A rare opportunity

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 17 Sep 2014 at 09:36
Tagged with : , , ,

For almost the first time this season, the Sharks are in the fortunate position of being able to name a virtually unchanged starting team for this weekend’s match against the Blue Bulls.

The ironic highlight of last week’s match in Bloemfontein was that, for the first time in ages, we didn’t actually suffer an injury at lock, meaning that, barring anything unforeseen happening, there is no injury-related reason to make any changes to the pack whatsoever. The Sharks performed well in the set pieces against the Cheetahs and should the coaches opt to retain the same starting 8, we could finally start to see the benefit of continuity, with line-outs and scrums the key areas where synergy and familiarity pay dividends.

Odwa Ndungane looks unlikely to play this week, but with Lwazi Mvovo available, the most sensible thing to do would be to make a straight swap at wing. Key for me this week is to retain the attacking axis at 9-10-12-13 that showed some promise and willingness to attack against the Cheetahs, even if their execution was often flawed.

Let’s hope sanity prevails this week.


  • The Bulls pack is actually pretty formidable. They lost the game to WP at Loftus more due to a duo of rookie flyhalves than anything else.

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.09.14 09:57:25 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Sanity? Come now Rob we should rather hope for no rain…probably better odds 😉

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.09.14 10:10:42 by SheldonK Reply

  • Guaranteed we’ll see SP at fb, I wouldn’t want Swiel to even see the team off at the airport.

    Swiel seems to be a mama’s boy on the field, and those big bulls will surely see him hiding behind the poles for the entirety of the game.

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.09.14 10:23:10 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 3) : He just does not do rucks. I can’t count how many times I saw him retreating as fast as possible from the action.

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.09.14 10:27:39 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 4) : I think he’ll do very well for England…he embodies the pansy stereotype we so often (though probably erroneously) ascribe to the English rugby team….Mike Catt comes to mind 😈

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.09.14 10:31:55 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 5) : How far has the Sharks fullbacks corage drop, from Jouba that played with a broken hand to this kid that runs from any type of tackle or ruck.

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.09.14 10:37:59 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 6) : I am embarrassed when I see a South African rugby player running away from the bread-and-butter SA blueprint rough stuff….now it has to be a Sharks player doing it, brought in from Problems to replace the local boy – simply embarrassing.

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.09.14 10:42:44 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 7) : It is honestly sad to see. To think we let Ludick go for SP and this laaitie

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.09.14 10:46:03 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 8) : Even worse, we let Robert du Preez also go….Swiel has proven to be an absolute bust at 10, and a coward at 15 🙄

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.09.14 10:56:00 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • you guys are being really hard on Swiel…. anyone able to point out any actual evidence (based on match footage) of him avoiding a ruck he was supposed to be a part of? I certainly didn’t notice that.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.09.14 11:06:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : To be honest Rob, Swiel hasnt been great this year and ya maybe he has evaded contact a bit but for me the biggest issue is that he just looks a bit lost and uncertain. And perhaps this is a result of joining a new Union. he def has talent and im keen to see what he offers in years 2 and 3. Let us remember that Sbu Sithole was pretty awful his first year

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.09.14 11:14:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I recall at least twice during the second half seeing that. FS player tackled out wide – Swiel very close to the tackle and could have gone for the ball, and each time simply backed away.

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.09.14 11:31:12 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Rob, I don’t have anything against the kid, but keep an eye on him in the games, the way he shy away from the ruff stuff is really obvious, maybe it is because he is on the small side, then maybe a good program to help him bulk up will help his confidence in the collision aspect of the sport. The kid is undoubtedly talented.

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.09.14 11:33:11 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : If I had the time and energy I would go look for the clip, but there was a definite ruck where he was the first defender, and he got out of their as quickly as I’ve ever seen from a player.

    As soon as he shows some spine against the big boys, I’ll get straight off his case…poor execution and mistakes under pressures I can accept, but being scared of contact as a senior professional rugby player – find a new profession.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.09.14 11:34:48 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Brendon Groenewald is on the Cheetahs bench…when did that move happen? Sharks lose another lock/loose forward

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.09.14 11:42:12 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :
    Agreed. The kid has talent – lets not be too keen to do an SP on him.

