Sharks player ratings v Lions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 30 Sep 2013 at 09:41
Tagged with : , , ,

In a performance that certainly didn’t lack grit (although it may have lacked polish), the Sharks recorded a hugely-important 31-25 away win over the Lions at Ellis Park on Friday night. While the set piece again creaked and the Sharks made life difficult for themselves by allowing the Lions far too much freedom on the ball, you simply cannot question the commitment and intensity of all the players involved in a team performance hovering somewhere just north of 7/10. Let’s see how the individuals did.

1. Dale Chadwick. Came to the fore strongly as a ball carrier in that helter-skelter opening quarter; however, his effectiveness and visibility in the loose started to tail off as the Lions’ scrum dominance started to sap his energy. Competed well for 80 minutes, though and the scrums did improve in the second half. 6/10
2. Kyle Cooper. A hugely influential performance from the physical Cooper, who seems absolutely key to the Sharks’ fortunes up front. Again battled at set piece time as part of a front five that was outclassed in this area, but was colossal in the loose. 7/10
3. Wiehahn Herbst. The search for a level of consistency continues for Herbst; after a dominant scrumming performance against the Cheetahs, he fell off a bit this week and while I’m not convinced that CJ van der Linde’s technique was legal, it must be said that the old Bok kept his younger opponent under pressure at virtually every scrum. 5/10
4. Peet Marais. Weighed in with some telling contributions – an important tackle or a lineout sack at the opportune time. Marais has a huge work rate, but question marks remain relating to his physicality when it comes to the number 4 role. A good game all the same. 6/10
5. Stephan Lewies. Given that this was his senior debut, I don’t see how we can have asked more from the young man. He is athletic, he is quick, he has good hands and he looks useful in the lineout. Everything else will come in time. 7/10
6. Justin Downey. This was very nearly a very good game from Downey, if that makes sense. Certainly his tackling was frequent and furious. He was often well up with play and on hand to take the ball, had it just come his way. Needs to be a bit smarter at the breakdown, though, to turn those “almost turnovers” into real ones. 6/10
7. Tera Mtembu. Another really good all-round game from Mtembu – even out of position. He covers a huge amount of ground and uses his combination of physicality and sublime skill to good effect wherever he finds himself. 7/10
8. Keegan Daniel. The captain was arguably the pick of the forwards on the day; this wasn’t one of Keegan’s “flashier performances”, but go back and look at how many of the crucial moments of the match he was involved in. 8/10

9. Charl McLeod. A great game from McLeod, all round. Could perhaps have taken some pressure off Zeilinga by making clearing kicks himself, but his service was quick and crisp for the duration and he started the Sharks’ fightback with a superb piece of opportunism to set up the second try. 7/10
10. Fred Zeilinga. Superb decision-making, superb execution, strong defence and a fair few moment of sheer individual brilliance to turn the match on its head. Seriously, what more can you ask of a 20-year-old flyhalf? 8/10
11. Lwazi Mvovo. A useful defensive performance from the Bok flyer, although opportunities with ball in hand were few and far between. 6/10
12. Heimar Williams. The thing about Heimar is that when circumstances don’t allow him to show off his centre skills, he demonstrates that he could have had all the attributes needed to be a very good flanker instead. In this game, it was his defensive work, particularly at the breakdown, which came to the fore. 7/10
13. Tim Whitehead. A bit of a quiet game from Tim, who didn’t see much ball, but did his bet when he was asked to. 6/10
14. Odwa Ndungane. Oh for a player with Lwazi’s speed and Odwa’s work rate! A very good performance from the old man on the right, who was instrumental in sparking so much of the Sharks’ early attack. 7/10
15. SP Marais. Another great game, another try. This man brings life to the Sharks back and makes other teams think twice about aimless kicks onto the back three. 8/10

16. Monde Hadebe. Unfortunately, will be remembered for poor lineout throws in this game, even if some of the other things he did were quite good. 5/10
17. Danie Mienie. His best showing to date in the jersey, adding a solid and unexpectedly strong right shoulder when he came on, while continuing to mix it up in the loose. 7/10
18. Edwin Hewitt. Strong work on defence and added huge bulk in the tight loose. Just the man to turn to when things get tight late in the game. 6/10
19. Brynard Stander. Put in a lot of work on defence, but I still need to be convinced that open side flank is his best position. 6/10
20. Cobus Reinach. Looked a little sloppy at times, but you can’t fault the moment of individual magic that sealed the result. 7/10
21. Butch James. Unused.
22. Jaco van Tonder. Continues to grow in confidence and put in another solid performance. 6/10


  • Our backiline is starting to look dangerous on attack and defence. Now just to sort out the scrums and lineouts!

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.09.13 10:08:57 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @PTAShark (Comment 1) : Completely agreed. I think the rotation policy is tougher on our forwards as opposed to our backs. Once these guys start to gel (hopefully in time for a semi-final or final), we’re in for a few treats.

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.09.13 10:56:25 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Fred Zeilinga, what a player! This young player is the real deal, I have got no doubt, that he will go on to higher honours!

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.09.13 10:57:28 by Bump Reply

  • @PTAShark (Comment 1) : Yeah I agree. Tough couple of games coming up

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.09.13 10:59:35 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • 2, 4 and 5 must be docked a few points for the awful lineouts, while 1 and 3 must suffer the same for the scrums (although I agree that Chadwick was very good in the loose).

    Also agree on Mcleod – excellent game, but didn’t understand why he didn’t clear the lines on occasion instead of passing to Zeilinga. The latter had an excellent game overall – but needs to work on his place kicking.

    I must also give credit to Daniel – superb game from him. Once again, when watching his ball skills, one sometimes wonders if he shouldn’t have played centre…

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.09.13 11:17:00 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Bump (Comment 3) : What are they going to do with Lambie 2 weeks from now?

