Sharks player ratings v Bulls

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Feb 2014 at 08:25
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Let’s get the Monday ball rolling with some player ratings after our Sharks got their Super Rugby campaign off to a perfect start by picking up 5 points against the Bulls on Saturday.

It was the first time the Sharks have ever (that’s right, like ever in history) scored four tries in a home game in February, reflecting just how special this result was. That said, we don’t want to get too carried away about the performance, since despite the many, many good things about it, we feel there is still room for improvement. Over all, the team performance rated somewhere around 7/10 we rate the players against that benchmark this week.

1) Beast Mtawarira. A pretty solid outing first up. Was active on the carry, even if he didn’t make much ground and also stood firm at scrum time, without ever really being dominant. 7/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. Ticked all the right boxes as captain, playing a vital roll in keeping things together and moving in the right direction. Lineout throws were spot on and personal discipline was exemplary. Perhaps most telling, though, was how hard Bismarck worked to allow others to shine, with his tendency to hold on to the ball, rather than pass, nowhere in evidence on Saturday. 8/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. Like Beast, was solid at scrumtime without ever really dominating. Work rate was good, but also conceded a few too many penalties. 6/10
4) Anton Bresler. Hugely physical and furiously busy as always. Took his enforcer role seriously upfront and managed to get under the Bulls’ skin at times, while weighing in with some neat touches around the field too. 7/10
5) Pieter-Steph du Toit. Continues to grow in confidence as a line-out player and was again very good in this phase. Was well marked as ball carrier but did well to make some ground and always retain possession when asked to take it up. 7/10
6) Marcell Coetzee. Another stand-out performance from a man who has his sights firmly set on a Bok starting berth in the number 6 jersey. Coetzee did his usual tackling and carrying job, but also won some crucial penalties by displaying hitherto unsuspected ground skills. 9/10
7) Willem Alberts. A rather quiet game from the Bone Collector, with the Sharks more often using du Toit and Coetzee as primary carriers. Did his bit on defence, but we’d certainly like to see more of him as the campaign progresses. 6/10
8) Ryan Kankowski. Nice to see the Hoff back in action and so eager to be in the thick of things. Overshadowed his opposite number and worked hard for 80 minutes, even if chances to see his “x-factor” were limited on the day. 7/10

9) Cobus Reinach. A wide-awake performance from a wide-awake player. Reinach produced at least two moments of match-turning magic in the first half with his uncanny anticipation setting him apart from ponderous opposite number Francois Hougaard. All-round scrumhalf play, including passing and kicking, were also very good. 9/10
10) Patrick Lambie. We’re docking a point for goal-kicking, which continues to be a concern, but Pat’s all-round game was otherwise superb. Jake White seems to have coached the “pocket tendency” out of him, as a result he’s now taking the ball close to the advantage line like he used to as a 20-year-old. Looking forward to a great season. 7/10
11) Lwazi Mvovo. Generally seemed a lot more involved than he has been of late, with his chasing of kick-offs a particular strength. The break that lead to Jorddan’s try was a beaut. 7/10
12) Frans Steyn. Showed the world, once again, just what a phenomenal player he is. Steyn was simply huge, both on attack and defence, while the cross-kick for Ndungane’s try was a piece of skill that very few players would be able to pull off. 8/10
13) Paul Jordaan. Probably his best ever performance in the 13 shirt. Jordaan, in the past, has often looked as though he was just “filling a spot” – on Saturday, he knew exactly what was expected of him and executed to perfection. While his pace made a big difference on attack, it was his work on defence that impressed most. 8/10
14) Odwa Ndungane. A bit of a quiet game from Odwa, who did everything he needed to, with his customary composure, yet somehow also popped up to score a crucial try just on the stroke of half time. 7/10
15) SP Marais. We all know what SP can do on attack and again he showed plenty of this. It was his defensive work that stood out, with great positioning showing that his game has moved on from last year. Caused one or two “heart in mouth” moments by trying to run when he should have been kicking, but that’s just part pf what makes him so special! 7/10