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.09.14 11:49:57 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 16) : How does a coach address severe courage issues…with SP, he had execution issues – coaching fixes that.

    Courage issues – you need a shrink for that….he won’t find that at the Sharks 😉

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.09.14 11:53:53 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : Shot of brandy?

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.09.14 11:54:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : Dutch courage then?

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.09.14 11:59:26 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : about two weeks ago.

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.09.14 11:59:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 14) : boet, you don’t have the “time and energy” to go look at the footage, but you seem to have plenty of time and energy to slate him.

    Spot the problem here? If you can’t be assed to back it up, rather keep it to yourself?

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.09.14 12:00:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : Dutch courage won’t work so well for the English 😆

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.09.14 12:00:57 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : When you don’t have evidence, you normally rely on eye witnesses…I’m not the only one to have spotted the issue with Swiel.

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.09.14 12:02:51 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 22) : Fish and chips then perhaps?

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.09.14 12:05:00 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : Short term contract Rob? Funny how they find him good enough but he wasnt on any radar here really

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.09.14 12:05:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 25) : is he really any good?

    Look, I don’t know. It did seem funny to me when it was announced, the way we were scrabbling around for locks and suddenly they picked him up. Then again, he’s not very tall and I don’t recall him doing anything noteworthy for us at u21 level. Maybe they just got him back because they’re even more desperate than we are and knew the player from his brief stint there?

  • Comment 26, posted at 17.09.14 12:08:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : Well look he isnt 2m tall but probably 1.96m as i often saw him at gym. He is solid if unspectacular. a true number 4 or 7. But probably 4 as isnt the quickest. Just interesting to see that players outside Sharks radar are picked up.

  • Comment 27, posted at 17.09.14 12:21:58 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :
    Yeah I must agree, I haven’t seen any of this ‘pansy’ behaviour.
    Bit ridiculous the guys calling him that actually.

    If anything its his attacking play, which is his strength, has been the big negative.
    Ive seen him put his body on the line in defence once or twice in actual fact.
    And to be totally honest, I don’t really want my 10 or 15 sticking their heads and shoulders into rucks and mauls when you got massive forwards running in with the sole intention of clearing them the fuck out of there.

  • Comment 28, posted at 17.09.14 12:29:10 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : ok, let’s turn this one around. You obviously know the club scene well.

    Who are we missing? Which players doing business on the local club scene could add significantly to the current Sharks Currie Cup squad?

    It’s not a trick question – I’m genuinely interested

  • Comment 29, posted at 17.09.14 12:29:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @John Galt (Comment 28) : this is exactly the point.

    Maybe the game plan calls for Tim to stay our of rucks, so he can be available as a receiver? Probably a better use of his frame…

    This is why I want someone to point me at some evidence so I can either agree, or debunk the fuck out it.

  • Comment 30, posted at 17.09.14 12:32:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 22) : Maybe he needs to see the wizard of oz

  • Comment 31, posted at 17.09.14 12:35:39 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : 109min CC game vs. Cheetahs….plus the SR game where he replaced Fred at KP…another 109mins. – if you expect every person on this site to supply video or photographic evidence before allowing us to criticise any players we sure won’t have much right to critique anyone….not the refs, not the players, not the coaches.

    But appologies for not sugar-coating my view of Swiel to date – I’ll be sure to sensor my views of players, refs, coaches, water-boys and news-anchors in future. 😉

  • Comment 32, posted at 17.09.14 12:41:25 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 32) : 😆

  • Comment 33, posted at 17.09.14 12:42:58 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 31) : hehehe….the Lion had courage issues?

  • Comment 34, posted at 17.09.14 12:44:22 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : Its a tough question rob and reason i say it is that is easy to identify talent within but whether that talent is good compared to the rest of the country is a lot harder to determine. Its a reason why the Sharks are kinda caught with their pants down in this CC as they believed they had the quality depth only to realise that probably isnt the case. In terms of club players, the current KZN Club side made up of non contracted guys is currently playing a National tournament in margate, so lets see how they fare there ( they beat Griquas comfortably in opening game) and then see who can be picked from that side.

