robdylan

Tommy the Tighthead?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 11 May 2015 at 14:47
Tagged with : ,

Sharks prop Thomas du Toit, who earlier this month revealed on Twitter that he is considering a switch to tight head prop, is set to start in the number 3 jersey for the Junior Springboks as they take on the junior Argentine side in Santa Fe tomorrow.

Du Toit burst onto the scene last year as an 18 year old, with his formidable strength and 130kg frame seeing him slot in as a senior prop despite his youth. All of his appearances to date have come at loose head, although the other side of the scrum is familiar to him from his school days at Paarl Boys High. He could certainly become a highly rated tight head in time, perhaps taking after taller number 3s like New Zealand’s Carl Hayman.

It remains to be seen whether this shift is something that will enjoy the backing of the Sharks coaches as well – certainly if du Toit is to switch sides for the Junior Boks, he should probably do so for the Sharks at provincial level too.

Jean-Luc du Preez starts at number 8 as the only other Sharks player in the Junior Springbok starting lineup for this match, with Mzamo Majola and Hyron Andrews both benched. Dan du Preez, who is carrying a niggle, and Ruan Kramer should expect game time in the second match later in the week.

The Junior Springbok team to play against Los Pumitas is:
15. Malcolm Jaer (EP Kings)
14. Grant Hermanus (DHL Western Province)
13. JT Jackson (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
12. Daniel du Plessis (DHL Western Province)
11. Leolin Zas (DHL Western Province)
10. Ernst Stapelberg (DHL Western Province)
9. Marco Janse van Vuuren (Xerox Golden Lions)
8. Jean-Luc du Preez (Cell C Sharks)
7. Jacques Vermeulen (DHL Western Province)
6. Rikus Bothma (captain, DHL Western Province)
5. Jason Jenkins (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
4. Abongile Nonkontwana (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
3. Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks)
2. Joseph Dweba (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)
1. Ox Nche (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)
Replacements:
16. Mzamo Majola (Cell C Sharks)
17. Jan van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
18. Frans van Wyk (DHL Western Province)
19. Hyron Andrews (Cell C Sharks)
20. CJ Velleman (EP Kings)
21. Ivan van Zyl (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
22. Brandon Thomson (DHL Western Province)
23. Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Blue Bulls)


55 Comments

  • 2 Kings and 1 Lion … good grief …

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.05.15 14:52:04 by Zibbie Reply
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  • going out on a limb here – this move might suit the player and possibly even the Boks, but I’m not sure it helps the Sharks much.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.05.15 15:01:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Interesting, you don’t think the Sharks are in dire need of an international level tighthead, especially after this year when we expect Jannie to go to Europe?

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.05.15 15:13:02 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Personally, if this switch is successful, and he achieves that high level, it seems to me the Sharks would realize a massive benefit. Especially if Beast remains and we hold onto Dale, we are well stocked at loosehead it would seem. Less need for Matt Stevens then. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.05.15 15:15:44 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • How many successful switches of this kind do we know of?

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.05.15 15:19:32 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : He played TH in school, the Sharks switched him to LH and clearly that switch was successful, this is a return to his original position as I see it. There have been props that have been successful on both sides of the scrum at international level.

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.05.15 15:26:21 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : Seeing as he was a tighthead up to a year or two ago, I’d say it wont be too much of an issue for him to play there again. Although, he might take a bit longer to mature at 3 than he would have at 1.

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.05.15 15:26:53 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 6) : Yeah, like Stevens 😈 :mrgreen: πŸ˜†

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.05.15 15:29:02 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 4) : Beast has already announced he’s heading to France after the WC πŸ˜•

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.05.15 15:32:12 by StevieS Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 4) : it’s exactly that issue that concerns me.

    I have no clarity on the Beast situation and as far as I’m concerned the jury is still out on Chadwick (as scrummaging prop).

    I’m not seeing any phenomenal young loose heads coming up, while we have decent options at 3 in Marne Coetzee and Ruan Kramer.

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.05.15 15:34:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 9) :
    From the subtle one…..Salmo
    β€œWhen it comes to retaining players from a financial point of view, we’re always going to be up against it competing with the yen, euro and pound. So for us it’s about being able to cleverly contract players and avoid that threat of those stronger currencies.

    β€œThe business is in a strong position, and those numbers are really important. We do have guys keen to continue with us, the likes of Marcell (Coetzee) and Beast (Mtawarira) have indicated their intention to stay, but there are also obviously some negotiations that are still ongoing with others.”

    Full article / spiel here http://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/smit-wants-to-get-fans-excited-again-1.1846784#.VVCNP46qqko

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.05.15 15:35:16 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 4) : you’re probably right, though. 3 is such a vital position that we really should pick the best guy we can in that position. I’m not sure if we’re planning on offering Lourens another deal, but if we are, it would make sense for him and Tommy to alternate. Assuming Jannie goes.

    if Beast stays, he alternates with Dale at 1 (as before).

