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Botes milestone underlines experience chasm


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 28 Aug 2014 at 11:09
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Three cheers for Jacques Botes, who earns a 150th career cap in Currie Cup this weekend. Any who doubt the value that such experience brings to the Sharks team in this 2014 campaign only needs to cast an eye over the cap tallies of the other members of the team to realise just how important Botes (and a handful of others) are to the cause.

Botes earns a 123rd Sharks Currie Cup cap, which, together with his 27 Pumas appearances, extend his individual record for most Currie Cup games to 150, a mark that no other has yet reached. His counterpart amongst the backs – a man whose value many are quick to overlook – is Odwa Ndungane who will earn a 111th career cap in Nelspruit. Odwa has 27 Border caps, two more for the Blue Bulls and earns an 82nd for the Sharks this week. He has appeared in 5 Currie Cup finals, the most of any player in the current squad.

Tondie Chavhanga has moved around a bit, but has all the same accumulated the better part of 40 Currie Cup caps for the Lions and Western Province, to go with his 3 Sharks caps. That’s not all that many, roughly the same number as Conrad Hoffmann, who is hovering somewhere near the 40-50 mark all told. Both are experienced men in general terms, but are still wet behind the ears as Sharks Currie Cup players. The same can be said of Lourens Adriaanse, who has nearly 40 Griquas caps, but only 3 for the Sharks so far.

The only other players in the team to boast Currie Cup cap tallies that extend beyond the teens are Kyle Cooper (earns a 42nd), Dale Chadwick (a 37th) and S’bura Sithole (his 23rd). Every other player in the squad for this weekend’s match has fewer than 20 Currie Cup caps to his name. A rather sobering thought, I’d say. Even captain Tera Mtembu and Bok squad member Paul Jordaan boast just 14 caps each in this competition.

We’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to work out how many other players’ tallies need to be added together to equal the caps amassed by Odwa and Jacques, two players without whom we’d be royally stuffed this season.



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