Sharks bring in van Straaten, Zondagh

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 2 Nov 2016 at 10:55
Tagged with : , , , ,

Sharks coach Rob du Preez had a number of interesting things to say at yesterday’s press conference, but perhaps most telling was his continued assurance that improving the players’ skill levels is the key to success.

Du Preez revealed that plenty of attention will be placed on aerobic fitness during the upcoming 7-week pre-season block, with improvements in this highly necessary if the Sharks are to play a fast-paced game. Skills development will be accelerated through the use of specialist coaches and du Preez announced “one old and one new” as additions to his coaching team.

AB Zondagh, son of former Stormers coach Alan, is elevated from his role at the Academy and with the juniors and will now be the union’s skills coach, working with players from Super Rugby all the way down to schoolboy level. It’s a big step up for the 30-year-old coach, but knowing his mindset, philosophy and pedigree, I’m certain he’s going to be hugely influential.

The new coaching hand is former Bok flyhalf Braam van Straaten, who will assist as a specialist kicking coach at the Union. Van Straaten, an ace goal kicker in his day, is highly rated as a specialist in his area and will surely add much value to the Sharks backs in terms of kicking skills and techniques.

Welcome Braam and well done AB. Let’s get to work.


  • This is great news. For a while now we have been lacking behind NZ teams in terms of fitness and skill. Now it seems Rob is placing a lot of emphasis on both. The more I hear out of the Sharks camp, the better 2017 sounds. Proof is in the pudding, but so far so good.
    Welcome to the Sharks gents!

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.11.16 11:05:30 by Another Nick Reply
    Another Nick
  • Wasn’t Zondagh involved with the Kings under Alan Solomons? If so what was his position there? I enjoyed reading his column on Supersports website a while back but not sure where he specialises. Hope he makes a big difference in our skills.

    I’m keen to see what Braam can do.

    All the best to both of them. Are we likely to have any further coaching announcements, possibly about a defense coach?

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.11.16 11:06:48 by Hulk Reply
  • @Hulk (Comment 2) : wrong Zondagh.

    You’re thinking of Alan Zondagh(snr), who is AB’s father

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.11.16 11:08:38 by robdylan Reply
  • @Hulk (Comment 2) : If I remember correctly, Pat spent a lot of time with Braam a couple of years back. During that time, he nearly never missed his penalties and his tactical kicking was on point. Keen to see what he can do with the youngsters.

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.11.16 11:12:19 by Another Nick Reply
    Another Nick
  • @Hulk (Comment 2) : yes, there will be announcements later this week, but I am not convinced there will be another “Omar” in the picture.

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.11.16 11:15:31 by robdylan Reply
  • Good appointments but as RDP has said there wont be an instant change as things take time but they need to get going hence starting now.

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.11.16 11:15:43 by SheldonK Reply
  • Phew, Braam tends to change the guys natural kicking style to make them emulate his own and it doesn’t work for everyone!

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.11.16 11:16:29 by Julesgr8ter Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • The SA Rugby Mag website (bastion of journalism that it is) got hopelessly confused between AB and Alan Zondagh.

    I’m very excited in particular about the Braam appointment. One of the few rugby people worth following on twitter had this to say about him not that long ago:
    Oom Rugby (@Oom_Rugby) tweeted at 9:44 a.m. on Fri, Oct 07, 2016:
    there is a guy to watch.. one of best coache’s in the country. Second maybe only to Mallet on technical level. Braam van Straaten. watch him

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.11.16 11:23:45 by josefgremlin Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : That’s to bad, thought Alan Zondagh did well with the Kings.

    @robdylan (Comment 5) : Will keep checking back in that case.

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.11.16 11:37:13 by Hulk Reply
  • Well at least they are finally starting to put an emphasis on skills. Good idea to use the same skills coach across the board.

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.11.16 11:38:00 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Rob, do you know which coach(es) represented the Sharks at the coaching indaba?

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.11.16 11:41:33 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld vanmartin
  • Welcome and good luck to both!!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.11.16 12:14:59 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @vanmartin (Comment 11) : Gold and Everitt

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.11.16 12:37:48 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Thanks, just wondering if the Indaba had an influence on the skills and conditioning focus and if we’ll see the same from other unions

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.11.16 12:51:26 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld vanmartin
  • @Another Nick (Comment 1) : I thought Rob would definitely say something about that “The prop is in the pudding” statement…looks like you got away with that one! πŸ˜†

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.11.16 12:57:43 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld pastorshark
  • Good luck, men. I’m liking many of these moves…

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.11.16 12:58:33 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld pastorshark
  • @pastorshark (Comment 15) : Quoting for posterity: β€œThe prop is in the pudding”

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.11.16 13:03:32 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld vanmartin
  • The prop is in the hamburgers…..Ollie le Roux
    The prop is in the coacaine……etc 😈

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.11.16 13:13:56 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @pastorshark (Comment 15) : @vanmartin (Comment 17) : quick edit and it never happened πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 19, posted at 02.11.16 13:14:20 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 18) : follows a long line of “the prop is in the ……..” at the Sharks πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 20, posted at 02.11.16 13:18:21 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @pastorshark (Comment 15) : πŸ˜† :mrgreen: Must be my lucky day!

