robdylan

Sharks player ratings v Griquas


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 12 Aug 2013 at 10:21
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Well, let me be honest and admit to you all that this article is my least favourite one to write after the Sharks have suffered a loss.

The intention here really isn’t to denigrate anyone, or for it to turn into a “slate fest” where irate fans pick and choose a player or two on whom to pin the blame for the loss. Rugby, after all, is a team game and matches are won or lost as the result of collective actions and efforts, rather than individual moments of magic or poor judgement. The intention, then, of a player ratings piece, is to assign an “average” performance to the team as a whole and then try to work out where individual players stand relative to that average. This is all, of course, very subjective and based on a single, emotionally-charged viewing of the game, by myself. In other words, there is no science, no stats, no consensus or anything of that sort behind these ratings – this is just my gut feel -or “kneejerk”, if you will – assessment of the game.

Am I wrong about much of it? Probably. Has that ever stopped me in the past? Hell no.

Here we go with this week’s ratings, against a combined team score of a lowly 5/10

1. Dale Chadwick. Dale will be the first to admit that the scrums didn’t go as well as he’d have liked them to. Whether it was due to the new engagement sequence, or the brute strength of his direct opponent, the fact remains that the Sharks scrum came under huge pressure and as such, the props must accept a fair bit of the responsibility. Dale made a good few contributions as a ball carrier, but also struggled to really cross the advantage line. 4/10
2. Kyle Cooper. Kyle must also take responsibility for some less-than-stellar set-piece work. While he’s probably somewhat less culpable when it comes to the poor scrum effort, we do need to look at a few wayward lineout throws during the course of his hour on the field. Kyle did have a very good game in the loose, though and was one of the few big men to make progress with ball in hand. 5/10
3. Wiehahn Herbst. I think a fair few of the same comments apply to Wiehahn. As a tighthead prop, his primary (and some would argue sole) function is to provide scrum stability and we cannot say, with any honesty, that his side of the scrum fared any better than Dale’s. Wiehahn did make a few carries and passes, which are all good, but we’ll need a far stronger scrummaging performance next week to see his rating improve. 4/10
4. Edwin Hewitt. I felt that Edwin battled to assert himself physically against the Griquas pack. He also seemed to struggle a little with positioning on attack and occasionally found himself “in the way” of a move when his bulk could perhaps have had more impact as part of the preceding breakdown. There were also a few handling errors; all-in-all, the big man will want to bounce back with a far stronger showing next week. 4/10
5. Marco Wentzel. As the senior man in the tight five, Marco did his best to instill composure in the troops. He cleaned up a few messy lineouts and worked hard in the loose, but ultimately wasn’t hugely more effective than the rest of the Sharks pack when it came to halting Griquas’ oft-unstoppable momentum. 6/10
6. Brynard Stander. Brynard tried hard in his first start, but perhaps struggled a little in the somewhat unfamiliar openside flanker’s role. This is a position in which hard work is very often unseen by the watching public, but we must conceded that effort alone is often not quite enough. Bry was on the wrong side of a few refereeing calls, resulting in penalties and since indiscipline proved so costly for the Sharks on the night, we need to mark him down for that. 4/10
7. Jean Deysel. Jean had a very up-and-down game. As one of the seniors in the pack, he was clearly seen as the go-to man on attack, but by the same token, Griquas did a good job of marking him out of the game and he really battled to make any significant progress with ball in hand as a result. One would have hoped that he would have adapted by opting to off-load once he had been “gang-tackled” but that didn’t happen on the night either. Jean also missed a fair few tackles, to cap off a performance that won’t rank among his best. 6/10
8. Jacques Botes. Not a bad way to cap off an unexpected elevation to the starting team! You can’t argue with the tries scored, both of which required that typical “Botes magic” in heaps, while Jacques also put in a huge amount of work all over the field. One can question the decision to not push for a fourth try late in the game, but as Dewald Potgieter will attest, there isn’t always a right answer to that question. 8/10

