A challenge of epic proportions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 14 Jul 2017 at 09:56
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Here’s a little fly in the ointment – has anyone else noticed that the Sharks’ opening Currie Cup game, against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, takes place next Friday night?

Now, this was (probably) confirmed some time ago, but I’ll admit that I’ve been under a rock and hence the somewhat odd decision to start the Currie Cup while the flipping Super Rugby play-offs are in progress didn’t actually register. It’s probably been done for unavoidable reasons, or whatever, but man, that’s pretty tough on the Lions, WP and Sharks, who will have to get through a series of crunch early Currie Cup games with a Vodacom-Cup strength squad, whilst the likes of the Bulls and Cheetahs can give it a full go with the best they have.

Tougher still, for the Sharks, to face an away game against the current champions, who will be at full strength, in that first week. The Lions have it only slightly better, facing the Pumas away, whilst lucky bloody Province have a bye and (assuming the Stormers are knocked out in their Super Rugby quarter final) should come out of this one looking all right.

Paul Anthony will act as caretaker coach for the Sharks until Rob du Preez returns from wherever he ends up taking the team to play a quarter-final. This is of course an open-ended arrangement, since if the Sharks emulate their 2012 exploits, they could end up being away for up to three weeks, missing games against the Pumas and Griquas in addition to the Cheetahs. It’s unclear exactly how many players would go on such a trip, but one has to assume it would be around 26; enough to severely deplete the squad available to Anthony for those opening games.

There could be some reprieve in the form of players like Mzamo Majola, Louis Schreuder and Tyler Paul – although I’m not sure if they’ll make their way to Durban immediately at the start of next week and manage to integrate well enough to start a game that same Friday. Majola may well have to play, since Juan Schoeman is likely to be on tour and other looseheads are thin on the ground. John-Hubert Meyer is a sturdy option at tight head and should the Sharks have managed to sign Ross Geldenhuys (as widely rumored), the front row would be sorted. Franco Marais’s concussion woes could mean no Stephan Coetzee, leaving Kerron van Vuuren and Andy du Plessis to look after the hooking duties. Hyron Andrews will definitely be there at lock, but with Jean Droste deputising for Ruan Botha (who remains suspended for this opening Currie Cup match) on tour, Wian Vosloo, Rikus Zwart or perhaps even Paul would need to step up in the number 4 jersey. Loose forward is less of a problem, With Keegan Daniel, Khaya Majola and Jacques Vermeulen all more-than-capable at this level.

Scrumhalf is sorted with Cam Wright, Rowan Gouws and (possibly) Schreuder, but pivot is more concerning, with only Benhard Janse van Rensburg as an option while Inny Radebe recuperates from his knee problem. Anthony will look to the likes of S’bura Sithole and Odwa Ndungane to guide a young backline that will otherwise include the likes of Marius Louw, Tristan Blewett, Ilunga Mukendi and maybe even 20-year-old Courney Winnaar, unless frenchman Clemént Poitrenaud has managed to find some fitness and is planning to stay on and play a bit of rugby at last.

A big challenge for the the underdogs, that’s for sure.


  • Very interesting indeed….although slightly depressing! One a side note….many years now I have not rated Shreuder and when picked for higher honours I was totally incensed…but one comes to a point where I must admit to underestimating him….ok My honest opinion for what it’s worth..he wasn’t always this good…but through the challenges thrown at him he has definitely gotten a much better player…watching him with the kings and Lionel and the fast service and hard passing accuracy…I had to eat some humble pie. After being a critic of the player…I am now very excited about what he can do….I would like the other DuPreez brother to come to the sharks and try a comboine with him…leave Curwin for FB where I believe he is and can be world class.

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.07.17 10:38:55 by Sharkfinn Reply
  • Sadly the Currie cup is not that important.

    And what are the Cheetahs going to do in Sept when the Pro12/14 starts?

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.07.17 10:48:27 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 2) : Excellent question, oops ,oops

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.07.17 10:50:03 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 3) : Would be interesting to see which comp gets their 1st choice team.

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.07.17 10:55:02 by McLovin Reply

  • So the cheetahs will have an easy opening game. Who cares? I say go along to give the guys a really run, not really a big loss to drop one cc game or maybe two.

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.07.17 15:08:45 by coolfusion Reply

  • Pfffft! What a whinge!! A powerful union like the Sharks, can surely have enough players to put out a strong team. I mean the Sharks made short thrift of our VC team just a few weeks ago in the Supersport Challenge :mrgreen:

    Bah, another easy competition opener for the Sharks against the Cheetahs, who were evicted from the Super Rugby tournament, because they are so useless. So a big whinge about nothing. Besides, the Sharks are most unlikely to progress past the QF!

