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Time to reclaim the name

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 16 Apr 2015 at 11:01
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

This week marks the beginning of a cyclical shift back towards something resembling full strength for the Sharks, with Bok props Beat Mtawarira and Jannie du Plessis strengthening the tight five for the clash against the Bulls.

The Sharks will welcome a few more big names back into the fold in the coming weeks; Bismarck du Plessis will have served out his suspension after this weekend and will thus be available to play against the Highlanders in a fortnight, while Frans Steyn will make his return the following week against the Hurricanes. While Jean Deysel and Pat Lambie certainly won’t play on tour, other stalwarts in Ryan Kankowski and JP Pietersen will start to come back too, while there must be an outside chance of tour group spots for almost-forgotten men like Paul Jordaan and Stephan Lewies.

In other words, that so-called “B-team” that took the field at Ellis Park and yet managed to put in one of the better performances of the season probably represents about the weakest outfit that we can expect to see from the Sharks, with experienced big name players filtering back week by week from now on.

This might, of course, be something of a double-edged sword, since we’re not sure whether the bounce we saw last week was a a result of a group of hungry fringe players getting their shot, or an indication that the entire squad, including senior players who have thus far been so disappointing, finally “got it”.

For the Bok stars – starting this week with Beast and Jannie – one feels that there is an extra something to prove to the fans. We’ve spoken a lot this week about perhaps getting over our addiction to these guys and starting fresh with a younger group who might show more hunger and passion for the jersey. I can’t think of a better opportunity for those seniors to come out prove us wrong over the next few weeks, starting with a complete demolition of the Bulls’ shaky scrum on Saturday.

Beast, Jan – over to you.


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