Tank returns for Lions clash

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 1 Oct 2014 at 13:53
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Sharks head coach Brad Macleod-Henderson has made two key changes to his tight five for Friday’s game against the Lions, with the inclusion of Thomas “the Tank” du Toit at loosehead prop a significant one indeed.

The 19-year-old prop has been out of action for a few weeks with a foot injury, but returns this week for Dale Chadwick in the number 1 jersey. Stephan Lewies, who played a role off the bench last week, comes into the number 4 jersey, in place of JC Astle.

Both changes are clearly aimed at shoring up a scrum that hasn’t looked good enough in recent weeks and which will be sorely tested against a Lions pack that takes pride in their work at this set piece.

Jacques Botes, who earns his own hash tag this week, returns at open side flank in the only other change to the run on team. Lwazi Mvovo, who it was earlier feared might be recalled by the Boks, is again available and will start at left wing.

Macleod-Henderson has made a few changes on the bench, with Matt Stevens and Chadwick both present, to counter a similar bench composition from Johan Ackermann. Astle and Khaya Majola are also there, while Fred Zeilinga makes a welcome return to join Conrad Hoffmann as one of only two backline reserves.

There a little doubt over the hooker berth, with Kyle Cooper needing to pass a late fitness test after picking up a knee injury against the Kings. Should he cry off, Monde Hadebe will start with Franco Marais then retaining his bench spot from last week.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 S’bura Sithole, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Tera Mtembu (capt), 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper/Monde Hadebe, 1 Thomas du Toit
Subs: Monde Hadebe/Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 JC Astle, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga


  • So Meyer loses out, unlucky on the guy as he hasnt got any real game time but least he has got a taste at this level. Astle can cover lock and loosie. Interesting how we have gone for a full front row and only 2 backline. Does this mean a forward orientated approach or are we nervous about the scrums and mauls.

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.10.14 13:57:24 by SheldonK Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 1) : After the way we scrummed the last 2 weeks, I think we have reason to be nervous about the scrums πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.10.14 13:59:53 by HeinF Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 1) : It’s simple, our scrums has been iffy as of late, so the Lions picked their team based on that, this is just a move in countering that strategy of the Lions. Am glad having both Matt and Dale on the bench, instead of just Dale or Mienie there. Don’t know why SARU doesn’t allow 23 men teams like SANZAR.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.10.14 14:01:34 by KingRiaan Reply
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : Yeh look id prob have done the same as we havnt scrummed well…both props on the bench carry the ball well so that will come in handy in 2nd half. Still find it crazy SARU only wants 22 man squads.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.10.14 14:09:02 by SheldonK Reply
  • Hopefully Du Toit helps to shore up our scrums a little bit!

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.10.14 14:11:39 by PTAShark Reply
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  • Lions are favourites. Pass it on.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.10.14 14:12:11 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : It’s stupid, hopefully they sort it out before next CC.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.10.14 14:19:56 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Glad the coaches persisted with Wright and kept an unchanged back line.

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.10.14 14:25:04 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : Yup its nuts about the team 22. Should be 24 for CC IMO. More players on the bench, more rest, less injuries, more opportunities handed out.

    Suspect this has a lot to do with pressure from the smaller unions who are perhaps worried about the bigger unions having too much of an advantage.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.10.14 14:26:03 by gregkaos Reply
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  • Rob, is Dale starting and on the bench ?

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.10.14 14:34:06 by Rvw Reply

  • @Rvw (Comment 10) : Both πŸ™‚

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.10.14 14:38:33 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 11) : He is simply that good!

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.10.14 14:39:57 by gregkaos Reply
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  • I think Danie Mienie starts and Chadwick on the Bench?

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.10.14 14:47:12 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 13) : The Tank is starting at 1.

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.10.14 14:49:00 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 13) : sorry, I screwed up. Wrote this late last night.

    I forgot to change Chadwick to du Toit. Fixed now

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.10.14 15:04:10 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Any news on the front runners for the coach job? Please let it be between Brendan Venter and John Mitchell. Plummer was a good coach but lacks the aggression Mitchell will bring.

