Sharks XV in action this weekend

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 5 Mar 2014 at 10:35
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s crept up on us a little bit, but the 2014 Vodacom Cup competition will finally kick off on Friday.

New Sharks XV head coach Deon Kayser faces a somewhat simple-seeming start to the campaign, with his charges set to face the Border Bulldogs down in East London on Friday evening in their first match. The woes that have beset that union over the last 12 months don’t need to be repeated here, but even with the strongest possible desire to talk up their chances, there’s simply no way these Bulldogs should provide more than token opposition, notwithstanding having lured an experienced coach like Eugene Eloff to the province.

Kayser’s challenge, as always, is one of managing expectations. As the second team of a strong franchise, the Sharks XV is always going to boast its fair share of Super Rugby fringe players and for the coaches, the difficult part is figuring out a way to accommodate those players, who may change on a week by week basis, without disrupting the core of youngsters who will be the team’s mainstay over the course of a campaign.

Certainly this year will be no different. Based on the Tiger Sharks XV (clearly Kayser’s shadow selection) that played in a friendly last week, a large contingent of Jake White’s extended Super Rugby squad should take the field in white and black this weekend. Monde Hadebe, Peet Marais and Tera Mtembu are all expected to feature up front, while Stefan Ungerer, Fred Zeilinga (last year’s player of the year), Andre Esterhuizen, Hansie Graaff, Jaco van Tonder and Tim Swiel should all get some sort of game time at the back. Clearly, with quite so many flyhalves and fullbacks, it won’t be possible for all to start, though. Thomas du Toit, the 18-year-old prop, may well feature at some stage too.

There are, of course, a fair few Currie Cup regulars in the mix as well, with Wiehahn Herbst, Edwin Hewitt, Marco Wentzel, Francois Kleinhans and Sizo Maseko likely for game time. In fact, the more you look at it, the less likely it seems that there will be all that many youngsters involved at all, particularly in these opening weeks. Of the players who played age-group rugby for the Sharks last year, only flank Khaya Majola, number 8 Johann Meyer, scrumhalf Hanco Venter and outside centre Neil Maritz look good bets for a place in Kayser’s initial match 23.

We expect the Sharks XV line-up to be confirmed by tomorrow at the latest.


  • Its never an easy job for the Sharks VX coach as his side chops and changes so often. Just stick to a simple game plan and let the talent do the rest. Good luck to Kayser- he has good coaching credentials so far. I know JW will be watching closely to see which players put their hands up or down…

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.03.14 12:09:55 by SheldonK Reply
  • Tim Whitehead?

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.03.14 12:19:32 by Bok-Clyde-Kiwi Reply
  • @Bok-Clyde-Kiwi (Comment 2) : Tim had a minor knee op,out for awhile.

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.03.14 12:42:40 by bobby 26 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • 1. du Toit
    2. Hadebe
    3. Herbst
    4. Marais
    5. Wentzel
    6. Kleinhans
    7. Majola
    8. Mtembu
    9. Ungerer
    10. Zelinga
    11. Maseko
    12. Esterhuizen
    13. Maritz
    14. Chavanga
    15. van Tonder

    16. ?
    17. Mienie
    18. ?
    19. Hewitt
    20. Downey
    21. Venter
    22. Swiel
    23. Fisher

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.03.14 18:53:16 by David12246 Reply

  • @David12246 (Comment 4) :

    Mxoli, Hadebe, Herbst, Hewitt, Marais, Majola, Kleinhans, Mtembu, Ungerer, Zeilinga, Isaacs, Esterhuizen, Maritz, Maseko, Graaff

    Then Marais, du Toit, Wentzel, Meyer, Venter, Swiel/van Tonder and Bastew.

    Reckon that’s about right. Only 22 in Vodacom Cup squads for whatever reason

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.03.14 20:01:33 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : When can we expect an appearance from Chavanga?

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.03.14 20:17:20 by David12246 Reply

  • @David12246 (Comment 6) : I dunno if they’ll use him in Vodaccom…. not sure what the thinking is, but I just don’t feel like that will happen

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.03.14 21:21:06 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Shouldn’t think so either. However, there is plenty of competition with Mvovo, Pietersen (if he ever makes it back 😆 ), and Ndungane.

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.03.14 22:37:27 by David12246 Reply


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