Friday, February 24, 2006

White meen Meyer is reg

taken from Beeld
article by Morris Gilbert

Heyneke Meyer, afrigter van die Bulle, sal reeds in môre se Super14-rugbywedstryd op Loftus Versfeld teen die Waratahs die soet vrugte van sy besluit pluk om met Wynand Olivier en JP Nel as senterpaar te volhard.
Die Springbokke se afrigter, Jake White, meen Meyer het die verdedigingsblapse in die middelveld op presies die regte wyse aangepak.
"Die enigste manier hoe iemand soos Wynand met sy min ervaring van rugby op dié vlak uit sy foute gaan leer, is dat hy die kans moet kry om dit in die volgende wedstryd reg te stel.
"Hy (Olivier) het nie mislukte duikslae uitgevoer omdat hy nie 'n toegewyde verdediger is nie, maar eerder omdat hy nog nie die nodige ervaring het nie. Dit sal my nie verbaas nie as die Bulle se middelveldverdediging solied teen die Waratahs is," het White gister uit Kaapstad gesê.
Meyer het juis eergister gesê dat Olivier se verdedigingspeil nie die gevolg van halfhartigheid was nie, maar eerder onsekerheid omdat die verdedigingspatroon nie behoorlik in werking gestel is nie.
Ook die Bulle se kaptein, Fourie du Preez, het Meyer se besluit verwelkom om ná die nederlaag teen die Brumbies nie die snoeiskêr in te lê nie.
"Dit wys hy het die volste vertroue in ons as spelers en dat hy bereid is om almal 'n tweede kans te bied. Dié soort benadering het 'n positiewe uitwerking op die span en spelers," meen Du Preez.
Hy sê hy het 'n goeie gevoel oor die stryd met die Waratahs, omdat spelers speel soos hulle oefen.
"Ná gister (Woensdag) se skof, is ek oortuig ons kan die gety teen die Waratahs laat draai. Eintlik het ons het nie 'n keuse nie, want ons kan nie 'n tweede agtereenvolgende nederlaag bekostig nie," sê die Bulle se Springbok-skrumskakel.
Volgens Du Preez is daar te veel klem op sy span se swak verdediging teen die Brumbies gelê, want die Bulls kon gewen het, al het hulle nie goed gespeel nie.
"Dit was ook nie dat ons duikslae die een ná die ander misluk het nie. Daar was blapse, maar ook baie kere dat ons raak geduik het. 'n Mens moet eerder só na die saak kyk."
Die Bulle se kaptein stem saam dat "die klein jakkalsies" nie weer tussen hulle en 'n oorwinning mag staan nie.
"Ons het vandeesweek hard gewerk om nie teen die Waratahs dieselfde foute te begaan nie. Ons moet meer in hul gebied speel deur besit deur fases te neem en hul verdedigingslinie op dié wyse onder druk te plaas.
"Ons moet voorts ons spel beter afwissel en onsself geen ander keuse laat as om 80 minute lank voluit te speel nie."
Du Preez sê die Bulls staal hul vir 'n kwaai fisieke aanslag van die Waratahs se gedugte agttal en verwag ook dat die besoekers die Bulle met taktiese spel in trurat wil laat beweeg.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

CHEETAHS VS HIGHLANDERS I

CUT & PASTE Job from www.news24.com

Same again for Cheetahs?
22/02/2006 21:32 - (SA)

Hendrik Cronje, Die Volksblad


Bloemfontein - If Barry Goodes is passed fit the Cheetahs will probably name an unchanged 22-man squad for their Super 14 match against the Highlanders in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The only possible change to the squad that beat the Sharks 27-26 could be at inside centre after Goodes injured his knee in a training session earlier this week.
Cheetahs team doctor Org Strauss said: "Barry's injury isn't serious and he should be ready for the match."
One of the stars in the match against the Sharks, left wing Gaffie du Toit, had a slight hamstring strain, but he looked good in practice on Wednesday.
Goodes, who is keeping the All Blacks centre Keith Lowen out of the team, has impressed with his tackling. His ball distribution has improved the past season and he has become a major cog in the backline.
It is a foregone conclusion that Meyer Bosman will retain the flyhalf jersey ahead of Willem de Waal. Bosman looked sharper in training this week and in a contact session with the Shimlas he looked like the player who became a Springbok at the end of last year.
Bosman and scrumhalf Michael Claassens combined very well against the Shimlas. Claassens is working very hard on his tactical kicking and he could surprise the Highlanders.
A possible Cheetahs team: Bevin Fortuin, Giscard Pieters, Ronnie Cooke, Barry Goodes, Gaffie du Toit, Meyer Bosman, Michael Claassens, Ryno van der Merwe, Juan Smit (c), Kabamba Floors, Barend Pieterse, Corniel van Zyl, CJ van der Linde, Tiaan Liebenberg, Os du Randt.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sharks update: Team to face Crusaders

The Sharks team to take on the Crusaders in some New Zealand backwater (Timaru) on Saturday has been named. It shows 5 changes from the side that narrowly lost to the Cheetahs and Mark Lawrence over the weekend.

