New year, new matches and a lot of questions

Written by HB Botha (HB)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Sharks, Super Rugby on 26 Feb 2016 at 10:17
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

So here we are, less than a couple of hours away from the kick off, which will be the inaugural Super 18!

New teams, new horizons, new extended travel plans and extra jet lag on all the players; yes the format stinks, and not as well though out in my opinion by the men in charge, but there is no changing it now.

A lot of teams with new coaching staff, and a heap load of new faces in all of them, so who do you pick in a fantasy squad? The old tried and tested or new faces? I’m sure we as the couch potatoes sat with the same conundrum all the coaches had in the last week, do you start the season over optimistically or on a sensible note? This will in all determine the team selected, do you pick a young flamboyant team to trust the new game plans, or do you stick with the old guards to ensure you get the result at the end of the day? The first game of the season can make or break a team and its fans, this we as supporters of the almighty black and white know all too well!

The team that will take to the field on Saturday afternoon, is a good mix of what I think the coaches want to achieve throughout the season, on a long and gruelling schedule, our depth has improved a whole lot and we are far better off than what we were a year ago. We have a lot of young and exiting players coming through the ranks, which makes for a good future, albeit we will loose some of the goods guys through the years, their are only so many places in a squad.

We have lost a good couple of players, and I’m sure that when the exodus started I had many a sleepless night, wondering how we going to replace them: Francois Steyn, this kid was the next best thing when he started at the Sharks, and playing Super Rugby at the ripe old age of 19, at that time it was basically unheard off. The Dup Brothers, they have helped us a great deal in the past, the combo of Jannie, Bismarck and Beast putting fear into any front row. Willem Alberts, when he came over from the Lions he was huge and it was as if he hit another gear of performance at the Sharks with a lot more intensity in his game, we also had he who shall not be named moving on, and most of us on the site almost died when we received the news, then we had the likes of Matt Stevens, Conrad Hoffman, Mouritz Botha, Cameron White, Marco Wentzel, The Hoff, Lionel Cronje, Fred Zeilinga, Jack Wilson, Paul Perez and SP Marais. If you look at the list it is a whole heap of players and quality players at that.

I know it sounds a bit harsh, but I really do think that it was time for these guys to move on, and I will always be thankful for what they did to and for the Sharks, not to take away anything from the previous era with Plum on board, he took us to great heights.

But have a look at what we have in the guys replacing them, young new faces, a almost brand new coach, this the first season that he officially started on the pre season, with Robert Du Preez, Mr MMA etc, the new style and brand of rugby that is implemented now, makes me as excited to be a Sharks supporter as ever. We were all asking for change and to have our guys playing the “Natal” running brand of rugby again, and what we have seen from the warm up games, this is the trend which they are going back to, so in all with the departures of most of the old guys moving on I thought we were going to be in for a rough couple of years ahead, but seeing the guys that was brought through and into the team, makes me believe again, having a hunger to watch the game on the weekend and warming the throat to cheer until the end.

Not all of us will be happy with all the selections, or players in the squad, that is a difference of opinion, but lets get behind these boys and look at them as the heroes they are, let us believe in the power of black and white, let us trust the judgement calls of the coaches, there will be hiccoughs, but the bigger our belief as fans is, and the more we can show our support the bigger the team will grow and the bigger their belief will be, and that is what we need, they must have the belief and feel that we as fans have faith in each one of them.

Here is to the best team there ever was and ever will be, go and enjoy the season, go big, stand tall, make the teams fear the great team you are and just give it your all, and most of all stay humble!


  • Well said, the best team that ever there was. Can’t wait; only 27 hours to go

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.02.16 12:04:31 by SeanJeff Reply
  • @SeanJeff (Comment 1) : You and me both, can’t wait for our guys to take the field and to go and enjoy themselves

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.02.16 13:28:59 by Henkb Reply
  • very good article, thanks Henk. Sums up what a lot of us are thinking, I’m sure

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.02.16 13:58:07 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Yep, having a look at the team I cant help but see them as not as good as those we have had in recent years and yet Im hugely excited to see what they can do and am sure they will surprise me and many others. This is purely based on what I saw in their 2 games in France where they looked like a well drilled, motivated and pretty talented bunch of guys.

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.02.16 14:12:39 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Henkb: would have liked bissie and jannie having a talk to rob du preez and mouneimne.sad to see such passion for the jersey leave.bissie is still quality at no2.but new challenges,new heroes,right?just looking at the brumbies and their use of the driving maul from the line-out: sharks hookers need to find their jumpers.no excuses.this is pro sport.it is taking away point scoring opportunities if the line-out is not functioning at optimum.

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.02.16 14:46:58 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 5) : I was just thinking the same thing this morning, we have had a couple of good hollers the last couple of years, bissie, Burden, and even Mr CEO himself, I think the new guys got what it takes to stand up, they must just work hard, and really start having the belief, Cooper is an around good player, that just needs to get his line out throws on the spot, and recapture his form of the past, then if we can get chillie sorted and in decent shape, I think he will be a real assist also, he gave us as the Sharks a lot of head aches when we faced the old pale blue Jersey

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.02.16 15:07:13 by Henkb Reply
  • @Henkb (Comment 6) : Not hollers but hookers

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.02.16 15:07:56 by Henkb Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Thanx Rob

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.02.16 15:29:35 by Henkb Reply

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.