U19 season starts for the Sharks

The Sharks team will get there ABSA under-19 campaign underway against the Cheetahs on Kingspark at 16:00. It will be the first opportunity for home supporters to have a look at potential future Superugby players and maybe even one or two future Bok stars in the making. At this age-group level the Sharks are known to be slow starters that often improve at a rapid rate and only peak during the second round of the campaign. However despite being one of the best second round teams of 2011, their slow start last year cost them a place in the semi-final. In order to avoid a reoccurrence of the automatically label as a failed season by fans scenario, it is vitally important that the team beats close rivals like the Cheetahs in home matches, something they did not get right in 2011.

Robert du Preez leads the team and is part of a potent backline. Having lost star no.8 Johan Meyer to long-term injury, only the name Morne du Plessis now stands out amongst the forwards for 2011 SBR achievements. This means that a group of largely unknowns in the pack will take to the field tomorrow in the hopes of gradually transforming themselves into household names through notable performances.

The pressure is expected to come in two areas of the game. Firstly the way the pack of forwards copes with the physical demands at this level and secondly how well they kick at goal. At this stage the first area is just still a minor concern while the latter has already proven to be a major weak area.

The Cheetahs have a round one game under the belt in this competition. A surprising 31-32 home defeat at the hands of the often underrated Leopards, who enjoy the support of the Pukke (NWU). That was however in cold, windy conditions in which the Leopards made excellent use of just a few opportunities that came their way, while the Free State team did the opposite. The young Cheetahs lost the ball twice over the try-line and squandered 12 points with the boot.

The Cheetahs coaching staff expects conditions to play into their hands this Friday evening. Their preparation this week has revolved around better execution and accuracy, more continuity and better composure in the strike zone. They have also worked hard at getting their first time tackling percentage up.

This game should be an intense affair. Everything seems to indicate that it will be a close game as well.  Definitely worth getting down to the stadium to watch.

               SHARKS u19                                                               FREE STATE u19

Nic Roebeck (Rondebosch) 1 Rudolf Botha (Grey College)
Morne du Plessis (Waterkloof) 2 Jacques du Toit (Grey College)
Richard Palframan (Rondebosch) 3 Luan de Bruin (Affies)
Louis Hazelhurst (George Campbell) 4 JJ Nell (Grey College)
Myles Tucker (Rondebosch) 5 Henfred Linde (Marlow)
Petrus Uys (Swellendam) 6 Theuns Truter (Jim Fouche)
Andrew van Tonder (EG Jansen) 7 Ricky van Straaten (Marlow)
Jean Pretorius (Sentraal) 8 Gerhard Olivier (Grey College)
Stefan Ungerer (Maritzburg College) 9 Nhlanhla Hlongwane (Louis Botha)
Robert du Preez (Kearsney) 10 Jannie Strumpher (Grey College)
Alcino Izaacs (Namib HS) 11 Seabelo Senatla (Harmony)
Gareth Meikle (Lomagundi) 12 Tertius Kruger (Outeniqua)
Tyler Fisher (Westville) 13 Jaco Fourie (Affies)
Kotaro Matsushima (Toin Gakven Tokyo) 14 Francois Pretorius (Grey College)
Sean Robinson (Waterkloof) 15 Meyer van Tonder (Grey College)
Warrick Venter (Selborne) 16 Marco Klopper (Voortrekker (Beth))
John-Hubert Meyer (Paul Roos) 17 Hennie Theron (Grey College)
David Fisher (Pretoria Boys High) 18 Lyvette Shikwambana (Ben Vorster)
Theo Kruger (THS Sasolburg) 19 Shaun Ndinisa (Ben Vorster)
Bokkie Carstens (Pau Roos) 20 Sheldon Erasmus (Voortrekker (Beth))
Brendon Cope (DHS) 21 Rual Laubscher (Marais Viljoen)
Sphu Msutwana (Dale College) 22 Johannes Roos ()
  23 Ignis Nagel (Boishaai)


  1. @Andre T: I think Johan damaged his knee during a preseason friendly vs FS up in Winterton. ACL. Operation and 6 months out. A pity because he is a special talent and was even rated as MotM by the Free Staters during that Winterton game.

  2. Where are the results and Saarks( Ashwin Willemse) match summaries for the u/19 comp? Don’t you publish it here or show the log? This is like the WP league without winners or what?

  3. @Andre T: I will work on it and publish it tomorrow. It would have helped if the Lions u19 had made their team available to the public before the Bullls game.

  4. @ beet . I think another local(Moon) has signed with WP. It seems the WP Academy has only 3 boys in each position and so each boy can be properly conditioned/developed. The catch all approach of KZN and the possibly the Bulls might be counter productive for individuals in the long run.

