White on Sharks changes

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 13 Mar 2014 at 15:57
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White has shared his views regarding changes to his team to face the Reds in Durban on Saturday.

“Some were enforced,” he says, adding “Jean [Deysel] got a bang on the leg and suffered a bit of a contusion there, so he’s out for a week. But disappointing news today is that Pieter-Steph du Toit has hurt his knee and won’t be available this weekend, so Stephan Lewies will start in his place. Odwa’s father’s passed away and Paul Jordaan has gone for a clean-out on his knee and he’s out for three or four weeks. This gives me an opportunity to see the next batch.”

Lewies, who has earned three caps as a replacement in Super Rugby this season after making his senior debut in last year’s Currie Cup, will earn a first start for the Cell C Sharks in du Toit’s now vacant number 5 jersey. “If you look back to that bullocking run of his, he’s pretty quick, ” says White of the 22-year-old Lewies. “We’re in the process now, not only here but in South Africa, of trying to groom callers in lineouts. After Victor Matfield retired, there was a shortage of guys who can call and jump in the lineout and to have two players like that in Stephan and Pieter-Steph in that role is a real bonus for us. So the loss of Pieter-Steph with a bang on the knee opens the door for another opportunity to someone else, but we’re replacing like for like.

“We must make sure we get the balance right, in terms of who takes Stephan Lewies’ place on the bench, but it means there are opportunities for others to come in,” White adds, although at the time of writing, he has not yet named the player who will take over the number 19 jersey.

Talking about the backs, White says “it wasn’t ideal that we lost Paul and Odwa in same week, as we would have liked to have blooded JP Pietersen off the bench and get a feel for it, but it’s his 99th Super Rugby game, he’s been around, he’s scored 33 Super Rugby tries which is the most by any player, so to get his experience and that sort of value into a game against a team like the Reds is obviously massive for us.

“It’s not unlikely that JP can play 13, but to be fair to him we’re playing him in his most favoured position at wing. I’m really looking forward to watching S’bura Sithole at 13. I think there is a position in SA at 13 that’s available, I have full faith in him as a sevens player and a guy with the ability to play at 13. Often you try hide guys on the wing, I think he has a lot of attributes at 13 that are good for us. He’s very strong on his feet, has an unbelievable hand-off, he likes to run with the ball and he likes to finish.

“Defensively, he might not be used to the position, but he can tackle. The reality is that the more opportunities he gets in that position the better he will become. Jaque Fourie played full back at school, but ended up playing 69 Tests at outside centre and a few at wing. Three is nothing wrong with starting him at 13 at a a provincial level, bringing those attributes to our game. JP, Lwazi and S’bura bring a lot of pace, S’bura is the quickest player in the squad, playing JP and Lwazi on the wings. If you’re S’bura you understand that at 10 you have a Springbok, 12 is, both wings are. You’re fitting in between guys with test experience and they will assist him to understand what he needs to do. And he’s playing a guy who was at school 2 years ago, he’s marking a player who has just turned 20. I’m sure he will handle himself adequately.”

Turning to the last change, which sees Pat Lambie reinstated at flyhalf after Frans Steyn’s admirable holding job agianst the Lions, White’s view is clear. “As much as Frans did a relatively good job, he wasn’t a 10 and it was a bit of a disruption in terms of the way we attacked. Frans admitted himself that he was a bit rusty and he’s learned a lot about how 10 wants things, and moving back to 12 means he will be more of an understanding 12, he’s a mature player, what he got out of last week will make him a much better player.”


  • A friend of mine told me that PSDT will only be out for 2 weeks. Can anyone confirm that? Jake does make it seem that it is not a serious injury.

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.03.14 16:19:48 by GreatSharksays Reply
  • Wow, great! Thanks Rob! Or thanks coach! It’s really nice to have an article like this come our way with all the confusion injuries has brought about among us supporters.

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.03.14 16:22:45 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 1) : I don’t know… I also heard something about a couple of weeks but I don’t think anyone knows.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.03.14 16:24:06 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Looking forward to seeing Sithole at 13. He is quick and he can tackle. Only needs half a gap to score. Also happy to see JPP back. Pity about PSDT and Deysel. Hopefully they will be back for the Bulls clash next weekend as we need them to smash the Bulls pack backwards. Their backline have been pretty poor sofar apart from jacque louis potgieter.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.03.14 16:24:06 by willemv10 Reply

  • Well that answers RedSharks question about who is the fastest in the Sharks. I was pretty curious too.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.03.14 16:26:38 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • JW sounds like a man that has things under control and handled…

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.03.14 16:27:43 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (comment 6) Agreed! There’s just feeling one gets when JW responds to conundrums like these….that “I got this, and this is how I plan to tackle it….” kinde’r feeling. Add to that a coach who believes in and inspires his players, both experienced and inexperienced

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.03.14 16:51:05 by chikkoz Reply

  • So Sbura is quicker than Mvovo, who’s 100m P.B is 10.6. Pace to burn in that backline, cos Reinach and SP ain’t slow either.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.03.14 16:57:42 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • In the old days we would have waited weeks for this kind of injury update, now it happens same day. Not so difficult hey, Rudi, Brian, Plum…

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.03.14 17:11:47 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Cool. Thanks Rob. Let’s hope so.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.03.14 17:55:40 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Didn’t know hosepipe is the quickest in the squad…

    I’m impressed by the fact that he hadn’t grown impatient with the Sharks and gone to a different franchise or abroad. He stuck it out and now is his time to grab his opportunity with everything he has.

    He has shown loyalty to the Sharks, which is something I really appreciate from a professional rugby player.

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.03.14 18:13:02 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Still think FS must do all the kicking all the time

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.03.14 18:15:23 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 10) : I’m afraid we have to scratch that comment. 👿

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.03.14 18:19:55 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Suppose there’s an article in that comment ❓

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.03.14 18:22:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 14) : I fear there will be one tomorrow.

    The news isn’t good, but I’ll wait for them to confirm it officially.

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.03.14 18:41:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : That’s ominous. Bracing myself.

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.03.14 19:37:55 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I don’t really care who’s the fastest I’m just glad that the Sharks got loads of pace on the outside!

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.03.14 19:49:12 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Flip. If it’s bad news I’ll be really upset. We can’t really a guy like that. We’ll need to get Sykes back in Durban. Nothing against our current crop but they are 2 or 3 years short. We have a Superugby to win.

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.03.14 02:26:37 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • How matters can change in a week! The new combinations might get us starting the game slower this week. Hopefully not.
    Like S’bu there. Paul made me feel uncomfortable with his knocks and fumbling. Go team!

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.03.14 02:39:26 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 18) : Wish Mostert never left, big strong abrasive and full of energy, a serious talent.

    Sadly our locks aren’t the most patient of guys, as soon as somebody chips into their game time, then they’re of to greener pastures.

    Can’t say I’m the biggest Sykes fan, and he will be a few steps off SR pace by now, no CC premier division and now only VC. Life’s about choices, plenty of guys lured to the Kings with an artificial carrot.

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.03.14 07:27:24 by FireTheLooser Reply


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