Feeding Frenzy at Ellis Park

Written by Martin van Niekerk (vanmartin)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 8 Feb 2014 at 09:41
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The writing was on the wall for this encounter when the hooter sounded for half-time with the Sharks having taken a comfortable 31 – 0 lead over the Lions. Any lingering doubts were erased by Jake White emptying his entire 11-man bench for the second half.  The reinforcements, consisting of mainly under-studies, had their own point to prove however and would go on to score a further 26 points in the second half while conceding 14 to the Lions.

Both coaches will be left scratching their heads after the match. Jake White now faces the uncertainty of how much should be read into the result while Johan Ackerman is probably wondering what he was thinking sending so many fringe players into the warm-up match only to emerge with bruised bodies, dented egos and little else to show for it.

The Sharks struck early with breaks from both Lambie and Lwazi eventually creating enough space for Odwa Ndungane to dot down in the corner. Lambie, never looking comfortable kicking from the acute angles, failed to convert and the Sharks lead 5 – 0 within the first two minutes of the match.

Play was briefly interrupted when referee, Jason Jaftha, was stretchered off the field after what looked like a knock during broken play in the Lions half. The Lions were soon thereafter given the opportunity to put their own points on the board with the Sharks being penalised during scrum time in their own half. Flyhalf Willie du Plessis pushed the kick to the right and the Lions remained scoreless. This would prove to be their last decent scoring opportunity of the first half.

The Sharks would go on to use both set-pieces to great effect after their early scrum penalty and losing their second line-out within the Lions red zone. Not afraid to counter-attack from inside their own 22 when the space was available, the Sharks would often run themselves into favourable field positions and then apply the necessary pressure to force a penalty or handling error against the Lions. On countless occasions the Lions would concede penalties or possession inside their own half.  Lambie’s boot would come into play at this point and consistently find touch deep in Lions territory. The Sharks’ line-out would be then used to create the required attacking momentum from which to score.

As the minutes ticked on the Sharks grew more comfortable and confident employing this tactic. In the 15th minute of the game the Sharks would once again secure good, clean ball from their lineout and shift play to the middle of the field before SP Marais ran a good attacking line quickly moving play back to right side of the field and putting in a neat little grubber through the first line of defence. Jordaan was on the ball in an instant, nudging it further with his boot and putting it outside the reach of cover defence before Odwa collected and ran in his second try a little closer to the posts this time. Lambie easily converted to put the Sharks 12 – 0 ahead.

The Lions reset with a kick-off and enjoyed a rare attacking opportunity in the Sharks 22 but were forced into making a mistake through relentless defence from the forwards. The Sharks scrum was solid allowing a good clearance and ultimately gifted the Sharks the opportunity to once again do most of their playing in the Lions half. The Sharks were soon camping on the Lions 10 with a line-out feed. The backline worked the ball across the entire length of the field before shifting it back to the middle, all the while gaining valuable ground. Pieter Steph du Toit spotted the gap close to the posts and soon out-muscled his defenders, crossing the white wash to score try number three for the Sharks. Lambie converted and the Sharks were now sitting on a handy 19 – 0 lead with a good 15 minutes of the first half still remaining.

The Lions enjoyed the customary foray into the Sharks half after kick-off only for Jannie du Plessis to pilfer the ball and force a scrum penalty. The Sharks cleared the ball from the ensuing scrum but the kick proved too deep allowing the Lions to gain valuable ground with the return. The Sharks proved solid in the resulting line-out and a clever box-kick from Cobus Reinach put the Lions on the back-foot and back under pressure. The Sharks worked their way back up the field through scrums and pick-and-goes from the forwards. The Lions eventually managed to stem the tide on their 10 with a feed into the scrum. The Sharks got the shove however and soon Marcell Coetzee was all over scrumhalf Faf de Klerk resulting in a very poor clearance. The Sharks had won another attacking lineout inside the Lions 22. They soon capitalised with Lambie spotting the overlap on the far side and using the skip pass to find Mvovo. Lwazi was as much the hero of this movement as he had to jump to catch the pass before landing, beating the defender and scoring the fourth try in the corner. Lambie again struggled with the angle and pushed wide but with a 24 – 0 lead and having engineered the try, nobody was complaining.