  5. @star: I think within the Sharks Academy System there is an elite squad of players that receive specialized training. Apart from the position of centre, the Academy has a pretty good track record of developing world class players. It’s just that a recurring complain seems to be about their focus group being too elite with contracted players always being given preferential treatment irrespective of their form or how well others not in the group might be performing. This has lead to the belief that if you’re not one of the elite players, you’re really just there to help pay the bills and/or study one of the few courses the Academy offers.
    From what I understand the Bulls does reward form but unlike a few years back with so many top SBR players now making Pretoria their home after school it’s obvious that opportunities will be limited. Some players that could otherwise cut it at any other province in SA will have to watch from the sidelines at Loftus, while others just won’t get a shot at all.
    Maybe the WP Institution, Golden Lions, Free State and Pukke manage to find the right balance between special attention and healthy competition for positions.
    Sad to lose Josh, being a Sharks fan I’d like to see us hold onto every talented player but it’s a reality of modern day rugby in SA. Each player and his parent/s should make an informed decision that is in the player’s best interests and do their best not to be suckered by the sales pitch or unrealistic promises of a scout/agent/institute director.

  6. The real question is will Johan Meyer be the same after that knee ligament injury ? Let’s hop he does not become another Adriaan Theisinger.
    Only time will tell glad Dries Swanepoel is fit again and by the sound of things he is nearly back to his best again.

  7. Bulls under 19’s blew the lions off the park at loftus B field in the first half.
    Then in the second half the lions with the help of Henco Deal’s accurate boot and little Percy Williams fought back but Bulls managed to hold on for the win.
    Bulls already have lost Germishuys,Carlo,Irne Herbst,Stoney and Neethling to injuries.
    It looks like Monnas Phillip Du Preez will start at lock next to Dennis Visser.
    Young Jacques Du Plessis is having a great season at blindside flank.
    Very interesting to note young Francois Tredoux is having some trouble with the boot.
    Full back Jacques Rossouw is the first choche kicker.

  8. Ruwellyn Isbell has survived game number twee. :-D
    Can he stay fit the whole season ? I doubt it. :-|

  9. @Muzi: Blue Machine……where have you been? How’s the studies going? Tredoux has always been a bit of a shaky kicker but an excellent distributor and a rugby brain. What do you think of his future there with Pollard and Stander coming and Goosen end of next season?

  10. @Andre T: What I’d really like to know is when every Bulls junior player is fit, how many former Craven Week drinks and kicking tee carriers they will have on the side of the field.

    “…Goosen end of next season” :mrgreen: Please NOOOO!

  11. @Andre T: Francois is a great little player but he needs to sort that inconsistent boot or else he will join bulls rejects brummer and boshoff in kimberley.
    Fouche and Tony Jantjies soon will be surplus to requirements unless they step up big time this year.
    Joshua Stander will play Bulls under 19 rugby i doubt Bulls will push him to senior rugby next year.
    By the look of things Handre Pollard is the pivot seen as Morne Steyn’s replacement word is he has been paid buckets of pocket money by Baren Van Graan and his tjommies. :mrgreen:
    Johan Goosen is plan B if these youngsters don’t step up the Goose will link up with Serfontein and Swanepoel.
    We will use the millions wasted on Sadie :cry: for Goosen.

  12. @Muzi: What a dilemma the Bulls have at 12 and 13. I guess only time will tell who will be the future combinations…….Serfontein and Swanepoel………Serfontein and Small Smith……………Serfontein and Rohan J v Rensburg( I rate him better than Serfontein)? I see v Rensburg plays 13 for Waterkloof…….which is his preferred position? Then they also still have Francois Venter, Andihle Jho.

    I see Pollard’s future at 12 or 15.

  13. @Andre T: Bullls scouts Xander and Werner don’t want to admit it but we have put ourselves in a sticky situation some of the junior centres HAVE to leave.
    Players like Andile Jho,Christopher Bosch,Dean Moolman,Jason Kriel need more developing not ready for the big leagues.
    If one had to choose between the following combo’s:
    Serfontein and Swanepoel
    Serfontein and Small Smith
    Serfontein and Janse Van Rensburg :lol:
    Venter and Serfontein
    In my honest opinion Serfontein and Janse Van Rensburg are the two players who are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of individual brilliance.
    Big time players who can change a game out of nothing both of them are big boys i wouldn’t rule out young Daniel Kriel hé’s massive kid.
    I said the other day i would like to see a trial match between Joshua Stander and Handre Pollard.
    Young Jaco VD Walt has been released from his Bulls contract.
    Malcolm Marx another who will stay here in JHB.

