Rounds 10-12…. where selection gets interesting

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 Jan 2016 at 10:00
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Let’s play armchair selector and try help the Sharks coaches out a little.

Here’s your challenge. You’re the Sharks coach and you face an itinerary that sees you play a game against the Chiefs in New Zealand, a game against the Hurricanes in Durban and a game against Los Jaguares in Argentina within the space of a fortnight.

It’s a good thing you have a big squad, right?

What would your strategy be for overcoming this challenge? I’m looking to see suggestions of sensible match 23s for the three games that stand a realistic chance of winning all of the fixtures. Bear in mind that, in addition to the 23 that plays against the Chiefs, there will be around 3 other squad members who will have participated in the 3-week tour of New Zealand leading up to that fixture and will probably also be suffering some degree of jet leg.

And go….


  • This is a rough one. If we do not have injuries, I would send a few guys to argentina beforehand, so that they can be fresh. Not sure if this is possible thought

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.01.16 10:02:00 by Dragnipur Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Dragnipur (Comment 1) : That’s what I’ve been thinking to myself since I saw the draw. Depending on fitness and how the other teams are playing. Determine upfront which players are going to play games 1 and 3 and which are going to play games 2 and 4. Have a goal of a minimum of 2 wins. Even if it means you literally have a core A and B team. Trying to play the same guys for those games will be stupid.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.01.16 10:08:44 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • If you win the 1st 2 games mentioned then send C team to Arg. But that would all depend if you are in the comp still. If its touch and go… then send best team. But….. I thought we are not going to take this year seriously on here as its building year… or are we now saying that we are back in it to win it?

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.01.16 10:13:01 by ebenp Reply

  • Have the best XV go to NZ with sone 3rd/4ths as backup, keep the 2nds in Durban, send the fresher half of the NZ squad back home after the Chiefs game, the other half straight to Argentina. Choose from the 2nds and returning players fro the Huricanes, then send the 2nds to Argentina to meet up with the guys who flew over from NZ.

    That way at least half the team has spent at least 2 weeks in the country the’re playing in.

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.01.16 10:17:53 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Take 7 from a possible 15 log points and you would do well. Stay close with the aim to snatch points in NZ and throw the sink at the Aries to get 5. Strategically that would be my thinking

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.01.16 10:18:54 by Morné Reply
  • @ebenp (Comment 3) : It is a rebuilding year, but they should still try to win every game they can. If it fails, so be it, at least they tried

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.01.16 10:20:28 by Die Kriek Reply

  • I agree, I think it all depends on where we are standing on the log at the time and the form of the teams that we will be playing against. But broadly…

    I would have my ‘A squad’ do the hard yards in Round 8, 9 & 10 on the away leg in NZ,

    Then have a ‘B’ squad do Round 11 in Dbn and 12 in Arg.

    ‘A’ squad could then pick up again in Dbn in round 13 and go from there.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.01.16 10:24:08 by stevovo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • I would make certain that the one game I win is the home game,so save the best for home,and hope like hell momentum carries you thru Argentina.
    Hardest game is Chiefs in Aus,blood the youngsters in this game.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.01.16 10:24:16 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • Just to clarify my ‘A squad’ would be a ‘1st XV’ plus half ‘3rd XV’ as subs

    ‘B squad” would be ‘2nd XV’ plus the remainder of the ‘3rd XV’ as subs

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.01.16 10:32:07 by stevovo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • I really think you have to prioritise the home games and win those and then grab as many points away from home as possible bearing in mind that you could slip up at home. There will also be the core players that will barring injury play as many of the games as their body allows. So Beast,Potgieter, Coetzee, Lambie, LeRoux i feel are the ones that will feature in the majority of the games both home and away. The remainder of your home games squad need to be your best players and then your 2nd choices filling the spots in the away games to NZ and Arg. However, injuries etc. makes this a tough juggling act

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.01.16 10:39:38 by SheldonK Reply

  • Home game is the must win.

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.01.16 10:46:26 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I would take my A Team on tour as you have to pick up some away wins to succeed in this competition.

    I would then send them directly to Argentina to have 2 weeks to get over their jet lag.

    I would then use my players with the most game time who didn’t go on the overseas tour, those coming back from injury with some Currie Cup game time under their belts, and anybody who has been starring in the Currie Cup to make up my team to play the Hurricanes.