A passage of stop-start play from the Sharks and Lions ensued with both sides involved in decent but fruitless attacking movements and solid defence, the highlight of which was Jannie picking the ball straight out of the air after a cheeky chip-kick from Willie du Plessis probing for space behind the Sharks rush-defence.  The Sharks, once again employing their rewarding line-out play patiently worked their way into the Lions 22 again and were awarded an attacking scrum for their efforts.  A quick ball to Frans Steyn provided him with enough momentum to hit the half-gap, push off the cover defense and score the final try of the half on the hooter. Lambie converted and the Sharks sat on 31 – 0 lead going into the break.

The second-half saw the bench cleared with only SP Marais, Tera Mtembu, Odwa Ndungane and Anton Bresler allowed to play on.  The Lions were more conservative with their replacements however with fewer changes going into the second half.

The Lions found one of the best attacking opportunities early in the half with a feed into the scrum in the Sharks’ red zone. The Sharks bench warmers had a point of their own to prove however and soon won the penalty after applying huge pressure and forcing the scrum through the ninety. The Sharks once again proved how adept they’ve become at patiently working their way into their opposition’s half and soon boasted another attacking lineout in the Lion’s 22. Once the ball was secured it was swiftly run through the entire backline before finding the hands of Sithole. With both strength and explosive speed at his disposal, he looked the part at outside centre and after bulldozing three defenders he crossed the chalk and put the first points of the second half on the board. Fred Zeilinga comfortably converted a fairly challenging kick. 38 – 0 to the Sharks five minutes into the half.

Ten minutes of improved play would follow from the Lions but silly errors again proved costly, robbing them of momentum when they so desperately needed it. The Sharks competitiveness at the deck and ever-growing presence in the line-outs would further disrupt promising passages of Lions’ play. Sithole’s strong runs would ultimately bring the Sharks back into the Lions half where an attacking lineout would once again be the Lions undoing. Stephan Lewis would go on to score from the ensuing rolling maul and Fred would once again add the extra two for a 45 – 0 lead.

A failed clearance from the Sharks and a penalty conceded at the breakdown following it would finally allow the Lions onto the board. After failing to setup their first rolling maul from an attacking lineout on the Sharks 5, the Lions were allowed a second chance after the Sharks were penalised for collapsing. The Sharks, no doubt wary of yellow card, were less abrasive in their defence of the second Lions’ rolling maul and Stephan Vermeulen finally managed to put his team onto the scoreboard. Willie du Plessis had no trouble converting. At 45 – 7 to the Sharks and with 16 minutes left on the clock though, this was clearly too little, too late.

The Lions score seemed to only add a renewed vigour to the Sharks. The kick-off wasn’t fielded by the Lions and Jaco van Tonder’s furious chase soon paid off with him collecting and scoring seconds thereafter. Zeilinga failed to add two more but the Sharks would find it hard to complain with a 50 – 7 lead.

A fairly dull 15 minutes would follow before the first truly enterprising play from the Lions. A wonderful line-break after great interplay from the Lions caught the Sharks’ last line of defence out of position and napping and resulted in the simplest of run-in tries for fullback Coenie van Wyk under the posts. This is the kind of threat one would expect from the Lions more often in broken play. With a minute of play left, du Plessis once again converted for a slightly more respectable 50 – 14 scoreline.

The smell of blood was however still lingering in the water and the Sharks were soon circling again. Heimar Williams managed a line-break of his own and nearly dotted down himself before being brought down just shy of the posts. The ball was quickly recycled and Sithole again bullied his way through for his second in the far corner. Fred saved his finest kick for last to seal the score at 57 – 14 to the Sharks.

Final Thoughts

Sharks fans will be relieved to learn that Cobus Reinach had a much improved performance with speedier service from the base and crisp passes bar a single slip-up. Paul Jordaan seems to be shaking off his rust too after spending so many months out injured. He made two very telling contributions and will hopefully keep improving with more game time. S’bura Sithole was a pleasure to behold at 13 in the second half and has very likely forced Jake’s hand into providing him with more opportunities in this position. Patrick Lambie’s attack of the gain line combined with his tactical appreciation in this game must also have Jake smiling. Combining him with Frans Steyn who again proved his class on the day is a mouth-watering prospect if both manage to build on current form.

The forwards deserve special mention as a unit. They put in the hard yards for this match which meant they didn’t feature as prominently as the Sharks backline in the scoresheet. I doubt Sharks fans would complain about this.  They built a great attacking platform for the backs resulting in some beautiful tries. It would be unwise to single out specific players as all the forwards combined well and ultimately contributed to the running rugby.

