Under 21s in real trouble

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 6 Sep 2016 at 10:52
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth…”. It’s not often that you’ll catch me quoting Mike Tyson on these pages, but I feel this saying is probably pretty appropriate given the trials and tribulations of Mochael Horak and the Sharks under 21 side this year.

It’s hard not to dwell on the past and what “could have been” after a very encouraging season in 2015, but reality has worked out very differently so far this season and with only two games left (out of just six in total) the Sharks are second-bottom on the log and facing a massive uphill struggle to even make the knock-outs. That’s a pretty poor return for a team that’s meant to be challenging for the trophy, but if you do a bit of a comparison between the ideal and actual team sheets, you can start to understand how the team finds itself in the current mess.

Let’s not dwell on the weekend’s result. A 16-40 annihilation at the hands of a Western Province side that are themselves not a great unit this season gives a pretty good indication that the Sharks are nowhere near where they should be. The team that took the field at Newlands was missing five first choice forwards, though – the entire loose trio of Graham Geldenhuys, Johan du Toit and Ayron Schramm is out injured, as are lock Wian Vosloo and tighthead prop Ruan Kramer, the latter withdrawn on the eve of the game and likely to be out for a couple of weeks. Amongst the backs, first-choice halfbacks Rowan Gouws and Inny Radebe are missing, as are fullback Curwin Bosch and wing Zweli Silaule – in fact, about the only combination that took the field on Saturday that could be considered established and first choice was the centre pair of Marius Louw and Tristan Blewett.

It’s perhaps no coincidence that their performance in midfield was one of very few positives on a dark day.

Further complicating matters, two more critical players have suffered injuries that will see them miss at least the next two games. Hyron Andrews and Sibusiso Nkosi, two of the only remaining junior Springbok representatives in the side, join a “sideline squad” that is starting to look like a complete starting 15 at this point.

We wish the guys all the best – against very tough odds – for their game against Free State this weekend.


  • Was this not the 1st game back for Nkosi after being injured in the world Champs

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.09.16 11:01:18 by Henkb Reply
  • @Henkb (Comment 1) : I think it was

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.09.16 11:03:36 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : It’s bad news for him, as I think he is a real talent, just hope for him that this is not the start of a injury plague

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.09.16 11:07:29 by Henkb Reply
  • Wow that’s bad! Good luck lads!

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.09.16 11:13:15 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • This Horak guy is a bit of a Jonah,seems like everything retouches turns to shite

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.09.16 11:15:08 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • Nkosi injured in first game back…eish. And he was mentioned at the start of the season as possibly playing super rugby this year..guess that ship has sailed together with the CC ship. Definitely lots of problems for the u21s…cant see an easy fix either…

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.09.16 11:25:19 by SheldonK Reply

  • Good luck guys.

    Rob, 2 questions:

    1. Didn’t a lot of these guys play in the CC Qualifying tournament?
    2. Could that not be the reason we are seeing so many of them injured?

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.09.16 11:34:58 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 7) : Ummm

    1) Yes, but a lot of them seemed to be injured then as well
    2) impossible to say for sure, but it could have an effect.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.09.16 12:22:51 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • that’s just how it goes sometimes, everyone fit and not called up to the senior team we would have dominated this year

    Are the twins not still eligible to play u21 this year (just asking as I know they are entrenched in the senior side now)

    Spoke to Horak at the sharks supporters club for awhile, nice guy, super serious but polite. his doing the best he can with what he as at the moment.

    Also spoke to Paul Anthony during the U21 game after his u19 team left the field, Nice of him to actually sit with whom ever said hi, we were some what suprised that he didnt just great but actually too some time to chat and give us some insight into the game as it was happening.

    It is what it is, we all know that our structures in terms of how young player are brought through the system are different in every single union in SA, WP have got it down the best (but there are many factors working in their favour),then I’d say the Lions even though they done have the resources like the bulls, they know how to make the most of them. then us at fourth, followed by cheetahs, and kings. not sure of they systems at the smaller unions but Pumas and leoperds should get a mention, I’ve heard good things about border in terms of nurturing talent

    If only tere was a standardize system in SA ?

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.09.16 12:28:37 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @revolverocelot (Comment 9) : no there’s no standardized system. Just a couple of points with regards to junior rugby in SA:
    Bulls almost buy the whole SA schools side so their juniors will always be tops.
    WP, Lions, Cheetahs, Bulls Leopards, EP all have top universities that all play Varsity cup rugby so they will attract top juniors.
    Sharks only have UKZN (and they’re not very fashionable outside of KZN) and they got screwed out of Varsity cup.
    Sharks does not (usually) contract more than 7-10 under 19 players.
    All of this will for sure put players and coaches under pressure to perform against the other top teams.

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.09.16 13:27:01 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • I think Mike was directing those wise words towards his wife or girlfriend…

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.09.16 06:48:05 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : ja look, I had to think twice about quoting this animal, but desperate times 😉

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.09.16 08:26:14 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : @robdylan (Comment 12) : he put a end to lots of peoples plans! Pity that the greed of the people that should have taken care of him completely stuffed him up (much the same as what’s happening with the Kings)!

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.09.16 09:28:46 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.