Mapimpi set for a break?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 Feb 2018 at 11:23
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The Sharks will name their team for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Waratahs tomorrow, but the early indications are that there could be a number of personnel changes to the team that went down narrowly in Johannesburg in week 1. Try-scoring winger Makezole Mapimpi – who has had no off-season to speak of after joining the team directly from the Cheetahs’ Pro14 campaign – is one man possibly likely to enjoy a rest this week.

Good news for the Sharks comes in the form of a seemingly fit Cameron Wright, but there’s no sign of Philip van der Walt in the mix this week. The big redhead appeared to miss training yesterday for unknown reasons – perhaps an injury niggle? The loose forward unit will be reshuffled in any event, with Dan du Preez also ruled out. Expect Tyler Paul to play a big role this week, with Keegan Daniel returning to the side and Tera Mtembu also likely to feature.

Marius Louw also looks set for a first appearance this season – probably off the bench with Kobus van Wyk coming in for a start. It’s not clear which of Louis Schrueder or Michael Claassens will be the reserve scrumhalf, but my money is on the former.

Don’t expect the Sharks match 23 to differ too wildly from the following:

Probable Sharks (from): Beast Mtawarira, Juan Schoeman, Franco Marais, Akker van der Merwe, Thomas du Toit, John-Hubert Meyer, Ruan Botha, Stephan Lewies, Hyron Andrews, Jacques Vermeulen, Tyler Paul, Keegan Daniel, Tera Mtembu, Cameron Wright, Louis Schreuder, Robert du Preez, Curwin Bosch, Andre Esterhuizen, Lukhanyo Am, Marius Louw, Sbusiso Nkosi, Kobus van Wyk and Lwazi Mvovo


  • Ja that sounds about right. Can’t see to many changes from that 23.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.02.18 11:33:59 by JD Reply
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  • Excited. Just hope we manage to improve the scrummaging a lot this weekend.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.02.18 11:46:46 by boertjie101 Reply

  • Looking a little bit weak in the loose forwards department. Likely trio of Daniel, Mtembu and Paul… Doesn’t fill me with confidence against a solid Waratahs pack of forwards.

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.02.18 12:19:34 by Dustin Emslie Reply

  • @Dustin Emslie (Comment 3) : you wouldn’t start Vermeulen?

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.02.18 12:21:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Yeah, my mistake, forgot about him. Vermeulen and Paul with Keegan at 8.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.02.18 12:28:14 by Dustin Emslie Reply

  • @boertjie101 (Comment 2) : Stormers destroyed the Waratahs scrum last weekend so hopefully we won’t have any major issues.

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.02.18 12:30:16 by Dustin Emslie Reply

  • Our pack as a whole does seem a bit uninspiring. Especially at lock. Ruan is good but lewies doesnt really set the world alight and thats about it. The backs are a different story though. Cant wait to see them in action!

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.02.18 14:22:41 by tigershark Reply

  • @tigershark (Comment 7) : Yeah, our pack was once a thing of beauty, we had a scary tight 5 and hardcore loose forwards – lost a lot of star quality, but its a young squad and there could be some gems. Lewies and Ruan are both number 5 locks in my mind, we need someone big and aggressive to be a number 4 lock, I still think a Dan Du Preez could be a candidate, that we have 2 Dups on the field and still have a balanced loose trio. Its not as if Dan is silky smooth, refined loose forward.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.02.18 14:48:31 by Richard Reply

  • Interesting resting Mapimpi for the first home game but can fully appreciate he needs to recharge ahead of a tough super rugby campaign. Waratahs are a very clever side, managed to beat the Stormers whilst getting smashed at scrum time, something the Sharks couldn do against the Lions. Think we may see Bosch start at 15 with Mvovo or Van Wyk on the bench. Tyler Paul does a lot of good things and id really like to see Vosloo at this level.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.02.18 14:52:51 by SheldonK Reply

  • Surely, just coming off a two week break, if we are going to rest players, do it next week against the Sunwolves.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.02.18 14:55:19 by Dustin Emslie Reply

  • @Dustin Emslie (Comment 10) : I don’t have an issue with us resting the winger who doesn’t like to tackle this week

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.02.18 15:21:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Agreed.

