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Brotherly love the way of the Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, School Rugby, Sharks on 20 Jul 2011 at 10:36
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

The Sharks have always been proud of their reputation as a team that has a great sense of “family”, with strong bonds between players forming over a number of years spent together at the Tank. These days, though, more and more of the players coming through the ranks into the senior team have far more authentic family connections.

I’m talking, of course, about the numerous sets of brothers that are filtering into the Sharks team, following the great example set by Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, the dynamic prop-and-hooker combo that somehow, in an almost synergistic fashion, seems to perform better when playing alongside each other. Jannie and Bis have intentionally packaged themselves as a “double act” ever since the former moved down to Durban to join his baby brother and are now unlikely to be separated, making it difficult for any other side to lure either of them individually away from the Sharks. That’s great news for the black and white family, but there’s even better news to come.

Perhaps next-most-famous on the siblings list would be the Cronje twins, Ross and Guy. They’ve both been in the system for ages now, after playing starring roles in the Sharks under 19 side’s triumph back in 2008, where Ross captained the side from scrumhalf, with his slightly-shorter brother in the number 10 shirt. Both have struggled with injury over the last few years, but Ross has since forced his way into the Currie Cup starting lineup and is playing well. As a combination, the blonde brothers seem to have an almost psychic understanding of what the other is going to do and like the du Plessis boys, seem far better together than individually.

Another young man who made his Currie Cup debut on Saturday was lock Jan Andre Marais (known as Jandre to his friends) and he also has a younger brother, Peet, coming through the ranks. Both have represented the Baby Boks in the past and while Peet is currently still under 21, expect the Marais brothers, proud products of Welkom Gimnasium, to form a dynamic lock combination for the Sharks in years to come.

Moving further down the ranks, there are plenty of others too. Kayde Fisher, the Westville centre, is currently playing for the under 21 side, while his brother Tyler has just been named in the SA Schools side and looks set to join up at the Academy next year. Two of the highest profile under 19 signings at the Sharks also have talented siblings. Paul Jordaan’s little brother Pieter excelled at flyhalf for Free State at Craven week this year, whilst prop Allan Dell also has a younger brother, Marc, who played in the front row with him for the Queens first XV last year despite only being in Grade 10. Both Dell and Jordaan are currently in grade 11 (that’s standard 9 in old money) but the Sharks will be desperate to lure both players to the Academy in 2013.

Within our own schoolboy ranks, of course, there’s another set of talented siblings – former Sharks scrumhalf Robert du Preez has three sons, all of whom did well at Craven Week this year. We believe that the eldest, flyhalf Rob, will continue his rugby career in the Cape next year, but twins Jean-Luc and Daniel, both of whom are just fifteen, could both go on to make great strides in the black and white, either as second-rowers or big ball-carrying loose forwards.


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