9. Charl McLeod. Charl started the game rather poorly, one must say, with some errors at the base; then again, one can look at the pressure he was under from fringing Griquas players and turn the spotlight back n the forwards to an extent too. He did start to find a bit more rhythm as the game progressed, though and was instrumental in the Sharks’ opening try, thanks to a piece of brilliant individual play. 5/10
10. Butch James. Butch had a rather quiet return to Currie Cup rugby; the Sharks opted to bring forwards into the contest off 9 more often than not, somewhat limiting the amount of quality ball to the flyhalf. James also battled a little with some of his passes and perhaps overused the cross-kick option. One area that was exemplary, though, was discipline, with James not infringing at all for 80 minutes. Also, his goal-kicking was superb, with 6 kicks from 6 attempts. 5/10
11. Lwazi Mvovo. Lwazi really struggled to get into the game in the first half and barely featured at all. His second half was better and he did, of course, net a superb try when given the ball in space, proving again just how dangerous he can be. 5/10
12. Tim Whitehead. Tim struggled a bit on return from his long injury, with defence in particular not quite as rock-solid as we’ve come to expect. He also didn’t receive much ball to play with, resulting in a somewhat frustrating evening over all. Expect to see a big improvement this coming week. 4/10
13. Louis Ludik. In a game where the ball isn’t seeing much air, outside centre can be a frustrating position to play. Ludik tried manfully on the night and continues to defend well in an unfamiliar and difficult channel, but he received so little ball that it’s really hard to rate him at all on attack. 4/10
14. Sizo Maseko. A very encouraging debut for young Sizo who looked for work tirelessly during the 40 he had on the park. The “try” he scored, though disallowed, was a mastercalss in finishing that any young winger should study. We look forward to seeing much more of him. 6/10
15. Odwa Ndungane. He may not have scored a pair of tries like Botes did, but the “old man” at the back was no less valuable to the overall effort. Odwa was one of the few men at the back able to really spark anything on attack and he managed to couple this instinct with a flawless defensive performance. 8/10

16. Craig Burden. It was really good to see Craig’s explosive running again when he came on. He played a big part in Mvovo’s try, but unfortunately was also responsible for some wayward line-out throws. 5/10
17. Rayno Gerber. A very, very good cameo from the former Bull. Gerber shored up the scrum when he came on and also put in a huge amount of work in the loose, as a tackler, ball carrier and general ruck cleaner. 7/10
18. Peet Marais. The young Marais brought a huge work-rate to the party when he came on. This is a lad who’s been dying for an opportunity to play some big rugby and appears set to grab every minute of game time by the scruff of the neck. 6/10
19. Tera Mtembu. Tera enjoyed few opportunities to show of the full range of his skills, however, he did put in a few nice touches on attack, with his handling a real boon in teh position he plays. 5/10
20. Cobus Reinach. Cobus injected real pace and urgency when he came on, in an error-free display that should set the tone for the season to come for him. 6/10
21. Fred Zeilinga. Young Fred is composed; his first touch of the ball saw him shank a kick directly into touch and for a 20-year-old flyhalf to shake off a mistake like that and go on to deliver a rock-solid performance afterwards, shows much maturity. He has a very big boot for his slight stature and takes good options too. 6/10
22. Jaco van Tonder. Where has this young man been hiding? Jaco delivered a superb 40 minutes’ of rugby at right wing, with his kick-off contests and work as a kick chaser particularly good. 7/10


29 Comments

  • Not much one can disagree with.

    How would you have rated the ref?

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.08.13 10:39:20 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • it was hard for botes to decide to go for the 4th try there in the end when the ref jafta lets the opposition drive from the side and push us into touch illegaly im sure that must have come across botes mind

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.08.13 10:39:28 by Poisy Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 1) : -1

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.08.13 10:40:41 by Poisy Reply
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  • Felt McLoed to be at least 2 yards of the pace during the game. If he is not careful, Reinach will have him warming the bench pretty soon. Rob, agree with pretty much all of the above.

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.08.13 10:41:21 by The Hobbit Reply
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  • Not sure if one player can really be blamed…Sharks had some good moments, some bad moments and some utterly rubbish moments.

    I don’t think any of the CC teams can feel too happy or too aggrieved about their performances. Only 6 teams competing for top spot means each team will have to be at their peak every single week.

    It sure has made the rugby far more exciting, close games being decided right at the end with merely one or two points in it for either team.

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.08.13 10:43:47 by FireTheLooser Reply

     
  • Personally I thought the Sharks well overall pretty flat apart from Botes and Ndungane. The Sharks forwards were completely outplayed and unfortunately 90% of the Sharks game revolves around the forwards with the backs just watching. So if the forwards dont dominate the backs kinda just stand and watch as they did on Friday. I dont think our Currie Cup pack is all that fantastic when you look at the other teams so perhaps the focus this Currie Cup should be on using our backline first with our forwards and secondary option. But hey Rome wasnt built in a day

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.08.13 10:47:39 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 1) : the problem I have with Jason is that he just comes across as such a naturally “likable” fellow that it’s hard to be too critical 🙂

    I don’t think he had a truly terrible game, but he did get a few calls wrong. He didn’t police the offside line at the breakdown and allowed players to join mauls illegally pretty much all night.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.08.13 10:47:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : you’re spot on…. hard to lose three of the best front rankers in the world and still expect to field a dominant scrum.