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.07.17 18:04:35 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 6) : First games in cc are just feeling each other out anyways. So if you can’t field full strength at least use it to test your bench. Not a big thing.

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.07.17 18:09:25 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 7) : Was just having a dig, because the Sharks loaded their team with Super Rugby players anyway 😀 👿

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.07.17 19:24:00 by KingCheetah Reply

  • Right, so it probably isn’t the biggest thing in the world…but it just has to be said: SA Rugby is brain dead. Wessen hirnverbrannte Idée war dies?!

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.07.17 22:10:59 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • should rearrange the schedule to give us a buy as well

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.07.17 02:54:30 by revolverocelot Reply

  • click on link for the Sharks U19 side to face EP today at 14hoo at GKP

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.07.17 08:07:08 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @revolverocelot (Comment 10) : Buy what? 👿

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.07.17 08:30:28 by KingCheetah Reply

  • Yeah this clearly proof that the powers to be don’t rate CC as a competition worthy to be supported.

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.07.17 10:23:33 by BluffShark Reply

  • @BluffShark (Comment 13) : Which is ludicrous since the that is the only real SA competition in which to condition and asess non contracted players playing under SA conditions.

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.07.17 11:40:11 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 14) : Internationally contracted players I should add.

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.07.17 11:41:01 by coolfusion Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 12) : give us a buy to go and buy some Cheetahs to strengthen our Currie cup side whilst the Super rugby squad go win Super rugby!!! 😈

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.07.17 08:14:04 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 8) : and that work so well as the Sharks then managed to lose both their remaining Super rugby games!!! In fact that was the last game a senior side Sharks won!!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.07.17 08:20:16 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Based on the performances of late and the players laving the Sharks arent going to make the CC semis anyway just like the previous couple of years. So if we lose the opener so be it- trust me we will probably lose a few with our ‘full strength’ team anyway. Just interesting to see the patience people have with RDP compared to guys like Gold and Coetzee etc.

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.07.17 08:40:24 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : Pity Super Rugby rules won’t allow us to send a second tier team to Ellis Park and load our CC team with Super Rugby players. Even if the players put in more effort to satisfy Robert, I just don’t see an upset in Joburg to be on the cards.

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.07.17 08:51:45 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 19) : Based on what i saw on Sat the Lions wll have to drop a good few levels and Sharks will need to somehow pick it up by 300% if its going to be a contest. Sharks were lucky to keep the score fairly respectable on Sat as they just offered nothing. Ive never seena professional team look so awkard trying to pass the ball as the Sharks do. Something needs to change as we cant keep hoping our forwards will win us games by bashing through

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.07.17 09:07:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 20) : I may be wrong but I am pretty sure the only Sharks player to even get into the Lions 22 with ball in hand was Van Wyk after Elton felt he had to make the game a bit more interesting.

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.07.17 09:13:55 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 21) : Think you culd be right. Very nice of Elton that- shows he has a heart

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.07.17 09:30:10 by SheldonK Reply

  • Sharks are going to win on Saturday…. :mrgreen: ……[email protected]SheldonK (Comment 20) : ….”Ive never seena professional team look so awkard trying to pass the ball ” mind boggling actually.

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.07.17 09:51:49 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • I see Rapport has Robert du Preez, Makazole Mapimpi and Akker van der Merwe as future Sharks. Mapimpi is going to the Cheetahs but apparently has a clause that he can play SupeRugby if he gets a call up to a team.

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.07.17 09:55:29 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • We missed Ruan Botha a lot more than we realize,he gives the team so much extra dog fuck.
    Also Chilli is way past it, time to retire.
    Lions never had an easy game on Saturday,We held them for a huge part of the game.
    April will probably never play a worse game in his career, but to be a little fair to him some of the crap Reinarch fed him was abysmal.
    There is a flyhallf in France somewhere, that if he watched this game ,is probably wondering what he did in a previous life,
    that inspired his club to recruit this muppet as his new partner.
    Bye Cobus will miss you as much as I missed S.P.

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.07.17 09:59:31 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • @The hound (Comment 25) : That would be the flyhalf of Northampton – the French have too much sense to do that to their 10’s

  • Comment 26, posted at 17.07.17 10:16:55 by Bokhoring Reply

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