16) Kyle Cooper. Unused. Obviously key to let the skipper see out the first game of the campaign, but if we’re getting to week 4 or 5 without Cooper seeing game time, this might start to become an issue.
17) Dale Chadwick. Unused. Rumours of flu during the week suggest he may not have been 100%.
18) Lourens Adriaanse. What a franchise debut! When last did you see a tighthead prop win quite so many turnovers, while still performing his primary duties so well? 8/10
19) Stephan Lewies. A very assured half an hour for a man making his first appearance at this level. Always gets stuck in and even took a line-out ball or two against Matfield, which is one for the scrapbook. 7/10
20) Jean Deysel. A good showing, particularly in those furious last five minutes, when he did good work as a ball carrier. The yellow card was unfortunate and probably not deserved from an individual point of view; that said, the team was on a warning and Deysel clearly infringed. 6/10
21) Charl McLeod. Put not a foot wrong when he came on. I pity the fool who has the job of picking between him and Reinach, at the moment! 8/10
22) Heimar Williams. A solid-enough debut, but unfortunately not quite long enough to rate him on.
23) S’bura Sithole. Unused.


  • Agree with every assessment here Rob (for what its worth haha)

    Alberts and Jannie certainly had the least impact, albeit not poor performances.

    My god if Adriaanse holds up at scrum time, he will kick Jannie out since he offers so much more around the park – what a debut!!!

    Glad to see Coetzee vastly improved on the ground. If he keeps that up consistently, there will be no doubting from me any longer!!!

    And a 10/10 shout out to the crowd I reckon…good to see

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.02.14 08:33:58 by pienaar111 Reply
  • I wonder how long it will be before Adriaanse displaces Jannie as starting tight head. He is as good as Jannie in the scrum, but really much better in the tight loose.

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.02.14 08:37:18 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Man this backline has potential….and add JPP to the mix. Great to see Lambie attacking the line and getting the backline away.

    Looking forward to some great running by the Sharks backs.

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.02.14 08:42:30 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • Odwa is a legend at the Sharks but imagine having JP, Lwazi, SP and a fighting fit Chavhanga as the 4 back 3 options in the match day 23 đŸ™‚

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.02.14 08:46:25 by pienaar111 Reply

  • Told you muppets last year Reinach is better than McLeod

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.02.14 08:56:00 by MornĂ© Reply
  • I just cannot believe that I have to wait until 12:45 this afternoon before the full game is finally re-broadcast on SS.

    Seems everyone and his mother has a different opinion on exactly how well the Sharks played and how poor the bulls were.

    I’ll just have to see it for myself.

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.02.14 08:56:30 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @MornĂ© (Comment 5) : But last year, he wasn’t better than McLeod đŸ˜‰

    Amazing what proper coaching can do for a player.

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.02.14 08:59:25 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Also crucial to remember, Bulls didn`t even get a losing bonus point . . . What a beautiful sight! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.02.14 09:06:39 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @MornĂ© (Comment 5) : RU dreaming?

    He did have a good game yes, I will give it to him, but it was quite evident when McLeod came on that the ball came out the rucks allot quicker.

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.02.14 09:21:39 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Overall i think everyone should be docked 1 point as the team penalty count was way to high and this will cost us against better teams. Having said that the team performance was very good and we certainly seemed fitter than the Bulls. Bismarck has also seemed to get the side more aggressive in the contact areas which is so good to see. I also like how JW didnt just throw on subs for the sake of it- he had a plan. Other SA coaches take note!!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.02.14 09:23:29 by SheldonK Reply

  • First up…..congrats to all shark supporters! Wasn’t pretty, but ur team is looking good. Bulls of 2014 is a long way off their 2nd spot of last year[after round robin]. After the Tahs bad start it should be between u and strms to bring SA glory…..

