Daniel leads Sharks in Currie Cup opener

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 19 Jul 2017 at 12:53
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There will be plenty of new faces on show when the Sharks take on the Cheetahs in Friday night’s Currie Cup opener, although the veteran pair of Keegan Daniel (captain) and Odwa Ndungane will be there too to lend some experience and continuity to an otherwise very young squad.

The team will certainly be up against it – forced to compete understrength due to “scheduling conflicts” against a virtually Super Rugby strength Cheetahs side. Caretaker coach Paul Anthony has kept faith in a number of players who have served him well during the recently-completed SuperSport Rugby challenge and will hope those players repay his faith with big performances despite their underdog billing.

Mzamo Majola returns after a loan spell in Super Rugby with the Kings and will earn his first start in the competition (and fourth cap overall). Joining him in the front row is a veteran player from the Kings ranks, prop Ross Geldenhuys. Geldenhuys has over 50 Super Rugby caps to his name and played in New Zealand for the Highlanders before joining the Kings. He joins the Sharks on a one-year deal to shore up tighthead depth in light of Lourens Adriaanse’s departure and will join younger brother Graham, who has been with the Sharks as a junior for the last few years.

Kerron van Vuuren makes a debut at hooker, as does lock Wian Vosloo. Hyron Andrews, surprisingly enough given his Super Rugby experience, will also appear in Currie Cup rugby for the first time and will play an important role marshaling the lineout. Apart from Geldenhuys, all of the tight five have come through the Sharks Academy, a good advertisement for rugby development in the province.

Keegan Daniel plays at number 8, with Jacques Vermeulen and Khaya Majola joining him as the flanks. Vermeulen has appeared for Western Province in this competition, but earns a first Sharks cap.

Rowan Gouws and Benhard Janse van Rensburg also make their Currie Cup debuts as halfbacks, with S’bura Sithole and Ndungane (13 and 14 respectively) providing a foil to three-quarter line debutants in Marius Louw (12) and Ilunga Mukendi (11). Fullback Courtney Winnaar is still under 20 and earns yet another debut, making for 10 new starters in the first XV.

There are further new (and one old) faces on the bench. Hooker Andy du Plessis and prop Thierry “Dash” Kounga have yet to pay Currie Cup, while another EP import, Tyler Paul, will cover lock. Bandisa Ndlovu, a local player with age-group caps, is the loose forward replacement, while it’s great to see Inny Radebe return form injury to take his place on the bench alongside another uncapped club regular in Brandon Bailing.

The final spot in the match 22 goes to a favourite prodigal son, scrumhalf Cameron Wright. Wright has 10 Currie Cup caps for the Sharks and will look to add to that tally this week.

Sharks: 15 Courtney Winnaar, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Ilunga Mukendi, 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Rowan Gouws, 8 Keegan Daniel (capt), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Wian Vosloo, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola
Subs: 16 Andy du Plessis, 17 Thierry Kounga, 18 Tyler Paul, 19 Bandisa Ndlovu, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Brandon Bailing, 22 Inny-Christian Radebe


  • Pretty decent side if this was a Supersport Challenge game. But against a full strength Cheetahs side they could struggle.
    But the opportunity is there for guys to stake a claim. Cant say i expect the Sharks to make the semi finals again this year

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.07.17 12:57:49 by SheldonK Reply
  • Where is this game being played?

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.07.17 14:00:08 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 2) : Bloem

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.07.17 14:10:41 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Ross Geldenghuys is a good player and a very good man. Stoked to see him play for the Sharks.

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.07.17 14:50:26 by Bump Reply

  • @Bump (Comment 4) : I see he is leading the stats in one of the categories for this years SupeRugby competition – Yellow cards Ross Geldenhuys (Kings) โ€“ 4. Should be right at home at the tank. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.07.17 14:57:47 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Presumably a 19.00 kick off, many a better place to be other than on a hard as rock rugby field on a bitterly cold Bloemfontein night. This is going to be a character building game for some of these players.

