Time to freshen up?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 15 Mar 2016 at 10:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The Sharks have focused on continuity and achieved this very well to date in Super Rugby 2016, with hardly any team changes made over the course of the first three rounds.

Gary Gold made just two changes to the side that played in round 1 ahead of round 2; Stephan Lewies was brought into the squad after recovering from injury, while JP Pietersen likewise came in as a straight replacement for injured Lwazi Mvovo. Only 25 players have thus been used over three rounds and Gold certainly cannot be accused of not keeping his proverbial powder dry.

He did say, ahead of last week’s game, that he doesn’t believe in changing a winning team, but I wonder whether a few rotational swaps might not be a good idea ahead of Friday’s Loftus clash. The Short turnaround between games does make it just that extra bit more risky to pick a guy with a niggle and with such a good squad of players to call on, Gold really doesn’t need to risk over-playing anyone. He will have thought this trough and planned out his strategy in advance, of course, so you can be assured that any changes that are made for this game are ones that he’s had in mind for some time – unless, of course, an injury doubt necessitates a late swap.

Areas where rotation may be in order would include the front row, where the likes of Kyle Cooper in particular (and Lourens Adriaanse to a lesser extent) could do with a bit more time on the park and also the loose trio, with Philip van der Walt surely due a start somewhere in the back row. While the backs appear to be settling nicely, if Mvovo is now fit (I believe he was very close last week) he should definitely come back into the reckoning; that last change will be a tough one to pull off given just how good both Odwa Ndunane and Pietersen were at Newlands. That said, the entire squad simply has to buy into the concept of rotation and it’s important for players and fans alike to realise that any guy who moves out of the team due to rotation has not actually been “dropped”.

Let’s see exactly what the coach opts to do when the team is announced tomorrow morning.


  • I would like Claasens to start for a change

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.03.16 10:27:43 by JarsonX Reply
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  • The team I would start against the Bulls.

    15 Willie
    14 JpP
    13 Jordaan
    12 Esterhuizen
    11 Mvovo
    10 Joe
    09 Claasens
    08 VD Walt
    07 JL du Preez
    06 Marcell
    05 Lewies
    04 Oosthuizen
    03 Adriaanse
    02 Cooper
    01 Beast Capt

    16 Marais
    17 Coenie
    18 Thomas
    19 Andrews
    20 Dan
    21 Reinach
    22 April
    23 Sbura

    I know basically the same 23 except for Thomas but some rotated to bench, Also not sure about the fitness or form of some of the other players, or any returning injured players, the likes of Bothma, Ruan, Potgieter, Daniel, Deysel.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.03.16 10:41:30 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • I believe the bench will play a big impact at Loftus especially because of the short turn around.
    So id like to see a bench of Schoeman, Marais, Oosthuizen, Andrews, DuPreez, Reinach, April,Mvovo

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.03.16 10:45:29 by SheldonK Reply

  • I’m a big defender of Odwa around here but I still would like to see Sbu being given a start too and April needs to be given game time even if he isn’t starting.

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.03.16 10:51:01 by vanmartin Reply
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  • If mvovo is fit,then he must start on the left wing with jpp on the right .sithole on the bench.odwa out of match 23.odwa had a good game,but imo the best 3 wings at the sharks are mvov ,jpp,sithole.cant underestimate the bulls frontrow.their starting 3 were not dominated by the stormers in the clash down in ct.would bring uanivi into the match 23 ahead of andrews.he had a good game at line-out vs all blacks in the rwc,and next opponents are the crusaders.reports say inny had a really good game vs griquas.perhaps time to include him in match 23 ahead of april,though the latter does cover 10/15?

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.03.16 10:56:32 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 5) : I know you are a big Uanivi fan but what kind of form is he in? is he even fit? And when last did he play a rugby game…the world cup? Think he perhaps needs to get up to speed first. Would be very tough to drop April for Inny…

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.03.16 11:09:01 by SheldonK Reply

  • must agree rotation will be important but must be done correctly not like the Blues did it in round 2.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.03.16 11:42:24 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : yes,uanivi has not played much rugby.did not even find his name on any of the kings pre-season warm_up games whilst he was training with them.he played in the game against griquas.not calling for uanivi to start,because i understand he has not had much gametime,but be included in match 23.

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.03.16 11:52:20 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : yes,april brings 10/15 cover.

