Super team to give Sharks Currie Cup hope?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 2 Aug 2016 at 08:05
Tagged with : , , , ,

The last few years certainly haven’t been particularly successful ones for the Sharks, with one of the key themes that keeps coming back to trip them up being wholesale personnel changes from campaign to campaign.

Everyone’s flavour of the month – the Lions (who are playing some sublime rugby) – are pretty much the antithesis of what the Sharks have been through of late. Continuity, both in terms of coaching staff and players, has been ensured through five or six campaigns and as players and coaches became more familiar with each other over time, so the style of play and synergy began to improve. Far form an overnight success, these Lions are the product of a plan that’s been a few years in the making and it’s the kind of plan that the Sharks simply haven’t been anywhere near emulating in recent seasons.

In the current climate, some turnover is inevitable and it is, of course, a blow that the Sharks have lost a key back-room figure in the form of Omar Mouneimne. There’s a fair amount to be confident about, though, in that the team that plays Currie Cup for the Sharks will have most of the same coaches and a very high percentage of the same players that the Super Rugby one had. Could this, at last, be the beginning of some continuity, of building a team that can stay together for more than a single campaign?

The Sharks – who name their side for the Currie Cup opener later today – are in an enviable position. Bar the introduction of either Dale Chadwick or Thomas du Toit for Beast Mtawarira, they should be able to name a virtual Super Rugby strength pack, provided you accept that Lourens Adriaanse probably is the best tighthead prop on their books. All of Franco Marais, Stephan Lewies, Etienne Oosthuizen, Keegan Daniel, Jean-Luc du Preez and Philip van der Walt (who started in Wellington a fortnight ago) are available for the Currie Cup campaign and with halfbacks Michael Claassens and Garth April also still around, the core of the team remains intact. Andre Esterhuizen will likely be retained at 12 as well, but it’s outside of that position that things start to look a little less certain.

The Sharks are fortunate in that they will be able to bring in players with Super Rugby experience to plug the gaps. S’bura Stihole should fill in at wing, with Odwa Ndungane on the other side. Lukhanyo Am and Wandile Mjekevu have also played in the competition (albeit for the Kings as loan players), with Curwin Bosch – blooded a little towards the end of the campaign – perhaps the most likely to start at fullback, already showing early signs of being the position where depth is an issue.

Further Super Rugby experience on the bench is a given too and the Sharks look to be in the enviable position of fielding a team, from 1 through 22, that has played regular Super Rugby this season. That’s got to count for a fair bit in this watered-down competition; if anything, we certainly must go into the campaign with high hopes that the Sharks forwards will prove one of the better units in the roster. How quickly the backs can gel remains to be seen.

Possible Sharks team:
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Garth April, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan LEwies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Dale Chadwick
Subs: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Ruan Botha, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Wandile Mjekevu


  • Look promising…albeit outside centre and centres in general is still an issue….plus L Adriaanse in front row is great but depth…lastly Mjekevu just doesn’t have the skills for more than cc…his passing, defense and reading of the situation not good at all …Sbu should be given a full cc season to get his mojo.

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.08.16 08:23:15 by Sharkfinn Reply
  • This is one of the first CC seasons in years I can think of where we haven’t been stripped of just about all of our SR players. We are so used to losing our frontrow, at least 2 loosies, SH, FH and 1 wing at the least. Beast being called up doesn’t hurt us with Thomas being there and Coenie not being there I feel gives us an oppotunity to find a more stable scrummager. We also get an oppotunity to play some of our young guys, Nkosi, Louw, Bosch etc and see who has the potential to play SR next year.

    This is also the time to give Sbru a season to prove he is a must for SR 2017. If he can’t sort it this season (after getting the backing of the coach) then we need to cut him loose and let him find somewhere he can thrive. We need to back the twins, help develop their skills so they are back in 2017, bigger, fitter, stronger and more skillful.

    We should dominate most games this CC whilst still evolving our game plan.

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.08.16 08:34:55 by Hulk Reply
  • Am looks like a decent player for 13, but I am still holding out for that youngster to join us early from the Kings

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.08.16 08:44:56 by KingRiaan Reply
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : I’m trying to figure out how the EPRU will be able to field u/21’s and u/19’s, but no players for CC?

    Do the age group guys not get paid, or are they cheap enough for the EPRU to afford?

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.08.16 09:22:24 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • The Sharks always look pretty decent on paper but its often the execution that lets the team down…especially handling and defense in season past. I think the chances of success also depend on the strength of the opposition. So if we look at the teams the Sharks face in CC; Lions- based on the performance in Argentina they have some good strength in depth and will be tough to beat. WP and the Bulls have many many good quality juniors to choose from and Wp in particular will put out a very good side. The Bulls may be a little vulnerable up front but will also put out a goo side. Cheetahs probably not looking that hot but can always be dangerous in a game especially at home. Pumas and Griquas will have no nonsense packs that will flood the breakdowns and hope to score off turnovers. For the Sharks to get any level of success they need to execute the basics well and at pace and like the cliche goes- it all starts up front!

