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Sharks player ratings v Blues

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 1 Jul 2013 at 09:25
Tagged with : ,

The Sharks pitched big time to deliver a commanding first-half performance against the Blues, before mysteriously pulling a group disappearing act in the second. The team showed character in heaps, though, to pull off a late try and snatch a dramatic win. Against a team performance that earned around a 6/10, let’s rate the individuals.

1) Beast Mtawarira. If a prop’s primary job is to scrum, then Beast must surely have had the perfect game. He was simply monstrous and destroyed the Blues number 3. We’re still hoping to see more storming runs from the big man, but he also weighed in with some nice carries and a few tackles too. 8/10
2) Kyle Cooper. Did his basics very well – lineouts were good, scrums excellent and contributed well in a strong tight five display. Not quite as effective on the carry as we’ve seen in the past, though. 7/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. Just like Beast, Jannie was a monster in the scrums and did a fair bit of work around the field again. I don’t know how he does it, given how much rugby he’s been asked to play, but this was a vintage performance from the big man. 8/10
4) Edwin Hewitt. Looked pretty good for his first-ever start, with some big tackles and one or two decent carries. Made a few handling mistakes, though, while his conditioning looks a little off as well, probably affecting his ability to last 80 minutes at this level. Plenty to work with, though. 6/10
5) Franco van der Merwe. Based on the opening 20 minutes alone, I felt we were heading for a rare man-of-the-match performance from Franco. He was everywhere, making the sort of huge contribution one would expect from a 5-lock. Unfortunately, he seemed to revert to type for the next hour, playing well in the lineouts, but otherwise fading into obscurity. 6/10
6) Marcell Coetzee. A storming game from the youngster, who at times appeared to be taking on all the loose forward roles in one. Did plenty of carrying work and also tackled himself to a standstill. 7/10
7) Willem Alberts. A strangely quiet opening period, with even the commentators picking up that Alberts was doing little carrying work. He started to get more into the game later on, but this was a far cry from his Bok heroics of the week before. 6/10
8) Keegan Daniel. It pains me to write the same thing week after week, but the captain simply isn’t feeling it at the moment. Once again, he cut a dejected figure on the field, with his normally sure hands letting him down on a number of occasions. Also really battling to assert himself in the tackles, which is a shame since he always had a reputation for tackling above his weight. 4/10

9) Charl McLeod. Stood up head and shoulders above any other player on the field in the first half. McLeod’s service was deft and sure, his hands superb and used his pace to good effect in a number of situations. I can’t recall seeing a better game from him in the last two years. 9/10
10) Pat Lambie. Goal-kicking aside, I thought Pat had a very good game. He varied his options well and line-kicking (and defence) were both sound. Unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that his inability to find the target on five different occasions so nearly ended up costing his team this match. 5/10
11) Lwazi Mvovo. Had very little to do in this match, but looked for work all over the show. I wonder how many realise that the denied Sharks try in the first half would have had Mvovo’s name against it, had it been scored? It certainly would have been his first ever score from the back of a rolling maul! 6/10
12) Butch James. A very ordinary game from James, it must be said. Missed a few crucial tackles in midfield and unfortunately failed to add anything of meaning on attack. Far from complementing Lambie on attack, the two seemed to get in each others’ way more often than not. 5/10
13) Louis Ludik. Performed as well as could be expected on attack, given that he received literally zero ball. Defended well in an unfamiliar position too. 6/10
14) Odwa Ndungane. Mr Dependable was again all over the field, appearing to be playing several different positions at once. Solid on defence as always, but it is Odwa’s lack of real game-turning pace at wing that remains a concern. 6/10
15) Riaan Viljoen. Along with McLeod, was the rare shining light on attack amongst the Sharks backs. Put nary a foot wrong and scored the winning try to boot. Well played, Tjop. 7/10

16) Bismarck du Plessis. A very good cameo from Bizzie, but it was his leadership in the last few minutes that stood out more than anything he necessarily did on the field. 7/10
17) Wiehahn Herbst. The youngster replaced the veteran and the scrum continued to march forward. You can’t ask for more than that. 8/10
18) Jandre Marais. A pretty quiet ten minutes as a blood replacement was all we saw of him. 5/10
19) Jean Deysel. Played like a man who wants the jersey – any jersey! A really good 15 minutes from Jean. 7/10
20) Jacques Botes. Was not on long enough to rate.
21) Cobus Reinach. Did well in his first game back, although the rust was evident. Needs to work on providing the sort of quick service that McLeod did. 6/10
22) Jaco van Tonder. Unused. Hope he gets a run against the Bulls.


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