A little hasty, perhaps?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Sep 2014 at 16:40
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The challenge in doing player reviews – well-meaning though they may be – is that it’s not always possible to see everything in one viewing of a game, or to get every assessment spot on.

I had a request today from a respected friend to maybe have another look at the Sharks game against the Kings, in case I’d done a disservice to any of the players. Again, the backdrop here was a very good overall performance where the team scored 7 tries and 50 points, so perhaps not really the best week in which to be too critical. I complied withe the request and had a look at Johan Meyer’s game in particular.

Looking back at my rating, it wasn’t completely fair on the player. I should have limited the scope of what I said to just Saturday’s game, so accusing him of “not stepping up” when he’s in fact not really had much of an opportunity to do so, wasn’t a reasonable thing to say; I should have only looked at what he did on Saturday.

Johan is a blindside flank or number 8 by trade. This is the reason he was not picked to start as replacement for open sider Jacques Botes and also the reason that I found it rather strange that he was sent on to replace Khaya Majola, the only specialist open side in the squad, 54 minutes into the contest. I would have thought that Meyer would have come on for one of the other loose forwards, or failing that, that Tera Mtembu would have moved to the open side, rather than expecting the rookie to play in a completely unfamiliar position.

I realised that, in rating his performance, I was doing so in the context of what I’d expect from a blind side flanker. Meyer did, in fact, make three strong carries while on the field, but with Etienne Oosthuizen performing the blind side role with distinction, Meyer did his best to adapt to the ball chasing role, one which we know he doesn’t have a huge amount of experience in. Watching him more closely, I saw that he was pretty good in terms of positioning and work rate in this role, regularly being on the shoulder of the ball carrier or among the first two or three players to arrive at a ruck. He was seldom tested as a fringe defender, since the Kings didn’t probe this channel much, but did deliver a handful of good tackles all the same, missing only one that I saw.

Taking the above into account, I’d like to amend my rating and rather declare that Plank had a satisfactory outing as a makeshift open side flank, even if we are looking to see more impact from him in his regular position as he matures. Let it never be said that I’m too proud to own up to a disservice and attempt to correct it, nor that I’m not a supporter of our young players when they are asked to step up as seniors.


  • Nice one Rob!!!! Takes a big man to admit that he made a mistake, that said I don’t blame you for making a mistake as you do this out of love for the Sharks without any financial gain for yourself. Thanx my friend Sharksworld and Sharks rule!!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.09.14 16:56:35 by JD Reply
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  • I didn’t even watch the big lad closely, I was so frustrated by the Kings

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.09.14 17:48:02 by Ludz Reply

  • Maybe Rob; you finally admit that you are not the only one that know rugby…..well done!

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.09.14 18:45:40 by Coco Reply

  • @Coco (Comment 3) : whoa, that was a little savage, don’t you think? And maybe somewhat uncalled for given the tone of this piece?

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.09.14 18:50:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Coco (Comment 3) : wow really?!?!?!?!?! Trolling or are you just an idiot?!?!?!?!

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.09.14 20:26:02 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JD (Comment 5) : or related to a player.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.09.14 21:10:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : ok but the comment was still uncalled for and way off the mark!!!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.09.14 21:23:33 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 7) : I agree

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.09.14 22:17:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • Not that I ever lacked any, but after this article, my respect for you has just been reinforced. Well said.

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.09.14 22:25:43 by AP8 Reply

  • @AP8 (Comment 9) : thank you

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.09.14 23:58:30 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Good article Rob your attention to detail as always superb. Never seen you slip before and this was one in a million. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.09.14 00:11:23 by Caratacus Reply

  • Great article and it actually raises an interesting question:

    Can any player be taught to operate as an effective fetcher/open-sider?

    I always thought that the ideal build for a fetcher was your Heinrich Brussouw, someone short and squat who can’t be shifted.There have, however, been a lot of taller guys making effective steals lately eg. Duane Vermeulen and Brodie Retallick.

    Is there room for a specialist turnover coach at the Sharks? Imagine 15 guys who are a threat on the ground instead of just one! The Cheetahs did so well last year because of their ability to win turnovers. They had Coenie Oosthuizen,Heinrich Brussouw and Robert Ebersohn who could all steal well.

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.09.14 08:31:35 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Coco (Comment 3) : Bit of a stupid comment to make as everyone on here is allowed to have their say.

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.09.14 08:33:20 by StevieS Reply
  • @Ludz (Comment 2) : that means you havent watched anyone closely yet this CC season.

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.09.14 08:42:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Ludz (Comment 2) : Think you need to lower your expectations for your team, you’ll enjoy the rugby a whole lot more….us Sharks supporters have had to learn this (and we’re still learning it) the hard way. 😉

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.09.14 09:04:24 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • To be honest Rob I watched Meyer when he came on and I couldnt give u an assessment other than satisfactory. He didnt do anything exceptional but also didnt make any mistakes, although slipped 1 tackle i think. On attack he carried it up fairly successfully a couple times and otherwise just protected the ball at the ruck. On defense he didnt have to do too much other than be in the right place which he was. It was a tough game for him to come on as Oosthuizen etc was doing the bulk of the carrying and Sharks didnt need to defend much

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.09.14 11:00:19 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 15) : Hahahaha never, every week they go out there I believe in the red and black. Never expect anything less than the best from them however naïve that may sound

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.09.14 11:08:34 by Ludz Reply


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