Sad farewells

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 Jul 2014 at 09:12
Tagged with : , , , , ,

With the curtain coming down on the 2014 Super Rugby season, it is unfortunately time to say our fond goodbyes to a number of Sharks stalwarts, who have opted to move on to pastures new.

First and foremost among them is former skipper Keegan Daniel, who leaves the Sharks after 8 years to join the Kubota Spears in Japan. 29-year-old Daniel, who joined the Sharks Academy in 2004 and made his senior debut in 2006, epitomised a dynamic, young generation of home-grown stars who were given their opportunity under the enterprising Dick Muir and came of age under his successor John Plumtree. As fans, we’ve watched Keegan mature from a mercurial and often hot-tempered youngster, whose passion for the Sharks was matched only by his prodigious skill, into a dependable team man who cemented a regular starting spot despite his somewhat more compact form factor and went on to turn many a game in the side’s favour. Asked to step into the captaincy void in 2011, Daniel led the Sharks to the final of the Currie Cup in 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well as Super Rugby in 2012, finally securing a trophy in last year’s domestic showpiece. Daniel leaves the Sharks having played 105 Super Rugby matches (scoring 16 tries) and 99 Currie Cup games (in which he scored 33 tries).

Charl McLeod, he of the amazing Currie Cup Final try-scoring feats, also leaves, heading to Grenoble in France. The 30-year-old scrumhalf has been a Sharks player since 2008, when he was offered a chance at a “big union” after a stunning set of performances for the Valke in the previous year’s Currie Cup. Quickly establishing a reputation as a dependable player with a great pass and devastating turn of pace, McLeod cemented a regular first team spot once Ruan Pienaar and Rory Kockott had move on and has played an important role as part of the senior player corps over the last few seasons. This was exemplified by the decision to entrust the interim acptaincy to McLeod earlier in the season when Bismarck du Plessis was unable to play against the Highlanders. He leaves with 73 Super Rugby caps (including 5 tries) and 56 Currie Cup caps. Perhaps more important, though are the three tries scored in two Currie Cup Finals (2010 and 2013) that turned both of those games in the Sharks’ favour.

Jean Deysel, a man who somewhat oddly shares a birthday with Daniel, found a home in Durban in 2007 after a frustrating early career with the Lions. Quickly establishing himself as a key go-to-man in a Sharks pack lacking a hard edge following the retirement of AJ Venter, Deysel’s bullocking runs and uncompromising approach to the game saw him become a fan favourite and also play his way into the Springbok side, before a strong of knee injuries saw his star wane a little. True to his nature, though, Deysel endured month after month of painful rehab to re-establish himself as a key man in the back row, where his ability to cover number 8 and lock in addition to his favoured blindside flank position was highly valued by coaches. He leaves the team to join Toyota Verblitz in Japan with a relatively low tally of Super Rugby caps, 67, an indication of just how much of a factor those injuries were. He has also ammassed 77 Currie Cup caps and also worn the captain’s armband on occasion.

Anton Bresler is another stalwart to whom the injury gods have not been kind, of late. Coming through the junior ranks, successive coaches identified Bresler as a key workhorse figure in the pack – while others may have come to the Sharks boasting all-star pedigree, big Bresler made up for all of that with a hard-nosed approach and uncompromising work ethic that made him impossible not to pick in the second row whenever fit. A succession of shoulder injuries robbed him of the chance to earn a Super Rugby half century and he leaves to join Edinburgh Rugby Club with 42 Super Rugby caps and 44 Currie Cup caps to his name. He has scored a single try in each competition.

Also leaving is tight head prop Wiehahn Herbst. “Wors” leaves the Sharks to join Ulster in Ireland after a 5-year senior career in which he established himself as a dependable Currie Cup front ranker and capable deputy to Jannie du Plessis at Super Rugby level. Herbst came through the Sharks Academy and Junior ranks, earning Junior Springbok representation along the way and proved over a succession of seasons at senior rugby level that he could always be counted on to do his bit for the team whenever called upon. Wiehahn leaves with 40 Super Rugby caps and 82 Currie Cup appearances, having scored two tries in the latter competition.

To all our departing legends, we offer our thanks and our unending love. There’s really not much more that can be said without being reduced to rather unmanly tears. Go well, Sharks men, and keep our flag flying proudly wherever you pull on a jersey.


  • Cheers guys, Im going to miss you all. Thanks for the contributions and be proud of those contributions because there have been some amazing ones.

    Be safe.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.07.14 09:18:16 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • The part of the season that I hate the most for just this reason! It feels like losing family!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.07.14 09:25:59 by ChrisS Reply
  • Cheers guys! Thanks for all the hard work, blood, sweat, tears and joy you brought us! Good luck with the rest of your careers, may it be massive.

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.07.14 09:36:49 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Great servants of Sharks rugby one and all, you’ll be missed!

