Into the Lions den for juniors

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 16 Sep 2016 at 10:29
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Both the Sharks under 19 and under 21 teams face impossible-seeming matches against their Lions counterparts at Ellis Park this afternoon. For both sides, it will be the final fixture in campaigns that have delivered little in terms of results.

Neither team is likely to make the semi-finals of their competition.

Westville’s Shane Ball replaces Kelvin Elder at fullback for the under 21 side, with wings Marcel Coetzee (no relation) and Morne Joubert switching sides in the only other back line change. A bac row reshuffle sees Ayron Schramm (8) and Mike Meyer (6) revert to their most familiar positions, with Kyle Hatherell moving from the second row to blind side flank. Rikus Zwart returns from injury to partner Johannes Retief at lock, while changes in the front row see Ruan Kramer start at tight head and erron van Vurren switch to hooker from flank.

Sharks under 21: 15. Shane Ball, 14. Morne Joubert, 13. Tristan Blewett, 12. Marius Louw, 11. Marcel Coetzee, 10. Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9. Damian Stevens, 8. Ayron Schramm, 7. Kyle Hatherell, 6. Michael Meyer, 5. Rikus Zwart , 4. Johannes Retief, 3. Ruan Kramer, 2. Kerron Van Vuuren, 1. Mzamo Majola (Captain)
Replacements:16. Erich Kankowski, 17. Ngoni Chidoma, 18. Mthunzi Moloi, 19. Bandisa Ndlovu, 20. Jaywinn Juries, 21. Kelvin Elder, 22. Sibusiso Nkosi

Wihan von Wielligh replaces Francois de Villiers at scrumhalf in the only change to the under 19 backs. Sam Swanepoel starts at hooker in the other change.

Sharks under 19: 15. Donovan du Randt, 14. Mfundo Ndhlovu, 13. James Tedder, 12. Taigh Schoor, 11. Ilunga Mukendi, 10. Gareth Simpson, 9. Wihan von Wielligh, 8. Mthokozisi Ntuli, 7. Neil Otto, 6. Andre Coetzee, 5. Andrew Evans, 4. Clifferd Jacobs, 3. Khuthazani Mchunu (Captain), 2. Samuel Swanepoel, 1. Christopher Klopper
Replacements: 16. Bubele Gonqa, 17. Jordan Els, 18. Muammir Salie, 19. Marco Koen, 20. Matthew Everitt, 21. Migcobo Bovu, 22. Khali Koetzenberg, 23. William Squires


  • Another wasted opportunity it seems. Hopefully a strategy is formulated for the juniors as a proper pipeline is required

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.09.16 10:36:52 by Kabouter Reply
  • As with recent years, lets just get these junior comps over with and end the pain quickly. No performances or results to get excited about again this year. Just seems we off the pace at Junior level. Perhaps highlights the need to buy in established elite guys for super rugby.

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.09.16 10:44:55 by SheldonK Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 2) : I think things are far better than what you think they are. The u21s have been literally decimated with injuries – in that pack, they are missing J Du Toit, H Andrews, G Geldenhuys, W Vosloo, A Du Plessis ( then throw in the twins and Thomas ) in the backs, there talisman, Inno is playing seniors, Bosch is playing seniors.

    I made a statement on this site a while back, saying that in my opinion, they should have played all the junior u21 players together, including Bosch and that it would be a double blow, if the u21s do not qualify for playoffs and then the seniors also do not make the playoffs, that is a bugger up.

    In terms of long term moral, I feel it would have been better to push for an u21 currie cup win as opposed to throwing the youngsters into the currie cup.

    I feel for Horak, he is doing the best he can, but he is missing a lot of top quality players and it has been a very disappointing campaign on their behalf, but such is rugby and such is life.

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.09.16 11:00:30 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 3) : Look i do get what you are saying about injuries and potential etc. But fact is we cant just keep saying that…have to judge results. The group thats been playing u19 and u21 the last 3yrs or so have produced very very little. So really cant say that the Sharks juniors have had any success as a group, especially if you include that horrendous CC qualifying and Vodacom Cup comps. So as teams the age groups sides have been pretty horrible. They have however produced a couple stars that have made it into the senior side so perhaps thats the aim and getting any sort of result from those teams very much secondary.

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.09.16 11:28:10 by SheldonK Reply
  • Pity but good luck to both teams!!!

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.09.16 12:16:09 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : I think you are spot on with your last comment.

