Sharks player ratings v Lions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 6 Oct 2014 at 10:37
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The Sharks pulled off a big result over the weekend, with a nail-biting win over a Lions side high on confidence (and ahead of them on the log).

A great ensemble
Given everything that had happened during the week before, you simply cannot overstate the significance of this win. The team pulled together and played for each other and while there were a lot of areas that really didn’t work too well, the Sharks showed great fighting spirit and a real will to win this one. They may only have scored one try, but the intent to attack was always there, which bodes very well indeed, given some of the crap we’ve had to endure in Super Rugby. So while there are plenty of things to pick on if we wanted to, we’re rather going to focus on the positives this week and salute the Sharks for a great team victory under trying circumstances, even if the performance alone, taken out of this context, perhaps wasn’t a smash hit.

Top of the pops
There were a few guys who played out of their skins and stood out relative to the rest of the team. Let’s give them the applause they deserve:
Marco Wentzel – contributed more on attack than any other forward (and any back other than the scrumhalf). Just let that sink in for a second.
Jacques Botes – the old man just keeps on going and delivered another special performance on a very special occasion.
Andre Esterhuizen – sure, he may have copped a yellow for a silly hit, but my word, that Sharks backline is just a different animal with big Andre providing the impetus and momentum at 12. This kid is going all the way to the very summit of the charts – and soon!
Fred Zeilinga – the size of this lad’s balls, going from being discarded in mid-season to coming in, off the bench and winning the game with his unerring boot. Fantastic!

Rising up the charts
The guys who had impressive games, but weren’t quite in the top ten:
Kyle Cooper – a stand out player who never gives up and is ever involved in the moments that matter.
Stephan Lewies – poached a few gems at the front of the lineout and was influential on defence.
Tera Mtembu – handled the captaincy and referee interactions very well this week, while again putting in a huge number of positive and effective contributions
Cameron Wright – Lovely service, crisp and quick. Good on defence too.
Lwazi Mvovo – such an attacking threat, he got properly stuck in.
Paul Jordaan – only lasted 7 minutes, the poor chap, but looked to be on fire and made two great line breaks in that time.

Bubbling under
The players who were still pretty good, but perhaps made one or two too many silly mistakes along the way. We know things can only improve.
Thomas du Toit – looked a little rusty after his lay-off and conceded a penalty or two. Remember, this kid is 19!
Lourens Adriaanse – a tough time in the scrums, but was solid otherwise.
Etienne Ooshtuizen – just not quite as effective as he has been in the last few games, but still didn’t do too much wrong.
Lionel Cronje – A few goofs this week, after setting the bar impossibly high for himself over the last fortnight. Still brings so much direction and unpredictability on attack, while that flat pass is a thing of beauty.
S’bura Sithole – Slipped too many one-on-one tackles and tends to be a bit direct in his play at wing, rather than looking for space. An extended run in midfield should suit him.
SP Marais – defensively sound, but again made a few wrong decisions with ball in hand. Nothing too costly, but we know he can be better.

Apart from Zeilinga, the subs all did pretty much what was expected of them, without too much need to call any out individually (for good or bad).


  • Our own lineout is a bit of a worry though.

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.10.14 10:54:46 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Thomas’ size and strength in the scrum was invaluable. Chadwick is a bit light and weak in comparison and having another small guy (adriaanse) on the other end just means that we will get bullied even by the Kings.

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.10.14 11:16:45 by coolfusion Reply

  • Ha ha funny to read on 2 different days reference being made to a players nuts. Rapport mentioned Pat Lambies “ghoens” with that amazing kick of his, and here we have Fred Zeds also being discussed. ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.10.14 11:21:13 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • While we are on the subject of testicles, must mention the potential loss to his family’s line that J.P exposed himself to in the incident where Kerr Barlow did his knee,
    J.P must have been the proverbial,nut hair away from copping an up and under directly in the scrotum and I think it was only the fact that he kicked Kerr Barlow’s knee that saved him.

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.10.14 11:26:51 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • Was great to watch our boys look so dangerous more so than the lions were

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.10.14 12:32:01 by Dunx Reply

  • Fred should have been back long time ago. Is it Jake’s preference for Tim Swiel that kept him out? Just wondering? Someone said that BMH coaching style and selection was cramped and dictated by JW. It would be interesting to see if this is actually true. If so then my apologies to the man.

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.10.14 12:37:37 by coolfusion Reply

  • I think that not enough credit is given to Cameron Wright,he is a revelation,and it is largely due to his quick,crisp and intelligent service that,Cronje has had the time on the ball to excel.It is a long time since we had such a potentially great scrum half,kinda reminds me of Craig Davidson.

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.10.14 12:42:29 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • Really enjoying Cam’s play.

