Go for broke? What else can you do?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 7 Aug 2017 at 11:53
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Seriously, I just don’t know how you are really meant to approach two away games against top opposition in the space of four days. Does any team really have a big enough, good enough, squad in Currie Cup to make that sort of challenge anything other than a complete lottery?

I guess the only silver lining here is the fact that all of the teams are pretty much in the same boat (bar the Lions who have a bye on Wednesday). My feeling, for the Sharks, is that they really need to go all out to win against the Bulls on Wednesday and then just rely on luck to see what happens at Ellis Park afterwards. Gambling with a second-strong side for Wednesday could backfire and the worst possible scenario here would be to win neither of the games.

The team will be revealed tomorrow morning, but Rob du Preez will be forced into changes nonetheless, due to losing four guys to Bok call-ups. Beating the Bulls at Loftus is going to be tough as is, with John Mitchell stamping his authority on the team, but du Preez would have preferred to leave his nicely-settling backline as in; Curwin Bosch won’t be there now and du Preez will need to choose between Inny Radebe, Garth April and Ben Janse van Rensburg in the number 10 shirt. Radebe must be the man in pole position, given that options at fullback are limited and April is about the only real option.

Akker van der Merwe should come straight in to replace Chiliboy Ralepelle (although probably not in the starting lineup), while Jacques Vermeulen is in fine form at 7, meaning Jean-Luc du Preez likely won’t be missed much. At number 8, Tera Mtembu will probably come in for Daniel du Preez. but depth in the back row must now come into question especially with Tyler Paul being used at lock.

The Sharks, in other words, should be able to field a very good side for Wednesday’s game (although the bodies will already be a little tired). A tough game at Loftus and (God forbid) an injury or two, though, and things for Ellis Park won’t look so rosy.

Sharks (possible): 15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Lukhanyo Am, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Inny-Christian Radebe, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe , 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg


  • Hoping that Cam gets a start soon.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.08.17 12:00:36 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : Why exactly is MC playing ahead of CW? I don’t think I quite get it…

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.08.17 12:11:32 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : ok, so thought experiment here….

    Let’s say we play the above team against the Bulls and then try to freshen up against the Lions. Could something like this work?

    15 Ndungane, 14 van Wyk, 13 Am, 12 Louw, 11 Nkosi, 10 Radebe, 9 Wright, 8 Mtembu, 7 Vermeulen, 6 Daniel (capt), 5 Droste, 4 Paul, 3 Meyer, 2 Akker, 1 Majola
    16 Marais, 17 du Toit, 18 Geldenhuys, 19 Botha, 20 Majola, 21 Schreuder, 22 April

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.08.17 12:13:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • It is madness. Still don’t understand what is going on.

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.08.17 12:13:34 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 2) : Mike is apparently vice captain and about the only guy in that line with any real experiences.

    Also don’t get it, BTW – but that’s the explanation I suspect you will get if you ask.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.08.17 12:22:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Yeah could work, I’d suggest also giving Ben a start in the second squad with the idea that some proper competition between him and Inny could be a good thing.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.08.17 12:50:15 by vanmartin Reply
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  • This is a great recipe for getting players injured early in the season.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.08.17 13:01:20 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 7) : agree

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.08.17 13:17:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : @pastorshark (Comment 2) : @robdylan (Comment 5) : RdP Snr will not risk playing a young 9 and 10 so that’s why he’s using MC to start and help the youngsters at 10. If Pat was fit and playing I’m sure CW would have been the starting 9.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.08.17 13:19:09 by JD Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 7) : @robdylan (Comment 8) : everybody except the powers that be thinks it’s idiotic!!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.08.17 13:20:24 by JD Reply
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  • Call me crazy, but something in me would rather have us playing this ridiculous schedule of games against the better opposition, away where under normal circumstances a win would have been a tough(er) ask…

    but I agree, this is not ideal…

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.08.17 13:21:58 by VanWilder Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Thanks…

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.08.17 13:28:10 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @VanWilder (Comment 11) : dude….. feels like you haven’t been here in years!

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.08.17 13:31:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • Do women get free tickets for Wednesday’s games?

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.08.17 13:34:14 by McLovin Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : @robdylan (Comment 13) : šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ Its been a while…

    i`ve been following the articles and threads daily, but been so busy lately to sit my arse down and comment a bit…

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.08.17 13:46:31 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 15) : don’t worry too much – nobody really has time to comment much any more!

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.08.17 13:47:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : think its time for another friday jokes thread… You did it once many moons ago if I recall correctly…

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.08.17 13:50:45 by VanWilder Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :
    I like what I’ve seen of Wright – but that’s just about 60 minutes of rugby after an absence of a year- surely reason enough to back Classens to start for a while longer?

