Cheetahs gore Sharks’ soft underbelly

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 12 Sep 2016 at 09:23
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

For the second week running, the Sharks were outscored by a horrifying five tries to two, despite a more-respectable-sounding 30-38 scoreline against the Cheetahs on Saturday. With captain Philip van der Walt lost to injury in the first minute of the match, things started badly for the Sharks and only got worse as the game progressed.

Rocked by the late withdrawal of three experienced players during the week, losing van der Walt and then Odwa Ndungane half an hour later meant the Sharks that played out this game were a very inexperienced unit indeed; not a single forward has yet crossed the 30-cap mark in Currie Cup, while the combination of two light flanks and an inexperienced number 8 severely disrupted the effectiveness of the pack. It was at scrum time that the Cheetahs first sniffed weakness and with the impressive young Ox Nche lading the charge, the more experienced orange pack proceeded to dismantle the Sharks in a first half that would have had Ryan Strudwick reaching for a bottle of something alcoholic.

Referee Rasta Rashivenge awarded a penalty try to the Cheetahs as early as the 11th minute and despite Curwin Bosch’s valiant attempts to keep his side in the contest via three penalties, the Cheetahs again hit the front ten minutes from half time, courtesy of a try to centre Michael van der Spuy. Bosch added a fourth kick to keep matters close, but it was the visitors who lead 14-12 at the break.

The second half, entertaining though it was, certainly wasn’t one for the defensive purists. With the Sharks clearly lacking in organisation on defence, the visitors pounced three more times – always at crucial stages shortly after the Sharks had scored. Bosch actually took the lead shortly after the break via a fifth penalty, but the Cheetahs scored their third virtually straight afterwards, with Tian Meyer pouncing on a loose ball in goal after a messy defensive scrum in the Sharks 22. Bosch again narrowed the gap with a sixth, before Uzair Cassiem scored a cracking try in a move that saw Jean-Luc du Preez yellow-carded for a lifting tackle – again, the second such offence for him in two games.

To the Sharks’ credit, they never stopped fighting and scored a lovely try via Francois Kleinhans to bring themselves back into the game. Again, though, not three minutes later, it was Shaun Venter who scampered over for the Cheetahs to again stretch the lead and when Bosch’s conversion of Thomas du Toit’s late score hit the post, it was clear that the Sharks had lost not only the game, but also any hope of a losing bonus point that wouldn’t really have been all that deserved, given the try count.

Plenty of work to do for Robert du Preez and his team, as the fairytale start to the season is well and truly over. Time for this young team to pick themselves up and show us what they’re made of.

Sharks (30): Tries Francois Kleinhans, Thomas du Toit. Conversion Curwin Bosch. Penalties Bosch (6).
Cheetahs (38): Tries Penalty Try, Michael van der Spuy, Tian Meyer, Uzair Cassiem, Shaun Venter. Conversions Fred Zeilinga (5). Penalty Zeilinga.


  • our front row got monstered and the release of Dale makes for a bit of a bitter taste…..watching them being driven into the air reminded of the last CC and based on current stock Tank must play 1 but who goes to 3?

    fortunately the Kings coming up but we need to win against Lions now….

    Inny has struggled the last two week so maybe bring April back in? I also like Mjekevu’s intent

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.09.16 09:42:19 by Kabouter Reply
  • When Van Der Walt went off the Sharks packs was basically the pack that played the CC qualifying and got monstered there so no real surprise there to be honest. Writing was on the wall ages ago.

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.09.16 09:47:32 by SheldonK Reply
  • Ja, it messed up my entire weekend having watched another capitulation like that. I watched an Aviva premiership match (Exeter versus Sarries) on Sunday and thought the referee in that game was clued up on scrums which didn’t seem that way with Rasta. I can’t say the ref was the reason the Sharks lost but his failure to ping the Cheetahs for many offsides had me a little annoyed. Sharks lost because of creaky scrums, poor defense and a mere two tries when the pace of game could have meant more…April may get a look in. As well as Claassens, but what would our bench look like then?

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.09.16 09:47:55 by SeanJeff Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 2) : Lourens is fast becoming one of three most valuable players for Sharks and needs a proper understudy or Tank needs a scrumaging course in the off season with Swart & De Villiers. Any chance of our Argentine old boy could come and help with scrums?

    Ginger’s leadership in the pack was sorely missed and Ettas need a rest as he looked off the pace

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.09.16 10:07:34 by Kabouter Reply

  • Sitting in the stands on saterday, you could see how the cheetahs crept offline behind Rasta’s back.
    Also I saw Rob in the presser on saterday after the match and he looked seriously pissed off. I’m really glad I’m not part of the team today.

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.09.16 10:11:07 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 4) : DuToit is an average TH but a good LH but if he plays LH he needs to drop kgs as he is very ineffective around the field and offside a lot. Schoeman no good. Meyer was also ok but not great. Time has come to stop investing in Kleinhans and Majola.

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.09.16 10:15:05 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 5) : The ref relies on his assitants for the offside lines so blame needs to lie there then. The ref just manages the ruck and tackle areas basically. Thought Rasta was better than he was the previous weekend.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.09.16 10:16:39 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 7) : Yeah true that. I always thought Rasta was a decent ref, but he has been poor this passed two games. He also does not seem to have an idea of what happens at the scrums.

