This jersey demands more pride

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 20 Apr 2015 at 10:02
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It’s time for the perennial Vodacom Cup shambles to come to a definitive end. Friday night’s frankly humiliating 36-13 (five try to one) drubbing at the hands of the SWD Eagles simply has to be the final straw and as Sharks fans, we can no longer sit idly by as week after week, players take the field in Sharks jerseys to which they are not prepared to do justice.

It’s a somewhat ironic side-note, of course, that this Sharks XV played half the match wearing Eagles away jerseys, due to some sort of mix-up that saw their match jerseys delayed in Durban. We’re told that the issue was caused by SAA neglecting to pack the bags onto their flight, but the point is probably moot. I’m sure Eagles fans would have felt that the Sharks XV’s performance didn’t do their jersey justice either.

Let’s just do a quick comparison in terms of playing resources here. The SWD Eagles team boasted just two players with Super Rugby experience; midweek Bok Davon Raubenhiemer (who played a few games for the Cheetahs) and former Sharks man Luzuko Vulindlu (two caps in 2009). Compare that to a Sharks team including two test Springboks (Stephan Lewies and Tonderai Chavhanga) and four other players with Super Rugby caps, including Kyle Cooper and Dale Chadwick, between them capped 70 times. The pack the Sharks selected would not look out of place in Currie Cup rugby; it’s simple inconceivable, based on talent alone, that the Eagles could live with them, much less hand them a 20-point hammering.

We cannot look to a lack of talent in this side – and to be honest, we can’t blame coaching either. Ryan Strudwick has shown the ability to take a group of young players and turn them into title winners by doing exactly that in this year’s Varsity Shield. Why can we not replicate that success in the Vodacom Cup, with Strudwick (as head of junior rugby) having the cream of young players in the province at his disposal, players with whom he is working week in and week out through the Grey Squad system?

The answer is simple. Strudwick isn’t given any freedom to select the team he wants to – the team that has been training all week – due to the strange imperative to accommodate discarded Super Rugby squad members in his team each week. As a development competition, the Vodacom Cup is meant to be about unearthing new talent and allowing it to grow, with a view to Currie Cup selection later in the year; instead, the Sharks seem to be using it as a bizarre disincentive to senior players already low on confidence and motivation after losing out on Super Rugby.

We’ve seen time and again that senior players dropped to Vodacom Cup add absolutely nothing to the side. Let’s at least foster a little pride in this team by allowing Strudwick to build his own team, establish continuity and ultimately help to secure the future of Sharks Rugby. As head of junior rugby, that must surely be his reason for being? It’s time to let him get on with his job.


  • Hear hear!

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.04.15 10:10:00 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • The team would surely be more exciting if it was an u/19 & u/21 barbarian team…but surely the senior players in this team have a lot to play for – at the very least, keep match fitness up to scratch, or push for SR selection.

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.04.15 10:15:45 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Agree absolutely. Guys like Conrad Hoffman, Kyle Cooper, Conrad Hoffman, Dale Chadwick, Conrad Hoffman, Tonderai Chavanga, Conrad Hoffman, etc. should be ineligible for selection for this team.

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.04.15 10:17:49 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • While we are talking about doing justice to a jersey. Is it just me, or is it a sign of weak leadership and general slapgat attitude that allows super rugby players to wear their socks around their ankles? It is your uniform ffs and you only have to wear it 2 hours a week. Would you respect a police officer whose shirt is not tucked in? Or a director of a company sitting at a board meeting with his tie loosened? Imagine AB de Villiers decides to take the field with his trousers pulled up above his knees because its comfortable! Sorry for the rant.

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.04.15 10:20:33 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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    West Indies Cricket Board
  • @Culling Song (Comment 3) : That will make (keep) them (read him) very eligible for the SR team ๐Ÿ˜

    I say, make Hoffman captain of this team ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.04.15 10:21:14 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Murray was causing kak in the Soop team but I will feel better if I can blame this shambles on him as well. Did he lend someone in the VC team a pair of boots? Wish them well via SMS? Any link at all?

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.04.15 10:50:00 by Dryden Reply

  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 4) : Ive seen AB giving interviews with his helmet perched half way off his head, did not look good at all. And while we are on the subject please get the players to take off their caps when giving an after match interview, I know the sponsors want to ram their brand down your throat but surely they must realise how crap it actually looks. I personally think that given the choice no player would want to be interviewed wearing a cap.

