Richard Ferguson

A new winning streak


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 27 Jun 2013 at 08:00
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The Sharks are all but assured of not qualifying for the play-offs of this year’s Super Rugby campaign, a campaign that many a pundit, including myself, believed would be the year for the men from Durban. Going into the last three matches, which are all rather pointless in the bigger scheme of things, what would we like to see from our players?

Firstly, we are already without our coach John Plumtree, but our captain looks set to remain in charge until a new coach takes over the Currie Cup squad. I am not for one minute suggesting that Daniel will not be Currie Cup captain, but a new coach is likely to want to stamp his authority on the team.

While Keegan Daniel has been an average Super Rugby captain this year, his form and captaincy during the 2012 campaign was great, leading from front and taking the team all the way to the final. This year though, things have been vastly different for Keegan, who has had to struggle through bad results from the team as well as having a media storm about some Afrikaans comments he made. I would understand that most people would like to see Keegan take the rest of the tournament off to get into the right frame of mind, but playing in three matches where the results don’t matter that much, it could be ideal for our captain to regain some form and become the player that made his Springbok debut last year, something we all wanted to see last year.

Three good matches from our captain, where he leads from the front and plays to the form we know he is capable of, would be great not only for the team as a whole, but could see our men gain some confidence and form going into the Currie Cup tournament. Daniel could well be the captain of that squad, and I’d rather see him in form than see him continue to struggle as he has been.

With Wiehahn Herbst out injured, and Bismarck du Plessis in line to make his first Sharks start of the year, we are set to see our strongest front row being selected against the Blues this weekend. Although I would have preferred Jannie to take a bit of a break, I am looking forward to see whether our first choice font row can wreck some havoc. Jannie has a tough Rugby Championship campaign awaiting him later in the year, and while I would suggest him to play only 40 minutes at a time, not having the ever reliable Wiehahn Herbst on the bench is a slight problem.

Staying in the pack, the Sharks are dangerously close to having a second row meltdown, having saved face with the recruiting of Edwin Hewitt. Hewitt had a good first start for the Sharks against the Lions, but it would be interesting to see how he fares against much tougher opposition. The Blues are notorious for having some of the best second rowers in the world, and it is a great platform to test oneself. His combination with Franco van der Merwe is short term in nature, with Franco returning to the Lions in a few weeks’ time, so he could well cement his spot with a few good performances.

There are plenty of loose forwards to choose from for this weekend’s encounter, and while Ryan Kankowski is available, it is unlikely that we will see him ahead of Daniel. This is unfortunate as I would have loved to see Kankowski prove his worth and make a bid for that Springbok eighthman position. Kankowski is available to the Springboks for the Rugby Championship, even though he is busy in Japan, and could well cement his spot in the national side with good performances against Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. That would require him to prove his fitness and his form in Super Rugby and we can only hope that he gets a chance.

We have seen plenty of reports about the dire situation in Sharks midfield, with calls for Pat Lambie to be shifted to inside centre ridiculous. I would love for Lambie to take control of the Sharks backline and play with the flare we know he has within him. He is unlikely to unseat Morne Steyn trying to play like him, so show Heyneke Meyer another type of flyhalf and be the best. This would require a good feed from Charl McLeod, but also the buy-in from the players outside him, whoever they may be.

Lastly, Louis Ludik is back from injury, having had a great two seasons for the Sharks. Willie le Roux has shown that good form could well be rewarded with a national call up, and while he is unlikely to unseat a new national favourite, there is nothing stopping him from getting that second fullback spot in the Springbok squad.

So yes, these three games might not be worth much in the Super Rugby scheme of things, but for each individual there is a different reason to go out there and do their utmost best, whether it is to play themselves into form, continue in great form or even just to prove a point. Each game could be the start of a winning streak.


48 Comments

  • Awesome piece, Rich – agree with your take.

    While I agree that it’s highly unlikely Daniel will be left out, the team selection for the Lions game does give me just a bit of hope that Daniel might be selected at 6, letting Kanko play 8.

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.06.13 08:03:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    Would that mean that Marcell Coetzee could be playing off the bench, seeing as Alberts played the full 80 minutes against Samoa?

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.06.13 08:05:41 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) :

    Or should we expect something a little more left field, with a potential move to lock for Alberts?

    Deysel is also fit, so we could see him in the locks as well?

    Who knows?