  • Comment 35, posted at 17.09.14 12:47:06 by SheldonK Reply


    1. Tyrone Trembath (Amanzimtoti)
    2. Chris Kemp (College Rovers)
    3. Njabulo Mkhize (College Rovers)
    4. Sanele N Sibanda (College Rovers)
    5. Adam Wessels (UKZN)
    6. Carl Marks Durban (Collegians)
    7. Biselele (Bie) Tshamala (Varsity College)
    8. Zander Erasmus (Amanzimtoti)
    9. Dylan Marcus (Durban Collegians)
    10. Chris Jordaan (College Rovers)
    11. Charles Mayeza (Crusaders)
    12. Gary Collins (Durban Collegians)
    13. Chris Micklewood (College Rovers)
    14. Shayne Mokombe (UKZN)
    15. Steve Strydom (Crusaders)
    16. Royal Mwale (Durban Collegians)
    17. Mox Mxoli (College Rovers)
    18. Witness Mandizha (Durban Collegians)
    19. TC Khoza (Durban Collegians)
    20. Werner Botha (Durban Collegians)
    21. Andra`s Molnar (College Rovers)
    22. Rico Lategan (UKZN)
    23. Kurt Schonert (Durban Collegians)
    24. Lwazi Ngcungama (UKZN)
    25. TBA Management

    Coach – Derek Heiberg
    Assistant Coach – Ronnie Uys
    Team Manager – Vernon Chetty
    Technical – Burger Nel
    Medic – Ricardo Marques
    Co-ordinator – Juno Fourie

  • Comment 36, posted at 17.09.14 12:47:55 by SheldonK Reply

  • Unfortunately I did not record the match – so can’t go and check the exact time. But this is my recollection of the incident that stuck in my mind:

    – Somewhere in the early part of the second half
    – Cheetahs outside backs on attack somewhere around Sharks 10m line on far side of field
    – Cheetah is tackled by Sbu I think
    – Swiel next player closest to the tackle
    – Only Cheetah backs in the vicinity
    – Rather than going for the ball, he backs of immediately
    – Cheetah players arrive at the tackle, and continues the attack

  • Comment 37, posted at 17.09.14 12:50:58 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : Had a quick browse through youtube vid showing the full match. Could find anything from a skim through, except after that forward pass you pointed out, Swiel was the one who caught and dragged down the winger to save a try (albeit temporarily) even though there was an overlap on him.

    I don’t quite get the focus on him. As fullback you can’t simply dive into every ruck you encounter. On attack with the FB in a ruck means one less backline player, and on defence it means someone needs to fall back and cover leaving a gap elsewhere.

    I can think of one person who is very good at spotting when a player is out of position and his name is Sarel Pretorius.

  • Comment 38, posted at 17.09.14 12:59:21 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 37) : Used Youtube and found the one incident that really caught my eye – 29:31 into the first half. Sbu tackles the Cheetah prop, and Tim is right over the prop. He just needs to bend down and get his hands on the ball. He looks up and sees the Cheetah 7 coming into clean and backs off. Obviously my recollection was not entirely accurate 🙄

    Personally I would want any player in that situation to go for the ball – at least to slow down Cheetah ball, or at best affect the turnover.

  • Comment 39, posted at 17.09.14 13:17:08 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I might be commenting a bit late, but I didn’t think he had that bad a game. He can defnitely still improve, but he hasn’t exactly been playing fullback for e few years now, so he needs time to grow there. At the very least I think he deserves one more game there, I still think he is a thinking rugby player, even if his execution this year has been very poor to say the least

  • Comment 40, posted at 17.09.14 13:18:36 by HeinF Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 39) : And then there was the SR game where Mallet had a right-old go at Swiel during the half-time break, for the two tries scored by Highlanders (I think) because of one Mr. Swiel’s poor defense.

    But as soon as Swiel proves me wrong, I’ll be the first one to congratulate him and change my views toward him.

  • Comment 41, posted at 17.09.14 13:21:59 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 37) : ok, just watched up to the 65th minute (from the 40th) and didn’t spot it.

  • Comment 42, posted at 17.09.14 13:23:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • Swiel actually had more ruck arrivals than any backs other than the two centres

  • Comment 43, posted at 17.09.14 13:24:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 41) : Correct – Highlanders game during the league stage of super rugby. That is when my impression that he is not too keen on contact was formed.