With more game time the scrum is less of a concern compared to the game against Saracens. The Sharks may also boast one of the most potent line-outs come Super Rugby but time will tell. Lambie needs to work on his kicking at poles, especially from the tougher angles. Jake White has hopefully taken note of this. It should be remedied soon. Lapses in concentration late in the game and defensive positioning (especially last line and cover) also deserves some more attention. These two factors were exploited by the Lions and allowed for the second try. The Sharks should stick to their game-plan when it works as well as it did against the Lions. The pressure it applies will eventually allow the space they so love for their running game.  They were a patient outfit today but could have used even more in the final quarter of the game. They look their most dangerous when they practice patience.

Finally, the Sharks can take huge confidence in their commitment.  Driving in the screws when you’re ahead and twice scoring on the hooter are usually not behaviours attributed with the Sharks team. Congratulations to them. They impressed in spite of facing inexperienced opposition.


  • Great to see us keeping momentum after half time with all the changes. Depth we have that’s for sure. If we stay mostly injury free and not have a crisis like last year then we will be a formidable unit. Jake has added some great people. Kopdokter, handling coach, but I would like to see a specialist kicking coach. If lambie can get to 80% kicking success then we have all our angles covered.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.02.14 10:03:31 by Shark Overide Reply
  • @Shark Overide (Comment 1) : Isn’t Doc Sheryle going to work with the kickers?

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.02.14 11:01:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • it is a pity that supersport are so hard ass about the warmups. why do we pay so much money if they think they can dictate. It sucks when there are monopoly’s in place

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.02.14 11:23:19 by Dunx Reply

  • Thanks for a great report Vanmartin!

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.02.14 11:36:01 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Van so you also had to fight and jossle for a seat in the packed stadium last night.on a more serious note I’m no expert but I must say the Great White influence can definitely be seen ,the whole team just looks the real deal,like winners,they in reat shape and just watch Kanko 2012 is going to repeat ,The biggest problem ,and the Lion supporters around me commented on this so its not my bias,fact is Bambie can’t kick while Fred Z can.its all in there composure over the ball while kicking,the one looks at ease and natural the other not.That to me must be The Great Whites biggest headache now especialy after his comments on the 10 position.

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.02.14 11:39:54 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 5) : Yeah man, it was a real struggle finding a spot in between all those Sharks supporters :). Ellis Park is a great stadium though, loved it!

    I can only echo your sentiments on the team.You know what made the Bulls so scary in my opinion? Their composure. You never got the feeling that they’re out of game even when trailing. I know it’s early days but I saw that composure for all but ten minutes of the last quarter. It was quickly regained after the final Lions score.

    Fred does look more comfortable kicking at posts and that’s good.It’ll no doubt push Pat to improve in that area and means Jake will be more comfortable subbing Pat when he needs rest.

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.02.14 12:05:46 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Wow what a comprehensive match report…almost feel like i was at the game….well done Van. Cant wait to get this season started, my biggest concern at this stage would be Pats kicking for posts, I know its early days but this has been coming for a while now, I really hope he can work this out, we really gonna need the kicks to go over in the close games and there will be close games.

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.02.14 12:08:06 by SharkED Reply

  • @gregkaos (Comment 4) : Thanks bud! It’s a little lengthy but blame that on Rob for asking for a blow by blow yesterday. 🙂

    The hope is it painted a picture for everyone who couldn’t be there.

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.02.14 12:08:28 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SharkED (Comment 7) : Hoping that Cheryle and Jake work their magic in that department along with some healthy competition from Fred.

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.02.14 12:10:45 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : Amen to that…. 🙂

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.02.14 12:13:49 by SharkED Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 8) : Certainly did. It’s impossible to get a feel for how a game flowed when reading a short summary.

    So no injuries with is a massive plus! Well cept for Jaftha.

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.02.14 12:16:01 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : Out of interest how early did you get to the game? Did you get to see them warming up on the field?

    At the Sarries game, during warm up, I saw that Smit was on the field chatting to media, supporters, coaches and players.

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.02.14 12:21:12 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 12) : I made it with five minutes to spare. I left Centurion just after 17:00 but traffic was insane. I missed the warm-up. Was hoping to spend that time identifying the players I know less well. Would also have prevented me from reporting that Cooper was on the field in the second half 😀

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.02.14 12:26:08 by vanmartin Reply
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  • The smell of blood was however still lingering in the water and the Sharks were soon circling again. 😆

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.02.14 12:59:02 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 14) : Watch out Stephen King 😛

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.02.14 15:59:57 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin: BTW thanks for the report.