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.06.13 08:06:55 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Start with Botes, Deysel and Kanko, with Marcell and Alberts on the bench. Deysel to captain side and to cover lock.

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.06.13 08:38:16 by JD Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 5) : Seems like Barney burnt his fingers….

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.06.13 08:38:56 by Uli Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 5) : Looks sepculative to me. Sharks website state the the conditions of the agreement is confidential and all of a sudden the holy grail that is Beeld and News 24 has the breaking news without quoting any sources? I guess what I am saying is that a very reliable source has told me that they do not know what they are talking about 😈

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.06.13 08:55:08 by Viking Reply
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  • @Viking (Comment 7) :

    Agreed – ridiculous reporting and stupid to believe even half a sentence in any Beeld report..

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.06.13 08:56:18 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Viking (Comment 7) : haha cool 😀

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.06.13 08:58:28 by Uli Reply
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  • Nice one, Fergilucious.

    I would like Keegan not to be granted an automatic start due to captaincy.

    Hand it to someone else I say. Maybe Bismark or Pat.

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.06.13 09:15:09 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Good piece Richard.
    One small typo…unseed = unseat.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.06.13 09:20:40 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 6) : No doubt the Sharks are going to have to cough up something (probably a lot) and these are resources that could be better used for player purposes / retention or the DOR’s flight tickets.

    Anyway I would be happy if Mr Saad feels benevolent and pays it from his petty cash.

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.06.13 09:29:28 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 12) : Also think it’s speculative. No ways we would agree to pay him the salary he would have received for the next 2 years. An agreement was reached, a six month salary was paid out at most. Therefore 6 months pay plus the 5 months he would have been paid out for early termination, he probably walked away with a year’s salary at best.

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.06.13 09:45:45 by GreatSharksays Reply

     
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 11) :

    Thanks

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.06.13 09:59:35 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • I don’t like how this all was done in the media but glad it’s over. I don’t care how much he got just care how the new coach will do! Can’t wait for Saturday and the Currie cup!!!!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.06.13 10:27:43 by JD Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 12) : I’d say van Zyl should be liable for that little old payout. 😉

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.06.13 10:28:33 by FireTheLooser Reply

     
  • @JD (Comment 15) : Had it been just another no name run of the mill ceo that terminated Plums contract, the media wouldn’t have cared less, but news on John Smit, especially when it paints him in a bad light, will always sell newspapers.

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.06.13 10:30:58 by FireTheLooser Reply

     
  • Nice article.

    The whole problem I find is so many of the article doing the rounds are pure speculation and some pro Smit and some pro Plumtree.

    And most of them with a twist of pure sensationalism. SAD REALLY

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.06.13 10:45:41 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : I wont say who I really think should really be liable for the payout. 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.06.13 10:49:15 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Sharks need to Start their best possible team and one weakness I see is Lineouts, for me Kanko is a must, it is not even an option, I am not sure also which locks are available, I just know Bresler,PSDT are a no go.

    So for me a lock combo must come from Franco, Hewitt, Peet and Jandre with the latter 2 being uncertainties??????

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.06.13 10:50:44 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 19) : We all know you think Smit should be liable lol, too late to hide away Sal 😈

  • Comment 21, posted at 27.06.13 10:51:39 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • It is hard to pick a team one thinks should be selected as we do not know exactly who is injured or not?

  • Comment 22, posted at 27.06.13 10:54:39 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 22) :

    We actually know exactly who is injured:

    http://www.sharksworld.co.za/2013/06/25/sharks-medical-update/

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.06.13 10:57:48 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • I can tell you one thing: Keegan will be captain again 🙄
    But I suppose we should give him the support he needs.

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.06.13 11:03:29 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 23) : So the Marais brothers are definitely out??

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.06.13 11:05:48 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • And Butch is out or Maybe? this is the reason I said what I did as there are one or 2 players we are not 100% sure about.

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.06.13 11:06:58 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 25) :

    Jandre is out while Peet has not featured at all this season and is not even in the squad..

    So yes, we don’t have either to select from, according to the Sharks statement.

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.06.13 11:08:04 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 21) : Hmmm maybe, but I dont think he was acting in isolation, not by a long shot.

    BTW when is the team going to be announced

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.06.13 11:12:42 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) : Rich I understand that but is BUtch definitely out or in or maybe?