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.08.16 09:24:35 by SheldonK Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 5) : Hopefully the guys look at the CC as a springboard to get the basics back in place first, build intensity, ruthlessness and then clever matchplay.

    I hate to say it but I love Plum’s defensive system. It is clearly based on England’s system used against Aus but tweaked as they have Savea as easily the quickest loosie in the game covering as a second blind winger. Hopefully RdP has taken notice as Sharks personnel are very suitable for this structure. It also takes pressure off April / Bosch / Inny in first channel.

    JLdP & Ginger to rush from inside onto 10 with KD covering a cutback behind them, AE & AM rush outside in with Claasens / Ungerer & April/ Inny / Bosch covering behind centres for chips & breaks, should work a charm.

    I just want to see they guys have some fun!!!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.08.16 09:43:54 by Kabouter Reply
  • I have just been informed from a source that Bosch is starting at 10 – due to April being late for a team meeting, apparently he is left out completely – Ndungane at fullback 😯 May not be true, but do not be surprised

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.08.16 09:51:48 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @Kabouter (Comment 6) : Yeh look there are a umber of defensive patterns that work well, a coach just need to match it to his personnel. The basics on defense remain the same though…good linespeed to close the space, hit hard and pump your legs to drive the player back, then get back on your feet and realign. Same goes with attack…catch and run straight aiming for the spacing between players, look to pace/offload once you have fixed a defender, if caught in the tackle protect the ball and fight the tackle and then support the man with the ball.

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.08.16 09:52:16 by SheldonK Reply
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 7) : That wouldnt surprise me…Rob DuPreez doesnt seem like a guy that tolerates guys being late or lazy etc. Even if the surf was good πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.08.16 10:07:34 by SheldonK Reply
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 7) : If that is true, and the Sharks take being on time that seriously, then I applaud them….discipline starts by paying attention to the small details.

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.08.16 10:12:55 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 4) : I wonder if it has something to do with the academy that Rob Kempson is running. I think they are affiliated to NMMU as well as the EPRU (Kings). But surely if the EPRU gets liquidated then it must affect all things related. Time will tell.

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.08.16 10:13:00 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @SheldonK (Comment 9) : hahahaha – apparently he flew to CT, knowing they had an 8am meeting the next day – so he booked the 6am flight – has no one ever told him the flight alone is 2hrs – look like I said, this just comes from a source and might be crap, we will find out when the team is announced.

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.08.16 10:13:22 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 7) : @SheldonK (Comment 9) : ja for sure he’s looks like the type of persone that does not take a whole lot of shit!

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.08.16 10:13:37 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 11) : Is Kempson still involved in any capacity over there, I know he resigned as CC coach….would be strange for him to give up on EPRU CC rugby, but still invest time in their academy.

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.08.16 10:15:23 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Vonno13 (Comment 7) : I heard the same story

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.08.16 10:15:53 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 12) : haha schoolboy error on his part. If true it does set a good precedent right from the start. And yeh look Bosch starting at 10 could be a bit of a baptism of fire in nelspruit but it could have been worse- could have been away in Witbank. Im keen t see that Janse Van Rensburg play- ive liked what i have seen so far…and think he still qualifies for u21

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.08.16 10:18:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 14) : I think he is, he has done a damn good job down there keeping EP / Border players there and even getting some school leavers from other provinces to choose the E Cape to further their rugby / academic careers…..and he has got resuts on the field as well.

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.08.16 10:21:06 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : sounds like Benhard is out for a month or so with an injury – so we might have to wait. He’s only just turned 19, so is actually even younger than Curwin.

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.08.16 10:34:28 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Ah of course he is injured…he Sharks do love their injured players πŸ˜‰ Yeh he looks young but i did see a lot of potential…guess will wait to see if he can realise that potential. Just on injuries- does Dan DuPreez miss the whole CC?

  • Comment 19, posted at 02.08.16 11:14:07 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Sharkfinn (Comment 1) : I disagree, I would drop Odwa to the bench for Wandile

    I respect your opinion, however I rate Wandile much higher

    Wandile is a really good player that can do the job for us at both wing and outside centre, he was out of form in last years currie cup though his playing much better now and we will need him in Super rugby next year

  • Comment 20, posted at 02.08.16 11:53:48 by revolverocelot Reply

  • Let’s see what Rob can come up with game plan wise. We’ve got a pretty monster pack of forwards, and seems like we’ve got a nice youthful backline. We can definitely win the CC, but only if there’s a good gameplan in place and player buy in to execute it.