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.02.14 09:27:33 by KingsArmy Reply

  • Was an awesome game to watch . condolences to the lady’s family that passed away

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.02.14 09:27:47 by Poisy Reply
  • Agree with scores and an earlier sentiment to give the home crowd a 10 out of 10.

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.02.14 09:48:49 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • It was clear that the sharks did the right preparation and the coaches put in a lot of thought for the new season in the last 2 months. It is also clear that the Cheetahs did not. I get annoyed when i hear ‘soft try’ – any try scored against you is your own fault take it on the chin. Mr.Matfield was rather deprecating about his teams loss with ‘3 soft tries and silly mistakes’. Sorry bud but lack of game plan and poor performance by crucial players was the reason for your demise. Oh, and a vastly better team.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.02.14 09:56:28 by Caratacus Reply

  • LA what a player and as for that 8,12 combo,its going to prove devastating as the SR progresses

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.02.14 09:59:02 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • I was surprised Sithole wasn’t used given how much White raved about him… Other than that I think Bresler is lucky to get a 7, he was not quite his old self.

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.02.14 10:02:23 by David12246 Reply

  • Alberts, Bresler, Jannie and Bismarck werent themselves.

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.02.14 10:13:02 by Talent Reply
  • No injuries, hey Rob?

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.02.14 10:26:02 by David12246 Reply

  • @Talent (Comment 17) : I think they just did solid work which allowed the rest of the team the freedom to shine. 3 out of 4 of the players you mentioned are tight five players. I’m ok with them not shining.

    Jannie laid the platform for Lourens to come on and smash the Bulls at scrum time. Good planning and a good performance by our team.

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.02.14 10:52:19 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 19) : Ye you have a point. I just felt Alberts, in particular, was nowhere nearhis usual self.

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.02.14 10:56:13 by Talent Reply
  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 9) : It didn’t get to the players quicker…

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.02.14 11:00:06 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @David12246 (Comment 18) : none that I know of

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.02.14 11:25:11 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • The only criticism I have with Marais is that quite a few of his kicks from inside the 22 failed to find touch. Not a problem when Visser is booting it back at you but when Dagg is taking it back up at a scrambling defence it can be a problem.

    Adriaanse’s performance showed again how thick Meyer has been in making him carry tackle bags while converting Coenie into a tighthead

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.02.14 11:37:04 by Half-Pint Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : The Witness this morning reported that we have a clean bill of health.

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.02.14 11:51:07 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Half-Pint (Comment 23) : That’s why the Hurricanes offer a different and far more challenging threat this weekend.

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.02.14 12:23:13 by David12246 Reply

  • JW did the sensible thing with selections for the frist game. I think we can see some interesting selections coming up. I was impressed with how Bissie didnt concede penalties, we can only get better which is exciting. We had the thinking cap on as players we had the bulls double thinking and played away from their strengths which is why i think we didnt maul. We did a aussie / nz trick with penalty’s against a strong maul, rather a penalty than a try. The inside passes were also great to see.

  • Comment 26, posted at 17.02.14 12:25:14 by Dunx Reply

  • Fair ratings. Is there a chance that Jake is removing some of the carrying burden from blind-side flank? A position the Sharks have traditionally overused when it comes to ball carries. Seems like Alberts got though quite a lot of hard graft but was less involved in the flashy stuff. Not a bad thing per se.

  • Comment 27, posted at 17.02.14 13:09:10 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Half-Pint (Comment 23) : I got the feeling that it was part of the plan. Bulls lineouts were a far greater threat than the back 3. Opposite may be true for the Canes game.

  • Comment 28, posted at 17.02.14 13:23:26 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @gregkaos (Comment 28) : Very astute observation.

  • Comment 29, posted at 17.02.14 13:27:44 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @gregkaos (Comment 28) : I haven`t seen a lot of news regarding the Canes.

    How strong will they be?