    I feel we need some more mongrel in the tight 5 with Coenie out and EO overseas not a lot of people can add what they added to our pack.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.02.18 16:42:53 by Quintin Reply

  • @Richard (Comment 8) : I dont think Dan will add the beef we need at 4 lock. I’ve looked at him next to other players and he doesnt seem to be a full 198 cm tall. He looks more like 195-196 and he definitely doesnt have the bulk of a Eben or RG Snyman. Strong for an eighthman but not a modern day 4. Today’s world standard no 4 locks seem to enter at around 6′ 8″ and 125kg’s.

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.02.18 17:22:48 by tigershark Reply

  • @tigershark (Comment 13) : Dan is nowhere near 1.98. I have no idea where SuperSport got that stat.

    We’re in trouble at 4. No suitable replacement for Oosthuizen. I identified this last year and I’m afraid they’ve done nothing. Jaco Pienaar doesn’t think 4 is a specialist position

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.02.18 17:25:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : The only one that comes to mind is only 18 I think, JJ, he is a massive unit yet very mobile, other than that? nope no one.

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.02.18 17:30:45 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Yeap. The sharks engine room definitely not looking as good as some of the other teams. They will have to make up for it in work rate and collective effort like the lions have done in the past.

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.02.18 17:32:07 by tigershark Reply

  • JJ van der Mescht is the heaviest @ 130kg and 1cm short of being the tallest @ 200cm at the 2017 Craven Week. JJ was very impressive in the loose as a ball carrier for the Sharks, If only he was a year or 2 older.

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.02.18 17:33:39 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Gideon Koegelenberg
    Height 1.99 m (6 ft 6 1?2 in)
    Weight 118 kg (18 st 8 lb; 260 lb)
    School Hugenote Hoërskool
    University Sharks Academy

    Gideon however I think is also a 5 lock.

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.02.18 17:37:29 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • How do you post a pic on this blog?

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.02.18 18:05:47 by tigershark Reply

  • Lambo looking very comfortable at 12 great running and scoring for racing.

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.02.18 18:12:41 by coolfusion Reply

  • @sharks_lover (Comment 18) : I thought he was more a 4?

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.02.18 18:16:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • No pics allowed here?

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.02.18 18:18:15 by tigershark Reply

  • @tigershark (Comment 22) : what do you want to post a picture of?

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.02.18 18:20:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Just a throwback pic. dont worry about it 😉

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.02.18 18:27:30 by tigershark Reply

  • @tigershark (Comment 24) : chuck it up on an image sharing site and just paste the link

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.02.18 18:29:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : Did some more research, you are right Rob he is more a 4

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.02.18 19:51:17 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 26) : no need to research. Just ask me in the first place 🙂

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.02.18 19:52:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : :mrgreen: 😆 😆

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.02.18 20:00:12 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Dustin Emslie (Comment 3) : Agreed, quite lightweight without the du Preez brothers to get over the gain line.

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.02.18 22:06:34 by tomwatchingsports Reply
  • Surprised not to see Ross in the mix for this weeks game

    Glad we are resting Mapimpi, dont feel its him not wanting to tackle more a combination of him having played for border then kings then cheetahs and now sharks in quick succession, not having a pre season with us and having to learn a fourth defensive structure and positioning. with no rest in almost a year. his a attacking ace, and we should definitely unleash him against the sunwolves next week but against better teams he should rather start on the bench until he gets his tackle technique and positioning within our defensive system down. least we start saying stuff like “defense is defense so he must lack the willingness to tackle or he doesnt have heart” etc, if that were true then Brendan venter really didnt need to coach defense in the super rugby preseason he presides over before gold came and took over after round one (once he got back from japan)

    We do lack grunt in our pack, botha, lewies doing all that they can but they are not 4’s like EO was, both better as 5, hyron total.matfield 5 and super young and bulking up, paul could do a job, his not tall but his wide and heavy. and then theres the new guys who we are not playing just yet Gideon.

    these days we have tall looks and short locks and you gotta play them to their strengths as they are both useful. england have itoji and kruis (shorter) and launchbury, lawies (tall) and they use all four effectively when they play.

