Richard Ferguson

Game Time Update: Round 8

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 18 Apr 2016 at 11:41
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

After 8 rounds of Super Rugby during which the Sharks have played 7 matches, our boys in Black & White have already amassed a total of 8400 minutes of rugby. This has been played with limited rotation and some players are starting to show the signs of it.

The first thing to jump at me from looking at the playing time is that our centre pair of Paul Jordaan and Andre Esterhuizen has played every single minute of every game. You may think that as backs they do not require rotation, but how many times has Jordaan won best tackler award? I think a break somewhere wouldn’t hurt at all.

The biggest concern for me at this stage is the workload of Ettienne Oosthuizen. He has played 547 of the available 560 minutes of the season so far. The only time he left the field of play was in the Lions match in Round 7, where he still played 67 minutes. We are all aware of the current injuries in the second row, but I would think that a rest for Ettienne cannot be too far away. The last thing the Sharks need is another injured lock.

Looking beyond the above mentioned, Willie le Roux (541 minutes) and Joe Pietersen (529 minutes) are the expected candidates in terms of large numbers, Garth April having only managed 51 minutes on the park so far this season. This may be seen as protecting the young April, and understandably so, but April has looked full of running and it would be ideal for him to gain some extra time and confidence on the field of play.

The next forward on the list is Captain Tendai Mtawarira, who has played 514 minutes. To put that into context, he hasn’t spent a full 80 minutes off the field of play in 7 matches, effectively not getting any rest at all. It is difficult for a Captain to be off the field, especially as in most cases, the game is still in the balance with 5 minutes left on the clock. The concern is obvious, not only is he not getting any rest leaving him exhausted on the field, but the risk of injury is increasing every game.

The other forward among the top 50 in terms of minutes spent on the park across all teams is JL du Preez. Jean-Luc sat out Round 4 completely but has played every minute of the other 6 matches leaving him with 480 minutes. The upside is that he hasn’t played more than 3 games in a row, currently sitting on 2 games after the bye. Should the current trend continue though, with Marcell Coetzee out of action, it looks likely that he will play at least the remaining 2 matches.

As the season continues I will update you on the playing time of the players and the trends in rotation. The next few weeks will be interesting as the tour runs its course and the Sharks have a single game in South Africa before embarking on another long flight. Hopefully the coaches have identified this and are planning accordingly.


  • Now that du Toit is back, perhaps he can start ahead of the Beast, in which case, Daniel could start and take over the captaincy.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.04.16 12:13:15 by David12246 Reply
  • With the Sharks not expected to get wins from their remaining 2 tour games why not use the squad he has and give some of those guys a rest. As they say sometimes change is as good as a holiday…

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.04.16 12:19:03 by SheldonK Reply
  • Ja maybe time to give some of the reserves a starting spot to see how they do and to give other players some rest.

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.04.16 15:15:06 by JD Reply
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  • Nothing wrong with this starting lineup: 1. DuToit 2. Cooper 3. Adriaanse 4. Lewies. 5. Andrews 6. Daniel 7. Deysel 8. Van Der Walt 9. Claasens 10. LeRoux 11. Mvovo 12. Jordaan 13. JPP 14. Sithole 15. Ndungane

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.04.16 15:21:24 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : yes, 4 lewies 5 andrews is a smart selection.then have oosthuizen probably replace lewies?plan to give andrews full 80 mins.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.04.16 15:33:24 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • April is not a youngster as he turns 25 in july.he is just inexperienced at this level.only way to remedy that is with game time.

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.04.16 15:37:35 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 5) : yeh so bench could be Beast,Marias,Coenie, Ettiene, DuPreez, Reinach, April, Pieterson

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.04.16 15:38:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : Le Roux at 10? I would rather start April as we surely need to give this kid some time in the position if we want him to be a viable option in future.

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.04.16 15:43:55 by jakkalas Reply

  • @jakkalas (Comment 8) : The thing is the Sharks seem to see April more as a 15 and only a 10 if needed. His club were told to only play him at 15. Their reluctance to play him at 10 seems to back that up. So thats why i say LeRoux at 10…id play April at 15 but Ben Smith of the Highlanders is great in the air and well April is a midget. So hence Odwa at 15.

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.04.16 15:53:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : the backline has no goal way to ensure the team scores tries 😀

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.04.16 15:56:57 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 10) : It can be somebodys time to shine. 🙂 We had a goal kicker vs the Bulls, Crusaders, Lions, Blues and well howd that go for us results wise?