    Chiefs and Jaguares team:

    1. Beast
    2. Franco
    3. Coenie
    4. Botha
    5. Lewies
    6. Coetzee
    7. Bothma
    8. vd Walt
    9. Reinach
    10. Lambie
    11. Mvovo
    12. Esterhuizen
    13. Sithole
    14. JPP
    15. Willie

    16. Cooper
    17. Thomas
    18. Lourens
    19. J Potgieter
    20. Du Preez
    21. Claasen
    22. Jordaan
    23. Joe Pietersen

    Non-playing reserves:

    24. Du Preez
    25. AN Other Hooker
    26. Ungerer
    27. Chadwick
    28. Giant

    Team vs Hurricanes:

    8. Terra
    9. Hoffmann
    10. Radebe
    11. Odwa
    14.Sibusiso Nkosi

    16. ?
    17. B Potgieter
    18. ?
    19. Andrews
    22. Louw
    23. Deysel (is he still training with the Sharks?)

    I had to make guesses with the guys I don’t know that well as to the positions they play and I see us being short at 9 and 2.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.01.16 10:52:23 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 12) : You will lose all three games,and seriously piss the few home faithful that are left, by playing a Vodacom side in one of the very scarce and rare home games.
    Gold knows whats good for him and the Union,its to bring winning rugby back to K.P

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.01.16 11:00:48 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • Plan of action: Pack up and go play in a tournament that has a structure which isn’t complete and utter bullshit….But maybe that’s just how I’d do it :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.01.16 11:07:57 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @The hound (Comment 8) : Things have changed. It’s no longer just “win your home games” and you’ll be fine. It now win your home games and at least 30% of your away games if you want to control your own destiny.

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.01.16 11:08:56 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 13) : That team for the away games is possibly our strongest, with one or two changes.

    I would say we need to challenge strongly and see how well we can do. The Hurricanes game is nonsensical as it falls in the middle of a crazy travel schedule. Would it not make sense to ensure our top guys are fully recovered than to play them tired against the Hurricanes and then send a B team, the Vodacom team as you called them, to play against the Jaguares.

    @GreatSharksays (Comment 15) : Agreed. Only the top of the pool gets through, and the other SA pool play the Aussies, so it’ll likely be their second best team who goes through to the quarters. We need to win every game we can.

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.01.16 11:18:05 by StevieS Reply
  • Ideally, I think throughout this comp you would need two teams. I would resist putting all my stars in the A-team and the youngsters to be butchered in a B team. Superstars should be in both teams. That way, all the guys get game-time and no one gets overplayed. Sadly, this is not an ideal world.

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.01.16 11:20:26 by bokbok Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 15) : win every home game and with a bp puts you at 28-35 points on the log.every home game in this year’s sr season is a must win game.need the stadium full.winning rugby .scoring tries.then focus on the away games vs kings,lions and focus is remaining away games in sa vs bulls and stormers.

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.01.16 11:21:12 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • Agree with the above, I’d put winning all home games way above winning the tournament. The ‘competition’ is an unbalanced farce, rather concentrate on putting bums on seats.

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.01.16 11:25:23 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 19) : Sadly what you say makes sense. I don’t envy the coaches.

    @Seth101 (Comment 14) : Northern Hemisphere, say the Pro12? European Cup qualification 😀

    @The hound (Comment 13) : I was looking at how best to maximize chances of success in the competition as a whole, but you also make a great point about needing to win at home. There just isn’t a way to please everyone.

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.01.16 11:29:09 by StevieS Reply
  • All good ideas, but I have a question. Who covers the expence of flying to these games? Sharks? Saru? Sanzaar? And when in that country who covers expence of hotels and training ground? Us or that union? Because if its not use the other union might complain about the extended stay of coming early and other unions might decide to do that as well.

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.01.16 11:37:01 by Poisy Reply
  • @Poisy (Comment 21) : That’s another factor I’d also thought about. So many things to consider and yet we’ll all moan at the coach if we don’t win consistently. It’s not an easy job.

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.01.16 11:55:32 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 20) : Would definitely go north, probably very unrealistic but who knows, they have much better structure and more money, plus would drive home crowds way up with something new to watch. Bonus is that while there would be a lot of traveling, there wouldn’t be time zone changes.

