Injury-enforced changes for Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 27 May 2015 at 10:58
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Gary Gold has named a strong side to face the Rebels at Kings Park on Friday night, notwithstanding the need to replace a number of players due to injury.

Stephan Lewies (knee) and Frans Steyn (pectoral) have both been ruled out for extended periods; Mouritz Botha and Andre Esterhuizen replace them at 4 and 12 respectively. Esterhuizen was a late inclusion at right wing last week due to an injury to Odwa Ndungane, but the latter is fit to start this week.

The balance of the backline is unchanged, with Lwazi Mvovo again at fullback. In the pack, Marcell Coetzee enjoys a well-earned rest, with Renaldo Bothma taking over at open side flank. Ryan Kankowski returns in the number 8 jersey, while Willem Alberts has been bracketed with Etienne Oosthuizen at blindside flank. Alberts need to pass a late fitness test, if he falls out, Khaya Majola will come onto the bench and hope for a first Super Rugby cap.

Matt Stevens replaces Dale Chadwick on the bench this week, with Giant Mtayanda, Fred Zeilinga and Heimar Williams all included as well.

Sharks: 15. Lwazi Mvovo, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. JP Pietersen, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. S’bura Sithole, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Stefan Ungerer, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts / Etienne Oosthuizen, 6. Renaldo Bothma, 5. Marco Wentzel (Captain), 4. Mouritz Botha, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Matt Stevens, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20. Etienne Oosthuizen / Khaya Majola, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Fred Zeilinga, 23. Heimar Williams


  • Very disappointed with the conservative choices here.

    Will we win? Probably, But that is not what we should be looking to do. A win now is pointless, rather look to build for next season.

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.05.15 11:05:25 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • Wow, I feel so nervous for this game. I hope we win.

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.05.15 11:07:53 by StevieS Reply
  • Not a weak side by any means! Really starting to like the look of Ungerer-Cronje. Happy to see Kanko back. Would have liked to see Jordaan there as well, but you can’t please everyone.
    Also, anyone else read that we lost Zeilinga to the Cheetahs? True? False? Rumour? Speculation? If true, we just swopped flyhalves with them?

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.05.15 11:08:26 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @Seth101 (Comment 1) : Couldn’t agree more. Seems like we still don’t care about the future just about saving face in a lost cause series. Biggest change I am hoping for is a change in strategy or coaching staff whichever comes first.

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.05.15 11:09:07 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Another Nick (Comment 3) : I’m waiting for some official confirmation from the Sharks, but I believe it’s a done deal

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.05.15 11:09:57 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I have the utmost confidence that young estherhuysen will be a monster in defense at 12… Or so I keep trying to convince myself….

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.05.15 11:12:43 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : 😯 Seesh.. I don’t know what to say? I really like Zeilinga. I guess at the Cheetahs he will get more game-time as it seems he has fallen behind Cronje in the pecking order. Good luck to him if true. That leaves us with Pat, Cronje, Joe and Inny?

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.05.15 11:13:06 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @Another Nick (Comment 7) : Fred is going to shine at the Cheetahs. I’m pretty sure of it. Sad to see him go.

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.05.15 11:26:13 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Interesting side…not sure how they will gel. If anyone thinks this Rebels side is weak then think again- they will give us a huge test. We have a fairly big pack so hope to give our backs front foot ball- although knowing Durban it will probably piss with rain and hail haha Hope to see Williams get some game time

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.05.15 11:29:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Another Nick (Comment 7) : He had one good Currie Cup and hasn’t been good since. He is not Super Rugby quality at the moment so not a big loss IMO.

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.05.15 11:33:08 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 1) : @coolfusion (Comment 4) : No coach in the world is going to be playing his under performing Vodacom Cup team in the same situation that Gold is in. Its about saving as much face as possible for him and the union.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.05.15 11:34:14 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 11) : But that is completely pointless…. Is his ego more important then build a team for the future that can actually win Super Rugby?

    I can’t wait for another season just like this one next year.

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.05.15 11:39:01 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 12) :

    We’re clearly not “buildin our team” from currently signed players. We will be buying a few more almost thirties to replace any player under 25 in the Sharks system.

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.05.15 11:54:25 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 12) : But what have they got to build with, the natural feeder group would be the Vodacom Cup squad players and that is not going to happen after their season, so who then do we look at?

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.05.15 11:59:49 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 10) : Nortern Natal boys need to spend some time in Bloem before moving to Durban to reach their true potential, ala Andre Joubert and Henri Honnibal.

