Sharks player ratings v Bulls

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 24 Mar 2014 at 10:06
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Time to be a bit harsh on our team, I fear, after a loss at Loftus.

I’m trying very hard to keep perspective at the same time, though. Generally, the best thing to do when you fall off a horse is to make a plan to get back on it. We as Sharks fans, though, have a disturbing tendency to want to shoot the horse instead. It was a poor team effort, though, netting somewhere just a little south of 5/10. Let’s see how the individuals did (remembering that a low rating here does not, in any way, diminish our deep affection for any of them).

1) Beast Mtawarira. The malaise started up front this week, with the Sharks’ big men not seeming to be up enough for this big game. Beast was no worse than, but also no better than, the pack as a whole, who were disappointing for most of the game. 4/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. Few players summed up the lack of enterprise, enthusiasm, passion, or call it what you will, than captain Bismarck, who appeared to play at half pace. It’s simply not good enough for the guy whose meant to be setting the tone to go missing in such dramatic fashion. C’mon, Bismarck… this week we want more battleship and less cruise ship. 3/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. There where some nice tackles on opposite number Werner Kruger; otherwise it was a rather subdued showing from the big doctor. At least he didn’t argue with the ref this week. 4/10
4) Anton Bresler. We saw a nice breakdown steal, which is new territory for Anton, but I’m afraid the Sharks came second in the physical stakes and he needs to take his share of accountability for that. 4/10
5) Stephan Lewies. Wasn’t as comprehensively outfoxed at lineout time as one might have thought and was the only Sharks tight forward to make any sort of progress with ball in hand. 5/10
6) Marcell Coetzee. Marked out of the game as a ball carrier and lacked effect at the breakdown, a contest which the Bulls dominated entirely. His work rate is always going to save him from a truly horrendous rating, though. 6/10
7) Willem Alberts. A strong opening half hour in which he was the pick of the Sharks forwards. Fell off a little later in the game. 7/10
8) Ryan Kankowski. Tried hard throughuot the game, but his error count was sky high and kept the team under pressure. 5/10

9) Cobus Reinach. Was having a great game when he went off injured in the 15th minute. 7/10
10) Pat Lambie. Unfortunately wasn’t on long enough to rate.
11) Lwazi Mvovo. Continues to improve week on week and was responsible for so many of the little touches that saved the Sharks’ further blushes. 6/10
12) Frans Steyn. He gets an extra point for attitude this week – at times, looked to be one of the few guys who genuinely wanted to win the game. Long kicks at goal are superb, but perhaps needs to take a sober look at his drop-kick success rate. Still a good performance against a backdrop of very average ones. 7/10
13) S’bura Sithole. Another very encouraging performance from a player who looks eager as can be to make a success of his new position. Had little opportunity with ball in hand, but worked so hard on defence. 6/10
14) JP Pietersen. A quiet outing in his 100th game. JP was another one of the go-to guys who just simply never got going. 5/10
15) SP Marais. Started well, but then started to fall into bad habits, with some suspect positioning opening up acres of space for the Bulls kickers to target. Some good defensive work otherwise, but proved predictable and easy to counter on attack. 5/10

16) Kyle Cooper. With Bismarck playing possibly the worst game of his career to date, Cooper still didn’t manage to get more than 6 minutes on the park.
17) Dale Chadwick. Loving his attitude this season. Destroyed Werner Kruger and Marcell van der Merwe in subsequent scrums. Keep it up Dale! 7/10
18) Lourens Adriaanse. Deserves credit for turning the creaking scrum into an attacking weapon in the last quarter. 7/10
19) Etienne Oosthuizen. Conceded a penalty or two, but also won a crucial turnover for the team and appeared to add a fair amount of grunt when it was needed. The jury is not yet ready to return a unanimous verdict on him either way. 6/10
20) Tera Mtembu. Worked hard in a pack that was determined to make ground the hard way in the closing quarter. Not much scope for his running skills to be shown off. 6/10
21) Charl McLeod. Put in a pretty strong performance, all in all, after taking the field a lot sooner than anyone had planned. 7/10
22) Tim Swiel. A tough ask for the kid, who probably didn’t spend very much time at all running with the team in this position during the week. I thought he coped admirably and showed maturity beyond his years, even if he didn’t quite manage to win the kicking duel against a guy with almost 10 years more experience. Swiel has an impressively big boot and strong tackling technique for his size. 6/10
23) Andre Esterhuizen. Probably not quite enough opportunity to show us what he can do, but that dropped pass minutes after coming onto the field unfortunately spoke volumes. A great talent, but perhaps not quite ready for this stage? 4/10


  • Rob I know this must be an annoying question, but is there any word on the injury front?

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.03.14 10:13:42 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • Ratings seem fair. Was also very impressed with Lwazi’s efforts. The guy’s really putting up his hand for inclusion in Meyer’s plans.

