Brad’s Currie Cup challenge

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 24 Jul 2013 at 11:28
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As always, it’s amongst the forwards the the Sharks will be hardest hit when it comes to Springboks call-ups. Outgoing coach John Plumtree pretty much always managed to field a competitive line-up up front in his stint in charge of the Currie Cup team and the first and biggest challenge for new forward supremo, Brad Macleod-Henderson, will be to replicate that success.

The Sharks look set to lose roughly the same number of players to the Bok cause this year as they did in 2012, although the injuries to both Anton Bresler and Pieter-Steph du Toit, with the latter likely to yanked up to the Bok squad too once fit, further complicate matters for the new coach. It’s also fair to say that the Sharks have probably had fewer youngster come up through the ranks this year than before and have also seen their depth reduced through the defection of the likes of Jandre Marais, Nick Shonert and Julian Redelinghuys.

In other words, we’re certainly going to see first hand quite how good the new man is as a coach, since he’s going to need to mold a strong forward unit without the likes of Plumtree’s “go-to men” – the du Plessis brothers, Mtawaria, Alberts and the like.

The good news for Macleod-Henderson (that’s too long to type often!) is that Bresler should be back well before the campaign reaches its half-way mark and together with the likes of Wiehahn Herbst and Kyle Cooper, should form the mainstay in a pretty good pack. It’s only really tight forward depth – particularly at tighthead prop – that is of real concern ahead of the season.

Dale Chadwick and Danie Mienie will be the primary loosehead options, although if Allan Dell’s good form for the under 21s continues, he may well get a look in too. Mienie, who looks set to play more of a role under the new administration, could possibly also deputise at tighthead should Herbst need a break. Right now, the only other option at 3 is under 21 player Maks van Dyk and while it would be a gamble to blood him at this stage, perhaps one worth taking. Good options at tighthead seem thin on the ground and alas neither Schonert nor Redelinghuys would see any value in relinquishing starting positions at other franchises to play 3rd fiddle at the Sharks.

Hooker is, of course, well sorted with promising under 21 player Franco Marais only fourth in line to the jersey, with Cooper, Craig Burden and Monde Hadebe all in the running ahead of him. It’s at lock that there is plenty of uncertainty and change too, with Marco Wentzel and Edwin Hewitt – new players both – likely to steady the ship while Brelser recovers and Peet Marais is groomed as a line-out caller. One would like to think that Bresler and Marais would be the combination most likely to end the season as first choice, but you simply cannot underestimate the value that an old hand like Wentzel can add in a competition where most players will sorely lack for experience. Hewitt has also shown huge willing since coming into the squad and will be a valuable player as alternate to Bresler at 4. Marais – who like Mienie battled to get a look in under the old guard – is a player who could and should develop into a very good option in the middle of the lineout given the right mentoring and backing.

A further injury at lock, though, could certainly set the cat among the pigeons because the Sharks will concede that depth here is a problem; even the under 21s are very short of second row options. It would take a brave man to put any money behind Jean Deysel not making an appearance at lock at some point during the campaign.

Speaking of Deysel, it’s amongst the loose forwards that Brad (see what I did there?) will have a completely different sort of problem. Even without Alberts and Marcell Coetzee, the Sharks boast a Currie Cup back-row cupboard that is full to bursting and perhaps the biggest challenge facing the coach will be to ensure the development of the likes of Bry Stander, Francois Kleinhans and Tera Mtembu while still using his matchwinners – Deysel, Keegan Daniel and Jacques Botes – to maximum effect.


  • Bad headache 1-5, good headache 6-8, is Disprin our new sponsor?

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.07.13 12:34:42 by Die Kriek Reply
  • @Die Kriek (Comment 1) : I think 2 is ok

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.07.13 12:46:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • if you look at it, though, once Bresler is back, 3 is the only position where we don’t have at least 2 good options:

    1 Chadwick, Mienie then Dell
    2 Cooper, Burden then Hadebe
    3 Herbst then van Dyk
    4 Bresler, Hewitt and also Deysel
    5 Marais, Wentzel
    6 Botes, Kleinhans
    7 Deysel, Stander
    8 Daniel, Mtembu

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.07.13 12:48:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • Visions of scrum time in the Sharks vs Lions game a few weeks ago are not comforting.