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.07.14 09:49:43 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Cheers to all of you and thanks for all contributiuons to the team and good luck with your carreers going forward. Certainly going to leave some big gaps, and big shoes to fill.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.07.14 10:16:46 by stevovo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Thanks for everything guys, we are really going to feel these losses…you will be sorely missed, all the best in your future endeavours

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.07.14 10:41:25 by SharkED Reply

  • We’ll feel all of their absences in the days to come and they’ll be missed.

    Shouldn’t Frans Steyn also be on the list or is his Japanese signing along the same lines as Lanka and JP’s?

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.07.14 11:15:15 by Butchie34 Reply
  • Geez thats some serious grunt leaving the province. Deysel, Bresler, Herbst could make quite an impact and wouldnt let any side down. Combine that with the match winning ability of Daniel and Mccloed and its some serious talent leaving. How we looking at replacements?

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.07.14 11:21:24 by SheldonK Reply

  • Feels like a part of me just died Rob, and those unmanly tears are hovering under the surface.

    To all the boys, you provided countless moments of pleasure and enjoyment. Thank you for that and may your future careers be as successful as they were at the Sharks.

    P.s. I still remember Keegan’s debut (I think) vs the Blues, putting in 2 massive hits to show everyone what he was made of.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.07.14 12:17:57 by StevieS Reply
  • I see Beast is leaving after SR 2015

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.07.14 12:55:34 by Baylion Reply

  • All the best to these faithful servants!

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.07.14 13:18:06 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Cheers guys, was nice having you.
    All the best for your futures.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.07.14 14:43:27 by Dunx Reply

  • Farewell dear old friends. Peace and prosperity for all.

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.07.14 16:55:10 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Thanks men…and all the best!!

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.07.14 19:17:51 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • sharks running an article that beast is leaving … any truth to the rumor

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.07.14 20:12:27 by byron Reply

  • Goodluck guys we will miss you!!!!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.07.14 20:23:42 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • OH SO SAD!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.07.14 21:58:30 by [email protected] Reply

  • @StevieS (Comment 9) : yes Stevie some serious memory makers leaving. They will be missed and never forget! !!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.07.14 22:34:26 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Was Keegan at any point involved in Sevens? After watching last night’s final I just thought he’s be perfectly suited to the game. Wouldn’t be great to see him at the Olympics?

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.07.14 23:35:09 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Rob, do you know when the Bok squad will be announced?

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.07.14 03:21:55 by David12246 Reply

  • with them all leaving and a lot of players going to be called up to the boks who will play in the Currie cup?

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.07.14 07:59:18 by pete69 Reply

  • We signed lionel cronje. Moerse

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.07.14 08:00:57 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • Wtf……Lionel Cronje. Not even a has been….rather a never was! We would rather let Robert du Preez go and sign a player that travelled all over because he can’t make it.
    Really getting to a point where I am slowly losing my faith in this JW and John Smit decision making.

    What the hell…..we lose all these players and sign C grade players, same as SP Marais. Bulls recruit high profile players that will contribute. Lappies and Strauss.

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.07.14 08:14:20 by Lieplapper Reply

  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 22) : Agree….Moerse. Rather sign a schoolboy with potential.

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.07.14 08:15:41 by Lieplapper Reply

  • @Lieplapper (Comment 24) : Watch this space, I believe a good number of the KZN top schools players are going to The Lions next year.

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.07.14 08:55:11 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Don’t read too much into it guys, it was simply our turn to sign him 😉

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.07.14 09:09:03 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Lieplapper (Comment 23) : Lol, the SMH called him superb…

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.07.14 09:24:13 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • I will always remember Keegan for that try he scored down the side line against the Bulls. I think he did it twice actually. He had a deft touch with ball in hand.

    Yes, Charl Mcleod definitely is one of the biggest reasons we are sitting with a CC trophy in our cabinet. He just knew how to produce in CC Finals. He will leave a big void, where hopefully a few youngsters can step up.

    It feels like Jean Deysel should only be 25. We haven’t seen enough of him yet. His game against the Highlanders made me miss him before he even left. He will be hard to replace.

    Anton Bresler was totally underrated. Not flashy, but maybe the most hardworking player, not to get much credit, you could ever have. I’m not sad to see the mullet go, but will miss the player.

    Wiehan Herbst was dependable and fell out of favor. It was time to move on and I wish him only the best.

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.07.14 09:58:28 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Baylion (Comment 10) : I think he may find a juicy contract harder to find than he (or his agent) are imagining. He has lost the ability to carry and get well over the advantage line and goes to ground too quickly. His scrummaging has been intermittent so he needs to reinvent himself.

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.07.14 14:35:16 by charlieharvey Reply

  • @charlieharvey (Comment 29) : must say I did not think he looked as bad as make it sound, maybe he must just get over his injury.

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.07.14 15:24:57 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @Lieplapper (Comment 23) : Agreed.
    Swiel, Cronje, Hofmann …
    Guess the Currie Cup isn t much of a priority.

  • Comment 31, posted at 31.07.14 12:28:12 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 31) : Atleast Swiel is still young and has lots of potential. Tbe other two already showed all that they offer and that’s really not a lot except for touring the world collecting rugby jerseys.

  • Comment 32, posted at 31.07.14 22:54:01 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.