Johan Muller replaces Johan Ackermann in the second row. Jacques Botes makes a welcome return at no 8 for the woefully out-of-his-depth-at-this-level Braam Immelman.

Tony Brown has eventually decided he's had enough of the cheap Jap whores and has come to play some rugger, so he takes Brad Barrit's place at flyhalf. Waylon Murray (at last) displaces the out-of-form Bobo at outside centre, with Odwa Ndungane making Dusty Noble pay for his dropped pass.

The team is as follows:

Sharks XV:

15. Percy Montgomery
14. Odwa Ndungane
13. Waylon Murray
12. Andries Strauss
11. Brent Russell
10. Tony Brown
9. Ruan Pienaar
8. Jacques Botes
7. AJ Venter ©
6. Solly Tyibilika
5. Albert van den Berg
4. Johann Muller
3. BJ Botha
2. Skipper Badenhorst
1. Deon Carstens

Replacements:
16. Bismarck du Plessis
17. Brent Moyle
18. Johan Ackermann
19. Daniel Farani
20. Sandile Nxumalo
21. Bradley Barritt
22. Craig Burden



Tuesday, February 21, 2006

LOSGEMAAL

This one is published in Volksblad under : Losgemaal

The article also from www.volksblad .com

Cheetahs se sege vryf sout in wondeFeb 19 2006 09:32:58:017PM - (SA)


HOË bome vang die meeste wind.
Rassie Erasmus moet dít altyd onthou. Verlede week het dié rugbyafrigter van die Vodacom-Cheetahs voor die wedstryd teen die Haaie op webtuistes en koerante onder gifpenne deurgeloop omdat hy glo speletjies met sy spankeuses speel.
Erasmus is ook gekap oor die wyse waarop hy sy stutte inspan.
Een van die afrigters wat Erasmus oor sy stutfaktor gekritiseer het en nog verlede jaar gesê het die Cheetahs speel negatiewe rugby, is Dick Muir van die Haaie.
Ironies is dat Muir toe die breier is wat verlede week ’n verkeerde span aan die media gegee het en met ’n klomp verrassings in sy beginspan teen die Cheetahs vorendag gekom het.
Het iemand Erasmus daaroor hoor huil?
Nee.
Het Erasmus of enige ander Cheetah-speler Muir se mislukte poging om sy stutte onwettig om die beurt teen die Cheetahs in te span bevraagteken?
Nee.
Hopelik stik Muir in sy woorde, hoewel sy taktiese nederlaag teen Erasmus seer genoeg moes maak.
Net nog iets oor kopspeletjies. ’n Klomp gromgeluide is uit die noorde van die land gemaak oor Erasmus se sogenaamde speletjies met sy span wat teen die Bulle gespeel het.
Net om die ware feite te gee: tydens die nuuskonferensie die Donderdag voor die wedstryd teen die Bulle, het die Noord-Gautengers aan die plaaslike media name van ’n span verskaf met Morné Steyn en Heini Adams as skakelpaar.
Steyn het nie in dié wedstryd gespeel nie, maar Derick Hougaard wel. Hougaard en Fourie du Preez was die skakelpaar.
Kan iemand Losgemaal dan net reghelp oor wie dan werklik met kopspeletjies besig is?
Erasmus het voor die wedstryd teen die Bulle openlik in dié nuuskonferensie gesê sy span kan verander, afhangende van die toestande.
Losgemaal lag daarom oor al die kritiek wat Erasmus verlede week moes verduur.
Losgemaal beskou dit eerder as jaloesie en ’n manier van intimidasie in ’n poging deur teenstanders om die Cheetah-breier te onsenu.
Losgemaal het nuus vir hulle: Erasmus is komkommerkoel. Terwyl al die gifpenne oor die onwettige Cheetah-stutfaktor te kere gaan, het Erasmus stil-stil ’n uitmuntende flank-faktor ontwikkel.
Aanvaar dat Erasmus met sy taktiese meesterbrein die Curriebeker verower het en dit verdien.