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.05.15 15:35:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 11) : ja… but until the signing is confirmed, I’ll remain skeptical.

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.05.15 15:37:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I think Chadwick is fine as a scrumming LH. He has been a part of front rows that have thoroughly dominated their opposition.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.05.15 15:38:04 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 14) : it’s true. He’s certainly made Rossouw de Klerk his bitch on several occasions.

    Whatever happened to that oke anyway?

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.05.15 15:39:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Beast was a Sharks Academy product, brought by the Sharks out of obscurity, with little hope for a future in rugby in Zim. He certainly has exhibited loyalty to both the Sharks and Boks up until now, even through rough times (passport issue, etc). It just seems he sort of owes a little more to the Sharks than the likes of the DuPlessis boys and Willem Alberts. Just a feeling I have.

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.05.15 15:43:15 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : In my opinion, Dale has one weakness, when the TH scrums in on the Hooker, he tends to fold in with him, and sometimes gets pinged for the penalty (even though the TH drove in). Watch Beast scrumming, if the TH tries to drive in on the Hooker, Beast uses the opportunity to bring the bind closer and drive his right shoulder under the ribs of the TH and with this better leverage, drives up and straight back, either driving the TH back or even lifting him (see the British Lions series).

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.05.15 15:50:21 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 16) : I hope you’re right. That would be great news.

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.05.15 15:51:32 by StevieS Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 17) : I think that is more the lack of knowledge from the forwards coach or lack of a scrum coach that is the cause of that problem.

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.05.15 15:53:05 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @StevieS (Comment 18) : It is just a feeling I have, I hope I am right too. He is different from other players, in some way, he owes his entire rugby career to the Sharks, and he does seem like he gets that, and is a loyal oke.

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.05.15 15:54:14 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 19) : Probably so, maybe Beast should mentor him on that.

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.05.15 15:55:55 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 16) : can’t disagree with that point. Look, I’ve been a little frustrated with Beast of late, but he certainly played well this last week.

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.05.15 15:56:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : When Smit was still playing, he was such a better scrummager than Bissie, I remember posting about that. Bissie has become since then, one of the best scrummaging hookers in world rugby. I don’t think people realize how much difference a strong scrumming hooker makes to the success of a front row. Look how differently both Jannie and Beast play without Bissie. I think when the scrums feel strong Beast really lets his loose game get going.

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.05.15 16:01:17 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 6) : @KingRiaan (Comment 7) : I read that too but do we know whether there was a reason he was switched to LH to start out with? Aside from the fact the he played there at school though, can we point to some other successful switches of this sort? I’m not trying to argue his suitability to the TH position by the way as I just don’t know enough to make a call on that. I’m genuinely interested in how many other players have successfully moved to the other side of the scrum.

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.05.15 16:11:56 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 24) : Dan Cottrell (renowned Rugby coach) believes that an inexperienced, young player, playing at the top level finds it easier to slot in at LH than TH which is more technical. Perhaps since he was so young when they brought him through to SR, they felt he would have struggled technically as a TH but his massive strength would overcome the less technical LH side, kind of like Andrew Sheridan who actually played lock prior to moving to the front row as a very young England International.

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.05.15 16:18:32 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I suppose it is kind of rare to find young tightheads succeeding at the top level, more common to see young looseheads succeed.

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.05.15 16:21:20 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 24) : And if you want examples of successful switches of this type at the international level, you need look no further than Coenie Oosthuizen, CJ van de Linde, and Ollie LeRoux. :mrgreen: 😈 πŸ˜›

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.05.15 16:24:12 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 17) : Holy crap, you mean there’s technique to scrummaging!? And here I thought it was just two fatties trying to see who can outweigh the other… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.05.15 16:25:43 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 28) : sssshhhhh ancient front row secret, it is really two fatties trying to outweigh each other, but to stroke our flagging egos (from all the bullying and abuse growing up fat) we tell the rest of the world it is all cerebral and technique. πŸ˜›

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.05.15 16:29:09 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 29) : The only words of wisdom from my first rugby coach…”your opponent can’t scrum when his feet are off the ground.” :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.05.15 16:31:43 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I say he should learn and pick up experience on both so should Chadwick. Imagine the coach having good utility props. He can then concede a spot on the bench for a specialist like scrumhalf or hooker or flyhalf. Besides great tighthead are not a abundant in SA so a careerpath to bokkie jersey would be simpler for a young and good tighthead.