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.04.16 15:58:43 by SheldonK Reply

  • The kick-and-defend game (as it has become known),could be really effective with lambie at no10.execution has been the issue.then the sharks need an effective line-out,not just to win own ball but also compete for opposition ball.and drop goals start coming into the plan imo.2 x fetcher no6 (one to start,one to come off the bench or even in tandem in some games for last 30-20 mins)to slow down or win turn-over ball.need to attack from that turn-over ball,though.scrum must be sdolid,if not dominating.just putting it out there.lambie at no10 and the same kick-pressure game.with proper roatation,since all that defending tires players more.

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.04.16 16:17:49 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 12) : The kick and defend gameplan is necessary for teams that cannot maintain their own ball through phases. If you try and continually play a ball in hand game and keep turning it over you only asking for trouble. Hence the kick and defend approach gives a team a better chance at winning the game through scoring off turnovers they can create.

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.04.16 16:22:39 by SheldonK Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 12) : or we can play like the sharks teams under dick muir.think there is quite a bit of that in the lions team.or maybe im mistaken.

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.04.16 16:26:00 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 14) : Dick Muir had Plum and Goose-Step Campo in his coaching team…..not a bad mix.

    Also, Muir got to take on the Sharks job after Putt basically desecrated the jersey….very little pressure on Muir.

    Gold on the other, probably one of the least like coaches in SA before even starting at the Sharks, and then having to follow in JW’s shadow….tons of pressure to perform.

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.04.16 19:42:29 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 15) : cant help but feel the biggest mistake in this rebuilding process was letting bissie go.

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.04.16 20:05:22 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 16) : Might have been like losing a foot infected with gangrene (if rumors are to be believed).

    We’re having to adapt without our foot, but we managed to save the leg and the life.

    We just really needed Cooper to make good on all the time invested in him. He was ultimately preferred over Burden, seems however he aims for the bench, and no higher.

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.04.16 21:05:06 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : I would not mind getting Burden back. It took the French coaches to get him to throw in properly at the lineout, but now he is a very good hooker (set piece as well as in general play).

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.04.16 07:53:50 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 15) : I think thats a pretty accurate comment. The 1 thing Muir did well, and maybe he could as not much was expected, was incorporate guys that had been performing well for their clubs. That 1 move did two very important things- it put pressure on those contracted guys to perform as they could see the coach was willing to go with local club guys and it also brought some pride back as the local players felt that they could get reward for putting in good performances at club level.

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.04.16 08:08:07 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : i prefer not to go on rumours.

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.04.16 09:02:42 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 19) : only jpp really came thorugh from the club players,and he was not local born.1st year at the sharks academy and playing for jaguars.sharks did not qualify for the 2005 cc semi’s either in that year.muir also signed percy montgomery in 2005,player in his 30s.and for 2006 he signed tony brown at flyhalf (current asst coach at the landers),and johan ackermann at lock.2 more players in their 30s.

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.04.16 09:09:20 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 21) : JPP, Waylon Murray, Brad Barrett were all playing club rugby and all became internationals. Im not saying he only used club players. But he gave them a fair shot which was a wake up call to everyone. Results may not have been spectacular in that year but a foundation was laid even just in the players minds.

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.04.16 10:13:45 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 22) : barritt and murray came through the age group system to make their sharks debut in 2006 sr.both played natal schools craven week 2004.signed up by the union.

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.04.16 12:26:47 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 23) : Yes but they were playing club at the time…they werent in the recognised group. The point i was making is that Muir was willing to give the lessor known guys a run that were producing at club level. So it both gave a wake up call to the older guys as well as provide motivation for the club guys (age group players) to make it. Remember all the age group guys signed by the Sharks are all playing in the club system week in week out

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.04.16 12:34:04 by SheldonK Reply

  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 20) : Prefer what you will, gangrene needs removing and it takes time to heal afterwards – that’s the beginning and the end of the situation the Sharks find themselves in right now.

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.04.16 20:52:18 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 25) : Problem is that some quacks thoght that a muscle cramp was gangrene and decided to cut that out but ended up amputaing and eviscerating the whole body, this already happened before Bissies time, but nou ja,, the chattering masses got what they wanted…..

  • Comment 26, posted at 20.04.16 09:49:51 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle

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