New Sharks captain needed

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Jun 2015 at 14:13
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

One of the most critical decisions that Gary Gold and his team will need to make over the next few weeks regards the choice of captain for the upcoming Currie Cup campaign.

With the squad now mostly settled, bar one or two announcements (like please can we have another prop or two!) the coaches will need to figure out who the leadership group will be. Tera Mtembu, who took on the role during last year’s campaign, has been ruled out for a good four months with an ACL tear, meaning no game time at all until Super Rugby next year. Bismarck du Plessis and Pat Lambie are also not in the equation due to Bok commitments, but the Sharks do boast a number of other players who will come strongly into the reckoning.

Perhaps the most obvious thing to do would be to retain Marco Wentzel as skipper – the veteran lock assumed the role during the latter stages of Super Rugby and performed his task admirably, showing great nous and leadership in holding together a team rocked by injury, suspension and a run of awful results. While Wentzel probably didn’t really intend to play each one of the 16 Super Rugby games, injury to both Pieter-Steph du Toit and Stephan Lewies, coupled with his leadership responsibilities, meant that the 36-year-old got through a mountain of work. Whether it would be wise to expect him to play 10 Currie Cup games (or more) as captain remains to be seen, but with few other options available in the number 5 shirt anyway, it’s probably more than likely that Captain Planet will be the man entrusted with the armband.

Jean Deysel is likely to be a strong deputy; still sitting on the edge of the “naughty chair” after his lengthy Super Rugby suspension, though, he’d be a strange choice as official captain of the team, his leadership skills notwithstanding. Deysel has been through a number of upheavals of late and one feels he’d most likely relish an opportunity to work on perfecting his own game, without the official captaincy burden.

Odwa Ndungane is another likely to soldier on in this campaign and he has been a part of “leadership groups” in the past. Wing is a pretty tricky place from which to captain a side, though and with younger players pushing him hard for selection, it’s difficult to picture Odwa appointed as the official captain of the team; like Deysel, I would imagine he’d rather settle for an adjutant’s position.

There must be at least an outside possibility that a youngster will be given a leadership role in the squad too, with a view to developing those qualities for later use. Stefan Ungerer has performed the job at lower levels and seems to have natural leadership abilities, while Heimar Williams has the sort of backline marshaling skills that you’d look for in a vice captain too. Khaya Majola and Monde Hadebe are the young forwards who would appear the most natural candidates.

Given the above, I must say, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Wentzel getting the job.


  • Captain Planet gets my vote.

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.06.15 14:18:09 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 1) : Seconded

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.06.15 14:18:40 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I agree. Marco Wentzel is the man. I’d like to perhaps see Stefan Ungerer as Vice Captain. Ay I’m looking forward to Curry Cup!

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.06.15 14:23:50 by Den Reply

  • Claassens?

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.06.15 14:28:12 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Surely Wentzel to captain, Deysel in is place if he cant. If both out could be a lottery.

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.06.15 14:39:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • Has to be Captain Planet. And I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.06.15 15:08:42 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • Wentzel for the win. Make a young guy VC to gain experience.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.06.15 15:28:12 by Dragnipur Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Wentzel all the way! Not sure if I would entrust Deysel with the vice-captaincy though, given his repeat infringements of late.

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.06.15 15:30:33 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • Is Deysel around for the CC?

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.06.15 16:09:36 by Loosehead Reply

  • @Loosehead (Comment 9) : he is, yeah

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.06.15 16:10:13 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : What about Kanko is he around

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.06.15 16:13:36 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 11) : niet – back to Japan.

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.06.15 16:24:54 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Any player who stamps on another player in an act of foul play and gets suspended 2 seasons in a row is not leadership material

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.06.15 16:27:36 by CS Reply

  • @Loosehead (Comment 9) : Captain problem solved with Deysel? Nah. Wentzel is a better captain and much more mature.

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.06.15 17:07:17 by coolfusion Reply

  • @CS (Comment 13) : 1000%

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.06.15 17:07:33 by coolfusion Reply

  • So we have one youngster that will be a definite starter (barring injury)…and you boys default to the HM way of doing thing in prefering the old man lock as captain.

    Wentzel sure is as good a leader as we could ask for, the man needs some rest and will be looking at cashing in his pension cheque soon.

    Ungerer has to be the captain, no question.

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.06.15 17:07:57 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Wentzel Captain Joe Pietersen Vice captain. Front row back row. Spread the risk of losing both in a match. Ungerer too young still and Pietersen almost guaranteed to start most games in CC. Or Claasens but then you deprive Ungerer of regular start.

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.06.15 17:09:56 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 17) : Ungerer captained the voda-cup team on more than a few occasions…also captained age group Cc…surely his next step up is senior Cc? Us supporters are becoming as scared and predictable as SA coaches.

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.06.15 17:17:00 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 18) : It feels like he is hitting his stride. Maybe captaincy shifts his focus and messes with his positional growth. There will be plenty time to be captain once he is good and properly established. Just an opinion.

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.06.15 18:16:29 by coolfusion Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 2) : Thirded…

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.06.15 19:02:13 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Dragnipur (Comment 7) : Yup…

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.06.15 19:04:05 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 4) : I wouldn’t want to play him ahead of Ungerer?

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.06.15 19:04:36 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Ja must say don’t see anyone other than Marco to captain the team.

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.06.15 10:03:09 by JD Reply
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