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.03.14 10:18:36 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Almost everyone should get another point docked for not being able to pass a friggin rugby ball or draw the defense before doing so.

    Especially Beast and Marcell seem to have blinkers on with ball in hand. Kanko almost managed to butcher our sole try-scoring opportunity for the same reason.

    It’s a sad day for Sharks rugby when forwards playing in the Aviva Premiership sides have better handling and distribution skills than some of our backs

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.03.14 10:20:02 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • Kankos worst game ever. Should only get a 2 for ariving at the game.

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.03.14 10:32:44 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 4) : Jy ken die gesegde: “Mens ploeg nie met ‘n resiesperd nie”.

    Dis wat ons met Kanko probeer doen.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.03.14 10:43:30 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • I really don’t think it was as disastrous as all that these comments make it out to be. To lose both of our halfbacks in the opening 15 minutes is horrific – it’s very hard to maintain any sort of consistency when that happens and in retrospect, we should have moved Frans to flyhalf. Really, we only lost the game because of 2 very weak tackles on Jacques du Plessis. The JJ Engelbrecht try was well worked and well deserved, but the du Plessis try was soft – Bissie and Beast will not enjoy the video analysis.

    Finally, I have to give huge props (hah!) to Dale Chadwick. I’ve been very critical of his scrumming but he’s proven me wrong during this season. He’s not built like a traditional prop – most of his strength comes from his legs and hip drive where a traditional prop relies on weight and upper body strength. I still feel he should consider a move to hooker, but he’s certainly proving a damn fine prop now, and considering the queue to first-choice hooker, I wouldn’t blame him for staying at prop.

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.03.14 10:50:44 by josefgremlin Reply

  • Frans Steyn deserves an 8 at least….he was everywhere. I’d love to see the tackle stats. If the rest of the team played with 50% of Frans Steyn’s energy and passion we would have won comfortably.

    Sadly he was the flicker of light in a dark forest.

    Well done also to the replacement front row. I was well impressed.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.03.14 10:54:01 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @rhineshark (Comment 5) : Ooh, well said, very well said.

    Same as what HM tried with Keegan.

    Though Kanko’s butter fingers really aggravated the life out of me.

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.03.14 11:14:49 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @rhineshark (Comment 5) : Well put 😀

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.03.14 11:20:11 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Two moments really defined our game: The first and most obvious was losing both our halfbacks in the first quarter. The second was seeing both Beast and Bismark missing ridiculously simple tackles on their Brontosaurus-paced flanker.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.03.14 11:22:23 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @rhineshark (Comment 3) : Worst game from Kanko that I can remember. Have to agree with Rob that the only fearsome thing about Beast these days is his name.

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.03.14 11:26:27 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 11) : What has changed so much in his game??

    I remember the days when he burst onto the scene as a prop who’d get a couple of 10 metre plus runs per game and knock defenders aside like skittles. Has he put on too much weight??

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.03.14 11:30:43 by ChrisS Reply
  • Due to a mates wedding i had to rely on watching the various highlights on offer so hard to judge everything but it does appear as though our senior layers failed to pitch up. Is that possible fatigue to get up for another game? Or is it that they dont put as much emphasis on playing away from home. In the end we only lost by 4 points…

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.03.14 11:36:04 by SheldonK Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 12) : Playing these days on reputation, I guess. Look, he’s still bloody strong in the scrum, but his loose play has really suffered. He runs quite laterally so he’s pretty easy to stop and his tackling technique is poor. On Saturday he fell off the legs of their flanker. Was a key moment for me.

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.03.14 11:37:52 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : A tiny bit of effort would have seen us win this game easily. If I were a Bulls supporter I’d feel less ecstatic about the win as they didn’t play well either. We were just the worse of 2 terrible sides on the day.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.03.14 11:38:51 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 12) : He seems to be goigng to ground as soon as he takes contact, well thats when he actually decides to carry the ball. i think a lot of his focus is purely scrumming now. Beast was alsways a decent srummager but it was his ball carrying and tackles that made him a Bok.

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.03.14 11:40:53 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : Yeah, we only lost by 4 points, and we got a BP out of an away game. So it isn’t a train-smash. But what really concerns me is 1) The team without Lambie as general. We forget how valuable this guy is and 2) The poor play from the seniors. Worrying times for the coaches if the players don’t start pulling their weight.

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.03.14 11:41:39 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @ChrisS (Comment 15) :

    I have to disagree. I think the Bulls played a really good game.

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.03.14 11:46:07 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @ChrisS (Comment 15) : Yeah, they came out hammer and tongs to manage a slim 4 point win over us.

    How bad we were, and how bad they made us look is probably the only bone of contention.

    They did succeed at neutralising our loose forwards and tight five in the set piece. That is normally all it takes to beat an SA team. Kill their set piece and their game falls apart.