    And having been at the game do you think that a Bulls, Cheetahs or Stormers 2nd/3rd string would have done much better? Or a Sharks 2nd/3rd string for that matter? I’m trying to get a feel for how much one can read into the match about the Lions “depth”.

    From your report it seems that the Lions error rate was very high, which was part of the reason why the score ballooned.

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.02.14 16:54:38 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 16) : No worries, I doubt any of those second string sides would have fared much better with so many inexperienced combinations. They simply weren’t prepared for handling so much continous pressure and the errors came as a result. A few veterans who know how to calm a situation down would not have been remiss. That’s why I question what JA was thinking. I don’t pretend to know too much about coaching but I can’t imagine this sort of match at the start of a season does much good to a young player’s psyche. What are your thoughts?

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.02.14 17:17:24 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : This is going to be fairly long (maybe the next topic for my blog) 🙂

    Having followed the Lions and Ackers’s strategy during the last 18 months it seems to me that he went in an opposite direction to John Mitchell. JM played the same match 22 into the ground while Ackers chopped and changed his match squad virtually every game, even during the Currie Cup last year, to give as many players as possible the opportunity to 1) get used to the Lions game plan and 2) put up their hands for a spot in the SR squad.

    The result is that 1) few of the players are settled within their combinations (a negative) but that 2) most of the back up players can slot into the match 23 with minimum disruption (a positive)

    The question is whether this will pay off for the Lions in Super Rugby. Only time will tell

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.02.14 17:35:21 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 18) : I can fast track this one for you.

    The answer is “no”

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.02.14 18:05:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : I prefer to wait till the end of the season to judge 🙂

  • Comment 20, posted at 08.02.14 18:25:29 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 20) : just teasing you!

  • Comment 21, posted at 08.02.14 18:38:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • Lions Super Rugby squad according to Rapport. Not confirmed yet but it should be close:

    Backs: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Chrysander Botha, Coenie van Wyk, Anthony Volmink, Deon van Rensburg, Courtnall Skosan, Deon Helberg, Lionel Mapoe, Stefan Watermeyer, Alwyn Hollenbach, Stokkies Hanekom, JW Jonker, Elton Jantjies, Marnitz Boshoff, Willie du Plessis, Michael Bondesio, Faf de Klerk, Ross Cronjé.

    Forwards: Warren Whiteley (k), Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel, Warwick Tecklenburg, Ruaan Lerm, Lambert Groenewald, Willie Britz, Franco van der Merwe, Rudi Mathee, Martin Muller, Franco Mostert, Ruan Venter, Bees Roux, Julian Redelinghuys, Jacques van Rooyen, Schalk van der Merwe, Corné Fourie, Ruan Dreyer, Robbie Coetzee, Willie Wepener, Malcolm Marx.

    Ave Age: 24.93
    Provincial Caps: 1732
    Super Rugby Caps: 461
    Bok Caps: 3
    Total Caps: 2196

    Super Rugby:
    Rookies: 19
    1-10 Caps: 9
    11+ Caps: 12

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.02.14 08:12:28 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 22) : Bok Caps: 3


  • Comment 23, posted at 09.02.14 10:11:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 22) : What is your opinion of Faf de Klerk?

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.02.14 10:26:26 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 24) : I liked the little bit I saw of him but that was 1st division and he’ll have to make a massive step-up to SR. The Pumas seemed to prefer him to Shaun Venter who played for the Kings.

    I would have preferred if we had kept Tian Meyer but I suppose the decision not to keep him was part financial part political. With 3 or 4 scrummies already on the books it wouldn’t have gone down well if we ignored one of our franchise partners’ players.

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.02.14 11:18:50 by Baylion Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Ja Rob, even the depleted Bulls has 15 Boks with 285 Bok caps and the Cheetahs are on 7 Boks with 63 caps

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.02.14 11:23:46 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 26) : look, you can still put together a decent enough first team from that squad, but outside of that…. not a lot

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.02.14 11:28:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • We are quite aware it’s going to be a tough year, most of us anyway 🙂 and the first half of the season is going to be really tough where all our opponents were in the top 10 last year. If we can scrape one or two wins during the first half I’ll be “happy” with the hope that we should be able to get a few more when we play some of the “weaker” sides in the second half

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.02.14 11:36:15 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 28) : and yet the common feeling is still very much that a place in Super Rugby is deserved by the Lions, as their right?

