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Sharks player ratings v Bulls

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Feb 2014 at 08:25
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Let’s get the Monday ball rolling with some player ratings after our Sharks got their Super Rugby campaign off to a perfect start by picking up 5 points against the Bulls on Saturday.

It was the first time the Sharks have ever (that’s right, like ever in history) scored four tries in a home game in February, reflecting just how special this result was. That said, we don’t want to get too carried away about the performance, since despite the many, many good things about it, we feel there is still room for improvement. Over all, the team performance rated somewhere around 7/10 we rate the players against that benchmark this week.

1) Beast Mtawarira. A pretty solid outing first up. Was active on the carry, even if he didn’t make much ground and also stood firm at scrum time, without ever really being dominant. 7/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. Ticked all the right boxes as captain, playing a vital roll in keeping things together and moving in the right direction. Lineout throws were spot on and personal discipline was exemplary. Perhaps most telling, though, was how hard Bismarck worked to allow others to shine, with his tendency to hold on to the ball, rather than pass, nowhere in evidence on Saturday. 8/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. Like Beast, was solid at scrumtime without ever really dominating. Work rate was good, but also conceded a few too many penalties. 6/10
4) Anton Bresler. Hugely physical and furiously busy as always. Took his enforcer role seriously upfront and managed to get under the Bulls’ skin at times, while weighing in with some neat touches around the field too. 7/10
5) Pieter-Steph du Toit. Continues to grow in confidence as a line-out player and was again very good in this phase. Was well marked as ball carrier but did well to make some ground and always retain possession when asked to take it up. 7/10
6) Marcell Coetzee. Another stand-out performance from a man who has his sights firmly set on a Bok starting berth in the number 6 jersey. Coetzee did his usual tackling and carrying job, but also won some crucial penalties by displaying hitherto unsuspected ground skills. 9/10
7) Willem Alberts. A rather quiet game from the Bone Collector, with the Sharks more often using du Toit and Coetzee as primary carriers. Did his bit on defence, but we’d certainly like to see more of him as the campaign progresses. 6/10
8) Ryan Kankowski. Nice to see the Hoff back in action and so eager to be in the thick of things. Overshadowed his opposite number and worked hard for 80 minutes, even if chances to see his “x-factor” were limited on the day. 7/10

9) Cobus Reinach. A wide-awake performance from a wide-awake player. Reinach produced at least two moments of match-turning magic in the first half with his uncanny anticipation setting him apart from ponderous opposite number Francois Hougaard. All-round scrumhalf play, including passing and kicking, were also very good. 9/10
10) Patrick Lambie. We’re docking a point for goal-kicking, which continues to be a concern, but Pat’s all-round game was otherwise superb. Jake White seems to have coached the “pocket tendency” out of him, as a result he’s now taking the ball close to the advantage line like he used to as a 20-year-old. Looking forward to a great season. 7/10
11) Lwazi Mvovo. Generally seemed a lot more involved than he has been of late, with his chasing of kick-offs a particular strength. The break that lead to Jorddan’s try was a beaut. 7/10
12) Frans Steyn. Showed the world, once again, just what a phenomenal player he is. Steyn was simply huge, both on attack and defence, while the cross-kick for Ndungane’s try was a piece of skill that very few players would be able to pull off. 8/10
13) Paul Jordaan. Probably his best ever performance in the 13 shirt. Jordaan, in the past, has often looked as though he was just “filling a spot” – on Saturday, he knew exactly what was expected of him and executed to perfection. While his pace made a big difference on attack, it was his work on defence that impressed most. 8/10
14) Odwa Ndungane. A bit of a quiet game from Odwa, who did everything he needed to, with his customary composure, yet somehow also popped up to score a crucial try just on the stroke of half time. 7/10
15) SP Marais. We all know what SP can do on attack and again he showed plenty of this. It was his defensive work that stood out, with great positioning showing that his game has moved on from last year. Caused one or two “heart in mouth” moments by trying to run when he should have been kicking, but that’s just part pf what makes him so special! 7/10

16) Kyle Cooper. Unused. Obviously key to let the skipper see out the first game of the campaign, but if we’re getting to week 4 or 5 without Cooper seeing game time, this might start to become an issue.
17) Dale Chadwick. Unused. Rumours of flu during the week suggest he may not have been 100%.
18) Lourens Adriaanse. What a franchise debut! When last did you see a tighthead prop win quite so many turnovers, while still performing his primary duties so well? 8/10
19) Stephan Lewies. A very assured half an hour for a man making his first appearance at this level. Always gets stuck in and even took a line-out ball or two against Matfield, which is one for the scrapbook. 7/10
20) Jean Deysel. A good showing, particularly in those furious last five minutes, when he did good work as a ball carrier. The yellow card was unfortunate and probably not deserved from an individual point of view; that said, the team was on a warning and Deysel clearly infringed. 6/10
21) Charl McLeod. Put not a foot wrong when he came on. I pity the fool who has the job of picking between him and Reinach, at the moment! 8/10
22) Heimar Williams. A solid-enough debut, but unfortunately not quite long enough to rate him on.
23) S’bura Sithole. Unused.


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