At last a new post

Article from Volksblad.com

Vrese oor haker-gaping begraweFeb 20 2006 10:22:31:517PM - (SA) Hendrik Cronjé

Druk artikel E-pos storie aan 'n vriend Verwante Berigte Cheetahs se sege vryf sout in wondeCheetahs se sege is dalk 'n keerpuntCheetah-blitse kan teenstanders nou weer slaaplose nagte geeCheetahs wen meesterlik

VRESE dat Naka Drotské se uittrede ’n te groot gaping op haker vir die Vodacom-Cheetahs in die Super 14-rugbyreeks kan laat, is Saterdag in Durban deur Tiaan Liebenberg begrawe.
Ironies genoeg het Liebenberg dit met die hulp van Drotské, voormalige Bok-haker, langs die kantlyn gedoen.
As ’n kombinasie met veral Corniel van Zyl (vierslot) het Liebenberg-hulle die Haaie in die lynstane verniel. Van Zyl, Barend Pieterse (slot) en Juan Smith (flank en kaptein) het minstens sewe lynstaan-ingooie van die Haaie in die Cheetah-sege van 27-26 afgeneem.
Van Zyl het vooraf gesê goeie lynstaanspel kan deurslaggewend wees, en uiteindelik was dié afdeling beslissend.
Kabamba Floors (flank) se drie, een van vier vir die Cheetahs, het gevolg op ’n tikkie uitmuntende spel deur Liebenberg en Van Zyl.
Eerder dat Van Zyl die bal aan Michael Claassens (skrumskakel) ná ’n ingooi van Liebenberg gee, het hy dit terug in sy haker se hande gegooi wat die Haaie aan die voorpunt van die lynstane verras het en tot Floors se drie gelei het.
Dieselfde beweging kon vroeër ook vrugte afwerp as Claassens ’n windskeef-aangee van Liebenberg met ’n oop doellyn kon raakvat.
“Ons het Saterdagoggend besluit die Haaie is eerder daarop ingestel om ons dryfmaalbewegings vanuit lynstane met Johan Ackermann (slot) te stuit. Ek het drie keer ingegooi voordat ek na Juan gestap en gesê het ek sien daai groot gaping voor en dat ons dié beweging moet uitvoer,” sê Liebenberg.
Liebenberg se ingooie was op ’n tiekie en dit was eers in die 81ste minuut van dié wedstryd dat die Haaie ’n ingooi by Van Zyl kon afneem. Die skrif was egter toe aan die muur vir die Piesangboere.
“Ek het nog nooit so baie geleer soos in die laaste tyd nie. Naka (deesdae spanbestuurder) help my baie met my ingooiwerk, veral met my stadiger ingooi op my vierslot,” sê Liebenberg.
Van Zyl, wat reeds sy stempel as ’n lynstaanman vir die Vrystaat in die Curriebeker-eindstryd op vierslot afgedruk het, het in dié wedstryd beklemtoon hy en Liebenberg vorm ’n kombinasie wat gesag in die Super 14 kan afdwing.
Liebenberg het ewe goed geskrum. “Die teenwoordigheid van Bokke soos Os (du Randt, loskopstut), Ollie (le Roux, loskopstut) en CJ (van der Linde, vaskopstut) het dinge vir my makliker in my eerste Super 14-wedstryd gemaak. Os en Ollie help my baie met my skrumwerk en ek geniet dit,” sê Liebenberg.
Cheetah-ondersteuners het steeds nie die beste van Liebenberg gesien nie. Hy is ’n puik baldraer en het ’n hoë werkverrigting. Hou hom dop, hoewel hy homself vir ’n fisieke aanslag moet staal wanneer die Cheetahs teen die Nieu-Seelandse spanne speel.
Saterdag kry Liebenberg om 19:10 op Vodacompark in Bloemfontein sy eerste smaak daarvan teen die Highlanders.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sharks update: Holy Crap!

Take a look at the side the Sharks have named to take on the Eagles in the Vodacom Cup:

15. Tsepo Kokoali
14. Cedric Mkhize
13. Waylon Murray
12. Grant Rees
11. Dean Hall
10. Steve Meyer
9. Scott Mathie
8. Nico Breedt
7. Jaco Gouws (Captain)
6. Braam Immelman
5. Nikolai Blignaut
4. Steven Sykes
3. Danie Saayman
2. Bismarck du Plessis
1. Sangoni Mxoli

Reserves
16. Jan-Toit van Jaarsveld
17. Tendai Mtawarira
18. Werner Cronje
19. Keegan Daniels
20. Brett Hennessey
21. Okkie Vermeulen
22. Greg Goosen

That's just bloody frightening. The loose-trio is unbalanced and lacks pace, but that's a hell of a side otherwise. A long afternoon for the Eagles, I think.

