Injury disruptions cause massive challenge

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 May 2017 at 10:34
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

The Sharks play in Singapore this weekend for the first time, but with injuries cutting a swathe through the backline after the Kings defeat, the team faces a significant challenge to avoid joining the Bulls as 2017 Sunwolves casualties.

Robert du Preez has been fortunate in that he has virtually an entire first-choice pack fit and available, bar Coenie Oosthuizen who rests this week. Together with Jaco Pienaar, du Preez will need to formulate a strategy that makes best use of a strong and experienced forward outfit – and one that can hopefully get the better of their hosts, provided the game does not become too lose.

At the back, it’s a whole different story and some creative selections, one feels, are going to be needed here.

With no Lambie, Bosch, Esterhuizen, Ward, Radebe, Smith or Poitrenaud to call on, the backline is worryingly bereft of experienced men to occupy the key positions of 10, 12 and 15. Du Preez will need to decide which of his inconsistent scrumhalves should start this game, but with 50 caps apiece, neither Cobus Reinach nor Mike Claassens will be the coach’s biggest headache.

First among the big decisions is to decide whether the untried Benhard Janse van Rensburg or the more experienced Garth April should call the shots at flyhalf. April seems the logical choice, bar the fact that he is also the most obvious candidate to play fullback. Du Preez will need to gamble in one of those positions and for me, I’d rather see April at 10 and let Lwazi Mvovo see what he can do in the 15 jersey. Janse van Rensburg on the bench can always come on to reverse that selection if it goes pear-shaped.

Given that choice, wings Kobus van Wyk and S’busiso Nkosi select themselves, leaving only the midfield as another puzzle. Du Preez is known to favour Johan Deysel as an inside centre, but if it were me and with experience at a premium, I’d rather move Lukhayno Am into that channel and select S’bura Sithole outside. Deysel is a talented player and has played test rugby for Namibia, but his Super Rugby experience is limited to two caps off the bench and I’d far rather go with the men who have played more at this level.

Du Preez names his side tomorrow, so we’ll see whether he agrees with my thinking here, or not.


  • Big headache for the coaches πŸ˜•

    Come on, Sharks!!! Make us proud.

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.05.17 10:54:20 by StevieS Reply
  • Kings stormed to their lead because our forwards (especially at scrum time) got hammered by the Kings.

    As long as our forwards bring their A-game, our backline will survive.

    Let’s face it, in attack our backline has been average, so defense is where they’ll matter.

    Therefore, I believe the bulk of Deysel will serve us better at 12, especially with neither April nor Ben10 too known in the defensive channel.

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.05.17 11:06:33 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I would still have Deysel over sithole. So sithole can bench for wings. Also he has had more caps than Deysel but that’s circumstancial. He hasn’t done much with it.

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.05.17 11:08:33 by coolfusion Reply

  • 9 Reinach
    10 April

    11 Nkosi

    12 Deysel
    13 Am

    14 Van Wyk

    15 Mvovo

    21 Mike
    22 Sithole
    23 Ben10

    My Thinking

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.05.17 11:19:50 by DuToit04 Reply

  • I really hope that Sithole has spent his time in the 15’s reinventing himself as a solid option at centre. Always one of those players who has been a couple of problems areas away from being brilliant.

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.05.17 11:32:01 by KimFurber Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 4) : Why Reinach? I would rather play a junior than waste my time on someone who’s leaving, we’ll need 2 new SH’s next season. So Cameron Wright(if we signed him) will most likely be 1st choice with a youngster/new guy on the bench.

    Why not give that youngster some experience this season? We don’t really have a chance of winning SR this year so we might as well keep next season in mind and build some depth. But I’m just not seeing that kind of planning from our coaching setup at the moment.

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.05.17 11:50:34 by Quintin Reply

  • @Quintin (Comment 6) : you guys need to juuuuuust calm down a little here.

    Remember that the Sharks have not said anything about Cameron Wright. He is thus not a Sharks player (yet) and is, in fact, still in France and contacted to Montpellier. There is simply no way he can play for them this weekend and we need to accept that the Sharks will first announce this signing (when i don’t know) and THEN he will join us and try to get into the team.

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.05.17 12:11:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @DuToit04 (Comment 4) : My thinking, and it might be completely out of the boks, somewhere beyond no return

    9 – Claasens
    10 – April
    11 – Nkosi
    12 – AM
    13 – Van wyk
    14 – Sithole
    15 – Mvovo

    21 – Reinach
    22 – Deysel
    23 – Ben 10

    would give Kobus a go @ 13 as he has played there a lot and our biggest contrubutor on defenders beaten, AM played 12 also

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.05.17 12:30:50 by HB Reply
  • Other than April the best option as a fullback is Reinach. He is good under the high ball, can defend well and has a big boot. Mvovo not as sound at fullback.