    If we can get Kramer, Majola, Andrews, Geldenhuys, du Toit, Schramm, Gouws, Louw, Blewett, Nkosi and Joubert to come through from this group, that’s a fantastic result. I think all of them have the potential to make it at Super Rugby level in time.

    Hell, even if half of that group makes it through we’ll have done well from this cohort.

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.09.16 13:15:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : I think if we honest we may get half of those names really coming through with the rest kinda being like a Kleinhans/Majola/Williams player. Think Andrews will come through in time and others are injury dependent…someone will take Heimar Williams place…either Louw or Blewett

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.09.16 13:37:07 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 7) : Andrews has basically already come through. Kramer and Majola have a big opportunity because we’re short of props.

    Geldenhuys is potentially very good but seems injury prone. Du Toit was doing great until his knee injury. He’s apparently taken it very badly and is rethinking his entire life, which sucks a bit. Schramm is talented, but not sure if playing senior rugby for the Sharks is all that much of a motivation for him.

    I think Gouws is supremely talented, but again, major injury and we’ll have to see how he does once he’s back. I have hopes for all of Louw, Blewett and Nkosi, but Joubert needs to pull finger to show he’s as good as the hype led us to believe.

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.09.16 13:41:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • Yeh Adrews was coming through but with Lewies, Botha and Oosthuizen there is a bit of a log jam and seems as though Droste may have overtaken him or could just be an age thing, not sure the stance on Astle. For any of Geldenhuys, Schramm etc to come through there will need to be a shedding of some loose forwards currently in the mix. I think either Louw or Blewett will get that like extra backline player spot Heimar Williams currently has. Nkosi if ever fit should come through as wings arent plentiful. Unfortunately cant really see Joubert breaking in anytime soon. Both Kramer and especially Majola arent the biggest of props, they would give away a lot size wise so technique and power would have to be very good…just not sure they have it

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.09.16 13:56:04 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 9) : interested in your comment about loose forwards. I feel like we’re actually a little thin….

    Maybe it’s just because of injuries at the moment…. but right now, we have Daniel, Deysel, van der Walt, Mtembu and Dan DuP all out. Daniel and Deysel are not long term options and we are definitely going to need cover at 6 given Keinhans’s injury record. If I had to put money on any of the u21 loosies coming good, it would be Geldenhuys. Mike Meyer is also very talented, but I’m worried about size.

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.09.16 14:20:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Yeh i just look at it this way. You need 4 loose forwards for a match day team. The Dupreez x 2, Van Der Walt and Daniel are kinda the front runners. That still leaves Deysel, Mthembu, Majola and Kleinhans (so basically another match day 4). So when fit we have basically 2 sides of loosies…so unless there are injuries/shedding i dont see guys coming through really. To be honest i think only DuPreez x 2, Daniel, Van Der Walt and Mthembu should be retained…the rest DCM

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.09.16 14:29:01 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : @SheldonK (Comment 9) : Andrews has huge potential as I think he’s very similar to Lewies. Having him, EO, Botha and Lewies is very good as they could be rotated to keep them fresh. Don’t know Droste so can’t comment and seems as if Astle is not very fancied in Durbs (even after his big season at the Kings).
    If Sharks can keep Louw, Blewett and Nkosi with most of the guys that’s playing now Sharks could have a quality back line with enough cover.

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.09.16 14:41:10 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 11) : we’re actually forgetting Christiaan de Bruin too

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.09.16 14:58:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : After his performances for EP this CC id be surprised if they didnt offer him something. But yeh you are right.

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.09.16 14:59:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 11) : @robdylan (Comment 13) : yes Sharks needs quality loosies to help cover! Think Sharks needs especially cover at 6 as most of the current top players almost all cover 7 and/or 8!

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.09.16 15:13:53 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 15) : Thought to ponder…is a 6 “Fetcher” that important the way the game is going? Attacking teams are not looking to create rucks but rather offload before or in the contact. So is having a guy hanging around looking to steal ball on the ground not going to become unnecessary? Would it not be better to have a strong tackler/ball carrier instead that can hit hard in the tackle either driving the guy back before he can offload or dislodging the ball in contact. Just a thought to ponder

  • Comment 16, posted at 16.09.16 15:17:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : yes I think so although it will and has changed a bit. Think more in the lines of Marcell. Fast (and strong) player that plays to the break down as well as tackle and carries the ball a bit. Think 7 is more like Alberts big and strong ball carriers and tacklers. Basically for me it’s all about having a balance in your loose trio.
    Personally I like the way Am, Sithole and even Andre try to poach balls at the break downs and believe that’s something that more back line players can do as most of the time they will be closer to the break downs than the forwards.

