Currie Cup: A chance to grow

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 4 Aug 2014 at 10:04
Tagged with : , , ,

The Springbok squad announcement and John Smit’s indication to the media that teams will not use their Springboks during this year’s Currie Cup have opened up the opportunity for young players. That’s 15 available spots at the Sharks for youngsters to take up and prove their worth. It will be a Currie Cup without 10 Boks and 5 more quality players lost to overseas clubs.

Aside from the 8 contracted Boks, Frans Steyn and JP Pietersen excluded, two more have been rewarded by Bok coach Heyneke Meyer for their good Super Rugby form and have been included in the Rugby Championship squad. The Sharks will therefore also be without the services of both Cobus Reinach and Lwazi Mvovo.

The Sharks also had to bid farewell to a number of key players. Jean Deysel and Keegan Daniel are moving on to Japan, while Charl McLeod and Anton Bresler have taken up contracts in France. Ryan Kankowski, JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn will all be back for Super Rugby, but will be playing in Japan and be unavailable for the Currie Cup.

Clearly, this year’s Currie Cup will be weakened and these players will certainly be missed, but is it just me, or will it also be really exciting to be introduced to a couple of new faces?

The Sharks will effectively have to play new players in the entire front row and back row, in fact, almost the entire pack, as we have also lost a lock and four players in the back row, one of whom did duty at lock on several occasions this Super Rugby. We will have to play a new halfback pairing and have place for two new faces on both the wings.

That leaves only Paul Jordaan, S’Bura Sithole and SP Marais as regular starters of the Super Rugby season.

Dale Chadwick, Kyle Cooper and Louwrence Adriaanse, as the bench front row, would be the obvious choice as starers for the Currie Cup (not to mention Thomas du Toit). Ettienne Oosthuizen and Stephan Lewies formed a good lock partnership in the latter stages of Super Rugby and both Jacques Botes and Tera (the Captain) Mtembu did duty at stages of Super Rugby. That leaves one starting spot and all the bench spots for new players to be introduced to us.

In the back-line both Fred Zeilinga and Stefan Ungerer got a few opportunities, while Tim Swiel also picked up some Super Rugby experience. Paul Jordaan and S’Bura Sithole formed a confident partnership and could be given time to grow even stronger in their new positions, while SP Marais could continue in his post at fullback. Tonderai Chivanga got enough time to treat us with his blistering speed and Odwa Ndungane could provide some needed experience. That still leaves Heimar Williams, Andre Esterhuizen and Jaco van Tonder who, at intervals, formed part of the Sharks Super Rugby squad.

There will still be quite a number of places for new players, who did not take part in the Super Rugby campaign, to play a part in this years Currie Cup, including players like Matt Stevens, Monde Hadebe, Marco Wentzel – some of the more experienced campaigners, Francois Kleynhans, Johan Meyer, Hanco Venter and Tyler Fisher – the players we still know very little about.

We’d have to wait for the Currie Cup squad announcement to see who makes the final cut and then whether Currie Cup coaches Brad McLeod Henderson and Sean Everett will continue to employ the rotation system they started with Brendon Venter last year, but with 15 regular places opening up, we’re sure to get to know at least a couple of new faces and find a few stars for the future.


  • I’m excited about seeing the young guns take the step up during this Currie Cup. It will be interesting to see what we come up with at loose forward…the rest looks good!

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.08.14 11:26:12 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @pastorshark (Comment 1) : I feel confident that we’ll unearth at least one new gem who will do big things next year!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.08.14 11:39:23 by ChrisS Reply
  • Anyone know if the CC side are playing any warm up games? or are they just playing internal games

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.08.14 11:42:25 by SheldonK Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 1) : @ChrisS (Comment 2) : Agreed

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.08.14 11:56:50 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @ChrisS (Comment 2) : Yeah…

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.08.14 11:56:58 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • It’s gonna be one interesting currie cup 😎

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.08.14 12:50:15 by Poisy Reply
  • Players who have me excited about their potential to step up:
    Esterhuizen at 12
    Fisher at 15/ 13
    Swiel at 15/ 10
    Ungerer at 9
    Du Toit at 1
    Tera at 7/8 and Cappie

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.08.14 13:11:55 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 7) : I want to see how Cronje and Hoffman go. Cronje impressed me last year playing for the Lions.

    He can cover 10, 12 and 15.

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.08.14 14:02:11 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 8) : Don’t confuse the one Cronje for his twin….the other one traditionally covers fh and fb, though he’s not been able to make the Lions team.

    Edit – Forgot about Lionel Cronje 😳

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.08.14 14:19:53 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • You guys do know that Lionel Cronje is not one of the Cronje twins, right?

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.08.14 14:22:37 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : Ahaa, it dawned on me that I might be mixing a few comments together….forgot about Lionel 😳

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.08.14 14:24:14 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 11) : LOL!!! 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.08.14 14:52:01 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 8) :

    Completely forgot about Cronje and Hoffman.

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.08.14 15:25:31 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • So, The Defending Champions will go into the CC with essentially a VC side, and you guys are excited?

    This after we proved for the umpteenth time we haven t got what it takes to win a super rugby title,so if we can t mount a reasonable challenge in the CC it means we ll win no cups this year.

    What I also don t get is HM s insistance in selecting so many sharks for the Boks. Does he somehow think the Same Players will get a different result against the same opposition if he’s coaching them?

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.08.14 11:27:20 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 14) : Well Rapport predicts that the Sharks will end 5th in the CC.

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.08.14 11:52:35 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 14) : Well HM could’ve gone for predominantly bulls, streamers or tsietas players…but last I checked, they finished the SR some miles behind the Sharks.

    So as bad as the Sharks finished this season, they’re still as good as we’ve got in SA. 😉

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.08.14 11:52:35 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 15) : At least this year, we won’t be surprised by a loss to the Kwas in Kimberly….I’d say a win for the Sharks would be a bit of a shock to the Griquas.

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.08.14 11:54:19 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : And likely a shock to the Sharks too 😆

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.08.14 13:23:36 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 18) : 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.08.14 14:25:04 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Original Pierre (Comment 14) : Pretty much! JW has really stuffed up the Sharks traditional game plan, which was good to watch and pretty effective.

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.08.14 18:53:58 by KingCheetah Reply


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