but with JC Janse van Rensburg now having joined up with the team, there is something of a front row puzzle to solve.

Nobody has managed to put Herbst’s performance into better context than his front-row partner on the day – as well as usual rival for the number 3 jersey – Jannie du Plessis, who told the Sharks website, “I don’t know if people realise how well Wiehahn Herbst played at loosehead! It’s not easy to go and play on the other side of the scrum, but he’s very strong and shorter than others he plays against, but I don’t think people know how well he is playing. He deserves credit and like the whole pack, was brilliant”.

The fly in the ointment here is that prior to Beast Mtawarira’s untimely injury, Herbst had actually managed to displace du Plessis himself from the starting lineup and was fast establishing himself as an automatic pick on the right hand side of the scrum. Should Plumtree opt to remain true to that philosophy, then we should see Herbst back at tighthead this weekend, with van Rensburg picked to start at loose.

Tinkering with any winning combination, though, would be folly and who could blame the coach if he opts to go with exactly the same starting combination this weekend, with van Rensburg likely to displace Danie Mienie amongst the substitutes. That would be scant reward for a promising three-minute cameo, and strong first scrum in Sharks colours, for the youngster, but with the Sharks needing to throw everything they have into this game, I simply can’t see Plumtree opting against introducing Bok tourist van Rensburg into his match 22.


  • he will get a bok jersey soon maybe in the rugby championship if he continues with this form

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.05.13 10:04:06 by Poisy Reply
  • Thus far the only tighthead that I’ve seen with the ability to master both sides of the scrum.

    His selection for the Bok squad would be a no brainer – even for HM

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.05.13 10:10:52 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • JC and Herbst, no brainer really. We need the strongest combo against a very good Highlanders scrum!

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.05.13 10:13:46 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 2) : let’s not get too hasty just yet. Herbst did ok against the Cheetahs, but saying that he “mastered” Adriaanse would be a bit of an overstatement. I’d like him to be considered a Bok option at loosehead only after he’s played 5-10 Super Rugby games in the position.

    to my mind, though, his credentials as one of the two best tightheads in the country are unquestionable.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.05.13 10:18:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 3) : jc must be on the bench he shouldnt start his never scrummed with these guys before except for practice i wouldnt risk a start just yet

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.05.13 10:18:13 by Poisy Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : fair comment but love how are frindge players are just performing theres life after the duplesi bro’s. thoughts on what to do with burden? his hands let him down alot lately reminds me of sithole shouldnt hadebe get a chance now?

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.05.13 10:21:35 by Poisy Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : No no, he should be on the bench for the Boks as the TH, because he’s the only TH able to be a very competent backup to Jannie.

    Added to that it would be better to have Herbst on the bench because of his ability to play LH, instead of a LH on the bench unable to play TH.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.05.13 10:34:20 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 7) : Remember that there will be 2 props on the bench come the Rugby Championships.

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.05.13 10:57:46 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) : Aaah finally.

    Okay, in that case Herbst then as TH sub and rotation.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.05.13 11:01:21 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • For me it is no conundrum at all, Herbst I am a big fan of but he ain’t a LH, he is a TH.

    Yes he was very good last weekend but against a experienced TH he would have struggled and his body positioning for LH is not good. Yes he is strong, for LH technically he is not sound.

    Can someone tell us if JC the lions LH is with the Sharks and available to play?

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.05.13 11:28:47 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 10) : read the article?

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.05.13 11:42:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • Yeah good point Rob.
    Although I think Plums main thinking here is, does he really want both his tight heads hon the field at the same time thus doubling the opportunity of one of them getting injured?
    With the current number of players down, the loss of a tight head would truly be felt.

    Play JC and leave one of the proper 3s on the bench.

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.05.13 11:54:39 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @Poisy (Comment 6) : I’ve been screaming for Burden to be dropped for a while now. Hadebe should have been promoted ages ago. Burden offers no value. Seems like there a double standards applied at the Sharks. Can’t remember when Burden caught a ball. Sithole drops a few balls and he is cast aside.

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.05.13 12:15:28 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • The team I think Plum will select, of course I am not in the know as to who is injured or not,

    15 Viljoen
    14 JPP
    13 Steyn
    12 Bosman
    11 Mvovo
    10 Lambie
    09 Mcleod
    08 Mtembu
    07 Deysel Capt
    06 Minnie
    05 PSDT
    04 Bresler
    03 Jannie
    02 Cooper
    01 JC VRensburg

    16 Burden
    17 Herbst
    18 VDMerwe
    19 Daniel
    20 Coetzee
    21 Venter
    22 Odwa/Lindeque

    Now not saying this is the team I would select as for example I would have considered Steyn at 12 with JP at 13, I think with the big centers at the Highlanders that would be a better center pairing.

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.05.13 13:11:13 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 14) : who’s Venter?

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.05.13 13:41:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • Probably means Meyer Rob

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.05.13 13:56:06 by Ludz Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 13) : ya plum contridicts himslef alot with selection and how he treats players

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.05.13 14:22:05 by Poisy Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : oops Rob I think I got the wrong Scrummy, I forgot Venter is with the JNR Boks. Meant Meyer!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.05.13 14:31:25 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 18) : my info is Mvovo isn’t fit for this week

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.05.13 14:39:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Pity, Hopefully Plum will stick with Lindeque then

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.05.13 16:02:02 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 20) : it would be the first time in 6 games that we have the same guy at left wing twice in a row…

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.05.13 16:19:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : Exactly Rob, and this is one of he reasons I am not on the Plum should be fired bandwagon, Yes I know it’s an old excuse but no team has gone through an injury crises that we have this season.

    It also is not only about the no of injuries but who are injured, and every week Plum has had to select different combo’s that surely is a huge disruption.

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.05.13 16:23:48 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 22) : um, no – it’s mostly because he’s dropped people, not because of injuries

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.05.13 16:49:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : 😆 I purposefully avoided the Kanko Subject, as the press so far have only given one side of the story, so hopefully all will be revealed or solved.

    As you know I am a big Kanko fan, so no I aint happy with him being dropped, it does not make sense.

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.05.13 17:06:21 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 24) : there’s a lot more to that story than is being let on.

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.05.13 17:26:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 24) : but Kanko isn’t actually the guy I’m talking about… talking about the way S’bura and then Robinson were both dropped so hard their heads are spinning

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.05.13 17:26:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : Neither Sithole nor Robinson are ready for SR. I think Lindeque was good enough to cement his spot for at least this week. I would like to see him at 13 though.

    @sharks_lover (Comment 14) : If I was Plum I probably wouldn’t start Minnie again, but would give him significant time off the bench. He didn’t really fulfill the open-side requirements. I would rather start Daniel and try to get him back to his best.

    Team should be:
    1. van Rensburg
    2. Cooper
    3. Herbst
    4. Bresler
    5. du Toit
    6. Daniel (c)
    7. Deysel
    8. Mtembu
    9. McLeod
    10. Lambie
    11. Lindeque
    12. Bosman
    13. Steyn
    14. Pietersen
    15. Viljoen

    16. Burden
    17. du Plessis
    18. van der Merwe
    19. Coetzee
    20. Minnie
    21. Meyer
    22. Ndungane

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.05.13 17:46:16 by David12246 Reply


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