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.02.14 11:50:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : In short, yes it is their right as long as SA has 5 franchises

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.02.14 17:46:19 by Baylion Reply

  • Congratulations to the Dolphins winning the ram slam T20 final, well done guys you truly deserved it . and may this be the first of many trophies coming to durbs.

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.02.14 18:45:38 by BR Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 31) : and you figure that how?

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.02.14 20:17:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @StretchB (Comment 30) : wow. what a great article

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.02.14 20:40:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 33) : Edit: Sorry it’s so long, I really got going 🙂

    I’m not interested in rehashing all the arguments of the past two years. The Lions’ domestic record is sufficient to claim the right to the fifth SA franchise. And before you bring up the popular argument that there’s a difference between franchises and unions, essentially there are not. Only the Cheetahs consistently use one of their franchise partner’s (Griquas) players and even they do not use any of their 1st division partner’s (Griffons) players.

    But as to the Lions current squad, which prompted your question, what was the cause of their weakened state?

    In 2011 the Lions had rebuilt a squad that was good enough to beat a full strength WP (aka Stormers) and a full strength Sharks side to win the Currie Cup as well as draw with the Sharks at Ellis Park and beat them in 2012.

    Injuries saw the Sharks drop from 2012 finalists in 2012 to #8 in 2013 when they won only three of their last 10 games while the Stormers dropped from #1 on the log to #7. A worse spate of injuries affected the Lions campaign in 2012 resulting in them finishing last and being kicked out in favour of a politically motivated franchise. Forget about their previous record, they were kicked out because of their 2012 log position.

    The Lions lost 20+ players as a result and recruited fringe players and 1st division players, put together a preparation programme at their own expense and still managed to beat the Kings Super Rugby side on aggregate, albeit by the skin of their teeth, to get back into Super Rugby.

    So, now they face a new season with an inexperienced side of journeymen and rookies as well as no sponsor and the media and Kings apologists are going to lambaste them for every loss irrespective of the quality of opponent.

    Yes we can claim our place in Super Rugby as a right by way of our domestic record, by beating the Kings in the farce SARU created and because the Lions didn’t lie down and die as most expected them to do after being kicked out.

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.02.14 21:39:29 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 22) : The Lions lack clout in the tightfive and this is where they will come unstuck……I cant see their forwards living with other sides.

    Useful loosies in Kriel, Minnie, Whiteley and Britz and they have some quality in the backs in Jantjies, Hanekom, Volmink, Mapoe and Andries Coetzee

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.02.14 22:06:08 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 36) : I agree, especially in the front row. First choice locks are OK but the back up will be down to converted loosies or youngsters. As Rob said, the first choice match 22 will be reasonable but a serious spate of injuries will affect us.

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.02.14 22:19:10 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 37) : They don’t really have a grunt No4 lock to partner Franco……who will it be. Ruan Venter has potential, but seems to have injury issues

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.02.14 22:28:34 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 38) : Franco Mostert, before his car accident last year, impressed. Ruan is probably more a #5 but Martin Muller also seem to be earmarked for the #4 spot. Lambert Groenewald and Willie Britz have both played there but that would be last resort really.

    I see in Beeld that the Lions might look at other franchise players not selected in the SR squads and also that Steven Sykes has had no offers. Who knows?

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.02.14 22:33:53 by Baylion Reply

  • Franco Mostert is very light at 104kg……..Ruan Venter has always played 4 I think and is a big lump. Martin Muller is not very big either.

    The Lions should get Peet Marais from the Sharks, he has not made the initial Sharks squad

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.02.14 22:36:43 by Saffex Reply

  • Thanks for this wonderful article. It made me feel as if I was there!

  • Comment 41, posted at 10.02.14 01:40:39 by [email protected] Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 40) : Bwahaha!
    This is gonna be interesting …

  • Comment 42, posted at 10.02.14 01:42:39 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @BR (Comment 32) : Very chuffed for them and it was an entertaining game too.

  • Comment 43, posted at 10.02.14 07:24:25 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : @robdylan (Comment 33) : Well at the end of the day the decision to have given the Kings their one year of SuperRugby exposure seems to only have weakened both the Lions and the Kings. Failure.

  • Comment 44, posted at 10.02.14 07:42:35 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Only 5 more sleeps!! 😀

  • Comment 45, posted at 10.02.14 07:58:57 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 45) : Yay.