Cheers
RobD


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

CHEETAH NEWS 2 days to go


Alle berigte en foto in hierdie thread vanaf www.volksblad.com



Cheetahs reg vir stryd voorlangs
Feb 07 2006 10:22:33:410PM - (SA)
Hendrik Cronjé

DIE verwagte reën en nat speeloppervlak van Vodacompark maak ’n voorspelerstryd tussen die Vodacom-Cheetahs en die Bulle byna onafwendbaar.

Die rugbyspan van die Cheetahs is reg vir dié uitdaging wanneer dié spanne mekaar Vrydag om 19:10 in Bloemfontein in ’n Super 14-wedstryd aandurf.

’n Video-opname van die Curriebeker-eindstryd kan as groot aanmoediging vir die Cheetahs dien, aangesien die Vrystaat-agttal met groot eer as wenner uit dié stryd getree het.

Sedert dié eindstryd is die Cheetah-agttal ook deur vurige spelers soos Frans Viljoen (losvoorspeler), Gareth Krause (flank, albei van die Wildeklawer-Griekwas) en Ockie van Zyl (veelsydige voorspeler vn die Griffons) versterk.

’n Voorspelerstryd is verder op die kaarte omdat die Bulle wil wraak neem – en wraakwedstryde word gebruiklik voorlangs en deur stelskopwerk bepaal.

“Baie mense sê ons is dom om die Bulle voorlangs aan te vat, maar dit is nie die geval nie. Ons staan vir geen agttal terug nie,” sê Juan Smith, kaptein van die hartland-span.

“Vir ons gaan dit nie oor grootte nie, maar oor hoe groot elke speler se hart is,” sê die Cheetah-kaptein. Kabamba Floors (flank) se spel is ’n sprekende voorbeeld van wat Smith van sy spanmaats verwag.

Floors is klein, maar groot van hart en mannemoed.

Sukses in die vaste fasette sal volgens Smith bykans 96% bepaal op watter wyse sy span die voordeellyn in die Super 14 kan oorsteek.

“Ons spel in die vaste fasette was goed in die losmakers. Ons werk vandeesweek aan sekere dinge en ek glo Vrydag sal daar geen haakplekke wees nie.

“Ons het in die losmakers ’n klomp nuwe dinge probeer en ek is tevrede met ons vaste fasette,” volgens Smith.

Die Cheetahs sal Vrydag swaar steun op die ervaring van spelers soos Smith, Barend Pieterse (slot) en Os du Randt (loskopstut).

Pieterse-hulle sal die voorbeeld moet stel vir jonges soos Wian du Preez, Jannie du Plessis (albei stutte) en Tiaan Liebenberg (haker) om te volg.

Du Randt moet veral in Ollie le Roux (stut) se afwesigheid die vonk verskaf.

Du Randt was verwoestend teen die skrummasjien en dit voorspel moeilikheid vir die Bulle.

Trevor Leota, haker van Samoa, se Europese ervaring kan ook tot voordeel van die Cheetahs wees.

Leota is heelwat fisker sedert hy hom verlede seisoen in die Rosestad gevestig het. Hy is bekend om sy plettervatte, terwyl hy in die oefenwedstryde gewys het hy is ’n voortreflike baldraer.

Leota en Liebenberg oefen hul lynstaan-ingooie onder die vlerke Naka Drotské, voormalige Bok-haker en nou spanbestuurder van die Cheetahs.

Smith sê sy span gee nie om dat hy in die eerste wedstryd teen die Bulle speel nie, “want dit maak nie saak nie en ons moet teen almal speel”.

***
Beroepswedders sê ‘Bulle SA se beste’
Feb 07 2006 10:22:31:787PM - (SA)
Hendrik Cronjé

BEROEPSWEDDERS plaas hope druk op die Bulle in die Super 14-rugbyreeks.

Asof die druk nie groot genoeg op die Noord-Gautengers is nie nadat hulle hul ondersteuners in die Curriebeker-eindstryd teleurgestel het, het beroepswedders (sabookmaker.com) die Bulle met 18/10 die algehele gunstelinge gemaak om die beste uit die Suid-Afrikaanse spanne te presteer.