  • Comment 30, posted at 17.02.14 13:48:58 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 30) : Yeah I’m keen to find out too. I know its extremely hard & dangerous to judge by warm up games but the Canes did get thrashed by the Saders. However, Canes the likes of have Cory Jane, Conrad Smith and Julian Savea. I honestly have no idea how strong their pack is. Only player there I really know is Ben Franks.

  • Comment 31, posted at 17.02.14 14:05:18 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Firstly happy birthday Bresler for yesterday!!!!!!
    Just give Bresler time to totally recover to proper match fitness, not playing or training properly for nearly 8 months. I think he did quite well after being on the sideline for most of last year!!!!

  • Comment 32, posted at 17.02.14 14:26:01 by Marge Reply

  • @Original Pierre (Comment 30) :

    Like always the Canes has a few X-factor players in the backline that could be really dangerous, but their tight five won’t be able to give them the ball they need to create enough opportunities to win matches consistently. A team like the Sharks with the worlds best forwards, or some of them, should be able to win this game way before it gets to the backs.

    Play smart here will be important, because if you give them space they will punish you.

    Also this will be there strongest team, they don’t have enough depth to go through this competition a competitive team, the one the Sharks will face this weekend, will be though.

    That’s my lo down on the Hurricanes. Not much has changed.

  • Comment 33, posted at 17.02.14 14:34:54 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 33) : But they’ve always been a bogey side to the Sharks…last year they murdered us.

    But I trust that with JW we’ll go into the game with the correct game plan.

  • Comment 34, posted at 17.02.14 15:07:06 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 34) :

    Isn’t every side the Sharks’ bogey side – a side we lose more regularly to than we expect to. Think Reds, Waratahs, Cheetahs … who else? Even the Lions has become known as somewhat a bogey side for the Sharks.

    Maybe we’ve just been poor and we need to correct that.

  • Comment 35, posted at 17.02.14 15:27:41 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 35) : We’ve always been poor when we’ve been touted as favourites.

    That probably made the win against the bulls that much sweetest.

  • Comment 36, posted at 17.02.14 16:02:16 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Good ratings. The guys played well but stayed with the same tactics in the 2nd half in spite of JW saying at half time that we need more ball in hand.
    I am glad that Cobus had a better game to boost his confidence. We did not have a bad player on the pitch just slight errors and slightly match unfit guys but, given the pace and humidity, it was a superb performance. Congratulations Sharks!

  • Comment 37, posted at 17.02.14 18:51:36 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 36) : Yes. Hasn’t that been a problem with all SA teams for a while now?

    I hope the Sharks can embrace the favourite tag much like the Saders did in their best years and the Chiefs have been doing recently.

  • Comment 38, posted at 17.02.14 19:09:24 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 37) : Interesting that Bissie said during his post match interview that in Durban in February it is sometimes better to not have as much ball in hand. He implied it was effective to allow the other side to make the ball handling errors and counter from that. I wonder what Jake really wanted, not what he told the interviewer at half time.

  • Comment 39, posted at 17.02.14 20:26:02 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • I viewed the game again and even on slow motion one can not see whether PSDT hit the opposition’s hand or the ball as the shot was too wide.
    The call that the ball was dislodged and not knocked seem the fair option taken by the tmo

  • Comment 40, posted at 17.02.14 22:21:14 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • Jordaan’s one on one miss on Greyling was concerning and raises the same issues regarding this lads ability physically. He was put into space nicely and used his pace to good effect…….he is an asset in space……..what will happen when the going gets tough?