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.05.15 12:03:30 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 14) : Whether they played well or not they will still be the back up players next season, and considering we will be losing a lot of players there will be holes to fill. So rather get them playing now and learning the structures.

    I am not suggesting starting the whole Vodacom cup side, just bring in some players. For example have on of the props on the bench instead of Stevens, if Willem is in doubt start Majola… small changes like that. If you want a future you have to build it.

    @Letgo (Comment 13) : If we new how to buy quality I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but looking at our track record… well I think you know.

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.05.15 12:06:12 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 12) : Any suggestions for direct replacements for the team picked? Im just curious

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.05.15 12:07:11 by SheldonK Reply

  • Eish – that midfield is going to be very leaky. Having Bismarck aroud should at least be some compensation at the breakdown for playing Bothma out of position. I will rather not say much about Hoffman and Stevens (to a lesser extent).

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.05.15 12:09:29 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 15) : I did not realize Fred is from Ladysmith. Then it makes plenty of sense for him to go to Bloem.

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.05.15 12:11:41 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 17) :

    15. Lwazi Mvovo,
    14. Odwa Ndungane, = Jack Wilson/Maseko
    13. JP Pietersen, = Jordaan/Williams
    12. Andre Esterhuizen,
    11. S’bura Sithole,
    10. Lionel Cronje,
    9. Stefan Ungerer,
    8. Ryan Kankowski, = Francois Kleinhans/Johan Meyer
    7. Willem Alberts / Etienne Oosthuizen, = Majola
    6. Renaldo Bothma,
    5. Marco Wentzel (Captain),
    4. Mouritz Botha,
    3. Jannie du Plessis, = Adriaanse
    2. Bismarck du Plessis, = Franco Marais/ Monde Hadebe
    1. Tendai Mtawarira

    16. Franco Marais,
    17. Matt Stevens,
    18. Lourens Adriaanse,
    19. Lubabalo Mtyanda,
    20. Etienne Oosthuizen / Khaya Majola,
    21. Conrad Hoffmann, = Wright/Hanco venter
    22. Fred Zeilinga, = Lambie (is he not meant to be fit by now?)
    23. Heimar Williams

    Busy at work so that’s just what I could throw together. Also I admittedly don’t know if any of the players I suggested are injured or have other commitments.

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.05.15 12:34:05 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 20) : Not bad suggestions off the top of your head. As I said I was curious. I agree with your Jack Wilson (if he still here) over Ndungane call. Disagree with Kleinhans /Meyer- both have shown nothing to warrant a chance. Id prefer one of the DuPreez rather. Majola yes and he will probably play on Fri. If both Jannie and Bismarck are fit they will play-gotta remember the Union has to make rugby and financial decisions together. Our scrumhalf reserve options are thin..Wright is leaving so that isnt building anything. Venter perhaps but probably a club 9 is better-Guy Cronje? Lambie is very doubtful for rugby anytime soon i think. Zeilinga gone so next best- Radebe.

  • Comment 21, posted at 27.05.15 12:47:57 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 21) : I suggested Kleinhans /Meyer plainly because I doubt kanko will be playing for us next season. Same for the brothers dup. Radebe is injured or he would be playing for the baby boks I believe. Lambie was meant to have returned by now so strange.

    The point is however that there are players we could be and should be using in preparation for next season.

  • Comment 22, posted at 27.05.15 12:54:48 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Another Nick (Comment 3) : I would guess Joe Pietersen is going to full back so not quite a direct swap

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.05.15 12:58:01 by byron Reply

  • Still no Tank at loosehead. Is he injured or unavailable?

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.05.15 13:00:31 by byron Reply

  • @byron (Comment 24) : He’s in Argentina with the junior boks, along with the du preez brothers.

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.05.15 13:06:40 by Dragnipur Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @SheldonK (Comment [email protected]SheldonK (Comment 21) : Johan Meyer have never been Given any fair Chances to Justify what you are saying. He is a good player. The games i watched of him in the vodacom cup this year he played really well. Here is a Clip of Meyer. Always Gets over the advantage Line, Good in Line Outs, Defence Good,

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.05.15 13:08:51 by [email protected] Reply

  • @[email protected] (Comment 26) : My point being he barely makes the Vodacom cup selection but now he must play super rugby. Thats what i mean by what has he done. Perhaps he will get a chance during this years CC but think he down the pecking order.

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.05.15 13:36:11 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Seth101 (Comment 22) : Fair comment. But yeh i think its a bit unrealistic to want a union not to play its highly paid Boks just because next year they wont be around. I think Lambie’s injury was a bit underestimated…recovery from neck injuries like that definitely isnt quick and hurting it again could mean end of career. I didnt realise Radebe was that injured, thought it was a 2 week thing.

