Two changes as Sharks prepare for Brumbies

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 2 Mar 2017 at 10:06
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Rob du Preez has selected a largely unchanged side for the Sharks’ second Super Rugby match of the 2017 campaign, against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

Stephan Lewies moves up from the bench to replace suspended Etienne Oosthuizen in one of only two changes to the starting lineup. Oosthuizen received a two-match ban for a punch during last week’s game against the Reds and thus sits out, with single-cap Springbok Lewies joining Ruan Botha in the second row. Both are more commonly used as 5-locks, but Lewies has been asked to wear the number 4 jersey on this occasion and adapt to the more physical role required of the front lineout jumper.

In the other change, Clément Poitrenaud comes in for a first start at fullback in place of Curwin Bosch, who moves to the bench. Bosch was by no means alone in enduring a shaky start to the season, but the coach clearly feels that the right thing to do is to start with the more experienced fullback here and allow the 19-year-old an opportunity to continue his development as a substitute.

Young lock forward Jean Droste comes onto the bench and is poised to make his competition debut for the Sharks should he get onto the park.

Sharks: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu (vice-captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch.


  • Good team again. I agree with the call to give the more experienced fullback a run against the brumbies, they tend to kick more and it’ll be good to see how he performs. Hoping for a better defensive effort from the guys.

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.03.17 10:12:08 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • Is Ward not perhaps a safer choice at 13 ahead of Am? Are Sithole’s days as centre a thing of the past? He wasn’t by any means performing poorly when tried there.

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.03.17 10:26:40 by boertjie101 Reply

  • @boertjie101 (Comment 2) : Jeez, I like Am a lot. Made that first try with his qucik thinking.

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.03.17 11:17:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • Speaking of Am, he had decent hands last Friday, and he seemed very strong defensively. Agree with the coach, Curwin had a nervy outing, and the Sharks need experience to bank a win.

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.03.17 11:51:37 by SeanJeff Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : His feet and hands were simply on another level than the rest last week. I also like him and if Morne says he is a gem then …

    Something that really makes me excited is that with Esterhuizen, Am, Ward and even Deysel we have some serious talent in very young guys. Not trying to be funny but Adi Jacobs and Stef Terblanche could be great mentors / consultants to get to work with these guys. Perfect examples of guys understanding their abilities and maximising what they can control whilst delivering consistently.

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.03.17 11:53:02 by Kabouter Reply

  • @boertjie101 (Comment 2) : @robdylan (Comment 3) : I have to agree with Rob on this. Am has good footwork (when last have we seen that from a Sharks centre!?), he is alert when it comes to loose balls, he can compete on the ground, he can execute chips, grubbers, etc. (see last year’s CC), he can pass, and he can play at 12… I like him. Sure, he missed that tackle on Samu Kerevi, and there’s no doubting Ward’s potential, but I see no reason why they can’t both get exposure.

    Personally, I’m more concerned with Tera Mthembu, who was practically invisible last week. I also thought Bosch offerred absolutely nothing on attack, but the kid is super young, and expectations must be tempered. Starting with Pointrenaud, and easing Bosch off the bench is the right call in my book.

    As for Sithole, I think we can expect that anyone who couldn’t catch a ball if it was covered in treacle and he was wearing velcro gloves is going to have a hard time making it at this level.

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.03.17 12:42:36 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Kabouter (Comment 5) : Yes absolutely. Say, where is Adi there days?

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.03.17 12:51:17 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • Adi Jacobs, what a champ, haven’t heard that name in a while.

    Poitrenaud had a few shocking knock on’s and bad passes. Pat also had a few shocking passes, hopefully just early season rust/jitters.

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.03.17 13:13:43 by Quintin Reply

  • @Culling Song (Comment 6) : I agree with you on Terra, he needs to show up this week as I am expecting a big season from him to show us he is our future nr. 8. He hasn’t completely convinced me since he started playing CC and SR.