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.01.16 11:56:25 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Poisy (Comment 21) : As far as i know the costs are covered by Sanzaar. I dont think its un limited though, like only covered within certain parameters etc

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.01.16 12:02:16 by SheldonK Reply

  • @StevieS (Comment 22) : yes blame coach but blame players too, we almost win super rugby every now and then time to win excuses of building, play with passion and commitment put the bodies on the line and I think most fans can forgive a loss. But play like shit and lose anyway I’m off to watching soccer iv had enough of watching players look like they just there for a cheque

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.01.16 12:05:16 by Poisy Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : they should fit the whole bill they came up with this structure they need to make it work

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.01.16 12:06:48 by Poisy Reply
  • Ok personally I would take my strongest possible team on tour to NZ.
    After the last game in NZ I would fly my starting 15 directly to Argentina to play the Pumas (reserves to come out of players that did not make to tour squad to NZ and will fly them to Argentina after Hurricanes game).
    Reserves and non playing members of the touring squad will fly to Durban to play Hurricanes (reserves to come out of players that did not make to tour squad to NZ) and 14 days later the Kings (reserves to come out of whom ever is still living).
    It could be reversed with the match 15 flying to Durban to face Hurricanes and reserves flying to Argentina to play Pumas, for me it will all depend on where the Pumas and Hurricanes are on the Log and how the players feel at that time.

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.01.16 12:24:51 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 18) : Hence the additional requirement of winning at least 30% of away games. The more home games you lose the higher that percentage goes. My assessment is based on ordinary wins. No bonus points.

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.01.16 12:31:55 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @Poisy (Comment 26) : Look i think they do fit majority of the bill but obviously not if teams have outrageous demands etc.

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.01.16 12:38:25 by SheldonK Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 13) : I tend to agree with you that for the sake of the Sharks brand the coaching staff etc must play their number 1 side and stars in the Durban home games.

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.01.16 12:41:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • @stevovo (Comment 7) : must-win away game from a sharks perspective is not found on the tour to nz.should be vs argentina.we must aim to win our log.or then finish 2nd.this means denying fellow group opponents argentina as little as possible log points.

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.01.16 12:48:40 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 5) : I’m with Morné…in terms of value on the log the most important game is against the Jaguars. They are the only opposition in our group and the game is therefore basically worth double points. The odds of us beating the Chiefs at the end of a tour are relatively slim, it is an away game and the Chiefs are neither in our conference or group, so that to me must be the least important game (all things being equal) and should see more second stringers than the other two games…

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.01.16 12:52:31 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 28) : this is a competition within a the home games as first priority.then aim for 2 from 3 vs fellow group opponents (of which 2 is in sa).

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.01.16 12:56:28 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • this is tricky because imo the emphasis should be winning home games and beating the fellow 3 opponents in the group.sharks have a situation of a home game followed by an away game in argentina.both are must-wins for the sharks to advance in the comp (win at home and deny group opponents any log points if possible).then back in durban for a home game vs kings.

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.01.16 14:21:53 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 35) : after the kings game on the 21st of may the sharks next fixture is vs lions away on the 2nd of july.then finish off with cheetahs and japan at home.would play best possible team vs hurricanes vs argies vs kings .rest for one best possible team vs lions vs cheetahs vs japan.would not play best team on nz tour.keep them fresh for the 2 home games in durban and the argies away game in-between.

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.01.16 14:34:36 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 32) : Why are we flying all the way to New Zealand to play the Chiefs if’
    ” they are neither in our conference or group,”
    Please explain this to me.
    This competition becomes a bigger balls up every day.

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.01.16 15:15:23 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 36) : basically if I am correct Sharks play teams in their conference both home and away, then they play against the other SA conference (2 home and 2 away games) as well as the NZ conference (3 away and 2 home games). Next year Sharks will play teams in their conference both home and away, then they play against the other SA conference (2 home and 2 away games) as well as the OZ conference (2 away and 3 home games). The other SA conference will play the OZ conference this year and next year they will play the NZ conference. KAK system as the Sharks will seemingly always play more away games against NZ teams!!!!!!

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.01.16 15:34:30 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JD (Comment 39) : re: fixtures against sa teams not in group: play 2 away games (vs bulls and stormers),and one home game (vs cheetahs).

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.01.16 15:50:22 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • For me it would be disastrous to try to field a completely different team from week to week during this period. Some players will play in all games, but hopefully very few. By then we should have Chilliboy, so I would leave a core group of top line players out of the tour to NZ. Rest Beast, Coenie, Cooper, lewies, Potgieter, whoever has started the most matches at 8, Esterhuizen, Sbu, Mvovo, and Willie for the entire tour. Then assess the remaining top line players upon return to Durban to determine who plays in Durban and who goes to Argentina. The way I see it, the scrummies, Pat and Marcell are all going to travel a lot.

