Saluting bravery

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 May 2015 at 09:27
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

Gary Gold has made some rather ambitious calls ahead of this weekend’s game against the Hurricanes – I for one think some of them are very brave indeed and that it shows great balls for a coach under pressure to make such bold picks.

There are two selections in particular that stand out and that will make our readers happiest; those of Stefan Ungerer at scrumhalf and Lwazi Mvovo at fullback. We’ve called for a brave selection at scrumhalf for some time now, with Conrad Hoffmann disappointing repeatedly as Cobus Reinach’s understudy. Reinach’s injury has opened the door for Ungerer to make the match 23, but for Gold to back the younger man in his first Super Rugby start, over the journeyman, shows guts and we’re really hoping it works out for both the coach and the player. Ungerer is one of those players around whom the Sharks need to rebuild, so we as fans absolutely have to get behind him and be prepared to support him as he develops at this level.

In other words, no howling for his head if he makes a few mistakes!

Regarding Mvovo, a number of us felt that moving him to the last line of defence was one of the things that Jake White got spot on last year and were rather disappointed when the experiment was shelved after just a few games. Mvovo is one of the very few players in the current Sharks back division with genuine x-factor, but tends to get rather isolated at wing and can often go for long periods without getting anywhere near the ball. While positional play at fullback is an area that needs work, the Sharks are without a recognised fullback option on tour in any event and Odaw Ndungane was ruthlessly exposed in this area against the Highlanders. Mvovo, in other words, would battle to do worse on defence and certainly offers a lot more on attack.

Let’s hope this switch could mean a new lease on life for a very talented player who appears to have lost his way a little.

The other selections pretty much make themselves, with the change at flyhalf perhaps the only exception. Dropping Fred Zeilinga straight out of the squad is a tough call (unless there’s an injury that we don’t know about) but is perhaps the right move in the interests of getting the team back on track. Zeilinga has been poor – there’s no sense shying away from that fact – and we may as well use the opportunity to see whether Cronje offers anything better.

Good luck to the Sharks and to Gary Gold this weekend – let’s hope things go better.


  • articles like these might just get you unblocked on twitter again

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.05.15 09:32:41 by Kabouter Reply
  • @Kabouter (Comment 1) : i don’t think that’s his objective. I think more than an unblocking and apology is required.

    Back to the article..fortune favours the brave. I just hope Mvovo comes good and has his kicking boots on too.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.05.15 09:38:32 by Jeremiser Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • I suspect the only reason Fred was ‘dropped’ was because Cronje is probably due a start and Frans can cover flyhalf.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.05.15 09:39:09 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • ”Good luck to the Sharks and to Gary Gold this weekend – let’s hope things go better.” It is not as if things can go much worse :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.05.15 09:40:56 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Brave selection perhaps but how the hell did we get into a situation where we have a lock at flank and a hooker as loosie replacement? The mind boggles.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.05.15 09:44:41 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • At least Mvovo has the speed to get himself into the right position

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.05.15 09:45:10 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) : when you lose 3 loose forwards to injury and another to suspension, you can end up in such a position.

    I’d still have backed Majola, but we at least need to acknowledge the injury problems.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.05.15 09:54:32 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Amen

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.05.15 09:55:30 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : I can appreciate the injury problems but then get a proper flank as replacement. Tera is fit again I believe.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.05.15 10:01:42 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • The dropping of Zeilinga is the right call- he has been poor and has been given lots of time- hope Cronje offered same time. Cooper is playing as we hav to have a 3rd hooker there and we initially effed up by sending too many locks- altho i reckon Lewies could prob play flank. So Cooper as reserve flank makes sense now. My only question is whether Botha is a better replacement than Giant- i wud have possibly picked giant to help shore up the 2nd half scrum…but its a close call.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.05.15 10:01:44 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 9) : well, “fit” is relative. I reckon if Tera was fit enough to play 80 minutes even at Vodacom level, he’d probably be Sharks XV captain. My feeling is he’ll only get 40-50 this week

