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Huge experience boost for Sharks


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 14 Aug 2015 at 09:45
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

The addition of just two players – Odwa Ndungane and Jean Deysel – has significantly raised the aggregate Currie Cup cap count for the Sharks ahead of Saturday’s game against EP in Durban.

With Dale Chadwick and his 42 caps being withdrawn just ahead of kick-off, it was a very green side indeed that took the field at the Mbombela Stadium, boasting just 297 caps in a starting team the included five Sharks debutants at this level. With Ndungane (who has played 84 games for the Sharks, starting 80 of those) and Deysel (65 games and 57 starts) in the mix, that combined cap total shoots up to 371, at an average of nearly 30 per man.

Averages are deceiving, of course – if we take 30 caps (roughly two full seasons) as the cut-off point, we find that only five players in the starting team boast more than that number; Marco Wentzel (51) is the only forward besides Deysel, while Lionel Crone (33) and Joe Pietersen (45) are the others. On the other end of the spectrum, Juan Schoeman and Daniel du Preez are both enjoying their first ever starts, while four other members of the starting 15 have fewer than ten caps apiece.

Average pack height and weight are 1.91m and 113.5kg respectively, with Marco Wentzel (2.01m) and Thomas du Toit (130kg) the individual leaders in each respective category. The addition of Deysel’s bulk to the back row for Khaya Majola’s comparatively slight frame brings the total pack weight to an impressive 908kg, with the tight five tipping the scales at 578kg.

Andre Esterhuizen is the biggest of the backs, with his 1.94m and 110kg frame dwarfing the next tallest (1.9m of Wandi Mjekevu) and heaviest (Heimar Williams at roughly 95kg).



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