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The shining lights on a dark night

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 1 Jun 2015 at 10:30
Tagged with : , , ,

While there was little real cause for cheer on Friday night, if you’re a Sharks fan, a number of individuals did stand out with some special moments.

Against the backdrop of a side clearly exhausted, both physically and mentally, from a long tour and a season that simply hasn’t delivered against any of the expectations, one genuinely felt that the bulk of the playing squad on Friday night was simply going through the motions. Virtually all of the gains made on tour appeared to have been lost, with the up-front intensity (particularly at ruck time) simply not there this week.

The purpose of this piece, however, is to praise the few that stood out, rather than slate the many that didn’t.

First and foremost must be S’bura Sithole, who’s been steadily improving week by week and on Friday night put in a truly barnstorming performance. The young winger seems to have decided to shake off any questions about where he should be played and rather concentrate on owning whatever jersey he’s asked to wear; belying his relatively small frame, Sithole uses his incredible strength to power through the contact point, with the try he scored (with three defenders on his back) reminiscent of the 100kg Trevor Halstead at his very best.

A player who delivered fewer individual standout moments, but was influential all the same, was Khaya Majola. The 23-year-old opernside has found his path to Super Rugby action mostly blocked by the “undroppable” Marcell Coetzee, but showed on Friday night that he is certainly capable at this level, with the required ball stealing skills to excel in the number 6 jersey. His tackle count was also highest on the evening and unlike others in the back row, Majola kept the individual errors very low.

An honourable mention must go to Heimar Williams for scoring the try of the season, quite simply out of nothing. Williams, who started the first two games for the Sharks this season, seems to have dropped right off the radar and only came back into the squad this week. A player who has never let the side down (despite conceding something like 20 kilograms to the hulking Andre Esterhuizen), Williams showed on Friday night that there’s more required to forge a successful career in midfield than bulk alone.

Let’s hope that all three players can go on to deliver further great moments in the Currie Cup campaign to come.


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