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.05.15 16:35:35 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 29) : Just look at all the “special” rules that front rowers have, too fat to finish a game so there is a rule to have a spare for each front row position on the bench at all times or else the teams are not allowed to scrum. Front rowers can not multi-task, there is a special rule in a scrum that you may only play against your direct opponent, if you are a prop and scrum in on the hooker you are penalized. Can you imagine telling your flanks and scrumhalf they may not tackle a number 8 who picks up the ball at the base of the scrum, only your number 8 may tackle him. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 11.05.15 16:37:08 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 31) : You need to read my previous post. There is a law in rugby now where you are required to have an entire replacement front row on your bench, the time of the utility prop is gone I am afraid. You can not replace one of your front row replacements with another replacement.

  • Comment 33, posted at 11.05.15 16:39:11 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 27) : πŸ˜€

  • Comment 34, posted at 11.05.15 16:39:40 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Front rowers even have special rules when it comes to yellow cards, if carded, a front rower must be replaced by another front rower and some poor innocent (most likely) loose forward is forced from the field through no wrong doing of their own. The referee understands that sin binning of a front rower just brings on another front rower to contend with and nothing will change, so more often than not, the referee just lets it go. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 35, posted at 11.05.15 16:57:30 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I remember Francois Pienaar having to scrum down at hooker for the Boks, oooohhhh that was fun….. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.05.15 17:00:42 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • Then of course at the Sharks, ever since Ollie Le Roux, there is a rule against the team imposing any sort of caloric intake limit on their props *cough cough* Matt *cough* Ste……*cough cough*

  • Comment 37, posted at 11.05.15 17:03:25 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 33) : except that in currie Cup it’s still 22….

  • Comment 38, posted at 11.05.15 17:04:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 38) : πŸ˜† Right I forgot, only rugby competition in the world still with 22. How much longer will they persist with that???

  • Comment 39, posted at 11.05.15 17:05:46 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 39) : It’s daft.

  • Comment 40, posted at 11.05.15 17:19:57 by Ben Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 39) : no clue. It is bloody ridiculous though

  • Comment 41, posted at 11.05.15 17:32:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 38) : Can somebody please turn on the lights 😑

    At SARU, we call it brain-shedding πŸ™„

  • Comment 42, posted at 11.05.15 17:57:30 by FireTheLooser Reply

     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 42) : SARU is a very efficient and economical organization, everyone turns the lights out when they leave, but nobody remembers to turn them back on when they return. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 43, posted at 11.05.15 21:40:16 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 36) : We did have james dalton in those days

  • Comment 44, posted at 11.05.15 22:27:04 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 38) : Apparently some of the smaller unions cant afford to travel such a big squad everwhere.

  • Comment 45, posted at 11.05.15 22:29:11 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 44) : Ja, I think you’re right, that was the match against Canada where Dalton was red carded. Pienaar had to scrum down at hooker in a RWC nogal. πŸ˜†

  • Comment 46, posted at 11.05.15 22:31:09 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 45) : please tell me you’re not being serious?

  • Comment 47, posted at 12.05.15 00:37:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • If this conversion works out – bodes well for future Sharks teams!!!

  • Comment 48, posted at 12.05.15 02:16:49 by pienaar111 Reply

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  • Sharks lose too may good young props , guys like Allen Dell, Danie Minnie and Maks van Dyk , all played against Sharks and performed extremely well as we can remember Minnie did with Jannie in round one and I heard they sent another young guy Bart le Roux away to New Zealand , correct me.if I am wrong here Rob, but I saw this guy play at junior levels and he is really powerful scrummager and has skill and gets around the park , yet they stick woth a guy like Marne Coetzee and so who gets pumped at scrum time , and at TH your prime job is to scrum

  • Comment 49, posted at 12.05.15 11:23:48 by Rugbymadness Reply

     
  • @Rugbymadness (Comment 49) : Le Roux is probably going to do better in New Zealand than a lot of the other okes they let go. Might turn out to be a blessing in disguise for him.

    I agree with your point, though. We have pissed away SO many good young props and now we sit with Matt Stevens

  • Comment 50, posted at 12.05.15 11:29:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) :

    If i remember correctly it came from Twitter at the time . Not sure who mentioned it though . Maybe Morne can confirm this ?

  • Comment 51, posted at 12.05.15 11:46:48 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Yeah would be interesting to see how he does over there , but any idea how he got over there and what position it leaves him in at the Sharks , heard rumours he is leaving

  • Comment 52, posted at 13.05.15 02:08:17 by Rugbymadness Reply

     
  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : Correct me if im wrong but i thought Stevens was brought in to yes supplement our props stocks but also to work with our young props? Stevens (before he ate all the food in the UK) was a very good scrummager and gave many a Bok prop problems.

  • Comment 53, posted at 13.05.15 09:14:41 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 53) : I think that was the plan, yes. Evidence that it’s happening? Zero.

  • Comment 54, posted at 13.05.15 09:31:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : Well isnt that true for a lot of things: Anthony- intensity, Horak- defense…etc etc

  • Comment 55, posted at 13.05.15 10:24:31 by SheldonK Reply

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