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.05.15 13:38:50 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : When I put together my team I took a quick look at the squads (1st team and vodacom cup) and trust me there is not much of a pecking order at 8. But all players fit we will have Tera to start at 8 so he won’t be first choice but would be nice to give him some experience so that he doesn’t have to dive into the deep end when hes called on after injuries.

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.05.15 13:40:50 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : “Barely makes the vodacom cup” He started most of the games this year in the vodacom cup. He is down the pecking order because of not been given chances at the Sharks to reach his potential. I know the boks are above him in the pecking order. But what has majola and the du preez brothers done? ❓

  • Comment 30, posted at 27.05.15 13:50:13 by [email protected] Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 14) : Thanks for having the energy to respond to these comments and point out the obvious.

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.05.15 13:53:46 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @[email protected] (Comment 30) : Majola and DuPreez have made Junior Bok sides. Saying a guy is down the pecking order because he hasnt had a chance would then apply to every guy at the Union. They down the pecking order for a reason.

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.05.15 14:14:48 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 32) : What have they done at the Sharks so far this year?? Vodacom Cup ??? Did they perform??? Junior Boks means nothing at this level. Seen far to many guys playing baby boks and within 1-2 years they are no where to be seen. To select a player based on Baby Boks is not the way forward. But lets see what the future holds. πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.05.15 14:37:27 by [email protected] Reply

  • @[email protected] (Comment 33) : So if a player does not make baby boks he does not have a future going forward?? πŸ˜†

  • Comment 34, posted at 27.05.15 14:41:08 by [email protected] Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 32) : I think its all meaningless until we see them play Super Rugby, some players can compete at that level some can’t regardless of what they have done or teams they have made.

    Also Meyer is more of an 8 while Majola and DuPreez are flanks, so they won’t really be fighting for the same positions anyway.

  • Comment 35, posted at 27.05.15 14:41:22 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 11) : So then persist with players that will be lost to rwc or be going back to foreign clubs or over the hill guys who have one year left in the tank and have also been underperforming only at a different level? Sounds like there are many reasons to forget about saving face and rather play the younger guys. Saving face..that ship has sailed I think.

  • Comment 36, posted at 27.05.15 14:43:10 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Seth101 (Comment 35) : Agreed πŸ™‚

  • Comment 37, posted at 27.05.15 14:45:09 by [email protected] Reply

  • I think we should look at positions where we don’t have a lot of depth, e.g. open-side flank. Losing Botes and Daniel means that we only have Marcel currently – so the logical choice would be to start looking for the next player in line. Marcel will definitely not be available during the CC.

  • Comment 38, posted at 27.05.15 14:58:52 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Johan Meyer is still 22 and has not been given that many opportunities to perform.

    He looked really good during this years VC though and I would not have minded seeing him in the mix instead of Oosthuizen on the flank. Oosthuizen definitely hasn’t done anything at flank that would have me play him ahead of any of our young flanks.

  • Comment 39, posted at 27.05.15 15:03:15 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • So the general thinking regarding Johan Meyer is he must play ahead of guys currently in the Super rugby side, ahead of guys that have made Junior Bok sides and are above him in pecking order at loose forward. Based on that i see why coaches dont listen to public opinion. Im not saying never pick the guy…but let him prove himself in lower levels first.

  • Comment 40, posted at 27.05.15 15:17:01 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 39) : Have to agree with you here. Give him a fair chance…

  • Comment 41, posted at 27.05.15 15:18:52 by [email protected] Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 40) : You are over reacting. I think he should be given a chance to prove himself. We have no Junior Bok 8s so who would he be playing ahead of? And the senior player is leaving (Kanko)…. As I said all fit Tera will start, but we need back up at 8….

    You do realize 8th man and flank require different skill sets right? In terms of 8th man depth we have next to none…

  • Comment 42, posted at 27.05.15 15:23:24 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @SheldonK (Comment 40) : He played U19 and U21 Sharks. Played Vodacom Cup For a few years now. Nobody said he must play above guys Currently in the Sharks Super rugby team. He has proved himself U19 AND U21. There is a big difference between U20(Junior Boks) and super rugby….