  • Comment 21, posted at 02.08.16 12:10:56 by Dragnipur Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Dragnipur (Comment 21) : Im not sure about winning the CC but getting into the Semi gives us a great chance, especially if its a home semi. But Lions and WP must be favourites for home semi with Sharks, Bulls favourites to join them with Cheetahs and Griquas outside bets.

  • Comment 22, posted at 02.08.16 12:17:11 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 19) : Spoke to his boet the other day and it seems another 3-4 weeks / but who knows

  • Comment 23, posted at 02.08.16 12:18:26 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 23) : I thought he needed an op?

  • Comment 24, posted at 02.08.16 12:27:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 23) : @robdylan (Comment 24) : Rather opt for an op now than play through and possibly miss some super rugby. Although there is a few months between CC and super rugby so guess will see. Jean Deysel also seems to be flying well under the radar…thought he did well in the couple super rugby appearances

  • Comment 25, posted at 02.08.16 12:31:23 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : I asked JL why Daniel is in the CC Squad, as we all thought he would miss the entire comp due to the groin injury, but apparently not – so I am a bit in the dark, but he seems to think 3 to 4 games out, hence 3-4 weeks. I just hope based on what you have said that he is not going to be rushed back, no point in that.

  • Comment 26, posted at 02.08.16 12:54:12 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 26) : ok – so we wait and see. Short campaign and we won’t need him, I don’t think. Rather let him get better.

    I suspect the Sharks might be naming players in the squad even if they are injured, just to avoid the situation SANZAAR created in Super Rugby.

  • Comment 27, posted at 02.08.16 13:04:15 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : Ja, the loosies are strong, without doubt our strongest department – so let the boy rest. That is just such a stupid crap rule, I wonder if it does apply to CC?

  • Comment 28, posted at 02.08.16 13:09:21 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 28) : dude, we know nothing about any of the rules for this comp and it kicks off on Friday. No idea what BP rules they will use either

  • Comment 29, posted at 02.08.16 13:13:58 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : Shows how much saru cares about CC these days. πŸ™„

  • Comment 30, posted at 02.08.16 13:22:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 30) : well…. is it SARU or is it all of us? I’m not sure – but either way it stinks. We have sacrificed everything we cared about on the altar of a Super Rugby competition that just gets worse every year

  • Comment 31, posted at 02.08.16 13:24:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : What’s odd is the CC still has a 22 man squad opposed to 23. Why keep 22?

  • Comment 32, posted at 02.08.16 13:26:52 by Hulk Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 32) : it definitely does

    Also, confirmed it’s the old BP rule

  • Comment 33, posted at 02.08.16 13:28:20 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 33) : WTF?

    does this mean the same old rule for Rugby Champs or SR rules?

  • Comment 34, posted at 02.08.16 13:32:25 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 34) : I imagine SR rules for RC

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.08.16 13:36:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : I might not care much for CC, but I definitely care about every single game of Sharks rugby…

    …CC just feels like a let-down after a high-octane SR season…

    Best would be to scrap CC, go compete in the Japanese league – CC intensity with international flavour.

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.08.16 13:37:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 33) : Sa rugby really keeping up with the times i see. And we moan at coaches for not playing modern rugby…maybe our administrators need to get the same treatment for modern rugby

  • Comment 37, posted at 02.08.16 13:43:48 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 37) : Couldn’t agree more. SARU and our other sporting bodies have been turned into bureaucratic hell-holes. Which is a shame because we know there are people working in these organisations who actually care about advancing the respective sporting codes.

  • Comment 38, posted at 02.08.16 13:56:19 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Hulk (Comment 32) : @Kabouter (Comment 34) : Read somewhere that this is due to the smaller teams not having enough money to haul 23 players around the country

  • Comment 39, posted at 02.08.16 14:40:48 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 39) : Does 1 players cost make that much difference? Although i guess there arent that many cases of uncontested scrums

  • Comment 40, posted at 02.08.16 14:52:26 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 36) : Personally i would trim down on Super rugby and beef up the Currie cup again . Find a window for it so it does not clash with the rugby Champs or the (Trimmed down) Super rugby

  • Comment 41, posted at 02.08.16 14:53:06 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @SheldonK (Comment 40) : i just read the reasoning behind it . Not sure if the logic is sound πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 42, posted at 02.08.16 14:54:16 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 39) : With all the money saru is about to save on contracting Kings players, I’m sure they’re able to afford a tight head prop academy, and loan those players out to those smaller team.

    @Zibbie (Comment 41) : I think I’m tired of watching our local teams being measured against each other, when we’re clearly not the benchmark. Who cares who wins between WP and the Bulls, neither of them are any good when measured against genuine quality opposition.