  • Comment 21, posted at 02.11.16 13:37:59 by Another Nick Reply
    Another Nick
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 18) : The prop is in the cardiac arrest unit-Mat Stevens,t
    The prop is in the disabled toilet-Aaron Smith sorry thats the scrum half.

  • Comment 22, posted at 02.11.16 13:49:38 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 22) : So 2 categories for Matt Stevens so far.

  • Comment 23, posted at 02.11.16 14:32:10 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @pastorshark (Comment 15) : I opted not to reply. But I did seriously consider it.

    Man, you guys know me too well.

  • Comment 24, posted at 02.11.16 14:57:00 by robdylan Reply
  • already managed to refrain from replying to Ruan Combrinck’s latest tweet.

  • Comment 25, posted at 02.11.16 14:57:43 by robdylan Reply
  • They just must’nt ignore strength training. Sharks teams that come in thin normally struggle when they don’t have muscle. Rugby is still a contact sport and we need to dominate our opponents pack in order to give our backline good ball.

  • Comment 26, posted at 02.11.16 15:00:33 by GreatSharksays Reply
  • We still need a defense coach please. Omar was a big loss. Damn….

  • Comment 27, posted at 02.11.16 15:01:44 by GreatSharksays Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : The photos he posted?

  • Comment 28, posted at 02.11.16 15:20:15 by Another Nick Reply
    Another Nick
  • @Another Nick (Comment 28) : did he post photos?

    No, I was referring to a tweet where he said the best thing about being on a Bok tour was the days off.

  • Comment 29, posted at 02.11.16 15:30:35 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : At least he’s honest,

  • Comment 30, posted at 02.11.16 15:39:39 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 30) : yes well, maybe. But there’s a distinct pattern emerging here of a rather lazy and entitled young man who seems to resent the hard work required to be a professional rugby player.

  • Comment 31, posted at 02.11.16 15:43:50 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : Combrinck is a fantastic rugby player, but he does have a bit of an attitude that is rather off-putting.

  • Comment 32, posted at 02.11.16 15:53:05 by Another Nick Reply
    Another Nick
  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : Geez you really issues with Ruan Combrinck, why, only you would know.

    If you read the tweet before the one you referring to, it says:
    “Great start to the week. Super training sessions done! Awesome awesome weather in the UK. Really Blessed to be part of this journey!!”

    and then he follows up with the following which you referring too:
    “Nothing beats an off day…waking up on ur own time!!! Sunny London..what a Blessing to be here!!”

    You obviously reading way too much into what he tweets, in fact you should stop following the bloke if you don’t like him.

  • Comment 33, posted at 02.11.16 16:19:03 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Uli Boelie
  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : Hey Rob, just a quick one here, there is far more than meets the eye. He is incredibly hard working and loves playing for the Lions. I know a certain man who knows Combrinks father very well and if the story is to be believed, which I am sure it is, Combrink is critical of the way the Boks are training and the way they over emphasise the needs to work on kicking. This is what I heard, he feels Stick is not a great coach and he finds some of his coaching ” alarming ” regarding the kicking, his text was taken out of context, he simply believes they should be working on their attacking game as opposed to the kicking game – they were not practicing small little grubbers and clever over the top kicks, they were being taught defensive kicking, ie – kick as far as you can. Anyway, I do not think he is overly happy and watching Pat Lambie talk on TMO, he also looked very tentative and not confident at all. This Tour needs to be a success otherwise we going to lose a lot of young talent. Do not take his tweets to heart, he is a frustrated young man and to be fair, from what I have heard, I do not blame him.

  • Comment 34, posted at 02.11.16 16:23:42 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 18) : @JD (Comment 19) : LOL…that brought a heartfelt laugh!! My bad…

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.11.16 19:51:12 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld pastorshark
  • @pastorshark (Comment 35) : Maybe a Freudian reference to Matt Stevens? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.11.16 19:51:48 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld pastorshark
  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : πŸ˜€

  • Comment 37, posted at 02.11.16 19:54:03 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld pastorshark
  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : Good discipline, sir…

  • Comment 38, posted at 02.11.16 19:55:18 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld pastorshark
  • Hmmmmm! Apparently Pieter de Villiers the ex bok scrum guru, is set to be the Stormers scrum coach! Quite a coup, he is right up there with best, almost as good as Daan Human πŸ™‚

  • Comment 39, posted at 02.11.16 19:58:42 by KingCheetah Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 39) : not bad. He was one hell of a prop. Let’s see how it works for them.

  • Comment 40, posted at 02.11.16 20:24:46 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @pastorshark (Comment 35) : we try πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 41, posted at 02.11.16 20:25:11 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 39) : One thing about the stormers is that their aquisitions team pay attention to the market and opportunities arising.

  • Comment 42, posted at 03.11.16 07:51:44 by coolfusion Reply

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