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.08.17 14:18:30 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • The CC is really becoming a nothing competition. Just look at the crowds they have been getting. I think there were more people on the field than in the stands at Loftus last week. For me the CC is a great way to see what short comings we have in terms of super rugby depth…guys that cant cut it at this level shouldnt even be considered for super rugby squad

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.08.17 14:46:00 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 19) : I agree with you to an extent, the CC has been destroyed by the dumb Super rugby format that had us playing every home team twice this year already and not one New Zealand team in a tri nations club tournament.
    Most fans are sick of watching local teams.How the clowns who run super rugby destroyed the best rugby competition in the world, is criminal.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.08.17 15:47:56 by The hound Reply
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  • Worried about how low we are with fullback stocks, April is reliability hot and cold. Will be good to have Smith back, but with Bosch now focusing on 10 it leaves us rather thin.

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.08.17 16:24:27 by Here be dragons Reply

    Here be dragons
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : that’s a solid idea, I would bring sithole into the mix in at least one of these next two games as well

    also interested to see how many SR players that are not boks and do not have japan contracts the Lions bring into their CC match 22 on the weekend

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.08.17 17:19:30 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 18) : I actually think this is the best period to blood him in. We can afford it now.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.08.17 18:00:02 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Here be dragons (Comment 21) : I can see a guy like ward becoming a utility that could cover fullback.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.08.17 18:06:50 by coolfusion Reply

  • decent team from the Bulls, Libbok and Jackson exciting young baby boks

    Blue Bulls: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Franco Naude, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Johannes Prinsloo (captain), 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
    Replacements : 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Abongile Nonkontwana, 19 Shaun Adendorf, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Dries Swanepoel, 22 JT Jackson

    did the bulls lose all their SR locks ?

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.08.17 19:57:11 by revolverocelot Reply

  • I think this would be our 1st test of character and I am looking forward to see how we would be standing up for it. Two (2) very tough games, but I think we could take both.

  • Comment 26, posted at 08.08.17 08:35:30 by BluffShark Reply

  • We should beat this Bulls team, even with the Glenwood boy at 3,Tony Jaantjies is a weak link and if our looses can get to him he will implode.

  • Comment 27, posted at 08.08.17 09:00:32 by The hound Reply
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  • Forgot the Glenwood boy at 19,love to see that guy come home.

  • Comment 28, posted at 08.08.17 09:01:41 by The hound Reply
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  • I love mid week games but the schedule is crazy.

    I’d be very confident about beating the Bull’s tomorrow but we did manage to lose to a pathetic Bulls Super rugby side with a stronger Sharks side only a month or so ago. Hope the guys are up for the challenge of this crazy scheduling but that is something the Sharks have never had a problem with, getting focused when it looks like we can’t win.

  • Comment 29, posted at 08.08.17 09:19:31 by Hulk Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 27) : Problem is with Bosch gone, our prospects at 10 isn’t that great either.

  • Comment 30, posted at 08.08.17 09:53:17 by HeinF Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 30) : Great opportunity for someone to step up here I would like to see Jansen van Rensberg do it, have no faith in Radebe,think he is far too frail.

  • Comment 31, posted at 08.08.17 10:03:51 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 27) : don’t forget Sharks managed to lose to them twice in one weakend!!! Will not count any chickens before the fat lady completed her song!!!

  • Comment 32, posted at 08.08.17 10:17:55 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : Yes, it is a great opportunity, just worried about what can happen on a day if neither steps up. I was always an Inny fan, so hoping he can step up, but you are right, he gets injured so easily. Jansen van Rensberg has had a few chances already, but failed to impress. I am sure there is more to him than what we have seen so far, otherwise Rob dP would not have made the effort to bring him with from the leopards, so hopefully he can show us that side of him!

  • Comment 33, posted at 08.08.17 10:35:20 by HeinF Reply

  • @JD (Comment 32) : You mean don’t count the chickens till the fat lady stands up and removes the last one from under her copious arse,
    I hear you but I was at Fridays game and had sense that something great is brewing in this team All the right elements are starting to slot into place,
    Botha is an excellent leader and some of the new guys Tyler Paul,Vermullen,Wright look totally inspired and proud too play for the jersey.
    Ross Geldinhuys,slotted in seamlessly and he Thomas and Franco are as good a front row as we have had for ages.Two of the best wings inSouth Africa,how Coetzee missed both of them is as mysterious as his calling up of Chilli,and Dan ahead of Ruan Ackerman,
    Any way for the moment I am a believer.

  • Comment 34, posted at 08.08.17 10:38:45 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 34) : I am sure the rumours of Ruan following his dad would not have helped his chances to be selected. Long term, he is not an option for the boks atm…

  • Comment 35, posted at 08.08.17 10:45:33 by HeinF Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 35) : Interesting that he never played Craven week and was never selected for any S.A junior side so we could see him running out for England at the next World Cup,or the one after that as he is only 21.
    Think he is going to be a great player, he already is.

  • Comment 36, posted at 08.08.17 10:55:05 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 36) : For his career, he probably made the smart choice. Can’t say I would not have been tempted to do the same if I was in his shoes.

  • Comment 37, posted at 08.08.17 11:04:00 by HeinF Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 34) : ja lots of strange calls in that selections but let’s see maybe AC surprise us and finish second behind the All Blacks!? šŸ˜ˆ
    Personally I’ve liked te look of the teams body language since the beginning of the year but will wait a while before I start calling them championship contenders.

  • Comment 38, posted at 08.08.17 11:37:33 by JD Reply
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