  • Comment 43, posted at 27.05.15 15:34:16 by [email protected] Reply

  • So what I hear is that Majola should have replaced Marcell, Meyer should have played instead of Kanko and Renaldo should be playing 7 instead of the injured Alberts? Is that right? I could have lived with that…

  • Comment 44, posted at 27.05.15 15:34:37 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • As far as the backs are concerned:
    – I’m happy with Esterhuizen replacing Frans.
    – I would still prefer to see JP play at wing…he defended much better there last weekend…and Sbura at 13…he has been looking good…

  • Comment 45, posted at 27.05.15 15:36:18 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @pastorshark (Comment 44) : Would have been perfect IMO.

  • Comment 46, posted at 27.05.15 15:36:55 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 42) : Agreed. Never really had a chance to start last year in the Currie Cup. Chance is all he needs. Tera needs Backup indeed.

  • Comment 47, posted at 27.05.15 15:37:09 by [email protected] Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 45) : Oh, and I would also have liked to see Wilson above Odwa at this stage of the season…

  • Comment 48, posted at 27.05.15 15:37:18 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @pastorshark (Comment 44) : That would have been great. They have nothing to lose. Kanko is out of form at the moment and injuries is not helping him either. Would have been good to see how some youngsters would perform given the chance.

  • Comment 49, posted at 27.05.15 15:39:48 by [email protected] Reply

  • I do not understand the calls for mass experimentation.

    For me the result and history is far more important than throwing a bunch of rookies to the wolves and potentially making unwanted history.

    Why do we never see the kiwi and oz sides chucking in a horde of sacrificial youngsters? Because that’s not how you go about it.

    The Rebels have never beaten the Sharks and have never won in SA. They are a good enough team to beat us if we disrespect them.

    No, I’m happy when the Sharks win. Winning is progress. I want to see the Sharks close out this season with 3 consecutive wins. Do what you have to do to achieve that.

    Currie Cup is where the next crop get their chance.

  • Comment 50, posted at 27.05.15 16:22:01 by Feather Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @pastorshark (Comment 48) : Is Wilson still available? I thought he left?

  • Comment 51, posted at 27.05.15 16:32:56 by coolfusion Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 45) : Yes JP knows how to use that big body and the line to his advantage. Definitely better on wing.

  • Comment 52, posted at 27.05.15 16:34:01 by coolfusion Reply

  • I must agree with Venter re: his article on SS:

    “…when effort is supreme, it is enough.”

    As long as I am able to enjoy the game (and the Sharks boys give it their all), even if the Sharks lose, it is still satisfying my need for entertainment and relaxation.

  • Comment 53, posted at 27.05.15 20:21:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 51) : I hadn’t heard that…can anyone confirm?

  • Comment 54, posted at 27.05.15 21:02:49 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Feather (Comment 50) : Fair enough…

  • Comment 55, posted at 27.05.15 21:03:12 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I get very confused on this site sometimes,we come off our first win in six games and the gallery are calling for a wholesale change against a team we have to beat to avoid the wooden spoon.
    We need to play our strongest team for the next two games,and please spare me the calls to play our promising juniors.
    What promising juniors,guys who couldn’t beat the Pumas.
    We need a big win this Saturday and a bigger one next Saturday,nothing else will be acceptable.
    So Venter and Gold you owe us,prove that you arrowroot your copious salaries and deliver,or else leave.

  • Comment 56, posted at 27.05.15 21:47:42 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 56) : Funny how you lay none of the responsibility at the feet of the actual head coach, which is BMH (and his assistants)?!

  • Comment 57, posted at 28.05.15 05:47:19 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Look, I’m happy with the side they’ve picked…but I would not have minded if they had picked some other guys…and in one or two positions I would rather have seen other players picked. I’m actually looking forward to the game this weekend…let’s see what the boys do…

  • Comment 58, posted at 28.05.15 06:42:09 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 57) :Hound accepts criticism of BMH in much the same manner that a Muslim cleric accepts a bacon sandwich, I’ve noticed…

  • Comment 59, posted at 28.05.15 08:19:54 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 59) : 😯 πŸ˜†

    I’ve come the the conclusion that BMH is family of the Hound (possibly his brother-in-law) or a very close friend.

    He defends him in a similar manner to some no-star-one-hit-wonders on here defending certain players…clearly standing up for family.

  • Comment 60, posted at 28.05.15 08:47:36 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 60) : πŸ˜†

  • Comment 61, posted at 28.05.15 09:24:22 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @The hound (Comment 56) : Most people are not that short sighted and would rather see us start to prepare for next season. Winning the last two games is meaningless. So what if we finished close to bottom or bottom either way it is pathetic.

  • Comment 62, posted at 28.05.15 09:32:07 by Seth101 Reply
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