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.05.15 10:03:45 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : I battle to understand how you replace a scrumhalf with a hooker when you don’t have enough loose forwards.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.05.15 10:04:29 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : fair enough

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.05.15 10:05:21 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Jeremiser (Comment 2) : ja agreed. I follow Rob on twitter so I am quite surprised about the blocking unless a few direct messages…

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.05.15 10:07:25 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 14) : there have been no direct messages. He doesn’t follow me, so I couldn’t send him one anyway.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.05.15 10:11:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Pokkel (Comment 12) : well yes. I covered that point on Monday 🙂

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.05.15 10:11:59 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Kabouter (Comment 1) : @Jeremiser (Comment 2) : Why was Rob blocked?

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.05.15 10:16:08 by ChrisS Reply
  • Fred Zeilinga is injured, not dropped

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.05.15 10:19:49 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @ChrisS (Comment 17) : anyone who has a direct line to Smitty please ask him and let me know.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.05.15 10:21:52 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • True bold decisions but needed for sure. Well we can only hope for the best on Saturday and get behind the team, hell I might even shelve the grass cutting to watch the game lol. How ridiculous would an upset be hahaha – dreams I know, but they do come true sometimes.

    p.s. And remember folks – drinking rum 9:35 sat morning DOES NOT make you an alcoholic – only a true Pirate 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.05.15 10:24:02 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Let’s go Sharkies! Show some tenacity and heart on the field Saturday and anything can happen.

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.05.15 10:25:43 by Dragnipur Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 12) : They initially effed up by not picking 3 hookers- u have to have 2 hookers in your match day squad so you effectively need 3 on tour in case one goes down in the warm up etc. However you cant just add someone to the tour party without someone going home. So the Cooper going isnt the problem- the problem is why we picked so many locks to go initially?

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.05.15 10:26:06 by SheldonK Reply

  • No moaning or negativity from me,I don’t care if Sharks lose by 100 at least we have positive change in the right direction in my view,back the youngster and I agree that Mvovo at 15 is best option right now

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.05.15 10:34:41 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Would that injury not be great timing to fly over loose forward cover? Just an idea…mayb tweet Smitty and ask 😉

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.05.15 10:39:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 22) : the mistake was panicking when Kanko went down and picking Giant, rather than being brave and sending Majola.

    @SheldonK (Comment 24) : ouch!

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.05.15 11:21:11 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I’m super stoked about mvovo at fullback!! Picking a guy with his skill and X factor at fullback is smart and I’m surprised we didn’t try this move earlier. I understand that there will be some issues because it’s his first game in the position this season but I’m prepared to look past a few mistakes if it means a gigantic step in the right direction for the sharks backline. Also stoked Ungerer and Cronje get a chance to prove themselves, it would do us all a lot of good to remember that these are changes we all wanted, but they have all come in what will be a very difficult match. Pressure to perform for these guys must be high and I’m sure that each one of them will give it their all! Let’s just hope that nerves don’t get the better of them and they’re able to put on a good show, no matter what the end result may be. They have my full support. One small step for super rugby 2015, one large step for the Sharks

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.05.15 11:31:36 by Moon Moon Reply

    Moon Moon
  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : Agree regarding the panic with Giant selection- altho i wud have preferred Giant to go over Botha but separate issue that. Hehe sorry bout the dig, couldnt help it 🙂 But the Zeilinga injury replacement makes sense does it not?

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.05.15 11:41:07 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : oh yeah of course.

    Like I said in the article, Fred deserved dropping anyway after that howler, but perhaps dropping him wouldn’t have been the wisest thing long term.

    a moot point since he hasn’t been dropped. Prefer Cronje (or even my gran) at 10 to Frans.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.05.15 11:52:06 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Now if we can only get Jordaan or sithole on 13 move jp to wing, he has been quite disappointing at center.

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.05.15 12:06:57 by coolfusion Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : You’ve forgotten what a decent job Frans did at 10 last year?

