The next challenge awaits

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 22 Jul 2013 at 16:35
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Well, looking on the bright side of life, the advantage to being out of Super Rugby play-off contention is that there’s more time to focus on preparing for the Currie Cup!

The Sharks got their “mid-season pre-season” underway today, under the watchful eyes of the newly-appointed coaching team and while new CEO John Smit has won rave reviews for the way he’s handled matters off-field, culminating in Friday’s dramatic retention of Pieter-Steph du Toit, the new boss will know that a decent maiden Currie Cup campaign is what’s needed to get the fans properly on-side. Making life difficult for the incoming coaches, though, is a squad certain to be severely whittled down, due to a number of player defections, but also expected Bok call-ups for a large contingent of players. Add to that a number of ongoing injuries – particularly in the second row – and the Sharks will have their work cut out for them.

The Sharks will lose seven contracted players to the Springbok set up, with the likes of Lwazi Mvovo and Pieter-Steph du Toit (once fit) expected to join them too. Ryan Kankowski and JP Pietersen will play out the season in Japan, while Meyer Bosman, Jandre Marais and Riaan Viljoen have all left. Add in the injured Anton Bresler and Paul Jordaan and the Sharks are already down by more than a starting fifteen’s worth of players.

It’s understood that Smit (and Brendan Venter) intend to use this Currie Cup campaign to properly assess the depth available within the current structures, rather than rushing out to buy in a whole bunch of outsiders, meaning that the Sharks squad this year will probably have a rather home-grown feel, with members of the current under 21 squad also brought in at various times as demands dictate.

The core squad should look as follows:

Dale Chadwick, Danie Mienie, Kyle Cooper, Craig Burden, Monde Hadebe, Wiehahn Herbst, Anton Bresler (injured), Edwin Hewitt, Marco Wentzel, Peet Marais, Pieter-Steph du Toit (injured), Jacques Botes, Francois Kleinhans, Jean Deysel, Brynard Stander, Keegan Daniel, Tera Mtembu, Charl McLeod, Cobus Reinach, Tian Meyer, Butch James ,Fred Zeilinga, Tim Whitehead, Heimar Williams, Marius Joubert, Odwa Ndungane, S’bura Sithole, Sizo Maseko, Louis Ludik, Jaco van Tonder, Sean Robinson

Expect some or all of the following youngsters to also get a look-in:

Allan Dell, Maks van Dyk, Wiehahn Hay, Stephan Lewies, Stefan Ungerer, Hanco Venter, Rob du Preez, Andre Esterhuizen, Tyler Fisher


  • How long can we expect Bresler to be out for?

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.07.13 17:26:10 by David12246 Reply
  • @David12246 (Comment 1) : I think he’ll miss the first 3-4 matches

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.07.13 17:46:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • Is Tim Whitehead back to fitness yet?

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.07.13 17:51:16 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 3) : mate, that is the 400 Billion Zim Dollar question. I’m led to believe he’ll be fit to play Currie Cup.

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.07.13 17:53:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • I think we can put together a more than decent team.

    1. Chadwick
    2. Cooper
    3. Herbst
    4. Hewitt
    5. Marais
    6. Daniel (c)
    7. Deysel
    8. Mtembu
    9. Reinach
    10. Zeilinga
    11. Sithole
    12. Whitehead
    13. Ludik
    14. Robinson
    15. Ndungane

    16. Burden
    17. Mienie
    18. Wentzel
    19. Botes
    20. McCleod
    21. James
    22. van Tonder

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.07.13 18:04:29 by David12246 Reply

  • Do we have not have a prospect more exciting than Chadwick at LH?

    You know, someone that can one day take over from Beast like Herbst has been doing at TH?

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.07.13 18:50:15 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • FireTheLooser maybe I should move to Durbs…… if only I was a couple of years younger hahahaha. Need to back one of the youngsters at loosehead in Currie cup as I think Chadwick is not good enough for Super rugby.

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.07.13 19:18:35 by JD Reply
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  • Well I suppose this will be the time for the new management to see what players are available and what they are capable of. Also I’m not to worried about the CC as I’m sure there will be lots to be learnt from a coaching and player point of view.

    @David12246 (Comment 5) : Not a bad team, but I think Deysel might get a call up… Even if its only to carry tackle bags 🙄 He has really been great the last few games and might have HM looking at him as a backup.

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.07.13 21:02:08 by Farlington Reply

  • Hear we are talking to Demeti, happy about that. John is impressing me everyday. Think we need him (DC) if we are to follow through with our ambition to play bold rugby. He is able to make a backline MOVE!!