  14. i think that for the centers , Like Dean he should look at returning to the Sharks, it is the one area we are weak and dont have depth , better chnace of getting more exposure

  15. @Andre T:
    SARU needs to send these 140kgs fatties to a scrum factory.
    Maybe Alberton,Brakpan,Springs and Krugersdorp could be good options.
    Get Balie Swart involved let him teach these fatties how to bind properly and get those back sides straight.
    Grass burn in the highveld is nightmare i have permanent scars from my school days.
    I’m getting sick and tired of watching props with beer boeps huffing and puffing when the heat is on the scrums.
    JC Janse Van Rensburg should be Balie’s right hand man he ver goes backwards.
    Werner Kruger has bad dreams about facing JC he gets drilled.
    I must commend Monument High School they know how to produde strong props who can scrum like Heinke VD Merver.
    I see young Viaan Roodt the laaitie at hooker signed for Centurion High :mrgreen:

  16. @Muzi: I really like Francois Venter. The Sharks don’t have a good record with developing centres but I’m sure that if he had been in our Academy all along, we would not have bought Whitehead and Frans would have been in the Bok squad vs England ahead of Olivier a few weeks back.

    But I agree that Jan Serfontein is a special player. Right up there with Goosen in terms of talent.

    Rohan Janse van Rensburg has played behind a dominating pack for just about all of his SBR career incl CW. Would like to see his BMT when he doesn’t always have quality ball to work with. He did extremely well at CW but would l think a few other centres could also have flourished in that excellent Bulls CW team. I’m saying this about Rohan coz in the televised Wildeklawer game he did not look that impressive.

  17. @beet:
    Rohan,Francois and Jan have one thing in common they do not like to pass. :mrgreen:
    That Bulls CW side started training last year at lotfus they were drilled to blow teams off the park.
    Agree we all saw how Handre struggled at craven week with a pack going backwards.
    Make no doubt about it Rohan arrived violently :mrgreen: he needs to cut that bad habit of bouncing players just for the sake of it.
    Poor lions players some of them looked kak scared of running in his channel. :mrgreen:

  18. @beet: You know me i’ve been singing Francois Venter chorus for the past 4 years. :mrgreen:
    Mr Robbo(Sharksworld) Dylan is still not convinced :evil: it makes me mal. :mrgreen:

  19. always thought that centers need to look for space and put themselves there, and get the fly half to pass to them in these positions, but Bulls rugby is about “blowing “players off the field and they tried it against the crusaders , Olivier is a favorite r of this tactic running and not passing and trying to bash his way through, the guy has no sense , he continues to do the stupid thing , cant the selectors see it doesn’t work , come on , look at the Crusaders, the Brumbies, Space , not muscle wins games, and then look at MHS this season here in natal, same principle guys
    The mentality is or seems to just get big players and bash the opposition, problem is if you have a clever and adapting backline, they will beat you 9 out of 10 times

  20. We’ll keep Franna Venter,Sharks have Frans Steyn and Tim Whitehead,so it’s fine

  21. Beet & Muzi

    I think Rohan is the real deal, he has everything. It will all depend on what game-plan he’ll be forced into at Bulls. I can’t see them ever playing an expansive type of game. I also think v Rensburg has only come into his own in the last couple of months as he wasn’t nearly as big at WK as he is now. With bulk comes confidence.

    I don’t see in Venter what you guys see.

  22. @Andre T: A few of my mates and I were just praising Bresler today. To an extent rugby is a confidence sport as well. Players respond in different ways to the faith shown and/or lack of faith shown in them by coaches. Bresler has thrived in recent months and I can’t help but believe its partly due to confidence of knowing he’s the no.1 choice player.

    Last year at Currie Cup level I believe I saw a really good player in the making in Venter. His reading of the play and ability to break the line was exceptional. I still feel outside centre is his best possie but when he played 12 again in the u21 final, he killed the Sharks, clearly looking like a player in a different league to most of our guys. However instead of pushing forward and giving him a start in SR, he’s pushed back down to accommodate Sadie and JJ. He gets a few minute here and there. I think his confidence isn’t there because like Bresler has been up until a short while back, he doesn’t know where he stands.

    Thinking about RohanJvR, possible the reason I wasn’t so impressed with him at WK was to do with him being at 13. At CW he played 12. Funnily enough in contradiction to what you say I felt that at WK he was perhaps too heavy and as a result had lost his edge. But clearly at CW he was a standout player and he used his size to maximum effect.

  23. @boxkick: Thanks. I didn’t know that. The nice thing about information sharing is that there is something new to learn.


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