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.08.13 10:48:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Rob if you look at the All Blacks, do they ever complain about the reffing at the breakdown? No! Reason is their forwards do the policing themselves. Whether they do it legally or not is another discussion but fact is if your play can take the ref out of the equation you are on the right track.

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.08.13 10:55:34 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) It just seems that the things he misses are so blatant and happen right in front of him. I have seen him blow some good games though.

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.08.13 10:56:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : He usually isn’t a bad ref and is one of the best we have. Hopefully he will learn when he watches the replay of his performance.

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.08.13 10:56:43 by lostfish Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : @robdylan (Comment 8) : Yes, indeed spot on. We effectively have our whole first choice scrum missing at the moment.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.08.13 11:00:09 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I hardly saw the game, but I also realise that we cannot expect a New! Improved! Team in a matter of 1 game. There’s been a lot of change and change sometimes need time to adapt too, especially after such a long stint under a previous coach. Although I do believe that we should at least win homegames, so a bit dissapointed in that fact.

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.08.13 11:00:15 by Ice Reply
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  • I think John Smit needs to pack his suit away and spend some time with Cooper and Burden on their lineout work. I prefer Cooper to Burden in most aspects of the game, but Cooper’s lineouts are especially shocking. The ball is tumbling all over the place on its way to the locks.

    Secondly the forwards really need to shape up on defending the pick and drives. Griquas made metres at will with this tactic.

    The Sharks tactics of trying to keep everything with the forwards (who were bullied by the Kwas) when you have such an experienced backline catching a cold has me seriously non-plussed. The back line had so much S15 experience – McLeod, Reinach, Butch, Whitehead, Ludik, Mvovo, Ndungane – not to use it was criminal

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.08.13 11:00:48 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • I would definitely take one point off Jean Deysel, he butchered an overlap and had the ball wripped out of his hands with the try line bekoning. Mcleod except was not any good again, and really what did Lwazi do all match? That try should mainly be accredited to Zeilenga and Odwa!!!!!
    Others I agree with, maybe an extra point to Botes! To suddenly be placed in the 22 and as Captain and he delivered an excellent performance.

    Odwa looks really at home at 15! So happy I really like Odders! but he had last his pace to be really good at wing.

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.08.13 11:01:50 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • OH and I had promised myself that I would say nothing in regards to ref, but felt Griekwas got away with murder a few times 🙁

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.08.13 11:03:21 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 16) : The Sharks did too.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.08.13 11:07:29 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 14) : What is concerning, and this has nothing to do with the new set up, or who is missing, is that our pack seem to allow themselves to be bullied in the close encounter stuff. This was also evident in some Super Rugby games.

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.08.13 11:08:22 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 17) : oops missed those 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.08.13 11:09:10 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Ice (Comment 13) : I would be less disappointed if it was WP, Bulls or Cheetahs but it was the Griquas away from home. We should always beat them at home. Even our u21’s should beat them at Kings Park.

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.08.13 11:40:28 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 19) : Thats because none were as blatant as standing by and watching someone kicking the ball out of McLeods hands or taking the maul over the touchline from multiple player coming in from the side – both incidents leading to Sharks losing possession.

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.08.13 11:44:10 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 21) : McLeod made plenty of mistakes without the Griquas help 😉

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.08.13 11:48:07 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 22) : too slow and indecisive if you ask me.

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.08.13 11:51:38 by The Hobbit Reply
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  • @The Hobbit (Comment 23) : Hopefully Reinach will start next week and another decent scrumhalf will appear on our books. People talk about our midfield having no depth but take our scrumhalf cupboard is bare.

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.08.13 11:54:16 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 24) : Just wish McLeod was more consistent in his performance. He’s a playmaker that tends to mix the brilliant with the mediocre. Might be in need of kopdokter to sort that out?

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.08.13 12:21:13 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 22) : All the more reason not to blow him up when he does not make a mistake. 😉

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.08.13 12:39:11 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @The Hobbit (Comment 23) : Poor guy was afraid that he would be blown up just for breathing.

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.08.13 12:56:31 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 27) : he needs a teaspoon of cement so he can harden up. 😛

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.08.13 13:29:28 by The Hobbit Reply
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  • @The Hobbit (Comment 28) : LOL.

    Either that or a stack of magazines…

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.08.13 13:30:13 by robdylan Reply
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