A hard week for the Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 Jan 2015 at 14:46
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

“We trained hard this morning – a long session,” admits an upbeat Sean Everitt at the end of a tough week’s training. “We’ve just had a team lunch and the guys are off for the weekend.”

“We’ve been going hard this week and the weather has been – well, you know Durban weather – the heat and humidity have been a little extreme. We’re very happy with where the guys are – from an organizational point of view we got a lot done before Christmas and now we’re just putting some of the nuts and bolts together – but more importantly the guys are in a very good space. They’ve shown a lot of energy in training and we really couldn’t have asked for more of them.”

And how are the new kids settling in? “Yes, all settling in well,” according to Everitt. “Mouritz [Botha] came in for his first training session on Monday and has trained extremely well this week. Jack Wilson is also training really, really well. Renaldo Bothma has really impressed us at training sessions – I think he’s going to grab his opportunity, he’s really done well. And then of course there’s Giant [Mtayanda] from the Pumas. He’s actually just here on a bit of a development thing but obviously if things go well and we end up in a bit of trouble [injury wise] he can fill in.”

With all the new locks and loose forwards, wouldn’t a couple of fullbacks or centres be equally welcome, we ask? “In that area of the field there’s a bit of a shortage,” admits Everitt, “but even though it looks like (on paper) there’s only SP, you must remember that Odwa can play there, Lwazi can play there, even Pat Lambie could play there if we wanted him to, as well as Lionel Cronje. We’re pretty well covered in terms of outside backs, with JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn also coming back, even if it’s only in the third week of the competition. With the youngsters who’ve come through well in the Currie Cup we’re in good shape.

“We haven’t really spoken too much about selection yet – we’re concentrating more on the organizational things. At center we’ve got a bit of depth. With JP away we can obviously play S’bura Sithole at 13, who went extremely well during the Currie Cup and even got a Springbok call-up in that period. We’ve got Heimar who’s playing really well and Andre Esterhuizen showed in the Currie Cup that he can do the same job as Frans – he’s got a nice left foot as well. Those are the guys that we’re going to look to to fill those positions. We’ve built a bit of depth which is standing us in good stead for now.”

Depth is good, of course, because it allows for rotation. “I think with the World Cup coming up, we also have to look after our Springboks without sacrificing the team,” the coach concurs. “Obviously rotation will be important to us – including the two friendlies that we play we’ve got 12 games on the trot, so we’re going to have to rest some of players at some stage.”

And how are things looking injury-wise? “Paul Jordaan obviously has a serious injury and we’re not sure when he’ll be back. Stephan Lewies’s shoulder is coming along nicely, but we’ve got nice depth in that position. Marco Wentezel played really well in the Currie cup, plus we’ve got Pieter-Steph du Toit back. Willem Alberts has got a bit of a niggle on his hamstring but he’ll be fine within a week. Tondie Chavhanga had a bit of a scope on his knee and is doing a bit of rehab, but he’ll be back soon. Otherwise we’ve got a clean bill of health.”

All the best to Sean and the team for the hard slog ahead!


  • Good one Rob….

    I hope Giant grabs his opportunity and impresses enough to make the extended squad.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.01.15 15:05:31 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • I like what I’m reading about the players being in a positive space. A good atmosphere amongst the players will be key.
    I just wonder when GG will actually join the rest of the team? If Sean suggest that Frans will be with us in the 3rd week of the comp, does that mean Gold as well? When does the Japanese rugby season end?

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.01.15 15:30:04 by Another Nick Reply
    Another Nick
  • Esterhuyzen can also be used at 15. If his kicking skill develops well. We could use JPP and Frans at centre with Wilson and Mvovo at wing (with Perez and Chav’s as reserve) wow that will be some beefy backline almost rivaling the front pack! Giant will definetely do well I saw his CC season and he and renaldo really impressed me. They both hard men, and hard workers too.

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.01.15 16:21:06 by coolfusion Reply
  • Perez has left. Not convinced he’ll be back.

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.01.15 16:42:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • Thanks for the interesting update, Rob.

    I assume, therefore, that Waylon Murray’s “trial” didn’t go too well? Pity.

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.01.15 16:45:41 by MerckZ Reply

  • Sounds positive. Rob, do you know how involved Venter is in training at the moment while the Sharks are waiting on Gold?

