Sharks v Kings – how they fared

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 1 Mar 2016 at 13:13
Tagged with : , ,

Let’s have a quick run-down of some of the positives and negatives from Saturday’s game against the Kings.

I’m not going to be doing the subjective “points out of ten” type of rating, but will call out a few things that I picked up about each of the guys in the squad.

Beast Mtawarira. A decent first outing as skipper and Beast did some nice things with ball in hand. His influence as captain improved as the game went on and he appeared to take other players in hand pretty quickly when indiscipline threatened. What I’m missing from Beast, though, is the sort of truly destructive scrummaging performance that he delivered against the Lions some years ago. I want to see the Sharks captain really annihilate a young tighthead like Tom Botha and that didn’t happen on Saturday.

Franco Marais. Franco had a very good all round game, contributing with a 100% tackle success rate and also making a number of decent carries, passes and offloads. His lineout success rate looked below average, though, even if there was only one patently bad throw in-amongst the three lineouts that went against the Sharks on his put in. His attitude and work rate are second to none and we must remember that he is still very green at this level.

Coenie Oosthuizen. Everyone will look at the handful of scrums in which Coenie appeared to struggle, but my view is that he was generally pretty solid at this set piece and only looked bad in one or two of them, when Schalk Ferreira appeared to be boring in anyway. Coenie, like Franco, contributed well with ball in hand and defensively, while his personal discipline was very good. Like Beast, I’d like to see this Bok prop go from merely “holding up and end” at scrum time to really putting his opponent to the sword.

Etienne Oosthuizen. Brace yourself haters, because big Ettas was the pick of the tight five on the day. Yes, he conceded four penalties, which is too high, but then again, if you want your four lock to bring Bakkies-level aggression to the game, you need to expect that he’ll occasionally overstep. Etienne topped the stats for lineout takes was the most active forward defensively, with 10 good tackles from 10 attempts. He is credited with a steal as well, but it was his tireless work in the tight loose that was most impressive. This bloke has turned the corner and is going to be a good one for us in 2016, mark my words.

Hyron Andrews. For a 20-year-old playing his first senior game, I thought Hyron did a lot of very good things. The stats will suggest that he maybe made a few too many errors and could have worked a little harder in some areas, but stats don’t tell the full story. The youngster was asked to step into a big pair of boots and to me, anyway, showed that in years to come he will be a great player at this level. Biggest negative would be a couple of handling errors, and the positive, his positional and support play.

Marcell Coetzee. Had a bit of flu in the week which probably contributed to a slower than normal start, but Marcell definitely improved as the game wore on and was back to his destructive best in the second half. It’s nice to see that his offloading game is making a comeback after a few years of Bok-style dying with the ball in contact. The stats will show that he beat 5 defenders as part of a very important attacking contribution. It is strange to not see him near the top of the defensive stats this week, but you can only tackle what’s in front of you, after all. Not Marcell’s best game ever, but his standards are so high that even a less-than-perfect outing is still a wondrous thing indeed.

Jean-Luc du Preez. A wonderful debut capped with a truly superb try, that showcased just how strong the young man is. Work rate remained high throughout, but I’m going to risk making myself unpopular by wondering how his overall contribution was voted the best on the day. Jean-Luc missed a couple of tackles and conceded a penalty, while making some very strong progress with ball in hand. To me, though, while very good, he wasn’t the best Shark on display. In fact, he wasn’t even the best du Preez twin on the day.

Daniel du Preez. I felt the other brother had a stronger overall game. He may only have played for 53 minutes, but in that time, Dan managed more runs, more carries, more offloads and beat more defenders. Blotting his copybook a little were a few handling errors, but on the plus side, he showed up well at lineout time too with two clean wins. He was also the most reliable kick-off receiver, making good yards whenever he did so. All in all, though, we’re nitpicking. These twins are both absolute bloody class and we’re incredibly lucky to have them both.

Cobus Reinach. An up-and-down game from the scrumhalf, as we’ve come to expect, but I feel the trend is definitely upwards at the moment. Cobus thinks so quickly on his feet and made two brilliant decisions to take quick taps from penalties. One led to the du Preez try, while the other so nearly saw Andrews score, but for a damn-near impossible pass to the lanky lock. There was also the frankly incredible backwards flip pass that got the ball out for Ndungane’s first try. Some of his service was below par on the day and his discipline waned in the first half – all in all, a pretty decent first outing notwithstanding.

Joe Pietersen. A good game without being outstanding, I’d say. A miscued goal kick or two were the only obvious mistakes, but one wonders whether Pietersen is the right guy to really take a game by the scruff of the neck, when playing at flyhalf. Showed just how well he can pass, though, when setting up Jordaan for a stunner of a try.