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.09.16 15:31:22 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : I think you need ball players that all bring something different to the loose forward department. If the AB’s feel it vital to have a fetcher, ala Mccaw and now Cane, then I will go with that. The problem is that our 6’s seem to try and steal every single ball at every single ruck, therefore, taking a man out of the defensive line. I think clever players at 6 are vital

  • Comment 18, posted at 16.09.16 15:35:08 by Vonno13 Reply
  • well, the u19 game is over. I think we can sum it up as “that did not go well”.

  • Comment 19, posted at 16.09.16 15:57:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • 71 – 19 to the Lions, I’ll shut my face and bite my tongue.

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.09.16 15:59:44 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Vonno13 (Comment 18) : I think Cane’s value to the ABs is all the ruck ball he secures cleanly for them more than the ball he steals. He makes at most 1 or 2 steals a game but when Savea is on their ruck ball is a lot more sloppy. Just my view. I just see how the likes of Hooper and Pocock are becoming less potent and even Jaco Kriel doesnt steal much ball for the Lions-his value s ball in hand and making tackles etc.

  • Comment 21, posted at 16.09.16 16:04:01 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 20) : ouch

  • Comment 22, posted at 16.09.16 16:04:52 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 21) : Securing ball is again the roll of the 6, as well as stealing, securing is just as vital. What you need to watch, is how Cane slows the ball down at the ruck, it is not always about getting the steal, it is slowing the ball down – Kriel and Cane are complete different players. Cane does not do much running with the ball, he concentrates on his game and his role in the team and that is to steal, retain and slow ball. Kriel is a running loosie who does not play to the ball. I see Cane is out tomorrow and although Savea is a lethal runner, it means we will get quicker ball.

  • Comment 23, posted at 16.09.16 16:08:07 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 23) : I do get your point about each players role. And thats the issue with the Bok forwards currently i believe- each isnt assigned a role and is executing it. Also the combo of Kriel/Mahoje/Whiteley doesnt gel as then nobody is securing the ball. I still believe there are better ‘penalty friendly’ ways of slowing down ruck ball etc. that differ from the SA perception of an out and out fetcher. I think forwards, especially loose forwards need to be multi skilled and all need to have the ability to both carry and fetch.

  • Comment 24, posted at 16.09.16 16:16:55 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 20) : @Vonno13 (Comment 22) : not well at all!!!! Eina that was a hiding!!!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 16.09.16 16:20:48 by JD Reply
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  • well, the u21 game is over. I think we can sum it up as “that did not go well”.

  • Comment 26, posted at 16.09.16 18:17:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : well both results is not unexpected!!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 16.09.16 18:24:27 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 27) : nope

    Apparently u21s scored 6 tries AND SOMEHOW STILL LOST!

  • Comment 28, posted at 16.09.16 18:32:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : the loose trio are such intersesting positions in rugby and my fave. I think of all the posititions in rugby those three are the most popular and seemingly especially in south africa the most debated . Think its the most debated positions on this site as we are always up for some interesting debating

  • Comment 29, posted at 16.09.16 18:42:28 by schrodingers cat Reply

    schrodingers cat
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 20) : @robdylan (Comment 19) : dunno if you guys agree but i dont think we should expect good results from our u/19 as none of them as far as I know come from schools say rated in the top 10,I see alot of those players are from kzn schools and i know we should invest in our own players from our own province but the reality is our schools cant compete with those bigger schools ,glenwood who are the only school from kzn in the top 10 got pumped by more than 50 every time they played Affies or Monnas or Grey Bloem ect. Schoolboy rugby is a different animal.f we want our juniors to be the best we have to recruit players from bigger schools

  • Comment 30, posted at 16.09.16 18:50:24 by schrodingers cat Reply

    schrodingers cat
  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : I spoke to Ayron earlier, ironically, he said they finally found their flair and played with freedom on attack. He said the team went well but that missing players that no one really talks about, such as W Vosloo, makes a big difference to the side. I asked him what the hell went wrong with the u21 campaign after so much promise last year and he pointed out the following: last year in the early stages, they had JL and Dan, Thomas and no injuries at all. He said it is more mental than anything else, but as a side, they knew deep down that their squad was simply destroyed by injury and players moving up to senior CC. On a positive note, like he rightly said, juniors are now done and the shit will soon be found out and dumped.

  • Comment 31, posted at 16.09.16 20:03:50 by Vonno13 Reply

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