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.01.15 16:58:43 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : nice one Rob. Would have loved to see the guys training but missed it, did not missed the caged!!!! Stocked up with Sharks gear for the next 5 years!!!!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.01.15 18:28:14 by JD Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 6) : Full tinme.

    @MerckZ (Comment 5) : nah, Waylon is still there. Sean says he’s training well.

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.01.15 19:25:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Oh terrific! Fingers crossed he is up to it, stays fit and makes an impact.

    Frans Steyn and Waylon Murray would make a fairly daunting centre combination, at least defensively.

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.01.15 20:45:05 by MerckZ Reply

  • Judging from what Sean Everitt said, it’s unlikely that there will be any more, but to start a bit of a game going, who would be your dream (or ideal, but realistic) signing from:

    1. A South African union;
    2. A Returning Experienced South African player from a foreign club/union;
    3. A Foreign International or former International player.

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.01.15 20:59:38 by MerckZ Reply

  • I sat with a mate and made up our selections for Super 15 plus Vodacom Cup. Sharks certainly have the depth, expertise and skill to take both these titles. Looking forward to a great season!

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.01.15 21:36:01 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @MerckZ (Comment 10) : I like these games

    1. Jaco Kriel
    2. Brad Barritt
    3. Israel Folau

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.01.15 21:53:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 11) : do share 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.01.15 21:53:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @MerckZ (Comment 9) : we’re going to need him at some point, mark my words. Sooner rather than later.

    If S’bura goes down in the first three weeks, we don’t have a 13.

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.01.15 21:54:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • 1. Andries Coetzee
    2. Johan Goosen
    3. Martin Castrogiovanni

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.01.15 22:53:39 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • Rob, I think I would go with the Springbok front row + Chadwick, cooper and Adriaanse on the bench; Pieter-Steph & Alberts as locks with Lewies on the bench; Marcel Coetzee, Oosthuizen and Bothma as loose forwards with Kanko on the bench (is he coming back??? Or Tera if he isn’t coming back), Cobus at 9 with Cameron reserve, Lambie with Cronje, Jack at 11, Andre at 12 (Fran’s when he is back), 13 Sithole / Pietersen, 14 Odwa and 15 Mvovo. When is Tim Swiel due back? He is playing some nice rugby for Harkequins

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.01.15 05:36:04 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :

    I like your first two picks – mine would be the same – but I think we need more scrumhalf cover. Technically Rory Kockott is a foreign international. I think he’d thrive under a coach like Brendan Venter, but I’m not sure he’d be Gary’s cup of tea.

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.01.15 09:23:32 by MerckZ Reply

  • Personally I think that we have some of the best scrum halves in SA at the Sharks, Ungerer and Conrad as well as two above. All have different strengths. Kockott was good in 2013 but no great shakes in 2014. I like that Welsh scrum half.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.01.15 10:46:26 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 18) : Indeed, but Conrad is made of glass, I haven’t seen enough of Ungerer to feel confident and I think Wright is right for the Currie Cup, but will (probably) be slightly out of his depth in Super Rugby. Cobus is the only scrummie I’d say is of Super Rugby caliber, and he won’t feel pushed to a higher standard by this chasing pack.

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.01.15 11:52:40 by MerckZ Reply

  • @MerckZ Understand your reservation as 9 is a pivotal position and both are young and inexperienced but Ungerer has copy book skills and brilliant vision, Wright has great pass which allows for go forward ball & allows receiver time for decision making. Given the experience surrounding 9, I’d ike to see either have a go at S15

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.01.15 12:26:05 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • I think steyn. should go to 15 so. ESTERHUIZEN AND HEIMER WILLIAMS CAN BE AT 12 .

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.01.15 13:21:37 by Justin Koelman Reply

  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 16) : so you will use a flank as a lock and use a lock as a flank? Would not use Alberts as a lock unless we really need to.

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.01.15 18:25:08 by JD Reply
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  • @JD My bad – typo. Apologies! Admit – Not bad selection for a girl though! Lol

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.01.15 20:03:22 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 23) : yes not bad. Most of those players should start the first game but the wings and fullback could be changed as I think Mvovo and Chavanga will start with SP at 15. Botha might also be included at 4 in place of Oosthuizen.

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.01.15 23:03:49 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 22) : have to admit when i saw that switch i was also taken aback. I reckon, injuries aside, oosthuizen and PSDT will be dangerous together this year.