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.07.13 21:21:36 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Not a bad move to check the depth and assess our current squad, but I agree that a new LH could be a boon to the side. Looking forward to see what can be exciting times under Venter an co. I don’t think we will get much farther than semi finals this year, but expect this team to do much better in next years CC with the new talent blooded this year.

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.07.13 21:27:14 by Jouba Reply

  • @Jouba (Comment 10) : Happy with a semi. So all good. We are starting a fresh after all.

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.07.13 21:36:33 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Reaching semi’s or final would be nice but I think this years Currie cup should be used to sort the team for next years Super rugby. Blood some players so that they will be ready next year.

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.07.13 22:18:35 by JD Reply
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  • It is a good idea to assess the squad and squad depth during this Currie Cup. But it still saddens me that this once proud domestic competition has devolved into an assessment campaign for SupeRugby.

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.07.13 22:31:40 by Dancing Bear Reply
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    Dancing Bear
  • With bokke out for most of the Currie cup it can’t be a test of power vs power, it’s now a test of best reserves and getting ready for the next super rugby comp.

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.07.13 22:45:01 by JD Reply
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  • any bets, sharks wil make it to semi final being an away one, then end the season there?

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.07.13 23:16:57 by Gerhardt Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) :
    @JD (Comment 7) :


    Bring Dell in from the U/21s. He’s MILES better than Chumlee and by default a much better option for a SR future.

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.07.13 04:51:39 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : I like Dell, he just needs to work on his scrummaging to get to where (or close to) Beast.

    Let’s hope with proper coaching he’ll be developed into the full package. And let’s hope they never try him at th again.

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.07.13 05:37:02 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : Hahahaaha Chumlee is the best nickname for him

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.07.13 08:09:16 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : don’t think they were trying him there, played his entire life there, only started playing loosehead at the Sharks Academy, admittedly he hasn’t played a lot of tighthead in the last 3 years. Sharks are developing him into a tighthead believe it or not.

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.07.13 08:21:01 by Ludz Reply

  • @Farlington (Comment 8) : I really hope Deysel gets the call up, he is probably the strongest loose forward that there is in SA

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.07.13 08:30:53 by mbay-shark Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 19) : Personally, from the little I’ve seen I’d prefer him at LH.

    But who knows, Herbst took a good few years to become the Tank he is now. So the best place to learn the TH trade seems to be a the Sharks, especially while the good doctor is still there.

    That still leaves us short in the lh stocks. (short….I mean depleted, Chumlee is club quality at best).

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.07.13 08:31:41 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • We have amazing depth and quality players. There’s no reason why we cant make it to the final. But we are rebuilding or reshaping so whatever the result, I’ll accept it.

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.07.13 08:37:41 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 22) : I agree, I don’t see why we shouldn’t have a good CC campaign. fingers crossed we can keep Butch injury and suspension free (no more clothes line tackles). perhaps even instill him as CC captain?

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.07.13 08:49:43 by The Hobbit Reply
    The Hobbit
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 21) : I agree certainly for now, he’ll grow a lot more as a player playing at loosehead, maybe in a few years he’ll be ready to play tighthead.

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.07.13 08:57:41 by Ludz Reply

  • My feeling is that Allan’s ball skills make him a far better option at loosehead.

    As for Currie Cup captain, Deysel >>>> James

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.07.13 09:03:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : But if Deysel receives his much deserved Bok call-up?

    Not that I think James is the best option either, and Keegan should be left to play rugby.

    Sadly all our leaders are bound for Bok honors.

    Btw, any news on when Steyn will be ready again? Can’t see him getting called up directly to the Springboks?

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.07.13 09:42:34 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 26) : Apparently Steyn is about a month or 6 weeks from fitness

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.07.13 09:50:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • Perhaps Captaincy for Deysel not a good thing rite now as he is still some way off the great player he was pre injury and only finding his way back in last few games of SR.

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.07.13 12:08:38 by benji Reply
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  • Saw on the Sharks facebook photos, Whitehead practicing with the boys for the CC.

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.07.13 12:29:20 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 29) : but still wearing a very concerning-looking arm brace

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.07.13 12:58:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : Aaah sheesh, missed it, hopefully it’s just precautionary.

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.07.13 13:07:47 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Hope Tim will be back soon Sharks needs him!!!

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.07.13 14:47:57 by JD Reply
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  • I’m glad they are first looking at home grown talent in this CC before going out and buying in players, this apart frome Wentzel.

    Hopefully this will encourage local players to hang around and try and get a look-in

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.07.13 15:58:12 by stevovo Reply
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