Super Rugby 2014: Who to watch out for

Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Super Rugby on 16 Jan 2014 at 10:03
Tagged with : ,

New contributor Benedict picks his six most exciting prospects for the coming season.

Bismarck du Plessis (SHARKS)

The best hooker in the world by miles. Was sorely missed in last years’ Super Rugby. Whenever the bustling hooker plays; his team seems to have an added edge. The hooker’s presence is massive. One thing is missing in his cabinet: IRB player of the year award and a Super Rugby title. Could this be the year? Had the brutal hooker played in Super Rugby in 2013 a definite nomination for the prestigious award. He was massive in the green and gold.

Patrick Lambie (SHARKS)

Jake White has made it known that he will play Pat at flyhalf only. No rotation I hope. Can Lambie consistantly produce the goods at pivot? This is his season to make the Sharks jumper his and more importantly possibly wrestle the Springbok jersey from the incumbant Morne Steyn, whom I regard as one-dimensional yet instrumental in all the Boks’ successes over the years. Will the baby-faced assassin finally graduate to a fully-fledged serial killer? He needs to work on kicking consistency.

Robbie Fruean (CHIEFS)

Two heart surgeries, deemed lazy off the ball, pacy, powerful and still not an All Black. This is Fruean. Has shown his abilities in patches and needs a big season. The All Blacks need a successor to Conrad Smith. Can he finally flourish? Catch the eye of Steve Hansen? I hope these are questions that will be answered this year. Would be sad to see the centre ply his international trade for Samoa. He was quite lethal with SBW inside him, or did the dual-code star make him look good?

Benji Marshall (BLUES)

Timana Tahu, Chris Ashton, Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Folau are names that spring to my mind when you think Rugby League to Rugby Union. Entering the fray Benji Marshall. Freak, controversial and quite a YouTube sensation in most parts of the world. No-look passes, flick-passes and a killer side-step. A 2010 Golden Boot winner as the best Rugby League player in the world. Can he light up Super Rugby? I reckon like Sonny Bill he will also don the coverted black jersey. News out the Blues camp is coaches are impressed and I think we are set to be entertained and enthralled by the new convert.

Victor Matfield (BLUE BULLS)

The greatest number five lock to have graced a rugby field. Athletic, intelligent and majestic in the line out. Lots of split opinions on his return. Could he tanish his legend reputation? I believe his return has Springboks written all over it – the old guards are reassembling in the Springbok side should he earn selection. Blood brothers to re-unite? A return will see him earn the captaincy back surely and re-establish the Meyer-Matfield combo. Os du Randt and Bob Skinstad made successful returns. I question why bring back an old man and not intergrate and groom youth? Loftus, your captain is back.

Nemani Nadolo (CRUSADERS)

1.95 and over 120kg. Compared to Lomu and labelled an ‘absolute hulk of a man’ by Todd Blackadder. The Fijian winger is set to have a second bite of Super Rugby. Could he be a Savea-esque winger? Only time can tell. He is a big man and will be keen to see if he isn’t too big for a backline player. The Crusaders could trim him down but its set to be a good battle for any winger up against him. How will he fair against the slick Cheslin Kolbe? Or Gio Aplon? Savea should relish this battle.

These are the players I am keen to see in Super Rugby 2014. Will they all live up to expectations?

Who do you want to see in 2014?


  • Nice picks Benedict.

    Intriguing questions for these players. Can they step up.

    Had Brussouw not got injured, it would have been nice to see how he went for a full season.

    And the return of Spies. Is he going to be the Spies pre 2009? Or are we going to see the same softness from him.

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.01.14 10:27:04 by John Galt Reply
    John Galt
  • @John Galt (Comment 1) : I think Spies is going to surprise us all this year

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.01.14 10:56:13 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Nice picks Benedict! The players I’m most keen to see from a Sharks perspective are Tim Swiel (to see those silky skills at super rugby level) and the Hoff ( how will he respond to the disappointment of 2014 and his acrimonious relationship with Plum).

    I believe that both of them are going to be a revelation.

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.01.14 11:13:01 by Bump Reply

  • @Bump (Comment 3) : as long as Ryan isn’t in terrible physical condition, he’s going to have a huge season. A coach who backs him to the hilt and his main rival stripped of the captaincy.

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.01.14 11:17:55 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : I’d be thrilled if that were the case but why do you think so?

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.01.14 11:20:44 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : I just have a feeling.

    I go against the grain a little bit – you know that. I don’t despise Luke Watson or Dewald Potgieter, for one thing. I also have huge respect for Pierre Spies as a person. I want him to do well.

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.01.14 11:21:52 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Honestly didn’t even know liking Dewald Potgieter was going against the grain? He used to write pretty awesome columns for SuperSport. I guess I go against the grain too because I like both of them.