    It will be better now though.

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.07.13 12:54:40 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • From the interview with Venter, I think a guy like Dell will be a serious contender for the team. From the little I’ve seen of him, and from Ludz’s infatuation with him 😈 , he seems to be a bloke that handles himself well off the field as well as on.
    Kind of reminds me of Smit.

    P.S. – Well done Rob for keeping this place going with new articles etc. This would normally be a graveyard this time of year, considering our beloved teams’ early exit out of the competition. 😎

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.07.13 13:12:31 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Any truth to the rumour that Saracens are coming to play an exibition match against College Rovers?

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.07.13 13:16:55 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Chadwick πŸ˜† πŸ™ πŸ˜₯

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.07.13 13:21:01 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @JarsonX (Comment 6) : It seems so. The game will apparently be played at Tich Smiths Liv Village.

    Its a great story.

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.07.13 13:31:02 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Sammy; I knew this kinda thing would happen. 😎

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.07.13 13:32:37 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 6) : umm – once it appears on 100 different websites, including the official Sharks one, it kind of stops being a rumour πŸ™‚

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.07.13 13:46:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 7) : he may not be everyone’s (or anyone’s) cup of tea, but he’s the guy we’ve got so I think we should support him until or unless someone better comes along.

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.07.13 13:47:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Maybe under the new coach he’ll pull up his sock (excuse the pun, I really couldn’t resist 😈 ).

    He just seems to be lazy, as if he can actually do more, but he’s pretty comfortable with where he’s at currently and thus only aims at doing just enough as apposed to giving all for his team.

    Give me an average player who gives 200% any day over a talented player willing to only give 65-75% of their effort.

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.07.13 13:53:47 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • On Robs list 1)-3) starters are 2 fat,2 slow ,2 lazy,rather give youngsters and Burden a run ,at 6) its enough with Botes he becoming a problem like Stef Terblanche was give younger chaps the chance to prove themselves and at 8)KD no no.8 rather let Mtembu develope into the great 8 he shud become

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.07.13 13:56:38 by benji Reply
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  • @Rob, I didnt read it, I heard it from a buddy. And I dont have the time to read a 100 websites πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.07.13 13:57:24 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Rob; also why wasnt it mentioned here? The 1 site I do make time to read? 😈

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.07.13 13:59:18 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 14) : C’mon JarsonX, pull up your socks! 😈

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.07.13 14:08:53 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 15) : fair enough… i should have done a story on it…

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.07.13 14:19:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 13) : congrats… I think you just became the first person in the country who doesn’t rate Cooper and Herbst!

    don’t worry boet… I’m sure everyone else is wrong. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.07.13 14:19:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Rob :mrgreen: Water under the bridge now.

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.07.13 14:27:19 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 5) : “and from Ludz’s infatuation with him” πŸ˜† :lol:. I didn’t know I was that bad, I’ll try tone it down a bit :mrgreen:

    Think Ally was always being groomed for a Currie Cup role earlier this year in the Vodacom Cup, he started all but 1 game, of course that was under the old guard. Things might be different now.

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.07.13 14:31:26 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 20) : then again Allan after 2 rounds of u21 rugby is the top try scorer for the Sharks and has the most turnovers, he’s just a prop though :mrgreen:

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.07.13 14:36:28 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 20) : Don’t worry dude, I realise that it stems from great respect for the guy. 😎

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.07.13 14:36:36 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 22) : yeah, great respect for the young lad, headboy in my grade 11 year, I know him as a leader all too well

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.07.13 14:48:40 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 20) : Ludz, I think in a lot of ways the old systems were a little “broken”… there wasn’t really much interaction between junior and senior coaches and the feeling was that Plum would “pluck” junior players into his squad almost on a whim, without necessarily doing the groundwork to check whether the junior coaches felt the player was ready.

    Not pointing out any specific player, of course, but I’m really hoping that the sort of situation Allan found himself in during that Lions match won’t happen again soon.

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.07.13 14:56:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • Springbok dont have no8, Please coach play Deysel and MThembu at 8. For the season ABSA Currry Cup

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.07.13 11:29:59 by Lunga Mangala Reply


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