    Just a reminder: Cobus Reinach, Stefan Ungerer, Cameron Wright, Hanco Venter. How swiftly things change.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.10.14 12:42:39 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well done Sharks!

    I have a feeling we’ll face off in the final at Newlands again.

    Hopefully a WP win… even though the Sharks will be favourites!! :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.10.14 13:00:44 by wpw Reply
  • I dont think that you’re being consistent Bertie.

    Zeilinga was dispossessed twice on attack and threw the telegraphed pass that led to a intercept try. Cronje was admittedly poor on defence but a vital cog in a backline that thrived despite being monstered at the setpiece. Sithole was great in ensuring continuity and keeping the ball alive, and Oosthuizen showed some great soft touched as opposed to just running into people (an example being his delicate pop to Tera that led to some serious yardage). I think you are being a bit harsh on the latter 3.

    Must say that I was very disappointed at Ungererโ€™s injury, but Wright is proving to be a truly fantastic find!

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.10.14 14:37:46 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : Fully agree,plus S.P. is becoming a more predictable liability every week.
    I get cold shivers every time he does his little,goose step as it normally signals that he is about to do a vintage Frans Steyn move,one of the ones that were meant to fool the opposition but completely fools his own team instead.

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.10.14 14:48:14 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • How long is Heimar Williams still out?

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.10.14 15:14:33 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : Fred kicked 7 penalties to win the game. I don’t think it’s unfair to rate him on that. I didn’t say he was brilliant in everything that he did.

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.10.14 15:37:00 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @coolfusion (Comment 12) : I think he might be close to a return

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.10.14 15:43:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • Tera had a great game, Andre big and strong great try he scored overall all the players were superb and JB well what can u say sublime

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.10.14 16:39:06 by Jasongibb Reply

  • Well done guys only 3 games left!!!!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.10.14 16:45:52 by JD Reply
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  • @the hound(comment 11); I don’t think SP is as bad as you make him out to be. Saw today his was fullback of the week for SA Rugby Magazine and for Rugby 365, he was bubbling under. Glad to see Fred back on the pitch again.Very sorry about Jordaan’s injury, just as he seem to find his feet again. Pity the Lion’s player was not sited.

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.10.14 18:02:54 by Coco Reply

  • @Coco (Comment 17) : I don’t have an axe to grind with the boy and don’t think he is terrible,just don’t think he is excellent either would rather play Lwazi there.
    My feelings for S.P are similar to how I felt about Zane,an adequate fullback,but surely there must be a better option.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.10.14 09:04:06 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • I want to ban the goose step.

    It’s bad enough that Willie le Roux can’t just bloody run properly without needing to do a pointless shuffle every 3 paces.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.10.14 09:25:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : The latest goosesteps (In CC and tests) have been very ineffectual and its because players aren’t using them at the right time or situation.

    To me the goose step should only really be used when there is space either side of a potential tackler. It’s very effective at halting a opposition player coming in for the tackle as it highlights the fact that the attacker is considering changing direction. Against an even slightly halted tackler a fast player can usually choose either direction to get past.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.10.14 09:52:22 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 20) : why aren’t you coaching?

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.10.14 09:56:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) :
    No issue with that – as per my comment. My point is that you dont use the other players’ similar positive contributions nearly as generously.

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.10.14 10:37:06 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : true enough, but Lionel didn’t win the game. Fred did.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.10.14 10:39:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) :
    Did he now? All on his own?

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.10.14 10:39:51 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 24) : you know what I mean

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.10.14 11:12:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : Ha! Still waiting for the phone to ring. ๐Ÿ™‚ How’s that application for Sharks DOR coming along?

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.10.14 11:37:13 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 26) : ha, well…

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.10.14 11:39:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : @robdylan (Comment 23) : think Fred should start at 15 and Lionel at 10. SP could play 14 or 23. Best of both worlds? !?!?!?!

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.10.14 13:05:52 by JD Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 26) : sorry boet no need to apply I will be taking over as DOR.

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.10.14 13:07:14 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 29) : Haha! I’m going to sit back and patiently wait for a certain site write up this breaking news.

    But yeah I was referring to Rob as the one to apply for the job. I’d have to rely on that been my “in”. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.10.14 13:19:59 by gregkaos Reply
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  • Wathced this game again and other than his kicking, Fred was diabolically bad.
    Missed tackles, lost the ball EVERY time in the tackle, threw the intercept pass…shew. Not sure how he goes on the top of the pops list. On another day, he would have been the sole reason for the Sharks losing.
    But a great win none the less.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.10.14 13:37:54 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @gregkaos (Comment 30) : well let’s see the old DOR was a school coach, the current head coach was a school coach and I was also a school coach…….. need I say more?!?!?!?!

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.10.14 13:38:25 by JD Reply
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