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.06.13 11:14:48 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 28) : Later today

  • Comment 30, posted at 27.06.13 11:15:11 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 29) :

    Can’t you read bud??

    The article, which quotes a Sharks statement, says that Butch will undergo a late fitness test either today or tomorrow..

    So he is likely to be bracketed in with someone else, seeing as they are keen to play him.

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.06.13 11:17:17 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • If both Marais brothers are indeed out we should maybe look to play Alberts at 4 with Franco at 5 and keep Deysel at 7

    OK here is the team I think should start taking everything into account.

    15 Viljoen
    14 Odwa
    13 Ludik
    12 Butch
    11 Mvovo
    10 Lambie
    09 Mcleod
    08 Kanko
    07 Deysel
    06 Coetzee/ Daniel
    05 Franco
    04 Alberts
    03 Jannie
    02 Bismark ( Capt ) if Daniel is not selected to start
    01 Beast

    16 Cooper
    17 Dell
    18 Hewitt
    19 Daniel/Coetzee
    20 Reinach
    21 Robinson
    22 Fisher

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.06.13 11:22:20 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 31) : I read it and it still mean Butch is MAYBE.

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.06.13 11:23:35 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 33) :

    Then why ask? If we knew anything further about his injury, we would have reported it?

  • Comment 34, posted at 27.06.13 11:25:00 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • simply IF Butch does not make it Lambie will move to 12, I know that and what it means is not every position is 100% certain,

  • Comment 35, posted at 27.06.13 11:25:37 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Look Richard you always have a problem with what I have to say, now be a good lad and scroll by, ok?? I don’t see anywhere where I asked you 1 question.

  • Comment 36, posted at 27.06.13 11:26:46 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • And instead of being so arrogant you would realize from the time they did that article many things could have changed? NOT SO?
    like last week Reinach was a definite to play off the bench, DID HE??

  • Comment 37, posted at 27.06.13 11:28:13 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 36) : Please refer comment 29:

    “Rich I understand that but is BUtch definitely out or in or maybe?”

    Is that not asking a question? You even added a question mark.

  • Comment 38, posted at 27.06.13 11:41:05 by MysticShark Reply
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  • Team has been announced.

  • Comment 39, posted at 27.06.13 11:42:56 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Daniel didn’t make his debut last year. He made his debut in 2010 when Lambie did.

  • Comment 40, posted at 27.06.13 11:50:22 by David12246 Reply

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  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : I think Lambie is a bit too shy to captain. Bissie helped Keegan start off as captain last year so maybe he’ll be good to captain the rest of this year…he was also captain for Boks now when Jean and Strauss went off. Maybe Keegan is struggling this year cos he’s had no1 like Bissie to fall back on for advise like he had last year which is wrong

  • Comment 41, posted at 27.06.13 12:03:29 by Shones Reply

     
  • @MysticShark (Comment 38) : Please refer to the whole convo, Rich is having a go at me as he thinks I did not read the other article.

    I did but as we clearly see I was correct as again some that were DEFINATELY out are suddenly playing, not so? Herbst and Jandre were 2 definite no go’s, yet they appear on the team sheet not so??

    My point was simply about that things could change and that until we know for sure?? things could change.

    Case in point with the Sharks team announcement.

  • Comment 42, posted at 27.06.13 12:06:47 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 42) : time to move on.

  • Comment 43, posted at 27.06.13 12:07:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Shones (Comment 41) : I am of the same opinion, Bismark should have Started as well as Deysel, they steal ball and slow down ball.

  • Comment 44, posted at 27.06.13 12:08:39 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : you are so right, it is time to move on.

  • Comment 45, posted at 27.06.13 12:09:34 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Hi Richard, very well written article. Just one clarification, Keegan did not make his Bok debut last year (2012) he made his Bok debut on the end of year tour in 2010. Remember when Smit was out of the tour and with Matfield as captain, Stegmann started at 6 when we all felt it should have been Keegan. He did get caps off the bench on that tour.

  • Comment 46, posted at 27.06.13 18:48:22 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 46) :

    Hi DB

    Thanks – I got that wrong..

  • Comment 47, posted at 28.06.13 07:27:27 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Don’t worry Richard the way Keegans playing now 2012 may not be his debut year but it could be his Bok swan song year.

  • Comment 48, posted at 28.06.13 17:28:41 by JD Reply
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