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.04.15 10:55:32 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • One of my biggest concerns is the deafening silence from our esteemed CEO. Surely at this stage he should have come out and at least had a press conference about the state of the Sharks and what he intends doing about it.

    Just goes to show that a good leader on the field doesn’t translate into a good CEO.

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.04.15 11:36:09 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • Perhaps the solution is something the Union doesnt want to accept- that the players we have are either just not that good OR our coaching/conditioning is not that good. Both our u21s and u19s havnt been excellent in recent years and especially last year. The VC team has also flattered to deceive for a number of years. There just seems to be a very lacklustre attitude throughout the Union. Perhaps some high school discipline is what was actually needed

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.04.15 11:54:51 by SheldonK Reply

  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 4) :
    If the player performs like Chris Latham did, then I doubt anyone would be concerned about where his socks are ๐Ÿ˜† His socks were always around his ankles

    I have seen players being scragged by the jersey after taking a gap, so it makes sense that ones jersey must by firmly tucked in, pointless giving the opposition something easy to grab onto if they miss the initial tackle.

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.04.15 12:54:35 by deano Reply

  • I’ve updated the article.

    The jersey screw up was caused by SAA, not the Sharks management

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.04.15 13:07:00 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 7) : Socks around the ankles is normally a sign of cramp,and mate sponsors pay a lot of money for that cap to be worn in the interview.
    Problem is not the cap it’s that some of these boneheads don’t know how to wear a cap,not every one had the priveledge to grow up at North beach.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.04.15 13:07:25 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 12) : The socks dont bug me at all, just that overt push from the sponsors at the end of the game.

    Thats the problem with the North Beach crowd, know how to wear a cap but no clue what to do with a rugby ball. :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.04.15 13:30:54 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 13) : Need to get your priorities right.
    Nike were the very first to realise the photo op value of the post match interview way back with Andre Agassi,they perfected it with Tiger Woods,you hardly ever see him without a Nike cap on,or Mcillroy.

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.04.15 13:36:04 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 13) : but I do agree with you it is pretty lame watching Marco Wentzel in a Rugbyginners cap after we the team have taken one in the nuts.Who ever is responsible for that should be fired or moved to the away game jersey dispatching unit.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.04.15 13:42:06 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 15) : ๐Ÿ˜† :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.04.15 14:56:43 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @The hound (Comment 15) : CELL C are not enjoying the negative PR related to the Sharks at this moment, don’t be surprised to see them recall the contract.

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.04.15 15:14:58 by Richard Reply

  • @Richard (Comment 17) : you think or you know?

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.04.15 15:24:10 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : After my discussion of clauses in player contracts in another thread…..Surely any sponsorship contract would include a clause about the organization’s actions not being contrary to standards the sponsor wishes to represent themselves….or should I have instead taken up a career as contract lawyer. :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ˜› And I KNOW absolutely nothing…….all speculation.

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.04.15 16:12:02 by Dancing Bear Reply
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    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 19) : That’s quite obvious,remember those great sports starts,Oscar Pretorious,Lance Armstrong, their sponsorship contracts didn’t survive the first hiccup.
    But I think the Cell C one is different,they managed to completely sandbag Vodacom with their Sharks sponsorship.Can you imagine how Vodacom management must squirm everytime one of their managers has to hand a Vodacom man of the match phone to a guy in a Cell C jersey.

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.04.15 20:24:20 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 20) : umm…. losing a few games vs killing someone v admitting that your entire career was a lie because you were doping throughout?

    Let’s keep some perspective.

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.04.15 20:51:37 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : I was commenting on the preceding post

    ”Surely any sponsorship contract would include a clause about the organizationโ€™s actions not being contrary to standards the sponsor wishes to represent themselves”

    So far we haven’t killed anyone yet,leave that to the Bulls when their prop killed that Metro cop,and the ex Bull went on his axe rampage, didn’t see their sponsors leaving.
    As for doping through out their career,I could probably give you a few names if you insist.
    So where is the exaggerated perspective.

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.04.15 21:10:05 by The hound Reply
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