    …and playing the Lions also means nothing, because most of the Lions team will be with the Boks. There is no more strength vs. strength in CC – Sharks vs. Bulls will be the closest to full strength teams meeting in the CC.

    So I’d rather watch our watered down teams compete against the best Japan has to offer, than patting ourselves on the back for beating depleted local teams.

  • Comment 43, posted at 02.08.16 15:01:03 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 42) : Yeh look obviously an extra player means increased costs but i just wonder if its a significant increase enough to warrant not playing 23 like super rugby/internationals etc. For teams with a weaker scrum it can lead to an easy cop out, especially if they have quicker flankers etc on the bench.

  • Comment 44, posted at 02.08.16 15:04:09 by SheldonK Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 43) : Maybe we should consider what the Ozzies did with the cricket . They struggled to pull crowds for the state teams . so they made city franchise . Worked like a bomb

  • Comment 45, posted at 02.08.16 15:07:03 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 45) : To be honest that wouldnt have much of an effect in SA. CC games should be played at smaller stadiums/club grounds where fans can interact over a braai and beer before and after. 15 000 people at a club crowd is a massive crowd….15 000 at Kings park looks like there is nobody there and there is very little atmosphere.

  • Comment 46, posted at 02.08.16 15:23:42 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 45) : @SheldonK (Comment 46) : The problem is, we play each other during SR, CCQ and CC – it’s getting old now.

    Pick a competition for derbies – not derbies in every single competition….CC used to be that competition, but the teams are so depleted, it’s hardly reflective of the best teams have to offer.

    So SR derbies are the true reflection of strength vs. strength – this renders the CC second rate…maybe time to privatise the teams playing CC – Samsung Corporates vs. iPhone Yuppies, CellC Rising Stars vs. Vodacom Setting Sun, Spur Burnt Steaks vs. KFC Greasy Fat Cats etc. 😈

  • Comment 47, posted at 02.08.16 15:37:09 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 47) : I do know what you mean regarding the fan pulling power of a CC derby. I just dont think privitisation is they way to go in the CC. Perhaps it is time to play the CC at the same time as Super rugby and make it for the 2nd teams so that they play as curtain raisers to the Super rugby games in SA. Once Super rugby is done then full focus should be on the Boks

  • Comment 48, posted at 02.08.16 15:42:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 48) : im more excited about the CC than about the Boks TBH

  • Comment 49, posted at 02.08.16 15:45:24 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 49) : That is a real shame. I will always support the Boks and want them to win no matter what…well at least i will try to.

  • Comment 50, posted at 02.08.16 15:53:57 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 48) : I’d like to see the Sharks play more games against foreign opposition.

    Ditch the CC for a year or two, and allow our teams to go play US teams, European teams and Japanese teams. No competition or silly log required, just want to see the Sharks measured against the best other countries have to offer, and I might actually be tempted to see how our other teams fare against those same opponents.

    For SR, while we have these silly conferences, let the 2 SA conference winners play-off for CC victory, and 2nd places play for 3rd/4th place.

  • Comment 51, posted at 02.08.16 15:55:16 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 51) : Could be very difficult to find funding for something like that. Also players want to play for a trophy and in a competition, striving for a goal etc. Just a one off game would be pretty crap rugby as no motivation

  • Comment 52, posted at 02.08.16 16:00:23 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 50) : didnt say im not supporting them . im just saying im not feeling the buzz .

  • Comment 53, posted at 02.08.16 16:03:50 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 53) : Why though?

  • Comment 54, posted at 02.08.16 16:07:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • Sharks team is out…good pack. Unsure of the backline…good individual names

  • Comment 55, posted at 02.08.16 16:11:31 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 55) : it’s up

  • Comment 56, posted at 02.08.16 16:24:22 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @SheldonK (Comment 54) : its the same with our cricket team . lots of hype and promise but fail to deliver .

    Handre Pollard , Jesse Kriel , Johan Goosen . All hyped up but not any one of them has delivered anything .

    On Saturday , Elton Jantjies will have played more Super rugby finals than any of the above mentioned players .

    But yet we cant wait to rush back Pollard from injury and move Jesse Kriel back to full back .

  • Comment 57, posted at 02.08.16 16:42:33 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 57) : You are very rough man,Pollard 22.Jesse Kriel 22.Goosen 24,all a bit young to be seen as washed up has beens.

  • Comment 58, posted at 02.08.16 17:01:43 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @SheldonK (Comment 52) : Just stating what I’d like to see, as this current CC/derby overload has me feeling a bit tired of it all….I love watching the Sharks play, but just not the same opposition every year – at least the Olympics will give me my entertainment kicks.

  • Comment 59, posted at 02.08.16 18:16:24 by FireTheLooser Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.