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Sharks player ratings v Crusaders

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 19 May 2014 at 09:04
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

Wow, what a game! I think there will be very little disagreement that as a collective – and for sheer guts and determination – the Sharks deserve 11/10 for that display.

Let’s go through the line-up with a slightly more critical eye, though and rate the players within the context of a truly stunning first-ever away win over the Crusaders. Don’t look here for low numbers, folks. Not this week!

1) Beast Mtawarira. A good outing in his 100th game for the Sharks. Scrummed strongly and was busy indeed on defence. 8/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. Stood up as a leader among leaders. His personal standard of play was exemplary, his discipline beyond reproach and his leadership in a real crisis situation second to none. Well done skipper! 9/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. A big game in his 100th, Jannie was particularly active on defence, where he was seen to put in a lot of really big hits around the fringes. Pinged unfairly for a scrum infringement or two, when it was clear opposite number Crockett was the man scrumming in. 8/10
4) Ettienne Oosthuizen. Showed good evidence as to why he is so highly rated by coach Jake White. Ettas played like a guy with at least 30 more caps than he has and it was his line out play, in particular, that stood out, with some great takes under pressure. Discipline was great too. 8/10
5) Stephan Lewies. My pick of the tight forwards. It is simply incredible just how far this young man has come in just a few short months. His work rate is simply incredible and he’s now confidently calling – and winning – line outs against the Crusaders in Christchurh! 9/10
6) Tera Mtembu. A very adaptable player who can put in the hard graft required at number 6 – this he showed in a phenomenally industrious 70-odd minutes at the AMI Stadium. Tera was immense and simply has to keep a spot in this side, somehow. 9/10
7) Jean Deysel. We’ll not rate him this week, for obvious reasons.
8) Willem Alberts. Looks a lot more comfortable at loose forward and put in a big physical display, that was spoiled (only a little) by a rather harsh yellow card. 8/10

9) Cobus Reinach. Had a few wobbly moments with some kicks that perhaps didn’t quite go where they should have, but redeemed himself with the sort opportunistic try that only a player with his speed and awareness would have been able score. 8/10
10) Frans Steyn. Big composure, nailing some truly match-winning kicks. That break for Sithole’s try was also vintage Steyn. Kicking out of hand was not always brilliant, but he made up for that many times over with the good things that he did. 8/10
11) Lwazi Mvovo. Playing at wing, he made us realise just how much better he is at fullback! Mvovo simply didn’t end up with ball in hand often enough, but performed the defensive wing role as well as any. 8/10
12) Paul Jordaan. A very strong defensive performance, with “little” Paul tackling like a terrier and always getting himself in the way of so many otherwise threatening Crusader backline moves. Had little to do with ball in hand, but that’s just the plan at this stage. 8/10
13) S’bura Sithole. What a try! What a game! S’bura was defensively a major thorn in the opposition flesh, marking his opposite number out of the game and closing down many attacking moves with clinical ball-and-all tackles. Needs to watch his penalty count at the breakdown, if we’re going to look for a negative. 9/10
14) JP Pietersen. Stood up as a senior player and showed his experience. On a day when running with the ball wasn’t going to be a big factor, JP used his size and experience to shut down his opposite number, forcing one of the opposition danger men into mistake after mistake. 8/10
15) SP Marais. After a tough few weeks on the bench, SP was back with a bang. His decision-making was spot on and kicking out of hand superb – in fact, SP was the best of the bunch when it came to that aspect. 9/10

16) Kyle Cooper. Rugby is a funny old game, isn’t it? After weeks and weeks with no game time to speak of, Kyle gets 20 minute here and goes on to score the most important Sharks try in about the last 3 years. Superb! 9/10
17) Dale Chadwick. Mr Dependable just keeps trucking on. At a time when the Sharks needed a big boost up front, Dale and the other front row reserves were ready and willing. 8/10
18) Lourens Adriaanse. Earned himself a new nickname – “Mr Furious” was hugely committed and fired up, but perhaps needs to cool his ardour just a bit in future. Picked up where Jannie left off, though and was incredibly industrious during his cameo. 8/10
19) Ryan Kankowski. On a day where we lost a man for 60 minutes, we didn’t even need to use all our subs to win the game!
20) Keegan Daniel. Wasn’t quite on long enough to rate, but I saw one tackle on Richie McCaw that warranted a 9 all on its own!
21) Charl McLeod. A good, composed outing and a key player in that immensely important last try. 8/10
22) Tim Swiel. After the pressure he’s been under, to step up and nail those two pressure kicks to win the match? Unbelievable balls. 9/10
23) Heimar Williams. Had the best seat in the house from which to watch the performance of the season.

Well done Sharks! Bloody well done!


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