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.03.14 11:48:28 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 14) : Very lateral running and no effort when he gets tackled. He literally was a “Beast” when taking contact and used to take a lot of effort to put down which allowed his support to get to him.

    Nowadays he’s a dream for any fetcher as he goes to ground at the first hit and very rarely has support with him.

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.03.14 11:50:06 by ChrisS Reply
  • Line-out calls were non-existent, that is why the line-outs were so bad. Here we really miss PSdT. Maybe ALL the locks need to learn how to call, even no. 4…. if needed to if the no. 5 is not available. Lambie and Reinach were sorely missed.

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.03.14 11:50:38 by Marge Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 18) :@FireTheLooser (Comment 19) : They played better on the day and were good at the breakdown but that performance wasn’t nearly good enough to beat a side like the Chiefs.

    There was a lot of aimless kicking and the backs weren’t creative on attack. Jacques du Plessis’ try was the result of kak play by the Sharks, not any great skill on the part of the Bulls.

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.03.14 11:54:05 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 20) : For a very long time, Beast was our only genuine lh, and thus probably adapted his game to conserve energy for the scrum, as he would often play for the entire game.

    Now that Chadwick has stepped up (happy days), and we are able to field lh and th on the bench, he might well get back to his running days, as there is no need for him to play more than 50mins. per game.

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.03.14 11:58:37 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 18) : Naas very nicely pointed out the issues in the Bulls backline on attack – wasting overlaps and running themselves out of space.

    I think if we played like this against a more street smart back line (e.g. Folau and co) it would have been much much worse.

    The Bulls forwards definitely played very well though – I was surprised at Du Plessis not getting the MOTM. Still glad Fransie got it though – seemed to be the only Shark really keen on winning.

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.03.14 11:58:45 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 22) : If you’re a Bulls supporter you saw Bismarck and Beast swatted off the amazing Jacques Du Plessis, if you’re a Sharks supporter, you saw Bismark and Beast missing schoolboy regulation tackles and their sloth-like flank. 😛

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.03.14 12:17:50 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @ChrisS (Comment 22) : my MOTM was Jurgen Visser. He was up to our poor and unnecessary kicking plan.
    I mean even Kanko trying to chip!??!??
    You have it right. We should have contested the Bulls in the lineouts and we did not attack as a team. No offloads and egotistical plays.
    We are a far better side than this. But why Jake could not change the plan during the second half is beyond me?

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.03.14 12:22:13 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 25) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.03.14 12:24:05 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Agree with most ratings but just think a bit harsh on Esterhuizen in his first game and a bit generous to Kanko in his n’th game.

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.03.14 12:34:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Have we (Sharks team) ever won a game with a player gaining his 100th cap?

    Even for the Springboks, first player to ever reach 100 caps was Monty, against the AB’s in Cape Town, and we lost 19 – 0.

    The list of losses on a players’ century game is staggering. What does the teams get up to for a players 100th game?!

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.03.14 12:40:04 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 25) : Hahaha!! That’s very true 😆

    @KILLER SHARK (Comment 26) : The players should be able to read the game and decide to use plan A, B or C. We only seemed to have a plan A which involved starving the backline of any ball and trying to run over the Bulls forwards from a standstill instead of around and past them.

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.03.14 12:41:53 by ChrisS Reply
  • A couple of points to consider here:

    (1) Our Kicking game out of hand was terrible. We kicked way to long and never was in a position to contest. On the one occasion that we vaguely got it right, Mvovo actually got under it and won it. SP to me was the main culpret here. I would doc him an extra point or two. Swiel can be forgiven due to a lack of experience but he needs to lie shallower. He was too deep and it made the bulls task of nulifying our back line easier.

    (2) The bulls committed an extra man at the breakdown and we did not respond. We were found wanting.

    (3) Felt our loosefowards ran laterally or too close to the defenders.

    (4) Felt Ettien deserves an extra point. Its not a coincidence that Chadwicks rapid improvement in scrumming has coincided with him being on the field.

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.03.14 12:44:31 by byron Reply

  • If you give Tim Swiel 6 , then Francois Steyn must get 12 out of 10. He was just everywhere. I wil give him 8 to 9 and Tim about 5. Although he did nothing really wrong, but he did not do any thing really .

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.03.14 13:02:39 by Stef Reply

  • @Stef (Comment 32) : well, you’re of course free to give the players whatever rating you like on your website 🙂

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.03.14 13:30:45 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • All in all we were pretty swak. Losing the halfback pairing so early was a big blow! And yet we almost snuck in there at the end…ARGH! Agree that Frans deserved the highest rating…just so impressed with the passion and emotion he showed in that interview with “Oom Kobus”… 🙂

  • Comment 34, posted at 24.03.14 21:24:15 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Pokkel (Comment 7) : Frans’s tackle stats…..made 9, missed 3……ESPN

  • Comment 35, posted at 26.03.14 00:17:24 by Saffex Reply


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