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.09.13 11:31:03 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 5) : I rated Lewies as a raw youngster plucked from nowhere in his first game.

    Peet was calling the lineouts and he didn’t do a great job of that… still, made big contributions in other areas and DID take the lineout that led to Reinach’s try.

    Maybe Cooper and Hadebe deserve a point less… ?

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.09.13 11:35:39 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @SharksRTB (Comment 6) : I think they’re going to start him at flyhalf, with Fred on the bench…?

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.09.13 11:36:27 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @SharksRTB (Comment 6) : I would use him as a sub in Butch’s place. Only replace FZ if his play warrants it I would say :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.09.13 11:38:09 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Mtembu wasn’t all too solid on defense. He was good, but had his faults.

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.09.13 11:52:59 by David12246 Reply

  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 9) : and how do you know whether his play warrants it if he doesn’t get a chance to play?

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.09.13 11:54:23 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : What I tried to say is that Fred should only be benched and Lambie to start if he (Fred) is playing bad.
    Yes Lambie is good and we know what he can do but I wouldn’t start him just becoz he was with the Bokke and is the senior player. He hasn’t had much game time. Fred is finding form now and playing well. I think it would be unfair to Fred if we bench him just becoz Lambie is back. But hey that’s just me :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.09.13 12:10:21 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 12) : well, look – I do hear you, but we need to apply that same logic to all returning Boks then, not just Lambie.

    Coaches need to make a decision about how they’re going to handle returning Boks

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.09.13 12:13:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Simple. Start Fred, who has been performing consistently, and gamble on Lambie on the bench because Butch has hardly been seeing the world alight, and always comes with an element of risk wrt yellow cards

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.09.13 12:22:15 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : True I agree. So maybe our bench will look mighty impressive then with all the Bokke back?
    But I do think it would be difficult for the coaches not to throw either Beast, Jannie or Bismark in the mix to help with the scrums – mainly becoz we are struggling a bit in that dept. Time will tell :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.09.13 12:23:36 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • SP Marais to play in the green and gold next year. He`s has got a bit of Willie le Roux`s X factor and a steady head. He just needs to work on that up-and-unders.

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.09.13 12:28:20 by VanWilder Reply

  • Beast, Bizzy and Jannie must start as the Shark scrums is weak without them. PSDT and Marcell must also start as they made a huge impact in the game they played.

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.09.13 12:48:30 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • I would have given FZ a 9/10 … It was an epic performance from the flyhalf. His running game was good, he read play well and his defence was top notch.

    I would have given him an 8/10 just for the two match winning tackles in the 78th minute alone.

    Our tighthead may have struggled but lets be fair, new lock, new flank and up against CJ he was always going to struggle. Seems the ozzies watched CJ scrum because they used exactly the same tactics against the boks – Push early and in.

    Our scrum will come right only with tight5 consistancy … time to stop rotating our team

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.09.13 12:57:09 by byron Reply

  • @Culling Song (Comment 14) : @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 12) : @Bump (Comment 3) : I agree and those skills can’t be coached and now he slots kicks from halfway line,eish,he definitely the real deal.also we will be playing those netball players in CC final and The Cat has Pat weighed.measured and found wanting,so Fred it must be

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.09.13 13:03:55 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @benji (Comment 19) : The players who were found wanting in last year’s CC final were the hookers and locks who could not buy a lineout between themselves, and the loosies (firstly and the rest of the team secondly) who allowed Deon Fourie to have a field day on our ball.

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.09.13 13:24:45 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Lewies had a very impressive debut. Gets stuck in and showed good skill. One the Sharks need to invest in, along with Marais who has impressed me all season.

    I have changed my view on Zeilanga, he looks a good prospect

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.09.13 13:26:10 by Saffex Reply

  • @benji (Comment 19) :
    You are a funny guy!

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.09.13 13:38:43 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Lambie is a Springbok who needs game time. The flyhalf spot is his to lose. It would be ridiculous to think that Zeilinga should start over Lambie. Why don’t we just not play Lambie and give him 6min every week to prove himself 🙄

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.09.13 14:05:22 by soutie Reply

  • @soutie (Comment 23) : exactly.

    To my mind, Fred has done enough this Currie Cup season to nail down the Sharks’ alternate flyhalf spot for Super Rugby next year and alleviate concerns about depth in that position. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Comment 24, posted at 30.09.13 14:23:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 24) :
    Yes exactly.

    Fred has done well in a fairly loose and Bok-less Currie Cup campaign.
    Pat must start at 10 next year with Fred as his understudy.

  • Comment 25, posted at 30.09.13 14:29:08 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @John Galt (Comment 25) : @robdylan (Comment 13) : @robdylan (Comment 24) : are we sure that we really whant Lambie to start for us against WP and in the play offs, he has had less than 80 mins rugby since SR and he has been playing HM kick and pray mostly for those months, I would rather start with FZ and have Lambie on Bench for CC, until our coaches have reclaimed our Lamb!

  • Comment 26, posted at 30.09.13 14:46:28 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 26) : I’m pretty sure the coaches will be taking this game by game.

    See my latest article. My thinking here is that Fred has done enough to win selection against the Bulls on Friday night. I don’t think anyone needs to be thinking any further than that right now.

  • Comment 27, posted at 30.09.13 14:55:31 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : this really could work in the sharks favor. We have a fly half who is having a blinder and another fly half who wants and NEEDS to prove to Meyer why he should of got more game time. Both players will want to impress especially Fred as he knows lambie will be back next week. This is where player and mental management will be key to not only the players but winning the currie cup.

  • Comment 28, posted at 30.09.13 18:24:12 by shaniboi Reply


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