Die Vodacom-Cheetahs, wat Vrydag om 19:10 in Bloemfontein teen die Bulle in dié reeks uitdraf, word slegs ’n kans van 7/1 gegun om tot die halfeindstryd van die Super 14 deur te dring.

Beroepswedders gun selfs die Stormers met 4/1 ’n beter kans as die Cheetahs. Die Haaie se kanse is 7/1, terwyl die Katte met 15/1 deur die beroepswedders as die Suid-Afrikaanse span beskou word wat gerelegeer kan word.

Die beroepswedders se weddenskappe sal Vrydag as groot aanmoediging vir die Cheetahs dien, aangesien die Vrystaat die Curriebeker-kampioen en die Wildeklawer-Griekwas die houer van die Vodacombeker is.

Die hartlandspan sal beroepswedders verkeerd wil bewys. Mnr. Rassie Erasmus, Cheetah-afrigter, sal egter verkies dat die beroepswedders die Bulle as die gunstelinge beskou.

Erasmus het sy span reeds vroeër gewaarsku dat die Vrystaat se Curriebeker-wittebrood verby is en ’n nuwe kompetisie – die Super 14 – aangebreek het. Sy span het Vrydag teen die Bulle ’n tuisveldvoordeel en ’n verwagte wit-en-oranje-golf van Cheetah-ondersteuners kan sake vir die Noord-Gautengers bemoeilik.

Mnr. Naka Drotské, spanbestuurder van die Cheetahs, sê die hartlandspan wil ook van Vrydag af probeer om Vodacompark weer daarvoor bekend te maak dat dit die begraafplaas vir besoekende spanne word.

“Ek het nog nooit van spelers gehoor wat dit geniet om in Bloemfontein te speel nie,” sê hy. Kenners meen intussen die Bulle word versterk met die fisieke Francois van Schouwenburg ná die besering van Victor Matfield. Van Schouwenburg is ’n beter keuse op ’n nat veld.

Mnr. Heyneke Meyer, afrigter van die Bulle, sal ook besef die druk op sy span neem toe nadat die Noord-Gautengers verlede jaar tot die halfeindstryd van die Super 12 deurgedring het.

Die Bulle het in 2004 onder die ses voorste spanne in die Super 12 klaargemaak.

Erasmus se span is in die bevoorregte posisie dat hy ’n groentjie in die Super 14 is. Die Cheetahs het ook wenmomentum aan hul kant wat die druk op die hartlandspan sal verminder.

Met ’n uitgeslape Erasmus lyk dit asof die Cheetahs vinnig geleer het om die regte knoppies in belangrike wedstryde te druk om seges te behaal.

***

Cheetahs vra groot skares vir Super 14
Feb 07 2006 01:39:57:270AM - (SA)
Hendrik Cronjé

’n DERDE rugbybeker en ’n tweede kriekettrofee dié seisoen vir die hartlandstreek – die Super 14-beker en Standard Bank Pro20-trofee – sal net deur puik ondersteuning vir die Vodacom-Cheetahs en Gestetner-Eagles beskore wees.

Suid-Afrika se twee belangrikste rugbybekers, die Curriebeker en die Vodacombeker, staan reeds in die hartland en nou begin die Cheetahs met hul aanslag op die Super 14-titel.

Die Curriebeker-glorie van die Vrystaat en Vodacombeker-sukses van die Wildeklawer-Griekwas het dié ondersteuning aangewakker.

In krieket het die Eagles, die streekspan van die hartland van Suid-Afrika, verlede jaar in ’n stadium met al drie nasionale titels gespog en vanjaar het die Eagles reeds die Standard Bank-beker in eendagkrieket verower. Sondag pak die Eagles die Leeus in die halfeindronde van die Pro20-krieketreeks op Goodyearpark in Bloemfontein nadat hulle pas met die Dolfyne en Kaapse Kobras op hul tuisvelde afgereken het.

Die Cheetahs het die laaste tyd boonop alles in hul vermoë gedoen om na hul ondersteuners uit te reik. Dié Super 14-rugbyspan vra nou dat die ondersteuners dieselfde doen deur in hul duisende na hul wedstryde op te ruk.

Mnr. Naka Drotské, spanbestuurder van die Cheetahs, en sy span het in die sege van 52-11 oor Treviso ’n lekker voorsmakie gekry van die ondersteuning wat verwag kan word.