    I really want to see how Ward does at SR level, his mentality looks so strong to me from what I’ve seen from him in the past. At least we have some depth there now with Am and him being out and out centers and not playing out of their natural positions.

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.03.17 13:21:43 by Quintin Reply

  • Basically only one change as EO can’t play. Hope Clément finds his mojo as he did not really had a good start!!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.03.17 13:24:02 by JD Reply
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  • @Quintin (Comment 9) : I’d love to see what Am and Ward can do on attack! Think they could be a very exciting combination!!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.03.17 13:26:29 by JD Reply
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  • Is there any rotation policy this year at the Sharks?
    I don’t feel very comfortable with this statement on their website though: “Continuity is the name of the game in this tournament and teams that do well tend to have luck on their side as far as injuries go, as well as the opportunity to pick much the same team week after week.”

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.03.17 13:32:28 by bokbok Reply

  • @JD (Comment 11) : Now that would surely be interesting to see as we know by now that AE really isn’t an attack-minded 12. But I think for now Ward is still learning from the bench which is a good thing I just hope he gets enough opportunity this season.

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.03.17 13:34:35 by Quintin Reply

  • A change in the line-up is encouraging. I’m glad Rob feels that one can be benched for 1 poor game. For how long have we seen poor performances rewarded with further selection. I feel for Bosch but he’s very young and it’s good to learn right from the beginning that if you don’t perform you get dropped.

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.03.17 16:09:01 by Hulk Reply

  • @Quintin (Comment 13) : must say the little I’ve seen of Ward really impressed me! Yes he’s young so give him a bit of time but I have a sneaky feeling if Am or Andre is not on top form he might be pressing for a starting spot sooner rather than later!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.03.17 17:23:07 by JD Reply
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  • @Another Nick (Comment 7) : running a business in Cape Town

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.03.17 18:04:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 15) : Think so too. V keen to see him and Am together

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.03.17 18:13:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : I agree 13 is fixed,just need to sort out 12, Ward should be given a chance then Sharks will have a firing centre combo

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.03.17 18:16:32 by benji Reply
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  • Rob is being very clever in slowly feeding Ward and Bosch in from the bench.
    New Zealand style, like Mckenzie and Barrat.
    Hope to hell Lewies body holds up, he and Botha best Sharks 4/5 since Atherton/Andrews

  • Comment 19, posted at 02.03.17 18:48:56 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : who do you think will play 12 Am?

  • Comment 20, posted at 02.03.17 21:33:13 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 19) : wow what an awesome lock combination!!! But admitting to knowing them might show our age 😆

  • Comment 21, posted at 02.03.17 21:36:55 by JD Reply
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  • I like it…step it up, men…

  • Comment 22, posted at 02.03.17 22:38:13 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 20) : That’s who I would play there.

  • Comment 23, posted at 02.03.17 22:53:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : really hope we can see a bit of it in the second half of the game!!! You know as soon as the game is safely won 🙄

  • Comment 24, posted at 02.03.17 23:14:15 by JD Reply
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  • Just watching Force/Reds,so many dropped balls which commentators put down to slippery ball, caused by humidty.
    If we are going play Southern hemisphere rugby in February maybe we need a different ball, that is more water resistant.
    What happened to the gloves the guys used to wear, remember Carlos Spencer wearing them, they must have been to counter the slippery ball..

  • Comment 25, posted at 03.03.17 08:20:26 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 25) : I used to play for years with the gloves, even as prop, it used to help with grip on binding, grip when lifting the lineout jumpers and obviously grip on the ball.

  • Comment 26, posted at 03.03.17 10:23:04 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 25) : don’t think they must change the ball think they must start later and make the tournament shorter with less teams!!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 03.03.17 12:10:55 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 27) : Every soccer world cup they introduce a radically new designed ball.
    All I amassing is look into the problem, handling a greasy ball is producing and come up with a better version for high humidty games, maybe its as simple a deflating it a bit or coating it with a water resistant product

  • Comment 28, posted at 03.03.17 12:23:13 by The hound Reply
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