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As a wise man once said

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Springboks, Super 14 on 1 Apr 2011 at 09:03
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , ,

In an earlier article, one of our more esteemed and established authors, Morne Nortier made a very interesting point regarding the debate around John Smit and his selection as player and captain for both the Sharks and the Boks. Why can’t we name Smit squad captain, but not necessarily team captain of the match-day 22 if he comes from the bench?

By starting John you take your Captain of the field for the most crucial time of the match. The final 20 minutes. Four years ago Smit was replaced in the final 10 minutes of a match. An important decision was made by a stand-in captain and a young inexperienced player was given the responsibility of a kick that maybe should never have been taken by him and resulted in a tragedy. Would it have happened with Smit on the field? Maybe, but more importantly, maybe not and considering how highly Smit is regarded as a captain, most probably not. So why not keep Smit on the bench as Tighthead, Loosehead, Hooker, experience and Captain?

This way we will have him on the field at the end, fresh and clear thinking, for those tense moments where you really need a captain to keep the team calm and together and make the important last minute decisions.

We have enough leaders to stand in for Smit for the first 40, at the Sharks and the Boks. Keep the man fresh. I believe he could make a huge impact of the bench.

This way you can even bring John on at hooker, a preferred position out of the three he is more than capable of covering. Bismark is a great player, but sometimes, still to passionate on the field. He has matured over the past season or so, but still, in tight situations he tends to overdo it and sometimes gives away penalties. If you think of it in this context, then perhaps Smit is the better option of the two…for the last 20 minutes.

I agree with Morne. Why can’t we name John as our Captain, but play him of the bench. The team will already know when to kick for touch and when to go for posts. These things are discussed and planned before hand. With the Sharks we have Stefan and if he also gets some bench time to make room for Adi, then guys like Keegan, Hargreaves, Botes and even Bissie could step-up to do the job. At the Boks we have many players who have captained their provincial teams and many that has been part of the Bok team since the last World Cup. Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Fourie Du Preez, Jean De Villiers, Jacque Fourie, all very experienced players. Any one of these players could step-up to do the job on field until John Smit arrives to take over in the decisive last minutes.

I guess think out of the box would be the appropriate thing to use here. I urge our coaches to take the advice of the very sensible, very wise Morne Nortier.



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