    As far as Pierre Spies is concerned, I used to attend the church he attends and I’m still friends with many of his friends there (though I don’t know him personally). The man is indeed a awesome human being. No denying that.

    That being said however, every year since 2010 I think has been hailed as his comeback year. I guess I’d like to hear a clear intention from him for once that he wants to progress beyond his pedestrian play.

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.01.14 12:06:30 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 7) : the church just across the road from Loftus?

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.01.14 12:24:48 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Matfield was always a great player and a great leader within the team, but he was never a good captain. He didn’t handle the ref very well so I’d rather see Jean continue. In truth, I’d rather see us stop living in the past and bring in somebody long-term, like du Toit.

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.01.14 12:59:08 by David12246 Reply

  • Spies should impress. Enough time to prepare. I rate he will get his Bok 8. #my thinking.

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.01.14 14:00:06 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : The Hoff in top form is a thing of true beauty for any rugby lover that loves a traditional no 8, with silky skills, speed, lineout ability and positional awareness.

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.01.14 15:02:34 by Bump Reply

  • @Bump (Comment 11) : agree he is pure class

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.01.14 15:40:41 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Can someone tell me who “the Hoff” is. I have not been on this site long enough so I feel a bit ignorant.

    In saying that – this is the best site for reading comments. Supersport is ok but Sport 24 sucks big time! Here (sharksworld) people talk rugby and DON’T argue back and forth about stupid personal stuff (Sport 24).

    Back to my original question about the Hoff. I have my suspicions. Please tell me who he is.

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.01.14 16:01:02 by [email protected] Reply

  • @[email protected] (Comment 13) : Ryan Kankowski

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.01.14 16:01:33 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Is the Hoff the closest thing we have to SA’s Kieran Read? Or is Duane it?

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.01.14 16:26:55 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @bchanakira2 (Comment 15) : I’d have to say Duane.

  • Comment 16, posted at 16.01.14 16:28:35 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Almost equal if not a yard or so behind maybe. Duane had a good season. Imagine Bulls loyalty sees him dropped for Spies.

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.01.14 16:37:34 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @bchanakira2 (Comment 17) : LOL Spies will need to have a blinder of a season to edge Duane . . .

  • Comment 18, posted at 16.01.14 18:19:54 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 18) : Hey!! Long time!

  • Comment 19, posted at 16.01.14 18:22:43 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Maybe Matfield could awaken the dead spirit of Spies. I still think Spies will be a terrorist on the field!!!!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.01.14 18:32:56 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @bchanakira2 (Comment 20) : Well in away games he`ll certainly be dressed as one . . . . :mrgreen:

    Just had a look at some youtube clips of that Benji Marshall.
    Looks like SBW version 2.1

    We`ll need to watch him closely . . . 😯

  • Comment 21, posted at 16.01.14 18:43:08 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Think we should stop nonsense talk like HM making vic captain…..yes they know each other well, but jdv is HM captain for the worldcup

  • Comment 22, posted at 16.01.14 18:43:22 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @bchanakira2 (Comment 20) : Hi!

    Look, I dont think Matfield will be bad, but to me calling retirement and then return…I read this and I agree ” If you have sung your swan song, all notes following are out of key”

    I honestly think his expertise could be used (but I’d prefer it at coaching), he was brilliant at reading line-outs (his mom was a Math teacher after all!), but I feel for youngsters, trying to make the step up. It can take years for a lock to become good, why not start building on them?

    But thats just my opinion.

  • Comment 23, posted at 16.01.14 18:44:44 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @KingsArmy (Comment 22) : Will he last…I have some doubt.

  • Comment 24, posted at 16.01.14 18:45:57 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Yes hope also pierre pull his finger out of his ass!! With his body and applon’s heart….wow what a player that would be!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 16.01.14 18:49:20 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 24) : Hope so…..he’s a good captain and had one of his best seasons ever 2013

  • Comment 26, posted at 16.01.14 19:20:56 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 26) : He has heart, I’ll give him that.

  • Comment 27, posted at 16.01.14 19:26:09 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice (Comment 23) : thats true . agree with that. Just hope he will come to the party.

    He doesn’t want to tanish his reputation. its all linked with the Springboks in mind. #surely

  • Comment 28, posted at 16.01.14 19:32:11 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @KingsArmy (Comment 22) : Its a thought. he has called back bakkies and could pull a bull out the hat.

  • Comment 29, posted at 16.01.14 19:37:32 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Nope :grin:. He goes to CRC Pretoria. Quite a few of the Bulls players do these days. Had nothing to with me leaving though 😉

  • Comment 30, posted at 16.01.14 19:49:31 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Rob (comment 13) Thanks you confirmed my suspicions! I thought it was Kanko!

  • Comment 31, posted at 16.01.14 22:07:39 by [email protected] Reply


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