robdylan

A good return


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 15 Oct 2014 at 11:01
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Back in January, we lifted the lid on the 14 new recruits to join the Sharks as contracted junior players this year. Let’s have a bit of a look at how well that investment has panned out.

Of the lads that came in, only Cameron Wright was ineligible to play under 19 rugby this year, having turned 19 in his Matric year at Hilton College. Wright, as we know, played a fair bit of Varsity Shield rugby for UKZN earlier in the year, before being thrust straight into the limelight in the senior Currie Cup side. He’s done remarkably well to come through as a senior option in just his first year out of school and we eagerly await even more great performances from him – as a senior – in 2015 and beyond.

Thomas du Toit, of course, has enjoyed an even more stellar trajectory and is highly unlikely to ever play age-group rugby for the Sharks, given his immediate and successful transition to Vodacom Cup, Super Rugby and Currie Cup at 19 years of age. Thomas is far more likely to wear a Bok jersey than he is a black one with two white hoops. Again, what a player – a credit to his family, his school and the the Sharks!

That leaves 12 of the 14, who according to Jake White’s edict were all to play under 19 rugby this year, rather than being considered to the under 21 side if they were good enough. This policy has borne fruit, I’d say, with the under 19s finding some good form in the latter half of the competition and qualifying for the semi-finals, with a 52-7 annihilation of the Bulls a fortnight ago the clear highlight. The down side, of course, was a poor under 21 season, but the less said about that the better.

Of the remaining 12, 10 have played regularly for the under 19s this season, to good effect. Ruan Kramer has started virtually every game at tighthead and has recently taken over the captaincy, while Andrew du Plessis, who sat out the early part of the season with injury, has featured off the bench regularly in the last month. Johan du Toit and Hyron Andrews have formed a potent lock partnership, while Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez, along with Ayron Schramm, have weighed in with good contributions in the loose trio.

Marius Louw and Retief Marais, too, have played their part, albeit in different positions to the ones they filled at school. Louw has moved from flank to centre and has proved a try-scoring force in midfield, while Marais has broken the family mold and moved from the second row to the wing.

Flyhalf Innocent Radebe, too, has had a stellar season and would be higher up the points scoring charts than his current fourth position had he not sat out a few games midway through the campaign.

That leaves two players who’ve not featured and it’s not clear exactly what the future holds for either Wandi Mazibuko or Petrus du Busson. The former was always going to be a doubtful start in the second row given his lack of height and we’re hoping that somebody has been working with him in the background to find a place for him to play. Du Busson, on the other hand, is a fine lock who simply appears to have been caught in a bit of a logjam. We’re still holding thumbs that he emerges as a strong option at under 21 level in 2015 and 2016.


17 Comments

  • Thanks for the feedback. Definitely a good return on investment in my opinion.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.10.14 11:38:52 by vanmartin Reply
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  • What will happen with the two that haven’t featured? Why was Wandi considered for the second row when he’s a flank?

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.10.14 12:29:53 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 2) : I thought he was a lock?

    Well, any case, not like we’re short of options in the back row either.

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.10.14 13:29:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : Agree, a very good return on investmnent.

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.10.14 13:52:07 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : He might be. I was just basing my question on the article about the 14 when they were first contracted. I went and re-read that article.

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.10.14 13:54:12 by ChrisS Reply
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  • Never knew Wright was so young, must say he really is a talent!

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.10.14 14:10:15 by Uli Boelie Reply
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    Uli Boelie
     
  • Very interesting article…seems there was some wise investing…

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.10.14 14:22:34 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Bert, any impressions on Retief Marais? I know he has started plenty of games at wing, but I dont believe he has scored many tries.

    He is a big guy, and as a former hurdler he is obviously quick, so the prospect seems good.

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.10.14 15:23:09 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big Fish
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 8) : TBH, I don’t think they’re expecting miracle from him in his first year as a back. Beet has watched him play a bit and reckons he’s a hard worker who is learning fast. Not really a very good answer, but you’re right that the lack of tries is a worry

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.10.14 15:29:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :
    Thanks bud!

    Personally, I am happy to see a reverse of our inclination to play big, quick guys at flank (Andre Esterhuizen affair), and rather look at them as outside backs.

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.10.14 15:39:20 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big Fish
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : tell you what, that Louw kid seems to be making a decent enough fist of his move into the backs.

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.10.14 16:19:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Who’s the Louw kid? Hope Marais get a good shot at playing wing as we will need some quality outside backs after 2015.

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.10.14 20:14:15 by JD Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 6) : Ja I was also surprised to read his name was also under the impression that he was at least under 21.

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.10.14 20:16:16 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 13) : well, he is under 21.

    He’s 20 years old.

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.10.14 20:55:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • Innocent Radebe, as if the Sharks weren’t already spoilt for choice at 10…this boy looks phenomenal, his feet are incredible, creativity and vision on point as well.

    He’s got a view short vids on Instagram @inny_christian10. Check him out

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.10.14 20:57:54 by Ludz Reply

    Ludz
     
  • @Ludz (Comment 15) : He’s a fantastic talent.

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.10.14 22:23:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • Cant be fun being a super talented 10 in SA at the moment, with youngsters like Pollard and Lambie already established as internationals.

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.10.14 08:55:33 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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