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.09.16 10:20:26 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 8) : In terms of the scrums perhaps its him spending too much time with the 7s and not focussing on the scrums and breakdowns of the 15man game. I also feel he has been a better ref in the past. He was better this week than the previous week though. Think he gives a lot of benefit to the team going forward

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.09.16 10:25:49 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 1) : would start with Thomas at 1 and Meyer at 3. Scrums looked a lot better when they played like that. But also remember it’s easy to blame the props for a weak scrum but in a lot of scrums the loosies did not scrum and was only hanging around without adding weight or power.

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.09.16 10:26:31 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : think you’re 100% correct. The move of Dale has left the Sharks very thin on props and injuries did the same for the loosies! Sharks will need to get another quality tight head before Super rugby.

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.09.16 10:31:23 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @SheldonK (Comment 9) : Haha I also think he has never been in a scrum in his life.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.09.16 10:34:08 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @JD (Comment 10) : Very true abut the loosies. Watch the cheetahs scrum- all 8 have their shoulders in and are working hard and tight as a unit. Assuming the injured guys stay injured id go with: 1. DuToit. 2 Chilliboy 3. Meyer 4. Oosthuizen 5. Botha 6.DuPreez 7. Astle 8. Schramm

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.09.16 10:34:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 12) : I cant think of one ref that has though…

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.09.16 10:35:24 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 14) : And that is why scrums are such a lottery. They have no idea of what is really going on.

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.09.16 10:39:32 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Radebe was bad, as was Claasens. Why did no senior player want to take the captaincy. Ungerer assumed captaincy for most of first half but Marais took over towards the end. In the 2nd half we had Claasens, Chilli and even Meyer at 1 stage. The team was rudderless and senior guys needed to step up and take control but failed to do so. The leadership core needs to be clearly identified for each game to prevent this situation happening again.

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.09.16 10:47:31 by sudhir Reply

  • @sudhir (Comment 16) : Doesn’t help if the whole leadership group is injured.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.09.16 11:09:00 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @sudhir (Comment 16) : Chilli has to be the one as I am not expecting KD, Ginger, Odwa, Terra or Deysel to be ready or risked against the Kings.

    I also believe that Oosthuizen and Esterhuizen needs a rest so would go with:

    1 Du Toit
    2 Chilliboy
    3 Meyer
    4 Botha
    5 Astle
    6 Geldenhuys / Kleynhans – Kings probably the right game to try something
    7 JLDP
    8 Schramm – we need an 8
    9 Claasens
    10 April
    11 Sithole
    12 Am
    13 Maritz
    14 Mjekevu
    15 Bosch

    16 Kramer
    17 Marais
    18 Droste
    19 Kleynhans / Geldenhuys
    20 Venter
    21 Smith
    22 Joubert

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.09.16 11:11:03 by Kabouter Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : don’t know Schramm so can’t comment on him. To be totally honest I’m not sure who I’d pick if I was the Sharks coach?!?! All I can say is good luck RdP!!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.09.16 11:34:19 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Awful scrumming set the tone for the rest of the game. Put us mentally on the back foot.

    Half backs just didn’t provide direction and calm so I have no idea why Chilli and Classens were not on earlier. Surely April can be given another chance now?

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.09.16 11:53:39 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @JD (Comment 19) : Young player, lots of potential. Very similar player to Tera Mthembu

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.09.16 11:58:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 20) : our youngsters lost direction the moment Phillip went off, think it might have been a bit different if he stayed on, some more composure

    but i do agree, we have a serious issue @ 9, and I do think April must get his place back in the team, with bot Aprila and Bosch on the park, our back line will show a lot more and have more stability

    there was a whole change in the team when Bosch moved to 10

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.09.16 12:04:01 by Henkb Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 21) : ja all I know about him is that he’s still young šŸ˜‰
    With all the players out injured he might be in with a chance of being selected.

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.09.16 12:04:50 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JD (Comment 23) : Problem is a lot of the good juniors are also injured.

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.09.16 12:06:31 by SheldonK Reply

  • @JD (Comment 23) : problem is, as far as i understand is that is not match fit after being out injured, so he might not last the whole CC game, who do we then use as back up for him

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.09.16 12:06:31 by Henkb Reply
  • @JD (Comment 23) : @SheldonK (Comment 24) : how old was Kanko when he pushed AJ out after getting a chance. We need a proper 8 at the back of the scrum and Kings the right team to give the guys a chance.

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.09.16 12:10:44 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 26) : Think a lot depends on who is actually fit to play this weekend. Very likely to see the same loose trio that ended the game. 6. Majola. 7. DuPreez. 8 . Kleinhans

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.09.16 12:12:51 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : yeah agree but with u21s failing spectacular I would rather play the talent against the Kings. Maybe Franna and Khaya proves everyone wrong but I don’t think likely

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.09.16 12:17:20 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 26) : Sharks have a real 8 the Ginger Ninja! Problem was that nobody expected that he will only play 30sec! Sharks do however need someone as backup if he can’t play.

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.09.16 12:34:04 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @Kabouter (Comment 28) : @SheldonK (Comment 27) : ja there’s a very good chance that we will see that loose trio and I really hope they can prove us wrong but I just don’t know if they will?!

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.09.16 12:37:28 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.