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.05.17 12:45:43 by sudhir Reply

  • @HB (Comment 8) : very interesting and exciting line-up that would make. i dont think the wings will get the ball as Kobus wont distribute lol
    @Quintin (Comment 6) : i hear you on him going – i felt he actually had a decent run last week if we think of who is in the tour squad…to me, Mike in the last 20 min will have a more influential role as an impact player.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.05.17 12:47:24 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Yeah hence I had the brackets (if we signed him) there and I was referring to next season, not this one.
    @DuToit04 (Comment 10) : Yeah I agree but I just want us to start planning ahead. We’re not going to get any quality depth from players sitting on the bench week after week, we need to start rotating building.

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.05.17 12:52:28 by Quintin Reply

  • @Quintin (Comment 11) : who is our srummies at the XV’s? I haven’t seen a game yet – good point – we need to expose these guys at some point – these “easier” fixtures are ideal…oh wait…Our Sharks adapt to the opposition they playing, so there is no “easy” games for us…sigh πŸ™„

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.05.17 13:09:49 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 12) : Damian Stevens and Rowan Gouws

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.05.17 13:23:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @sudhir (Comment 9) : I have not really watched any Sunwolve games – do they kick a lot of up and unders?

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.05.17 14:01:02 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Are they any good?

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.05.17 14:04:16 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 2) : We need to ensure this is a war of attrition, and not to let the game get loose. Helter skelter will really suit these guys. Rather use guys like Botha, Thomas, the Dup brothers, the Ninja, Lewies and now and then Van Wyk to take the ball up in the closer channels, but with attention to retaining the ball. Try and force the penalties, and kick for poles or to setup line-out drives.

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.05.17 14:07:21 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 16) : I agree. Need to build an innings before we can play a more open game because we are clearly not respecting so called ‘smaller’ teams enough in the opening 30mins.

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.05.17 14:48:31 by Quintin Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Hey Rob, is Ndungane fit? He did play a few games at fullback for the sharks, maybe not a bad call to get some experience into a young backline?

    9. Reinach
    10. April
    11. Mvovo
    12. Deysel
    13. Am
    14. van Wyk
    15. Ndungane

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.05.17 16:00:46 by VanWilder Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 16) : Our forwards standing up was the only reason that we looked like winning against the Kings, so it shouldn’t be difficult to build on a forward dominated attack.

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.05.17 16:06:57 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 4) :

    1) Beast
    2) Marais
    3) Coenie
    4) Oosthuizen
    5) Botha
    6) VD Walt Capt
    7) JL Dup
    8) Dan Dup
    9) Reinach
    10) April
    11) Nkosi
    12) Deysel
    13) Am
    14) Van Wyk
    15) Mvovo

    16) Chilli
    17) Adriaanse
    18) Thomas
    19) Lewies
    20) Tera
    21) Claasens
    22) Ben10
    23) Sithole

    If i selected I would of course wanted Keegan at 6 with VD Walt at 8 and JL at 7 with DAn on the bench. Keegan is not in the squad.
    I would start a front row of Tank, Marais, Meyer with Coenie and Beast on the bench.

    And Lewies at 4 would not be a bad idea, he looked hungry on Saturday and brought a lot of energy onto the field.

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.05.17 17:44:25 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @VanWilder (Comment 18) : I’d rather have Nkosi in on 11 and Mvov’s on 15. All it takes to score against Odders is a chip over his head to turn him and you will certainly win the footrace for the ball, he’s very slow. That’s not good especially if he’s going to be the last defender as a FB on a couple occasions.

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.05.17 17:59:16 by Quintin Reply

  • @sharks_lover (Comment 20) : Agree with the loose trio you mentioned below the team, the rest of the team looks good for what we currently have available.

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.05.17 18:01:48 by Quintin Reply

  • @sharks_lover (Comment 20) : Eish old age….. I forgot to correct my team as Rob had told me Coenie is not playing in this game πŸ™„

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.05.17 18:13:03 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 23) : jy wéét mos!

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.05.17 18:33:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† Howzit brudda lmao

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.05.17 18:55:08 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Here is food for thought, (tho im a dreamer)
    i believe the saders have 2 x backline coaches, one that emphasizes on coaching 9 10 and 12 running lines and defensive drills and the another on the 11 13 14 15 outside backs,

    wouldn’t it be good if we could recruit Henry Honibal and James Small send them to NZ to the International Rugby Academy just for new ideologies as the kiwis are advanced in this regard.
    and then have them coaching the backs (HH inside and JS outside)

    Just an out the box idea that will serve better that what we currently have in the sharks outfit

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.05.17 10:00:57 by Andrew Fletcher Reply

  • @Andrew Fletcher (Comment 26) : I like.

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.05.17 10:56:24 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 27) : @Andrew Fletcher (Comment 26) : Andrew it could work but any coach would have to buy into going for training as it would mean they would be away for at least a year.

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.05.17 16:52:58 by JD Reply
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