  • Comment 41, posted at 17.02.14 23:45:01 by Saffex Reply

  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 40) : sanzar said it wasn’t the ref and tmo made a mistake the ball was knocked by bresler and he played the gay in the air to me if they made the mistake their problem they got the tech and still can’t get it right. (there is a hole artical on about it

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.02.14 06:53:48 by sharks4eve2013 Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 41) : this weekend PJ is going to be tested and let’s see if he will be exposed

  • Comment 43, posted at 18.02.14 08:23:14 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Saffex (Comment 41) : U cant use his 1 missed tackle to raise an issue. If thats the case then Serfontein who missed a tackle on a centre is also not up to it physically. jordaan took down a lot of bigger guys on sat. @sharks4eve2013 (Comment 42) : To be honest i had my doubts about the try as well. But crises if they going to look at that decision what about the Bulls try that was clearly truck and trailor? And the high tackle on Cobus Reinach that prevented a try? So id love to see 1 Bulls supporter saying that 1 decision cost them the game as it is being reported.

  • Comment 44, posted at 18.02.14 08:47:27 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 44) : my sentiment as well and they can’t say it did cost them the game the only difference it made was the bonus point sanzar is complaining about something in the lines and i quote its going to make a difference on the log and to be honest i don’t care for once something went the sharks way

  • Comment 45, posted at 18.02.14 08:56:54 by sharks4eve2013 Reply

  • @sharks4eve2013 (Comment 45) : Its game 1 and they whining, i wonder how many incorrect tries will be scored this year giving teams a winning or losing bonus point…are they going to go to the same lengths so publicise those? i highly doubt it. Its the nature of the game that you get decisions for and against you so ill def take it cos i know down the line the Sharks are going to get screwed.

  • Comment 46, posted at 18.02.14 09:03:21 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 39) : We cannot afford to allow the Canes to have as much possession as the Bulls had. The Bulls did not really test our defense, expect by using the mauls very well.

    However in the humidity it is also a bit of a catch-22 as it seems almost better to play without the ball. It will be interesting to see what tactics Jake will come up with.

    At least we have one game under the belt in these conditions.

  • Comment 47, posted at 18.02.14 09:13:04 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 46) : ja and the worst thing is i haven’t heard the end of it since i got into work

  • Comment 48, posted at 18.02.14 09:56:13 by sharks4eve2013 Reply

  • @sharks4eve2013 (Comment 48) : Just give them a high 5 for the points we got on Sat!

  • Comment 49, posted at 18.02.14 10:08:03 by SheldonK Reply

  • @sharks4eve2013 (Comment 48) : Apparently a scrum should have been awarded….which would probably have resulted in an intercept try for Cobus.

    There were times during that game where the bulls forwards really seemed to be struggling to get through the game. That scrum would probably have taken enough gas out of the bulls to allow the Sharks a 5th try.

  • Comment 50, posted at 18.02.14 10:12:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 49) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 51, posted at 18.02.14 10:15:58 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @SheldonK (Comment 49) : ha ha they didn’t like that i said for once something went our way you know these bulls in pretoria no sense of humour @FireTheLooser (Comment 50) : true said the same thing to my father in law we looked a hell of alot better than they did and that was just the first 20 min of the game

  • Comment 52, posted at 18.02.14 10:27:47 by sharks4eve2013 Reply

  • The Bulls should seriously consider playing Francois Hougaard at 8, and Pierre Spies at 9. Hougie has waaaaaay more mongrel than Spies, and Spies’ passing and kicking game cannot possibly be worse than Hougie’s

  • Comment 53, posted at 18.02.14 11:00:31 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 53) : đŸ˜† :mrgreen:

  • Comment 54, posted at 18.02.14 11:36:55 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Culling Song (Comment 53) : Careful with such innovative ideas! Someone at the Bulls union might stumble across this comment and you’ll be appointed Director of Rugby before you know it. I’d start working on the conditioning of my cheque-signing hand if I were you.

  • Comment 55, posted at 18.02.14 12:26:09 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 55) : either that or go trawl the old age homes in and around Pretoria for past players

  • Comment 56, posted at 18.02.14 12:42:30 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Culling Song (Comment 53) : Hougaard has got real mongrel. Have you seen that serious bruising he has on his upper arms – that must be painful and he plays through it.

  • Comment 57, posted at 18.02.14 13:13:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 57) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 58, posted at 19.02.14 05:29:12 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.