Die Griffons met mnr. Eugene van Wyk, uitvoerende hoofamptenaar, vooraan, het die voorbeeld gestel met die groot aantal ondersteuners wat vir die Treviso-wedstryd opgedaag het.

Die Griffons, die derde vennoot in die hartland-streekspan, word deur Ockie van Zyl (slot/flank) in die Cheetah-span verteenwoordig en dié goeie ondersteuning vanuit die Noord-Vrystaat vir Juan Smith, flank en kaptein, se span kan daaraan toegeskryf word.

“Goeie ondersteuning in tuiswedstryde is altyd ’n groot faktor vir besoekers. Kyk wat het die Bulle die afgelope drie jaar vermag met hul ondersteuners wat almal in blou geklee is,” het Drotské gesê.

Drotské-hulle hoop Vodacompark sal deur die Cheetah- en Griekwa-sukses net so ’n groot intimiderende faktor soos Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria word.

Die Cheetahs hoop daarom om Vrydag om 19:10 op Vodacompark in Bloemfontein ’n golf van ondersteuners (in wit geklee) te sien wanneer hulle vir ’n Super 14-wedstryd teen die Bulle op die veld draf.

“Ons het die laaste tyd probeer om soveel moontlik na ons ondersteuners uit te reik. Ons wil graag ’n golf van ondersteuning sien wanneer ons teen die Bulle speel. Goeie ondersteuning sal belangrik in die Super 14 wees,” het Drotské gesê.

Die Vrystaat, Griekwas en die Griffons sal ook van vandeesweek probeer om die Vodacombeker in die hartland te hou. Dié spanne sal wil wys die hartland het goeie diepte terwyl die voorste spelers in die Super 14 meeding.

Die Vodacombeker-spelers sal aan mnr. Rassie Erasmus, afrigter van die Cheetahs, wil wys dat hulle goed genoeg is om in die Super 14 te speel.
***

Feesmaal van sport in Rosestad voorgesit
Feb 07 2006 11:29:44:650PM - (SA)
Danél Blaauw

’n WARE sportfeesmaal word die naweek in die hartland van Suid-Afrika opgedis en duisende ondersteuners uit die noorde stroom na die Rosestad toe.

Op die spyskaart: die Vodacom-Cheetahs wat hopelik Bul-bredie gaan opdis, terwyl die Gestetner-Eagles waarskynlik die Leeus gaan afransel.

Die Cheetahs pak die Bulle Vrydag op Vodacompark in die eerste ronde van die strawwe Super 14-beker, terwyl die Eagles Sondag teen die Leeus in die halfeindronde van die Pro20-krieketreeks te staan kom.

Duisende rugby- en krieketondersteuners stroom die naweek na die Rosestad om dié twee spanne in aksie te sien.

Die kragmeting tussen die Cheetahs en Bulle lok ongekende belangstelling nadat die Vrystaat-Cheetahs die Blou Bulle verlede jaar in die Curriebeker-eindstryd geklop het. Vrydag se wedstryd word as ’n “wraakwedstryd” tussen die twee spanne beskou met die Curriebeker nog vars in albei se geheue.

Krieketondersteuners sal Sondag na Goodyearpark opruk om ’n sterbelaaide Eagle-span, die verdedigende kampioene in die reeks, te sien.

Die Proteas, Boeta Dippenaar, Johan van der Watt en Jacques Rudolph, het hulle weer by die span aangesluit ná hul oorsese toer saam met die nasionale span.

’n Ondersteunersgolf in wit geklee, wat bankvas agter die streekspan staan, word Vrydagaand op Vodacompark verwag.

Kaartjies vir die Cheetahs se eerste Super 14-wedstryd raak nou so skaars soos hoendertande.

Ondersteuners wat nog ’n sitplek vir dié geskiedkundige kragmeting wil verseker, moet gou spring.

Kaartjies vlieg en teen gister is sowat 32 000 kaartjies verkoop, sê mnr. Piet de Necker, kommersiële bestuurder van die Vrystaatse Rugbyunie. ’n Stampvol stadion word die eerste keer in twee jaar verwag. De Necker sê die stadion is met die toets tussen die Springbokke en Ierland laas uitverkoop.

Duisende ondersteuners, van Kroonstad, Kimberley en Pretoria, sal Vrydag vroeg in treine hier aankom. Busdienste uit alle uithoeke van die land ry ook honderde ondersteuners vir die sportnaweek aan.

Mnr. Naka Drotské, spanbestuurder, het ’n beroep op ondersteuners gedoen om, geklee in wit, in hul duisende na die wedstryd op te ruk.