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.07.17 15:01:45 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Well the Sharks had a similiarly Super laden side thump the Cheetahs in the Supersport Chaleenge, so no reason for any whingeing! I recall Rob being miffed at it, but nobody else really complained. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.07.17 15:39:36 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 7) : Your memory is letting you down.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.07.17 15:43:03 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • look forward to watch both our games on tv this weekend.

    No Schroeder ?

    looks a more balanced loose trio.

    Have you seen the cheetahs team announcement, so many blitz boks, we are going to be up against it.

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.07.17 15:48:03 by revolverocelot Reply

  • I cant believe how against kzn rugby supersport is. Yesterday at craven week we thumbed the bulls and we played a whole half with 14 players. They got back into it somewhat in the second but if you read the article they make it seem we played with 14 men near the end of the game and barely acknowledging we were the superior side. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ if the roles were reversed I know there would be singing the praises of the bulls. Bloody scum

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.07.17 15:49:37 by Poisy Reply
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 8) : It’s an age thing :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.07.17 15:51:03 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 7) : As they say the wheel turns. Interested to see the Small-Smith/Venter combo….huge potential there. Injury damaging Small-smith career. Also interested to see how the 7s guys fare. I wonder if Werner Kok will play for WP again this year?

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.07.17 15:53:29 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Poisy (Comment 10) : ๐Ÿ˜† I saw that, but those that saw the game know what really happened.

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.07.17 17:01:21 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 7) : Blinde sambok would be the best description. Do unto others. Should be some attractive running rugby.

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.07.17 17:14:44 by jdolivier Reply

  • Looking forward to seeing some of these guys play. And I hope they get to play for the next two rounds too…if you know what I mean… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.07.17 18:10:23 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 7) : We’re happy to keep taking it if it means we’re still alive in the Super Rugby knock outs…

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.07.17 18:11:32 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Why are we worried we will only be without the A side for one more weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.07.17 18:32:02 by coolfusion Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 12) : True re Small-Smith, very talented player. I am keen to see Mapimpi and Jaer turn out for the Cheethas too! Sergeal is sublime on attack, but dismal on defence, dutto Rhule. Blommetjies costs us more than he benefits us. So keen to see if Jaer can change that. Been pretty happy with the forwards in general. And our attack has been very goid. So if Mapimpi, and Jaer can make a difference there, it will be a case of what could have been in S18. We list a couple by blowing a healthy lead.

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.07.17 18:43:49 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 18) : I didnt know about Jaer and Mapimpi. Interesting that the Cheetahs seems to be going for the same type of back 3 player if you look at Blommetjies, Rhule, Peterson, Jaer, Mapimpi, Afrika, Speckman….all ‘smallish’ guys that are quick and not really known for defense but very capable on attack.

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.07.17 07:48:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • Mapimpi has been great on attack, haven’t seen any negative remarks about his defence though. He is not a small player though….187 cm and 90 kg!
    Pietersen definitely a defensive liability. Knew about Mapimpi, but I was surprised at the Jaer acquisition. But anybody right now is better than Blommetjies.

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.07.17 08:41:23 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Poisy (Comment 10) :
    I hear you, mate and unfortunately this has been this way for a very long time. You may as an example look at the amount of articles relating to the Bulls vs. Sharks or even the amount of airtime of Bulls games vs. Sharks games, etc.

    But this is just a confirmation of โ€œwe are the last outpostโ€

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.07.17 09:59:15 by BluffShark Reply

  • Two ex Free State boykies in the team. Marius Louw and Andy du Plessis! Guess there is no shortage of Free State talent in those positions , so astute moves, career wise. Wouldn’t have minded keeping Louw, but such is life.

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.07.17 13:37:15 by KingCheetah Reply

  • Isn’t Louis Schreuder a Shark now?

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.07.17 16:23:15 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 23) : he is on his way, but for whatever reason didn’t arrive in time to play in this game.

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.07.17 17:13:41 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : thanks rob

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.07.17 22:14:35 by revolverocelot Reply


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