Lwazi Mvovo. One of his strongest all-round performances in a long time, I’d say. Lwazi really got stuck in and was one of the best players on the park. Keep it up, mate, clearly married life agrees with you.

Andre Esterhuizen. A brilliant if understated performance. While the outside backs were doing the flashy stuff, Andre was working his ass off doing the hard yards and he emerged with some very impressive stats, including most tackles on the day and an incredibly healthy number of successful passes too. Gone are the days of the big kid bashing blindly into contact, it seems, even if his big frame remains a hugely valuable tool when there’s a stubborn advantage line that needs crossing. Well played and keep going, Andre!

Paul Jordaan. I’m not sure if this is a Cinderella story in the making, or if Paul would prefer to be likened to the ugly duckling turning into a swan. Whatever the case, as my most improved player on the day, the highest compliment I can pay is this: Paul Jordaan looked like a classic outside centre at the top of his game. We haven’t been able to say that about him before.

Odwa Ndungane. Just keeps getting better, it seems. The first try was opportunistic, the second needed plenty of gas to score and Odwa showed that he’s able to play the game any which way at the moment. A lovely performance from the elder statesman in the backline and one that underlined his value to the squad when there are plenty of younger men nipping at his heels.

Willie le Roux. It seems that every match-turning moment on Saturday had the bearded wonder at its heart, which is why I couldn’t understand how he did not emerge with the man of the match spoils. From a wonderful early high ball that set the tone defensively, to the audacious skip pass that set up the first try, to an absolute try-saving ankle grab when JP du Plessis had broken through, Willie almost single-handedly turned the tide in the first half. In the second, it was really just showing off, with a wonderful solo try early on and a fantastic half-break later to create the space for Mvovo’s score.

Not all of the subs featured overly and there’s not really too much to say about the likes of Juan Schoeman, Dave McDuling, Garth April or S’bura Sithole. I thought hat Kyle Cooper, Lourens Adriaanse and Michael Claassens made very positive contributions, with Philip van der Walt the clear stand-out, delivering a truly outrageous 22 minute cameo that makes one only wish you could have two number 8s in the starting line-up every week.

: All stats courtesy Vodacom Rugby and Opta


  • I also had Dan as the better Du Preez on the day,but both played very well,keep it up guys!
    So that explains Marcel’s quiet 1st half,thanks Rob

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.03.16 13:32:54 by BarendL Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Willie le Roux was my MotM

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.03.16 13:33:58 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • Willie was absolutely devastating! Definitely MOTM for me. Paul also had the best game we have seen from him in quite a while. Keep this up, and he might be a contender for the Bok jersey later in the year? I think so.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.03.16 13:45:18 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • True test will be this weekend for sure

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.03.16 14:06:41 by Poisy Reply
  • Only blot on Willie was that he ran across the field once or twice – taking up the space of his wings. Apart from that he had a great game – even on defense.

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.03.16 14:37:01 by Bokhoring Reply
  • When choosing the man of the match,I think most judges have a difficult time remembering which Dupe did what,and add all their efforts together into a single one
    There is no way with out looking at the number on their back to distinguish them apart.
    Therefore the one on the field at the end gets the nod.
    I personally thought Willie should get the award what a joy it is to watch that man play,as good as Milner Skude in my book.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.03.16 14:40:22 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 6) : They comb their hair the opposite way I have noticed.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.03.16 14:42:14 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 7) :

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.03.16 14:51:39 by Seth101 Reply
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  • Must admit as one of Odwa’s defenders during the week i was really concerned with his apparent lack of speed during the game that was until the old man scored his second try! He really showed he still can finish.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.03.16 15:03:43 by JD Reply
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  • I’m just happy that the boys are starting to play good attractive rugby. Well done to the coaching staff.

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.03.16 15:07:51 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @Seth101 (Comment 8) : So which one didn’t get the man of the match award,left parting or right parting

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.03.16 15:08:34 by The hound Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 7) : except now both have shaved heads.

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.03.16 15:14:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 7) : @robdylan (Comment 12) : personally I can only tell them apart by their numbers.

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.03.16 15:17:29 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 6) : I had the same suspicion regarding the Dup twins.

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.03.16 15:23:03 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Franco Marais’s general play had me fooled in a few occasions, thinking we still had Bismarck at 2….the boy bulked up a fair bit, and was immense in general play – jus his lineout throw-ins that needs work….but he’s surpassing my expectations this early on.

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.03.16 15:46:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 6) : JL wears black straping round his wrist and hand and Dan does not (or so it seems). That’s how I’m telling them apart.
    @Seth101 (Comment 7) : Maybe it’s their effort to be different.

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.03.16 15:47:04 by Hulk Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 15) : I met him in France. Cannot believe how big the kid is.

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.03.16 16:02:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’ve never understood why the readers on this site have been so hard on Jordaan. He’s been a favourite of mine for years now and I’m looking forward to him proving a lot of you wrong for the rest of this season.