Volksblad druk sowat 20 000 plakkate om sy steun aan die Cheetahs te gee. Dié plakkate word Vrydagaand by die stadion uitgedeel. ’n Volkleurfoto van die Cheetah-groep verskyn die oggend in die koerant.

Die Eagles sal na alle verwagting Sondagmiddag ook in ’n volgepakte stadion speel.

Mnr. Johan van Heerden, uitvoerende hoof van die Vrystaatse Krieketunie (VKU), sê kaartjieverkope vorder flink. “Mense sal moet spring om teleurstelling te voorkom. Veral met ’n Pro20-wedstyd. Die wedstryde is kort en ’n mens wil nie dan nog in ’n ry staan nie.”

Van Heerden sê sowat 2 500 kaartjies is teen gisteroggend verkoop.

Mnr. Corrie van Zyl, afrigter, sê die span se selfvertroue is uitstekend. “Ons sien uit daarna om weer in ’n halfeind te speel. Om voor ons tuisskare te speel is ook ’n groot aansporing.”

Saklui glimlag waarskynlik ook breed oor dié twee groot sportgebeurtenisse wat ’n reuse- ekonomiese inspuiting vir Bloemfonteinse ondernemings is.

Gastehuise en hotelle was gister vol bespreek vir Vrydagaand, terwyl restaurante en inkopiesentrums ook ’n toeloop van mense kan verwag.

Rugbyondersteuners in die stad lek reeds hul lippe af vir ’n Bul-maaltyd wat verslind moet word.

’n Restauranteienaar en geharde Vrystaat-ondersteuner in die stad het verlede week spesiaal ’n blouwildebees platgetrek.

Mnr. Riaan Niemand sê dié week is enigiets van Blou Bul-burgers tot Blou Bul-biefstuk (met ’n blou kaassous) en Blou Bul-wors op Reid Street Café se spyskaart. Alles in die aanloop tot die groot stryd teen die Bulle.

Niemand sê hy twyfel nie dat die Cheetahs gaan wen nie. “Ons het dan klaar die helfte van die Bulle opgeëet,” lag hy.


STOMPIE FOURIE, voormalige Vrystaat skrumskakel en kaptein, smul aan 'n Blou Bul Burger in die Reid Street Café in die Rosestad. Foto: Charl Devenish

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sharks update: Likely Team to Face Chiefs

This courtesy of IOL

Fine-tuning the Sharks
Mike Greenaway
February 07 2006 at 10:54AM

Amid the misty rain at the Absa Stadium on Monday night, the Sharks team to play the Chiefs on Saturday emerged and, as promised by Dick Muir, the line-up will show subtle changes to the teams that had mixed fortunes in the warm-up games against the Bulls and Cats.

Muir said he would not completely show his hand in those matches and that much has held true, especially as far as the forwards are concerned.

The likely second row combination of Johan Ackermann and Johann Muller has not played together before, and nor has the probable front row of BJ Botha, Skipper Badenhorst and Heinke van der Merwe. AJ Venter, who played lock in the warm-ups, is back on the flank in combination with Warren Britz (openside) and Jacques Botes (No 8). The recovery of Ackermann from injury is a big boost for the Sharks pack. He may be 35 but that is okay for second row duty and the former Bok made a big impression against the Bulls at Sun City.


....

He never played against the Cats after an accidental forearm smash from Venter in lineout training split open his left eyebrow.

The name Heinke van der Merwe will be a new one to Sharks fans
For his "sins", Venter had to play lock against the Cats in place of Ackermann when it had originally been Muir's intention to try Venter on the flank in that game. In the blindside flanker role, Venter will add much needed aggression to the Sharks' rucking at the breakdowns, the one area that the Bulls thoroughly dominated at Sun City.

The name Heinke van der Merwe will be a new one to Sharks fans, but it is likely to gain familiarity soon. The powerful South Africa Under-21 prop was overlooked by the Cats, who have preferred 36-year-old veteran Marius Hurter.

The Sharks then drafted Van der Merwe into their squad and he scrummed well against the Cats in Rustenburg. His presence is all the more welcome after the injury to Deon Carstens in the Bulls game.

Skipper Badenhorst seems to have edged out youngster Jody Jenneker in the battle for the No 2 jersey. Badenhorst had a fine game against the Cats and his abrasive play resulted in the Cats forwards singling him out for special attention. Badenhorst got some unwelcome studs in his head for his trouble and left the field with blood streaming down his face.