    I know ginger didnt have a great game two weeks ago with his hands but with both dup twins out we could have used him, going up against the tahs with keegs (old), terra (good but what form?), pual (inexperienced), vermualen (good but still inexperienced) seems risky.

    mvovo should start again witj bosch as impact

    if only we had 23 Am’s they could give us the trophy right now lol. love that oke.

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.02.18 22:22:08 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : @tigershark (Comment 13) : Yep, agreed we are in trouble at 4, and it amazes me at the quality of players we’ve let go at the crucial tighthead prop and Number 4 lock, obviously its impossible to hold onto players when there is forex to be earned, and most players want to be in the starting team, and not part of the greater squad, also understandable – but we have lost out big time amongst the forwards – under Plum we had a formidable pack, with a forward dominant game, now we have a laoded backline, but with a pack that can’t get the go-forward we need to provide the platform (based off successive losses in Currie Cup and most recently the Lions opener) – if Jaco Pienaar doesn’t think number 4 is a specialist position and was quoted that the scrum just needs “tweaks”, he is not exactly filling me with confidence. We have 3 great coaches in Du Preez, Muir and Van Straaten, but they are all backs – we need a hardcore forwards coach who is known and respected, and can work hard with the scrum and setpiece. No disrespect to Jaco Pienaar, but I would love to see a dream team assembled. We need to get our next-gen locks and props up and running fast, as it looks like we are not, for once, going the recruitment route.

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.03.18 07:54:59 by Richard Reply

  • I do think Mapimpi warrants a rest, that man is just electric, but I am sure he is a bit battle fatigued, and look forward to him being unleashed again, I agree he needs defensive work, but agree with sentiments above that it is not technique but structure having leapfrogged a number of teams, each better than the last – The Lions gained a few meters on his wing, but as a back you’ll know you have to drift between the attacking player and his support, as tackling on overlap just encourages a pass and score – so I think I general cover defence as a team needs work. I am excited about his prospects, and I looking forward to Sbu getting the number 11 jersey back and Van Wyk being the 14 – I like Van Wyk on the bench, as he can play 11,13,14 with aplomb, but quite stoked to see him get a start too, he is a great player!

    But my immediate concern goes to the forwards pack, and the injuries we now have amongst the loosies, our locks, and obviously our scrum as a whole. We need to be a different animal in this game, we need quick ball for the backs to play our power game – another weak scrum and confidence amongst players and fans will be severely dented – we can’t have another heartbreak season, and bemoan areas of weakness that are open and obvious.

  • Comment 32, posted at 01.03.18 08:04:31 by Richard Reply

  • @Richard (Comment 31) : Our scrums were not as bad as it looked. Lions shunted a fraction early on a lot of the scrums, the Lions loosehead was also allowed to get away with murder. They were just more clever than us. On a lot of their scrums you could see them do the initial straight scrum, and as soon as they were getting that slight forward direction the loosehead scrummed in on Tom, and with the ref being on the other side of the scrum he never saw any of that. I feel that is a tactic that will be used a lot against us especially by the aussies. Tom needs to get street smart quickly to counter it, but we also need a powerful 4 lock and blindside flank to support Tom in the scrums. Start the game also with Beast who can look after his side of the scrum almost by himself and let the rest of the power of the scrum be focused on Tom and we should not really have any major issues.

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.03.18 08:50:01 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 33) : Yeah, the last few matches as a whole, the scrum was targeted with success, and greatly affected the result of the game. I do indeed hope the boys do smarten up, as you say street smarts, a perceived stronger scrum gets the ref’s vote.

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.03.18 09:23:10 by Richard Reply

  • @Richard (Comment 34) : That is were we crucially need the input of guys like Balie Swart etc that has been there and done it all before. Coenie is also going to be hugely influential in Tom’s switch as he has been in that situation and managed to after a lot of fails transform into a very good TH.

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.03.18 11:25:47 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Team announced exactly as expected but 1 short on the bench?

  • Comment 36, posted at 01.03.18 11:37:09 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 36) : not the team I have

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.03.18 11:41:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • OK they fixed the article now ????????

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.03.18 11:43:57 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : I see they now fixed it, the first article has Van Wyk starting and on bench and no Tera.

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.03.18 11:45:23 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : Solid team and glad they kept Thomas at 3 with Beast on the other side.

  • Comment 40, posted at 01.03.18 11:47:12 by sharks_lover Reply
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