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.03.16 11:56:32 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @sharks_lover (Comment 2) : Youre gonna want to give Marais a good run at hooker. The boy has finally had some continuity and is playing some great rugby. He is going to get a run later in the competition when ChilliB returns from suspension.

    My big worry at the moment is beast. He needs has played 80 minutes of rugby 3 games in a row and needs some rest. Its the reason you dont see many props as captains

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.03.16 11:58:58 by byron Reply

  • @byron (Comment 10) : beast was subbed in the game vs stormers ,but yes,has pretty much played 240mins of rugby.think thomas back in the set_up will be important re: rotation,but captaincy is still an issue.

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.03.16 12:02:26 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Guess who is the TMO for the Stormers’ game??? 😈

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.03.16 12:24:37 by Ice Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 8) : From the amount of rugby he has had lately and the fact he has never played super rugby i think it would be very tough to include him on the bench over Andrews, especially if perhaps not fully up to match fitness. So maybe in the coming weeks but this week could be too soon.

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.03.16 12:27:11 by SheldonK Reply

  • I’d leave Beast out completely otherwise we may find we have to rest him vs the Crusaders. I’d start Adriaanse at 3 and Coenie at 1 with Thomas and Schoeman. Then Bench Coenie for the Crusaders and have Adriaanse and Beast start with the same 2 on the bench. I’d also start van der Walt and Claasens this weekend.

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.03.16 12:33:27 by Hulk Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 14) : Is Thomas DuToit fit to play?

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.03.16 12:40:27 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : uanivi has played rugby world cup match against the all sr experience should not be an issue.only issue is match fitness.

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.03.16 13:09:40 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 14) : tough call re: no1.with tendai also captain it makes rotation that much more trickier.

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.03.16 13:12:26 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 12) : please do tell?!?!

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.03.16 13:21:05 by JD Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 17) : lot of players can take over as captain when he’s subbed! He needs to rest as he can’t play 77min each week.

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.03.16 13:24:33 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : I think he played in the same game as Tera over the weekend and there was no report of him pulling up in the match so assume he is available for selection (also why I benched him, so he can be eased in).

    @50shadesofshark (Comment 17) : I’d make Marcell captain in Beasts absence, we were all behind him at the start of the season so no reason why he can’t do it for this game.

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.03.16 13:24:42 by Hulk Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 20) : Would be good news hearing he is fit.

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.03.16 13:36:49 by SheldonK Reply

  • @JD (Comment 19) : True, you have a bunch of senior players that can take over interim, Marcell, Joe, Classen even the ginger ninja if you start with him, so we should definitely look at giving beast a proper rest

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.03.16 13:40:27 by Henkb Reply
  • @Ice (Comment 12) : hahahahaha Marius Jonker!!!!!!!!!!! and just to add some fuel on the fire I see SA Rugby Referee website has stated that both the penalty try and the yellow card was the correct decisions!!!!!!!!! Hahahahaha!!!!! 😈 Think they must be getting hard attacks down in Cape town!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 23, posted at 15.03.16 13:42:42 by JD Reply
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  • @Henkb (Comment 22) : One condition for Beast to rest is Thomas must be ready to play, other wise he will have to do with 10-20 min rest per game.

  • Comment 24, posted at 15.03.16 13:44:02 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 24) : True, Thomas must be the stand in, then we can swap like for like basically and loose nothing in the scrums

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.03.16 13:46:05 by Henkb Reply
  • @Henkb (Comment 25) : don’t want to mention him but Dale looked lean in the pics wonder how he’s rehab is going?

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.03.16 13:52:24 by JD Reply
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  • @byron (Comment 10) : agree with your thoughts on marais starting.

  • Comment 27, posted at 15.03.16 14:15:31 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 11) : tendai was subbed with about 5mins left in the stormers game.

  • Comment 28, posted at 15.03.16 14:16:48 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @JD (Comment 26) : He is a lot like JP for me, you never really know which one will pitch up on game day, but when he pitches or both of them for that matter I will gladly include both in a match day 23

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.03.16 14:31:17 by Henkb Reply
  • @Henkb (Comment 29) : yes Dale is really not a bad player but it seems as if some days he can not scrum a tellytubby and the very next day he will stand against a world champ?!?! Really hope he get his head and technique sorted!!

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.03.16 14:49:12 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 30) : Think our coaching staff will get that sorted for him, I have confidence in them, he is a bright prospect and we will need Jim to be at his best

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.03.16 15:03:35 by Henkb Reply

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