Invest in the forgotten man

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 May 2013 at 12:09
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Those of you, like me, who are no doubt already thinking ahead to the Currie Cup campaign (given that Super Rugby is over for us Sharks… funny, since we were meant to be winning it this year) might have spotted the same thing I have. It relates to the second row…

To my way of thinking, the noises coming from the Boks camp are pretty clear; Heyneke Meyer is looking at Pieter-Steph du Toit as a key member of his squad going forward and the chances, thus, that the youngster won’t be included in the squad for this year’s Rugby Championship would appear to be slim. Meyer, along with most other keen viewers of the game, seems to have identified du Toit as the right man to partner Eben Etzebeth going forward, describing the pair as “the next Bakkies [Botha] and Victor [Matfield]” in the Bok second row. Even if Steph doesn’t earn a test starting spot straight away, you can virtually go to the bank on him being a key part of any squad Meyer selects going forwards.

Now, the Sharks’ decision to recruit Franco van der Merwe for the Super Rugby tournament has had, to my mind, exactly the consequence we thought it would, with young home-grown locks in whom a lot of time has been invested, left out in the cold. Jandre Marais is the one who seems to have taken it most personally, with his exit to France not yet completely confirmed in terms of timing, but pretty certain to coincide with the start of the new French season. The older Marais, in other words, isn’t likely to feature for the Sharks at Currie Cup level this year and while I have nothing personal against Jandre at all, my view is that playing him any further at Super Rugby level now would quite simply be a wasted opportunity.

It’s Jandre’s younger brother, Peet, to whom the Sharks must surely now look, as he is sure to feature alongside Anton Bresler in the second row for the Currie Cup campaign. With du Toit off with the Boks – and Franco van der Merwe presumably back with the Lions, the Sharks will need the younger Marais to step up and deliver in the number 5 jersey, as well as growing into a suitable deputy for Bresler and du Toit at Super Rugby level in 2014.

To my mind, the Sharks simply have no further reason or justification for playing Franco van der Merwe ahead of locally-contracted players. They must release him back to the Lions immediately, and back Peet Marais on the bench as deputy to Bresler and du Toit for the three remaining matches of this year’s campaign.


  • But Franco is so good, he has been called up to the Boks!

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.05.13 12:13:45 by Morné Reply
  • I’d love it if they did that. It would show that someone there is thinking at least. Not holding my breath though.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.05.13 12:27:13 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Franco hasn’t been our worst performing player this year .To the contrary he has been massive in a few games. Saying that I think we should back our youngsters more.

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.05.13 12:30:26 by Talent Reply
  • And dont flipen argue with Kate Winslet

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.05.13 12:30:52 by Talent Reply
  • Shark coach thinking that will be a first for the season.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.05.13 12:31:08 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • I thought Kanko was the forgotten man 🙄

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.05.13 12:41:19 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Rob, third paragraph, exist should probably read exit.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.05.13 13:10:32 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 7) : thanks pal 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.05.13 13:16:55 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I agree with your view regarding the lock situation Rob – I would like to see Fred Zeilinga also given a run in the Currie Cup.
    @JD (Comment 5) : I agree lol that would be a first :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.05.13 13:45:43 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Invest in the forgotten MEN. Let’s rebuild with local youngsters and build the next dynasty. Target Super Rugby top 6 in 2014 & to win it in 2015.

    I’m talking Dell, Hadebe, Maks van Dyk, Marais boys, Pieter-Steph Bresler, Bondesio, Kleinhans, Mtembu, Hanco, Zeilinga, Whitehead, Fisher, Matsushima, Sithole & Robinson.

    Fill the rest of the squad with experience, but with a home-grown, youthful squad as a backbone, we can get a Sharks CULTURE back. This is how we became a force under Dick Muir & this is the reason behind the Bulls’ success. It isn’t rocket science!

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.05.13 14:10:25 by disgruntled shark Reply

  • I nearly thought you were talking about the REAL forgotten man….the man Sharks needs to come and give some attitude and guts to….Rory Kockott!!
    My squad for the CC and next year
    Front Row:
    Bissi (C),Jannie,Beast,Herbst,Dell,Cooper,Hadebe, and possibly Eugene van Staden

    2nd Row:
    PSDT,Bressler,Peet Marais,De Jager of the Cheetahs

    Back Row:
    Botes,Deysel,Alberts,Kankow,Coetzee and Terra



    Mvovo,JP,Vulindlu,Sithole,Willie Le Roux,Robinson


    Room for a couple more,but more or less the core i would try and go for, any ideas?

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.05.13 14:11:43 by BarendL Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : I am sorry this is utter [email protected]?. In my opinion the man making these calls-who has 70 present of the say is rudolf streuli….isn’t it high time he gets some credit for lake of game time of young players. We must remember that from a business side, all destinies are interlinked. Coaches get axed for losses, thus they do and buy and promise any crap out there to ensure a win-like van Der Merwe. this is not the coaches flaw but a flaw in his contract, this is where Strauli and van zylmust get some credit. We need to count our chickens before they hatch. We know we are out of contention why not bleed 3 youngsters a weekend? And give them a real test? Loosing jandre is shamefull. And the manner makes me think the best thing for the future of sharks rugby would be to pin point the Bad apple in management. I have it first hand that the sharks have missed a lot of the talant coming through now due to emty Strauli promises. John smit is going to bleed like the brand is bleeding now if this continues. Maybe a good model is where a Loyalgood coach like plum gets rewarded with option of Director of rugby concurrent with the coaching contract….where we can Get Sir Clive make his way back to Rugby. Some where some how we need to look at our setup in shark town, plum can not be lone to blame.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.05.13 14:37:28 by BoerSeun Reply

  • @BarendL (Comment 11) : Eugen van Staden? Sharks playing in the Golden Oldies? As for de Jager, develop your own, you had the marais bro’s but chose Franco instead.

    nah, Lood klooks quite happy where he is thank you.

    Cheetah CC, and my wish list for 2014:

    Caylib Oosthuisen, Coenie Oosthuizen, Trevor nyakane, Rossouw de Klerk, Schalk vd Merwe, Charl Marais
    Strauss, Liebenberg, Jacques du Toit, Torsten v Jaarsveld
    Andries Ferreira, Martin Muller, Lood de Jager, Waltie Vermeulen, Uys
    Brüssow, Lappies, Boom Prinsloo, Viljoen, Neill Jordaan, vd Walt,Tertius Daniller
    Sarel, Piet van Zyl, Tewis, kevin Luiters
    Watts, Riaan Smit, Goosen, Steyn De Wet
    Centers: Ebersohn, sadie, Joubert Engelbrecht, Robbie van Schalkwyk
    Wings: Senatla, Ulengo, Benjamin, Rhule, Cornal Hendricks
    FB: Daniller, Nico Scheepers

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.05.13 17:58:08 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 6) : 😆 😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.05.13 07:02:50 by Caratacus Reply


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