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.01.16 16:11:41 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • So we’re basically hoping that the Sharks will make the flight to Arg, get practice in and be fresh for the game, all within a single week turn-around?!

    How many times in the history of SR have the Sharks been able to win their first game on tour, because to me this Arg game is no different.

    That being said…for me, leave the second stringers in NZ for the Chiefs game, give the top guys that week to recover and then have them ready to play the Canes, and then make that impossible trip in hopes of pulling off something very difficult.

    Cannot send them to Arg cold, so they’ll need the Canes game time to stay on top of their game.

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.01.16 16:35:09 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 40) : Agree

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.01.16 17:03:49 by Southern_Shark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 42) : jhb to buenos aires is a 9hr flight.

  • Comment 42, posted at 28.01.16 19:28:07 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • fixtures leading up to the nz tour: vs crusaders(h) bye weekend vs lions(h) vs blues(a) vs highlanders(a) vs chiefs(a).

  • Comment 43, posted at 28.01.16 19:42:34 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 36) : Well, in this balls up of a competition you play the sides in your conference twice…then you play the team in two of the three remaining conferences once…we ‘re in the lucky conference that gets to miss out on the Aussie conference, so we don’t play them at all. So we play the teams in the other SA conference and the teams in the New Zealand conference but it when it comes to deciding whether we make the playoffs we are first measured only against the teams in our own conference. If we don’t come first, we are than measured against the second team in the other SA conference to see whether we make the playoffs. So out of the three games (Chiefs, Canes and Jaguars), the only team we will be measured against to see whether we make the playoffs is the Jaguars…so that should be the top priority game of the three…if you only consider the tournament structure…of course you rightly point out that there are other considerations too…
    And all that is still daft to me…

  • Comment 44, posted at 28.01.16 21:08:10 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 38) : No…the Japanese are als in the other SA conference…so against the other SA conference we play 2 games home (Cheetahs, Japan) and 2 away (Bulls, Stormers)…

  • Comment 45, posted at 28.01.16 21:12:14 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 45) : We have 3 away games and 2 home games against NZ sides…

  • Comment 46, posted at 28.01.16 21:12:56 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 40) : That’s about what I’m thinking…

  • Comment 47, posted at 28.01.16 21:14:22 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 43) : We just have to win that Lions game after the bye…

  • Comment 48, posted at 28.01.16 21:15:30 by pastorshark Reply
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  • 15. Le Roux 14. JPP 13. jordaan 12. Esterhuizen 11. Mvovo 10. Lambie 9. Reinach 1. Beast 2 marais 3 Oosthuizen 4. Botha 5. Potgeiter 6. Coetzee 7. Du preez 8. Vd Walt
    15. Le roux 14. Sithole 13. Jordaan 12. Esterhuizen 11. Mvovo 10. Lambie 9. Classens 1. Tank 2. Ralepelle 3. Adrianse 4. Botha 5. Lewies 6. Coetzee 7. Potgeiter 8. Mtembu
    15. Pietersen 14. JPP 13. Sithole 12. Esterhuizen 11. Mvovo 10. Lambie 9. Classens 1. Tank 2. Ralepelle 3. Adrianse 4. Lewies 5. Uanivi 6. Du Preez 7. Bothma 8. Vd Walt

    Ungerer, Williams, Radebe, Pietersen, majola, du Preez, Mytanda, cooper can freshen the bench up.

  • Comment 49, posted at 28.01.16 23:06:59 by JR Reply

  • @JR (Comment 49) : Yup on full agreement with this lineup.

  • Comment 50, posted at 29.01.16 06:27:51 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 50) : With JP back we probably won’t see Esterhuizen on wing much but the coach has options here he could at one stage have jp and esterhuizen on wings with mvovo at 15 and Jordaan and sithole on center. Or Willie and jp on wings with mvovo at fb lots if pace available just a matter of reading the opponents right.

  • Comment 51, posted at 29.01.16 11:00:33 by coolfusion Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 38) : don’t forget about the Japanese side in the other SA conference that is also played in Durban.

  • Comment 52, posted at 29.01.16 13:31:49 by JD Reply
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