Sharks Super Rugby 2014: The back three

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 23 Jan 2014 at 09:42
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

We conclude our look at Jake White’s likely Sharks squad for Super Rugby 2014 by focusing on the wings and fullbacks, where few surprises are expected.

The Sharks are blessed with a talented winger trio, in Boks Odwa Ndungane, JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo and have relied heavily on these players for several season now – perhaps even to the detriment of some promising up-and-comers. Pietersen has been asked to do some time in midfield of late, while Ndungane – still a crucial player due to his calmness under pressure and leadership – found himself in the number 15 jersey under Brendan Venter, as concerns about lost pace persist.

Still, in terms of game breaking and finishing ability, these three men would be the envy of many a Super Rugby coach and it’s thus not expected that White will quickly turn elsewhere in terms of options at wing. S’bura Sithole is a man who has been waiting in the, um, “wings” for far too long as well and it’s hoped that the likable Queens head boy will finally get a chance to at least taste Super Rugby action this season.

Fullback is perhaps slightly trickier, with SP Marais a recent addition to the franchise after the unfortunate departure of stalwarts Louis Ludik and Riaan Viljoen. White may well look to Ndungane here too, as soon as he has Pietersen available to play right wing, but also seems keen to give Jaco van Tonder a go after an encouraging Currie Cup debut season in 2013.

Rumours persist, however, that young Tyler Fisher is the man most likely to be backed by White in the number 15 jersey, in what would, with no disrespect to the player, be a bit of a shock selection. Fisher has power and pace in abundance and is no stranger to the tryline and with White keen to include more out-and-out finishers in his back division, the 20-year-old Westvillian could go from strength to strength this year.

Hansie Graaff and Tim Swiel are other to whom White could turn as options at fullback, but neither appears to be a frontline selection in that position at this early stage of the season.

With Ndungane starting to show his age a bit as a winger and no clear favourite for the number 15 jersey, one feels that the opportunity is certainly ripe for a young outside back or two to make big strides in Sharks colours in 2014.


  • What has happened with Tonderai Chavanga?

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.01.14 10:22:29 by woody Reply
  • @woody (Comment 1) : good question. I don’t know.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.01.14 10:25:53 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Thanks for this series of articles Rob, been to busy for anything but Sharksworld and these really kept me in the loop of how things have been progressing under White.

    Btw… reading “Jake White’s likely Sharks squad” feels really, really good. So excited for things to get underway.

    And I’m off again.

    Cheers everyone. Happy New Year, btw!

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.01.14 10:27:06 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well, if Jake continues the rotational policy there is a chance the new contenders could find a game or two. Off the bench or starting with a solid backup on the bench if things dont go according to plan would be options for me. (Which is why JW is coach!!!!!)

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.01.14 10:30:45 by Caratacus Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 3) : yes, the articles have been coming in thick and fast. Thanks. Really getting in the mood now. Cant wait for the Jake White interview!

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.01.14 10:31:25 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • rob,

    Thx for the informative series of articles. We are blessed in so many ways with Leadership, coaches and a world class player squad.

    There will always be unhappiness with team selections but it remains Jake’s call and we must trust him as he is one best. The sharks are bound to lose some players as the once that are not the mix are already looking at overseas opportunities, and there are many opportunities – Rumour

    With your wisdom and information please take a stab at predicting the team that will play the bulls and the debate will start….. Should we wait until Monday after the Sar game ?

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.01.14 10:37:31 by Observer Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : If he is included, he will be a handy addition to the squad and will offer us a lot of pace

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.01.14 10:57:10 by woody Reply
  • There are certainly lots of combinations that could be used in the back 3. It may not happen but a bit unconventional would be to play Mvovo and Jordaan on the wings with JP Piterson at 15. Then have as my 3 backline reserves Reinach, Zeilinga, Swiel.

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.01.14 11:06:55 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Observer (Comment 6) : yes, let’s wait to see how some of the young backs do against Sarries

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.01.14 11:16:11 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • So, assuming a fully fit team, what would Jakes ‘A’ side look like if they were playing in a final?

    15 SP
    14 JP
    13 Jordaan
    12 Frans
    11 Mvovo
    10 Pat
    9 Mcleod
    8 Kanko
    7 Alberts
    6 Coetzee
    5 PSDT
    4 Oosthuizen
    3 Jannie
    2 Bis
    1 Beast

    Seem about right? 4 lock is the only real question mark I suppose.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.01.14 12:03:07 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @John Galt (Comment 10) : I think you got it spot on with Oosthuizen

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.01.14 12:30:49 by Dunx Reply

  • SP Marais is by far the best option at 15, this lad is a class act. Behind Willie, he is probably the next best 15 in SA.

    Good to see Fisher getting a start but lets hope we get to see him at 13 at some point…..has far more physicality than Jordaan

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.01.14 23:57:42 by Saffex Reply

  • @John Galt (Comment 10) : Lets hope we have a “fully fit ” team real soon then!

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.01.14 13:22:31 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Saffex (Comment 12) : funny u should say that, when he played for kings a big part of the crowd didn’t always like him……maybe he’ll do better in a stronger team

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.01.14 14:01:31 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 12) : I dont agree with your assessment just yet. At the moment SP Marais is a good CC player. will see what he learns during super rugby if he plays regularly. He is prone to some good touches but also lots of silly errors.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.01.14 14:17:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 14) : So who would that large portion of the crowd have preferred to have been playing in his place.

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.01.14 17:00:07 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle

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