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.01.15 02:27:32 by Stiko85 Reply

  • @JD. Help me out, please guys – is it easy enough to swop from 4 to 5 and vice versa?

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.01.15 06:47:24 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 26) : not really. 5 is usually the leader in the line outs and will secure line out balls (usually long and thin). 4 is the hard man he’s the “engine” of the pack forwards (usually big and strong). Some players like PSDT can play both possitions but most locks can only fit into one of the roles. Hope that helps you.

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.01.15 08:31:17 by JD Reply
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  • Fullback is definately a weak point. SP was good in the 2013 CC but struggled this year, and admitted it I. The press. Hopefully BV and GG can get the best out of him, as the talent is definately there. Only other dedicated FB is Van Tonder right? Still wish we had Ludik!

    Rumours that JPPS is heading to England… Hope not. The Japan move hasnt helped his form for us, looking for a better season from the guy.

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.01.15 17:56:46 by Here be dragons Reply

    Here be dragons
  • @Here be dragons (Comment 28) : sorry to say but non of the players on this duel Japan/SA contract has shown any form for their SA teams.

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.01.15 21:10:06 by JD Reply
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  • @MerckZ (Comment 10) :
    1. I can’t believe I’m saying this because I’ve always thought he’s a bit of a clutch plate…but…Duane Vermeulen?
    2. Brad Barritt/Scott Spedding
    3. Scott Spedding/Brad Barritt
    🙂 ok, ok…I would also love to have Israel Folau, but it is cool that you can list both Barritt and Spedding under both 2 and 3!

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.01.15 22:28:49 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I can’t wait for the season to start!!

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.01.15 22:31:47 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 29) : Agree with you there, although Steyn did a decent enough job at 10 when Pat and Fred went down. Would like to see JPP brought back into the fold full time, although I feel that is unlikely. He had some stellar games for us, but his form varies throughout the years. He and Steyn are both later 20s now, so not the kids of the future many still see them as. Frans has struggled since returning from France I’d say. Perhaps not sure what role he should play in the team.

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.01.15 04:38:09 by Here be dragons Reply

    Here be dragons
  • 10 Lambie
    12 Steyn
    13 Not JP
    14 JP
    15 Not SP

    Anyone else been watching Swiel play for Quins? He’s been pretty good…

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.01.15 07:16:07 by Dryden Reply

  • @Dryden (Comment 34) : I haven’t seen him playing there…what position is he playing?

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.01.15 08:12:10 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Here be dragons (Comment 33) : It’s incredible that JP is only 28 and Frans only 27! They’ve been playing for so long I’d have sworn they’d passed 30 already! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.01.15 08:15:25 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Dryden (Comment 33) : @pastorshark (Comment 34) : He is mostly playing as a flyhalf substitute but does get caught in possession a lot..he usually manages to retain the ball but he needs to be able to get the ball away quicker

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.01.15 08:31:16 by SheldonK Reply

  • Is Supersport going to be showing the Sharks vs Toulon game? Does anybody know?

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.01.15 09:07:48 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Dryden (Comment 33) : my brother is friends with Swiel’s GF in CT, and she visited him in London over the Festive Break, according to her Timmy is keen on staying in London and shooting for an England jumper. I’m not sure what his contract stipulates, but will be interesting to see what develops from there. I’m not one for rumors, so lets see what pans out, he has been in good form over there…

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.01.15 09:32:47 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 38) : He has my blessing. Let us get Du Preez back asap. Big mistake by Jake White to release that boy for Swiel.

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.01.15 09:40:44 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 37) : Not confirmed as far as I know, but they would be stupid not to… Big Marquee game.

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.01.15 09:40:54 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 39) : Yep, Tim Swiel came with much promise and hype, but I don’t agree with how he was managed – I think with some more structured game time, he could prove to be an asset to any team, that being said – I rated Du Preez far higher personally too.

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.01.15 09:43:34 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 31) : ditto!

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.01.15 10:26:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 31) : @robdylan (Comment 42) : yes yes yes can’t wait! !!!!!

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.01.15 20:16:23 by JD Reply
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  • @Here be dragons (Comment 32) : I really hope that both can prove me wrong and produce the form that made them Boks!!!!

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.01.15 20:20:21 by JD Reply
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