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.03.16 16:06:51 by soutie Reply

  • @soutie (Comment 18) : Because he was one of the best prospects when he was young, but his consistency struggled. He is eventually reaching his potential.
    That’s how I see it at least.

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.03.16 16:17:27 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : Semantics :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.03.16 16:19:43 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @soutie (Comment 18) : I’ve been very harsh on Jordaan for a number of years now and am a big fan of Sithole playing 13, but on Saturday I thought to myself it will be very hard for anyone to take that jersey from him if he continues to play and improve the way he has. The biggest change I can see in him is his handling, I’m impressed and hope he continues to put in performances like Saturdays.

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.03.16 16:24:56 by Hulk Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : Am I correct for thinking that he bulked up since last year, or has he just been really good at hiding his size?

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.03.16 16:47:27 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 16) : going to check to see!

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.03.16 16:48:46 by JD Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 15) : @robdylan (Comment 17) : these days playing in the front row you need to be big to be in Super rugby. Kid really has potential but he must sort out his lineout work!

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.03.16 16:50:45 by JD Reply
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  • Watching the highlights of the game, the one thing that really stood out for me was the number of support runners around when a try was scored.

    In the past, SA support runners would stand and watch how the try scorer runs all by himself, but not this past Saturday – reminded me of the Saders’ golden years….support runners to burn.

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.03.16 16:52:39 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @JD (Comment 24) : Seems the streamers never got that memo, they love their “petite” hookers….wait, what?!

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.03.16 17:02:34 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 26) : OK purely going on Wikipedia stats although Franco is taller than both he’s actually lighter than both their hookers, so it seems as if these days they like their hookers a bit burlier down south?!?!

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.03.16 17:43:41 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 27) : should perhaps not take those wiki stats re: height and weight as fact.

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.03.16 18:08:05 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @JD (Comment 27) : “Fffffffunderrr Ffffffighs”…. as us proper dutchman would say 😉

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.03.16 18:09:25 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 28) : I don’t take it as facts but it’s usually a pretty close indication of a player’s size.

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.03.16 19:01:43 by JD Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 29) : hahaha ja boet!!!!

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.03.16 19:02:21 by JD Reply
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  • I tell them apart by height, Daniel is slightly taller than Jean-Luc

    Congrats Sharkies, your forwards battered us into submission

  • Comment 32, posted at 02.03.16 02:07:37 by Ludz Reply

  • I think overall everyone had a decent game. I know we would like to see more efficient lineouts but that should come with consistent selection. In the scrums a solid platform is often better than one prop destroying his opposite number and the scrum wheeling so much the ball is untidy…so whilst yes you want the scrum going forward, id take stable ball any day. I still think the Sharks give away too many soft penalties and a better team would take advantage. Im also still not convinced by our kickoff receive strategy as well as our clearing lines strategy…think its a bit high risk.

  • Comment 33, posted at 02.03.16 09:15:28 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 32) : Thanks Ludz. I must say I was very disappointed in the crowd that turned up. I was expecting a packed stadium (much like their first bite at Super Rugby) but it seems either the format, or more likely they EPRU shenanigans are taking their toll on the PE faithful. Hell half the crowd were Sharks supporters. I see Danny Jordaan would rather attend Kings games than feed at the trough with his other FIFA cohorts. It must be the catering that swayed him.

  • Comment 34, posted at 02.03.16 09:34:05 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 34) : Those last two sentences are absolute gold :mrgreen:

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.03.16 09:41:08 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 34) : I think you hit a raw nerve here,we have been told for years that the people of the Eastern Cape deserve a super rugby team and every kind of under hand machination was employed to give them one.This include destroying a successful competition.
    Guess what they don’t deserve shit,if only 19 people turned up for the game,you can bet your arse that Danny never paid for his ticket.Instead of whinging and whining why don’t the people of the Eastern Cape get off their collective arses and attend the game,if enough of them pay their entrance fee maybe the players that they claim deserve to play ,can get paid.
    The attendance at the Japanese game proved beyond a doubt that they deserve a place in the competition,and I ‘ll bet when the Jaguars return home its to full houses.
    These EasternCape people have been given everything,a fantastic stadium,automatic qualification,alright probably the shittest jersey every designed,but hey you demanded to be here,get off your arses and support the team.

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.03.16 09:54:44 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 36) : My feelings exactly. But let’s be honest, that excuse was almost the most translucent piece of bullshit to cover up political and personal agendas, ever.

  • Comment 37, posted at 02.03.16 10:02:12 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 37) : Put the politics aside ,put Cheeky aside preferably in a pine box,,do the people want Super rugby or don’t they.
    Judging by the attendance I ‘d say no.