  • Comment 44, posted at 17.09.14 13:25:14 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : “ruck arrivals…now there’s a phrase open to interpretation 😆

    @Bokhoring (Comment 44) : Same here

  • Comment 45, posted at 17.09.14 13:26:23 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : I started checking in the second half and immediately realized it could not have been as the Cheetahs were playing left to right at the time it happened.

  • Comment 46, posted at 17.09.14 13:30:17 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 36) : nope, sorry…. nobody in that group that I rate as a must-have at Currie Cup level even.

  • Comment 47, posted at 17.09.14 13:41:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 46) : ok, let me look at the first half.

    VERY hard to miss Cheetahs on attack in the 2nd half. It only happened about 5 times.

  • Comment 48, posted at 17.09.14 13:42:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : 29:31 on the match clock

  • Comment 49, posted at 17.09.14 13:46:42 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : hmm no big names yes…but let us not forget JP Pieterson was a no name club player given a shot and well ya that kinda worked out. Im not saying everyone deserves a shot…but maybe a couple in the positions we lacking should be called to a practise or three

  • Comment 50, posted at 17.09.14 13:49:49 by SheldonK Reply

  • Can someone please explain to me why the Sharks ever let go of this man?

  • Comment 51, posted at 17.09.14 13:53:52 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 51) : Such a power runner. In the french squad now i believe

  • Comment 52, posted at 17.09.14 14:00:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : Ha ha, when I look at the quality available to the Cheetahs on the day, its poor form by the Tjarks to have lost.
    No Benjamin (out of position anyway) after 10 minutes, No Rhule, No Blommetjies, Centre on the wing, Eish the mind boggles!

  • Comment 53, posted at 17.09.14 14:01:51 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 53) : Saaks did not loose, although a draw sometimes feels worse

  • Comment 54, posted at 17.09.14 14:12:15 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 39) : Maybe its just me but I see absolutely no way Tim could have slowed that ball down nevermind made a turnover. They had huge forward momentum with two heavies arriving at the ruck at pace and one virtually already in position.

    Try and time it from when Tim arrives at the breakdown and a ruck is formed.

    Also bear in mind Cheetahs were 14 : 3 ahead at that stage and probably was not too keen to risk a penalty.

  • Comment 55, posted at 17.09.14 14:14:03 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @gregkaos (Comment 55) : So you’d feel comfortable with Tim as the last line of defense vs. the Bulls big boys?

    Because personally, I’d take anyone of SP, Lwazi, Jordaan and the other fella that played vs. the kwas.

  • Comment 56, posted at 17.09.14 14:16:06 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @gregkaos (Comment 55) : I think he could have gotten his hands on the ball, but in fairness would probably have been cleaned out by the Cheetah 7.

    But I reckon most other Sharks backs would instinctively have had a crack in that situation regardless.

  • Comment 57, posted at 17.09.14 14:22:16 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 53) :
    Ya nee, the Sharks were at full strength as well.
    Remind me how many Cheetahs are away on International duty again?

  • Comment 58, posted at 17.09.14 14:23:01 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 57) : In fact even the little ones like Kolbe and Aplon would have had a go at the ball in that situation.

  • Comment 59, posted at 17.09.14 14:23:35 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @gregkaos (Comment 55) : In any case I don’t want to start a campaign against Tim. I am not saying he shies away from tackles – I just feels he hesitates before getting involved in the rougher part of the game.

  • Comment 60, posted at 17.09.14 14:31:07 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 56) : Personally I’ve only feel comfortable with a guy like Ludik at FB :).

    But no, I did not say anything like that. Do not think FB is the best place for Tim. In fact I would much prefer Mvovo/SP there. Would like to see Tim at 10 rather.

    Thought his performance was pretty good but not anything to rave about. Just trying to balance out a lot of negativity towards him that I feel is unjustified.

  • Comment 61, posted at 17.09.14 14:37:22 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @gregkaos (Comment 61) : For me Tim would still be behind Pat, Fred and Lionel at 10.