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.05.15 12:09:57 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Hows ur Gran’s goalkicking? Mayb an option…we do like them older players

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.05.15 12:28:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 25) :

    Not sure, but isn’t Majola touring with the Junior Boks?

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.05.15 12:32:53 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 32) : Nope that’s a prop, Khaya is a loose forward

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.05.15 12:35:33 by Ludz Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : hmm, I am baffled as to why the 😉

    any news on Thomas the Tank switching to tighthead for Junior Bokke?

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.05.15 12:40:22 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 33) :

    No wonder I am confused

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.05.15 12:52:30 by Morné Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 30) : yes, a foundation in the Jakeball game plan.

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.05.15 12:56:11 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Thomas and Dale should both train up on tighthead easy for Thomas since he started there. Dale needs some intense power lifting training for core legs and back. He will make a good th I suspect

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.05.15 13:57:13 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 37) : the adriaanse and stevens options has been horrific so nothing to lose? who will be taking over from Beast?

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.05.15 14:14:43 by Kabouter Reply

  • Ja I agree with you. Thomas was the guy being groomed to take over from beast I think. But we also have some other youngsters making their way up but they must get cycled in ASAP.

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.05.15 14:36:48 by coolfusion Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : Not like the game plan is much different this year….it’s just executed a lot worse this year.

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.05.15 15:59:33 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Silver lining with the timing of that injury. He needs time off the pitch but dropping him would not do his confidence any good.

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.05.15 18:58:47 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 41) : Locker room injury 😈

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.05.15 19:55:10 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Could’t agree more about Frans at 10.

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.05.15 21:07:06 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 41) : Its a very fine line in professional sport…not too much room for sympathy for a guy thats out of form and lacking confidence. Trying to play him back into form has negative effects on team mates who kno he is off form etc. At that level it needs to be perform or piss off…its harsh but maybe a bit of harsh reality is what some guys need at the Union to toughen up mentally.

  • Comment 44, posted at 08.05.15 08:09:31 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 44) : I’d imagine that’s the way the French handle their players….I can’t see a team like Toulon nannying players until they “feel” better about themselves – it’s perform or get dropped.

  • Comment 45, posted at 08.05.15 08:24:52 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : Which got us to top of the conference log. Look I know you don’t fancy him, but you need to give credit when its due. JW did not really have any other options at the time. He used what he could to get us as far as he could.

  • Comment 46, posted at 08.05.15 08:30:53 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Great to see some changes made that many wanted. Would still prefer Sithole at 13 and JPP at 14. Well done on GG for putting Ungerer in and leaving Steyn on 12. I think if we can control their pack or even dominate them in the forwards we stand a good chance to pull of a major upset. Lets get behind the team and hopefully pull of a stunning win.

  • Comment 47, posted at 08.05.15 08:34:37 by willemv10 Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 45) : It is a problem we have in SA and especially the Sharks…we baby players too much from an early age as we dont want to hurt their feelings or confidence. As such we create weak minded individuals that cannot perform when the pressure is on and things not going their way. Yes there is the odd exception but its a very odd exception

  • Comment 48, posted at 08.05.15 08:59:52 by SheldonK Reply

  • Kabouter Thomas is playing tighthead again I see. It would be awesome if he and Chadwick could handle both prop roles very well. Gary Gold would certainly be smiling to have such versatility.

  • Comment 49, posted at 08.05.15 09:54:42 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 49) : I thought that you had just given du Toit a new nickname…Kabouter Thomas, it could work.

  • Comment 50, posted at 08.05.15 10:16:55 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Nah. Replying to someone on the smartphone doesn’t really work so I mentioned the name. Didn’t add the space so I see the confusion. I would hardly call Thomas kabouter, unless it’s one of those ironic nicknames.

  • Comment 51, posted at 08.05.15 10:31:45 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 51) : are you using the app? Or the mobile site?

  • Comment 52, posted at 08.05.15 10:43:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.