  • Comment 38, posted at 02.03.16 10:06:45 by The hound Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 35) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 39, posted at 02.03.16 10:10:20 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 38) : Will be interesting to see if the Sharks idea to have ‘big’ name music performers will pull a crowd on Saturday. I will be there, definitely not for the music.

  • Comment 40, posted at 02.03.16 10:16:44 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 (Comment 40) : I seriously hope there is a change to the program,I don’t know if I can survive another season of Dave McCloud over emphasising EVERY SYLLABEL,and David Gouldies s tired dancers giving us the 2016 version of the routine they first did on the Symphony in 1993.
    But I think this game could be special kind of our own El Classico.Two teams that like to run the ball

  • Comment 41, posted at 02.03.16 10:23:02 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 38) : I am sorry but this a shocking piece of ranting / trolling. The lack of support is two fold (myself being a box holder at Kings):
    – The mess created by Watson and Crouse has driven away public backing and support
    – The farce that Saru created by stepping so spectacularly late and
    underwhelming ( and stealing the only asset EP Rugby had) resulted in an below average CC squad

    So will we go to every game, yes as we get to see SR but only for that. Unfortunately there is absolutely no support for this Kings side and even less of an attempt by SA Rugby Travel to promote their asset being the Kings Franchise. Everyone is only going through the motions. Imagine as a player you only have a 7 month contract and did not get paid for extended periods – will you play for the team or just to get another contract somewhere else?

    Should the Kings have played this year? Hell no. Not until the mgmt is removed and financial model resolved. Does the EC want a SR franchise? YES, but everyone I have spoken to wants it on merit.

    I truely hope that Kings Park is packed this weekend and over the season as last season attendance was just as embarassing as the Kings’ this weekend.

  • Comment 42, posted at 02.03.16 11:09:22 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 42) : what was the cost for tickets at the kings game?

  • Comment 43, posted at 02.03.16 11:34:12 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 42) : You guys are really going through tough time. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know KP seemed emptier than usual last year (who can blame the paying public) but according to this the Sharks were still well supported. I think someone has been cooking the books on this one.

  • Comment 44, posted at 02.03.16 11:36:08 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 44) : No, I go to most games and I think that is correct. KP is a much much bigger stadium than most (only rivaled by other SA stadiums). So it takes much more people to make it look full.

    It would kind of be counter productive for the Sharks to cook the books, and then come out and openly say they don’t think the crowds are big enough.

    It does however surprise me that the Stormers don’t beat us on the list.

  • Comment 45, posted at 02.03.16 11:37:57 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author

  • Comment 46, posted at 02.03.16 11:42:04 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 46) : Definitely gives contrasting figures, but I definitely wouldn’t trust News24 before anyone else.

  • Comment 47, posted at 02.03.16 11:46:08 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 43) : cost is def not the issue. A family season ticket for 2 adults and 2 kids incl the test is only R4000. Game day tickets vary from R50 to R80! Parking is easy and only a tip to the carguard.

    Even if you purchase a ticket to every game it will cost you less than R1300 for every SR game and the test. Kids below 5 also no charge.

    I can promise you the test will be packed as the region is really hungry for rugby but has turned against the EP mgmt. Players are not at fault.

    The Kings forwards were pretty competitive but add Agaba and Gqoboka and it would have looked even better. Also add Obi, Whitehead and SP and back options also looks better. Still the squad would have been significantly below par but at least better able to compete for longer. Even coach now saying that he fears for worse once fatigue and injuries set in.

  • Comment 48, posted at 02.03.16 11:49:58 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 48) : The Kings are a microcosm of rugby in S.A ,in order for the game to have a future you need to find the market of the future.
    Bloem and P.E. are the best places to start,as hard as it might be to swallow the current markets that the game is being pitched to in both those centres don’t exist anymore .
    The Kings have the perfect opportunity to open it up and go further,Kaunda and Makaya’s new show Pakka on Dstv is the start of this new market..
    It is common knowledge that the Free State soccer team is one of the best supported in the country.,and their rugby team one of the worst.
    The Kings have the potential players to attract that market,cut the ticket price in half and you could easily fill that stadium.
    While the powers to be in the Eastern Province did everything they could to switch the money into their own hands they did absolutely nothing to create a situation where it would grow.
    They haven’t spent a cent selling the game to the wider audience that could not only save their arse but attract the sponsors as well.
    What sponsor is dumb enough to get behind a team with 35 fans.
    Cheetahs are lucky to have the sponsors they have as well,but unless they increase that gate they won’t have them for long.

  • Comment 49, posted at 02.03.16 12:48:58 by The hound Reply
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  • @Kabouter (Comment 48) : must say I do think the price seems very reasonable. Pity about not more people attending the game. Good luck for the rest of the season.

  • Comment 50, posted at 03.03.16 16:52:14 by JD Reply
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