  • Comment 46, posted at 10.02.14 08:00:36 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I see everyone and his grandmother has the Sharks as SA’s favorites to make it to the top.

    Let’s see how good this Sharks team of ours handle the pressure of the favorites tag, because under our friend Plum, they only ever performed when they were written off.

  • Comment 47, posted at 10.02.14 08:50:55 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 47) : Must admit I m a little worried about this as well.
    You know we’ll be the laughing stock of 2014 if our “16 Bokke and Jake White” don’t get a result against “The severely depleted bulls”…

    But surely that can t happen.
    Bonus point try for us within 20 minutes or I suspect match fixing!!

  • Comment 48, posted at 10.02.14 09:34:16 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 48) : Well, we’ll know just how good JW really is should he be able to pull off his goal of winning SR, especially with a hyped up Sharks team.

    Anyone can get the underdog to punch above his weight. But we need the under-performing hyped up champion to finally make good on his potential.

    Not an easy task at all, I’m also just that little bit nervous, by Friday my finger nails will be down to the bone. 😐

  • Comment 49, posted at 10.02.14 10:02:19 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 44) : agree. They should have entrenched the Kings for 3 years, finish and klaar

  • Comment 50, posted at 10.02.14 10:07:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : Well maybe, Lions fans will argue that they should never have got the chop – especially as they managed to beat the Kings to regain their Superugby spot. Kings fans will argue that they should have got more time. But whatever, at the end of the day SARU stuffed up and have left 2 unions even in more dire straights than they were before their little experiment.

    BTW have the Lions secured a headline sponsor yet?

  • Comment 51, posted at 10.02.14 10:20:05 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 51) : yes. The will be sponsored by “Red Question Mark” this year. We’re not sure what they do, but according to the “roomers” from staunch Lions supporters it’s a sponsorship worth at least a billion dollars a year.

  • Comment 52, posted at 10.02.14 10:25:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • I was hoping to see some excitement at the prospect of Sithole playing some sort of role in the 13 position this year but I guess it’s early days yet.

    I was seriously impressed with his second half performance.

  • Comment 53, posted at 10.02.14 10:45:04 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 47) : Plum was always reactive and had no plan, we first had to lose big-time before he could identify areas that needed to be worked on (how many times did we stress about the breakdown before he decided to work on it). Apparently under Plum, management at the Boks were always concerned about the conditioning of our boys and stated out of all the SA unions, our boys were the worst conditioned. What I’m basically saying is that the problem with our team was the coach, not that Plum was a bad coach and Brendon Proved this. Plum would just lose focus after the CC and not plan for SR. Jake will have these guys properly conditioned, they will know what is required of them and what they’ll need to do to fit in the bigger picture. Under Plum there was no plan so players didn’t really know what they had to work on when they got dropped. With Jake at the helm, we’ll at least finish in the top 6. The players will then determine if we finish higher.

  • Comment 54, posted at 10.02.14 10:49:35 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 53) : To be honest, after your commentary, I have renewed hope (lots of it) that he will reach his potential. It sounded as if he ticked a lot of the right boxes. I had almost given up that he would crack the big time but from what you posted he has left an impression.

  • Comment 55, posted at 10.02.14 10:56:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @robdylan (Comment 52) : 😈

  • Comment 56, posted at 10.02.14 10:56:37 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 54) : Plum’s “success” was the same as PdV’s success with the Bok’s, based on the hard work done by their predecessors.

    I remember being bitterly disappointed with Plum’s appointment as head coach after tricky dickie. He just never inspired any confidence as the head coach of one of the biggest franchises in the Southern Hemisphere.

    He would have fitted in well with the tjietas or snoiL or kings. 😈

    He’s doing wonders with the Irish forwards though, but we all always knew he’d best serve the game as a forwards coach.

  • Comment 57, posted at 10.02.14 11:02:17 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 54) : Sorry Im not buying the “worst conditioned of all the unions” schpiel. The Sharks in the last 4 years would be the union that travelled more than any other union and probably played more rugby than any other union and contested the most semi and finals in that same period. Just being able to do that attests to a team that would have to be in pretty good condition. Maybe they were tired / jet lagged / buggered.

  • Comment 58, posted at 10.02.14 11:34:54 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @robdylan (Comment 52) :

    hahahah !!! :mrgreen:

    Love you to Rob 🙂

  • Comment 59, posted at 10.02.14 11:39:20 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 59) : 🙂

  • Comment 60, posted at 10.02.14 11:52:33 by robdylan Reply
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