Sharks strengthened further

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 Apr 2015 at 09:28
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

As anticipated, the Sharks are expected to welcome yet more first team regulars back into their side for this weekend’s opening tour match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

The Sharks team picked to play the Lions in Johannesburg three weeks ago was probably the weakest (on paper) selection they’ve fielded this year. Ironically enough, that selection delivered perhaps the most compelling performance we’ve seen so far, despite not winning the game. While Bok props Beast Mtawarira and Jannie du Plessis returned to the fray for the match against the Bulls, a palpable lack of proven regulars in the side appeared to be a contributing factor to another loss.

We’ve not really look much at injuries and suspensions as a key reason for the Sharks’ loss of form this year – understandably it’s not an area the coaches wish to dwell on – but I think it’s reasonable to assume that the Sharks senior players have a fair amount to contribute and that their efforts for the remainder of the season will be key to salvaging some pride for the team. Bismarck du Plessis, JP Pietersen and Stephan Lewies are the three players who come back into the selection mix for Friday’s game, with Frans Steyn available for the following games on tour once his suspension has run its course.

While it’s fairly safe to assume that du Plessis will start at hooker (although less so to presume he’ll take the captain’s armband from Marco Wentzel), it remains to be seen how (or if) Lewies and Pietersen are to be used. With Etienne Oosthuizen needed to cover the back row, the coaches could perhaps be tempted to pick Lewies, with his good tight game and excellent lineout skills, in the number 4 jersey to compensate for the lack of lineout prowess in the loose trio.

Pietersen should be expected to come in to start, if not at outside centre, then at right wing with S’bura Sithole moving inwards.

The Sharks are currently based in Coogee, Sydney. They will travel to Dunedin on Wednesday.


  • Sorted.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.04.15 09:57:31 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 1) : sweet. Sorry! I’ve updated the plugin again. I suspect there may have been a bug in the version I updated to last week.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.04.15 10:02:27 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : When did they arrive in Sydney?

    I’m trying to figure out how many days of effective training they’ll actually have as to avoid being undercooked (as they always tend to be on their first tour match)

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.04.15 10:09:21 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 3) : they will have arrived in Sydney late Sunday (local time)

    So I reckon two good days of training there (Monday/Tuesday), travel on Wednesday, then a flush out and captains on Thursday, game Friday.

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.04.15 10:11:00 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Thanks…I was worried they’d only have two interrupted days of training.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.04.15 10:13:39 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 5) : it’s not significantly less than they have in an average week, though.

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.04.15 10:14:55 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Morne loves to remind me just how much you can get done in just 4 sessions.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.04.15 10:15:22 by robdylan Reply
  • JPP will play 13 even though he’s been very average for the Boks and the Sharks there.

    Sithole will be picked at 14 even though he had a handful of great games in the 13 shirt last year.

    I’ll be left scratching my head.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.04.15 10:46:00 by Dryden Reply
  • @Dryden (Comment 8) : you won’t be scratching alone

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.04.15 11:03:36 by robdylan Reply
  • When is Paul Jordaan returning?

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.04.15 11:43:16 by bokbok Reply
  • @Dryden (Comment 8) : @robdylan (Comment 9) : I’ll probably get criticised for this but here goes.

    I think that Sithole at 13 is our only realistic option of SA being competitive at the World Cup. He is a beast on attack and defence and brings pace and X-Factor to the team.

    Our only problem is that we’re in a World Cup year and there will be aversion, by the Bok Management, to throwing him in at 13 with only 4 or 5 games to go.

    They will rather go for Jan Serfontein or JPP at 13…neither of which option fills me with any excitement or optimism.

    I don’t rate Sithole as a Bok wing but as a Bok 13 I think he could become a legend!

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.04.15 11:48:05 by ChrisS Reply
  • @bokbok (Comment 10) : fknose.

    Was hoping he’d play Vodies last week, but he cried off at the last minute.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.04.15 11:57:35 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :
    Remarkable return! Don’t want to rush him back, although we need his dynamism,

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.04.15 16:46:28 by Here be dragons Reply
    Here be dragons
  • JPP adds no value to the Sharks anymore,he must rather stay away or in Japan,he is one more has been the Sharks need to replace with a youngster

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.04.15 17:37:52 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld

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