Coenie injury a catastrophic Sharks blow

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 16 Nov 2017 at 09:59
Tagged with : , , , ,

In the immediate aftermath of the very disappointing news of Coenie Oosthuizen’s serious knee injury, sustained early enough during the Boks’ disastrous capitulation against Ireland to avoid any personal culpability, the concern has been about how his impact will be missed on tour. Fortunately, in that area, the Springboks are blessed with an able replacement in the form of outstanding young tighthead Wilco Louw.

It’s the impact to the Sharks and their 2018 Super Rugby campaign that will be far more telling. No confirmation has come out regarding the exact layoff period, but with Coenie damaging both MCL and ACL in his knee, it’s safe to assume that he’ll miss the bulk of the Super Rugby season, but more likely all of it. It’s a sucker punch to Robert du Preez and his coaching team, who will have felt that their squad was coming together very nicely indeed ahead of the marathon return to a 15-team format next year.

In Currie Cup, the Sharks relied heavily on veteran Ross Geldenhuys in the number 3 jersey, with occasional and able backup from the young and improving John-Hubert Meyer. The madness of a 22-man squad for the regular season meant that Meyer was denied the opportunity to feature every week and thus develop his game and he’ll thus now go into his maiden Super Rugby season without quite as much rugby under his belt as we’d like.

Geldenhuys, who is now 35 years old and was made to look rather ordinary in the Currie Cup final, despite a good campaign up until that point, will be the only tighthead in the quad with Super Rugby experience, albeit for teams other than the Sharks. Looking for a backup player to Geldenhuys and Meyer yields little comfort too – the only other senior players “on the books” would be Enoch Mnyaka, who has spent an entire year injured after being brought in from Boland and is thus also still uncapped at senior level for the Sharks and Thiery Kounga, who lasted a scant 10 minutes of an uninspiring Currie Cup debut before picking up an unspecified injury that sidelined him for the rest of the campaign.

The real danger, to my mind, is that the Sharks will be tempted to once again interfere with Thomas du Toit’s frankly stellar development as a world-class loosehead by forcing him to switch sides – a makeshift move that does nobody any good.

Let’s hope the Sharks have a cunning plan up their sleeves. I think they’re going to need it.


  • I have 3 main concerns for next years super rugby.. tighthead prop . I dont think ross is the man… a real fetcher in the team… and who is going to be our starting fullback… I would like to see bosch at 15 with more space to work with.. but his defense is a real concern!!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.11.17 10:28:24 by Darius de Lange Reply
  • Bigger concern is that management buys wings when we have not been good in front row since du plessis bro left. Avg at most. Now 1 injury there and we are going to battle..

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.11.17 10:51:12 by ebenp Reply
  • With the very likelyhood of Coenie being out the entire year the Sharks must surely take out the chequebook. Going into super rugby without a tighthead able to hold his own will derail an entire campaign as we will get nailed every scrum both on attack and defense. Geldenhuys was solid but in a weak CC and in the final showed the problems he has against a good scrummager. Meyer has hardly played and is still young- id probably back him over Geldenhuys though. So for me if the Sharks dont acquire a tighthead for next year then its pointless talking about any other position and selection

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.11.17 12:05:06 by SheldonK Reply
  • I was looking forward to a battle royale between Thomas and Wilco low. That turned out to be a damp squid, as the Sharks scrum were simply decimated. This leaves me with a nagging suspicion, that Tank isn’t as good as the rave reviews on here suggest. To compound things, Wilco wasn’t all that inspiring vs. the Irish pack.

    So it raises doubts in my mind as to the strength of the Sharks front row.

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.11.17 12:20:20 by KingCheetah Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 4) : unless we buy wilco

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.11.17 12:24:35 by Dunx Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 4) : When a scrum is pushed back like that, there is nothing a single prop can do to stem the tide. The WP scrum was simply better coached to firstly scrum as a tight unit and secondly when to apply the power.

    The Irish used quite a few tricks (like lining up at a clear angle) and the rookie ref did not know how to deal with that.

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.11.17 12:42:43 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 4) : Damp squib. in explosives. Squids are by nature damp.

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.11.17 14:35:32 by coolfusion Reply

  • @ebenp (Comment 2) : This is what I said when they bragged about buying Zas. We needed depth in other areas. Props an area I mentioned in particular.

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.11.17 14:37:13 by coolfusion Reply

  • Can we get Vincent Koch please?

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.11.17 14:38:18 by coolfusion Reply

  • Just imagine Vincent Koch Akker vd Merwe and Thomas du Toit next to each other. Backups: Coenie Franco Beast.

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.11.17 15:02:05 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 6) : Yes, there are many variables in such scrum performances, I just didn’t expect such clear dominance from WP over a pretty strong Sharks pack. Pity the Bulls snatched Frans van Wyk, he is a powerful youngster too, and quite a behemoth at 130kg

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.11.17 15:11:45 by KingCheetah Reply

  • To be brutally honest I really can’t see any top quality TH props available as top teams in SA have at best only 1 on their books. Maybe time to go international but please not Matt Stevens again!!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.11.17 15:37:00 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JD (Comment 12) : Perhaps could look at an Argentine TH??

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.11.17 15:46:53 by SheldonK Reply

  • Ach scheiße…

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.11.17 22:18:06 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • From what I understand, this type of situation in most of pro sports these players salaries are insured in case of long term injury for 80% approx, thus we should have abit more cash in the budget now to get someone.

    Maybe with a super rugby pre season ross, john and enoch could surprise us, especially if we have a strong pack around them.

    I would love to get Vincent Koch but his locked in at the sarries, unless his home sick, tired of englands weather, and wants too live it up in durbs, mind you durbs weather has been pretty englandy of late (dont complain about the rain, just store it for the next drought)

    People are tough on Trevor Nyakane cause he had a poor 2017, when we forget his had a fantastic 2016 for the bulls on both side of the scrum, but this is sa were most rugby enthusiasts suffer from early onset short and long term memory lose. not to mention trevor was messed around by both HM and AC at the boks, and the bulls didnt allow him to settle on one side of the scrum, this year he had technique and injury issues. So if John mitchell eventually lets trevor go I would recruit him to durbs.

    if we get either of these two then ross will likely be let go, john and enoch still young.

    injuries are apart of the game, lets regroup and fight on.

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.11.17 23:19:23 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 13) : they can sign one from anywhere except from England!!! I’m still getting over the last 3 England international players we signed namely: Goode, (the other) Botha and Stevens……. especially Stevens!!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.11.17 16:53:37 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JD (Comment 16) : Well then sign Koch.

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.11.17 09:58:30 by coolfusion Reply


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