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.10.14 15:09:17 by coolfusion Reply

  • Good to have Thomas back – will help heaps come scrum time πŸ™‚ Gonna be a tough one..
    I checked on twitter the players had a team building get together yesterday or was it a thank goodness JW is gone party?? lol
    :mrgreen: πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.10.14 15:09:54 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 16) : Definitely wont be Venter and unlikely Mitchell if John Smit wants to keep his job

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.10.14 15:10:37 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : You can’t say really if the Lions have a 5/2 split or a 4/3 split cause Chuck(kwagga Smith)Norris 😈 covers both back and forward depending on the game.

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.10.14 15:15:49 by Chippa Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : So you mean to say Gold is the front runner?

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.10.14 15:22:44 by coolfusion Reply

  • Saw some polls talking about mallet being in the run. Why now? Before Jake came he turned down the job didn’t he?

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.10.14 15:23:36 by coolfusion Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 6) : sorry to say but Sharks will lose as it seems they will honour JB this weekend.

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.10.14 15:28:42 by JD Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 20) : If he is then someone at the Sharks needs to be hit with a spade…Gold definitely wont be a good fit- he is a better as an assistant than a Head coach etc. I see no reason why the CC contingent cant continue. When Botes is done playing he can start setting up structures as he has been involved in all levels. Instead of a DOR or Head Coach the Sharks should rather get a specialist defense coach- that would be money better spent

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.10.14 15:28:56 by SheldonK Reply

  • Grrr. Again Sbura not at 13…

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.10.14 15:32:21 by gregkaos Reply
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  • Ya, Director of rugby seems such a lofty position out of touch with what happens on the field. But then again to attract Jake White they probably had to create such a title. Maybe just back to head coach assistant coach and specialist coach (as I think Brendan would be better coaching attack)

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.10.14 15:47:37 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 25) : Director of rugby should be looking at the bigger picture (quality of coaching of all teams, areas that need special attention, recruitment, etc), and head coach should concentrate on the success of his specific team.

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.10.14 16:14:09 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @gregkaos (Comment 24) : Clearly S’bura at 13, and Esterhuizen at 7, was all Jake White.

    So we can therefore kind of map when exactly JW’s time with the Sharks became numbered. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.10.14 16:54:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 27) : Jake got some things right.

    S’bura at 13 IS right. Lwazi at 15 too. Let’s not throw away the few good ideas he had as payment for all the bad ones.

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.10.14 16:57:58 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : I don’t mind him at 13 or 14…but he needs to sort out his pushed offloads and catching that dawggone ball at pace.

    Taking a leaf from HM’s coaching mantra…”he’s big, he’s strong” 😈

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.10.14 17:12:06 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I’m starting to like the more settled and balanced feel of our team, aslo good to see Stevens back.

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.10.14 17:21:19 by Letgo Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 29) : Paul needs to stop aiming passes at his toes too…

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.10.14 17:23:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • I have wondered if John Mitchell may not be a good fit as DOR, not coach. We understand his limitations with regard to man management as a coach, but he has a brilliant rugby mind and perhaps if he is kept away from the players may benefit the Sharks tremendously. The coaches would then have to learn to deal with his personality, but they are all big boys, and should be able to handle that. πŸ˜›

  • Comment 32, posted at 02.10.14 02:06:30 by Dancing Bear Reply
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    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 32) : And if on the odd occasion you need a “bad guy” to give the squad a proper talking to, you can just call on him as needed :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 02.10.14 08:44:53 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Iam looking forward to watching two players tomorrow night,the new warthog hooker from the Lions and the flank Kwagga ,they are two of the most exciting players to emerge for a long time.
    Going to be a good game.

  • Comment 34, posted at 02.10.14 09:58:48 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 32) : Ag I don’t think our boys will cry their eyes out when the coach talks to them harshly. Not like the lions’ ballerinas. Besides I think that player treatment thing was just an excuse to make way for Ackermann. What rugby player would cry when the coach is being a hardnose we have all played rugby and I would be hard pressed to name one coach I played under that wasn’t an abrasive hard as nails hardekwas. hardheaded heavy handed coaches are a given in rugby, comes with the territory.

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.10.14 13:17:09 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 35) : I agree with you completely, but there is something about Mitchell, it was not just at the Lions. Here is a former International and SR coach who has pretty much been black listed from working in NZ and Aus, and can not even land a CC, let alone a SR coaching gig. There is a reason for that, and without knowing more, he is a very risky choice. But he clearly has a brilliant rugby brain, how best to utilize it?

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.10.14 18:09:02 by Dancing Bear Reply
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