  • Comment 62, posted at 17.09.14 14:44:16 by Bokhoring Reply
  • 2 really flawed arguments here:
    – Thinking that Mallet’s outbursts are gospel, as opposed to ensuring that keo has something to write about
    – Thinking that a back not competing at a ruck is due to cowardice and not lack of skill and/ or a defensive emphasis on line speed/ numbers as opposed to competing on the ground.

  • Comment 63, posted at 17.09.14 14:47:22 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 63) : I’m no Mallet fan, but he merely emphasised what was already patently clear.

  • Comment 64, posted at 17.09.14 15:09:44 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Tim did the right thing there. Cheetahs already had two players over the ball and had it won, he would have been stupid to try and dive in.

  • Comment 65, posted at 17.09.14 15:29:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • Ladies and gentleman of the jury, you have heard eyewitness accounts of the games in question, you have seen video evidence and have heard expert testimony….

  • Comment 66, posted at 17.09.14 15:47:27 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 64) :
    In other words,he is usually wrong unless he agrees with you.

    @Uli Boelie (Comment 51) :
    Didnt watch much rugby 10 years ago I take it? Spedding wouldnt have been a starter in SA.

  • Comment 67, posted at 17.09.14 15:52:48 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • On a different topic. I see Stegmann has copped a 1 week ban, so he won’t face the Sharks

  • Comment 68, posted at 17.09.14 16:18:02 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 67) : My liking or disliking of someone does not change the reliability and/or accuracy of their assessments.

    Though I’m no fan of Mallet, his credentials does indicate that he might know a thing or two about rugby and those playing (or suffering) it.

    When we’re looking for facts, I would imagine an assessment from Mallet would carry more weight than that of Ashwin Willemse and Naas Botha (and then obviously me).

  • Comment 69, posted at 17.09.14 16:23:17 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I don’t really care what Tim does at ruck time…

    However, after being drafted into the Sharks senior team from nowhere, I have to say that he has not nearly lived up to the hype so far. I think he’ll do much better spending some time at age group level and earning his spot in the Sharks team.

    SP also hasn’t delivered since arriving at the Sharks. He was solid in CC last year, without being anything special, while always lacking in the kicking department.

    Aside from Lwazi Mvovo, a ‘makeshift’ 15, I don’t think the Sharks have real quality to rely on at the back – unless Steyntjie is moved to 15, where his kicking distance can be a big weapon.

    The Sharks would do well to look elsewhere for some options at 15. I’m not saying Tim/SP/Jaco won’t deliver at some point, but for right now, it seems like a really weak point of the Sharks, especially considering the standard of fullbacks we’ll be up against come SR2015. Where’s our Dagg/Falua/B.Smith/LeRoux/Mogg … Joubert???

    It’s been too long since we’ve had a guy running things from the back, creating havoc and safely clearing any danger. We’ve had safe, we’ve had solid, we’ve had erratic and dangerous, but not all in one for quite a while now.

  • Comment 70, posted at 17.09.14 16:52:27 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @SheldonK (Comment 50) :

    JPP was 19 when he made his Sharks debut and made the SA u/21 side the year after.

    I really don’t think you could call JPP a ‘no name’player. And don’t really think you can call anyone under the age of 21 ‘no-name’. If you are called up to a senior team before 21, then that’s where you make your name, don’t you think?

    I think Mvovo was 22 or so when he was selected for the Sharks. I think he was one of the more – ‘no-name’players that got drawn into the team, but this is just from my own recollection. So I could be wrong.

  • Comment 71, posted at 17.09.14 17:01:59 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 70) : Haven’t paid that much attention to the other teams, but are there any FBs that are standing out in the CC this year?

  • Comment 72, posted at 17.09.14 17:33:31 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • We had two good fullbacks- Ludik and Viljoen…

  • Comment 73, posted at 17.09.14 21:32:25 by Here be dragons Reply

    Here be dragons
  • @Letgo (Comment 71) : I think u misunderstand. What i meant is that he wasnt a big name prior to being called up. He was just a good club player. When JP was given his chance then he showed what he could do. Mvovo was the top try scorer in the club league for 2years before he got called up. My point was just that not every guy should be given a chance but perhaps there are a few club guys that need to be given the chance, especially in positions where we havnt got guys performing

  • Comment 74, posted at 18.09.14 08:02:02 by SheldonK Reply


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