In the backline there had been debate over the fullback and wing positions. Samoan Alex Tuilagi's challenge for the right wing berth seems to have come to an end and the man who ran in that position last night was 19-year-old Dusty Noble, with Henno Mentz on the left wing.

Noble probably played his way into possession with a superb individual try against the Cats. He showed extreme pace and then excellent ball skills when he chipped over opposite number Grant Esterhuizen, gathered and scored. He is likely to play alongside his cousin, JP Pietersen, who ran freely at training on Monday night, showing no discomfort from the hamstring injury (sustained against the Bulls) that threatened to keep him out of the opening Super 14 fixture.

Pietersen is competing with Brent Russell, who has also been injured, for the No 15 jersey. Russell did not train on Monday night, which suggests he may be out of the reckoning. Muir will confirm his team tonight. The Wildebeest team to play the Eagles in George in a Vodacom Cup match on Saturday will be packed with the young players that made such a big impression in the warm-up matches in Rustenburg and at Sun City.

Possible Sharks team:
JP Pietersen, Dusty Noble, Gcobani Bobo, Andries Strauss, Henno Mentz, Percy Montgomery, Ruan Pienaar, Jacques Botes, AJ Venter, Warren Britz, Johan Ackerman, Johann Muller, BJ Botha, Skipper Badenhorst, Heinke van der Merwe.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sharks update: Spedding To Start?

This article courtesy of SuperRugby

Not sure if I like the idea of throwing a youngster to the wolves, but anyway.

Muir has something up his sleeveby Gavin Rich

Posted on 06 February 2006 - 08:04
Dick Muir © Touchline PhotoWith Tony Brown still missing, Sharks coach Dick Muir may be set to produce a couple of shocks when he names his team for the first Super 14 match of the new season against the Chiefs in Durban next Saturday.

Brown, the former Highlander listed as the Sharks’s big-name overseas buy in the off-season, is still in Japan and right now the Sharks are no wiser as to when he might finally materialise in Durban. Percy Montgomery has been playing flyhalf in the warm-up games, but Muir has hinted that the combinations everyone is expecting to see might not be what will run out for the Sharks in their opening match.

In particular, Muir appears to have been impressed with the young flyhalves that played for him in the series of warm-up games (the Sharks played two games, meaning two separate teams, in their matches against the Bulls and the Cats), and it may just be that one of them could be in the No10 jersey against the Chiefs.

Making such a scenario more likely is the fact that Brent Russell is one of the players currently on the doubtful list, meaning that Montgomery might be needed at fullback.

Muir has looked at various options in his team’s build-up phase to the Super 14, and it does not appear to have escaped his notice that at both Rustenburg and Sun City, it was the less experienced team that impressed the most.

“We won our first match against the Cats and lost our second one 20-13, but I have been absolutely delighted with what I have seen,” said Muir.

“It may not look like our so-called first choice team did well, but that is just it. That may not have been our first choice, and I think a few people could be surprised when I name the team to play against the Chiefs. One of the big things about Sharks rugby at the moment is that our pipeline of young players really seems to be working again.

“With the youth policy paying off, we now have a number of very special youngsters to choose from. A lot of these guys no-one would have heard of. Among them are Craig Burdon, a centre from Maritzburg College, who did really well, and then others were flyhalves Scott Speding and Scott Mathie, Greg Goosen, Brad Barrett…there were several of them and I could talk all morning about it.”

Muir did well last year in the initial stages of the Currie Cup season by backing his youngsters. Waylon Murray and JP Pietersen were two 19-year-old youngsters that Muir plucked out of the Sharks academy straight into the big league, and they came through for him.

“Our youth could be a big plus for us, but of course if you look at it another way, it could be a negative in that obviously these guys lack Super 14 experience and in that sense it is a bit of a gamble to select them,” said Muir.

“I have no doubt that all the guys I have mentioned can play Super 14 rugby and I do believe that if you are good enough you are old enough. But obviously experience does count for a lot in the Super 14 and we will only really know how they are going to adapt to the stresses of the competition once we have put them onto the playing field.”

Muir believes the Super 14 this year is going to be all about keeping players fresh and using the depth of the squad. He denies that he is looking at fielding two distinctly different teams in the competition, but says that he will be using a squad rotation system.

“Rotation of players is going to be a crucial part of our campaign and that is why we worked with such a big squad in the pre-season. I have been really impressed with the depth and I am very confident about our chances of doing well in the competition and surprising a few people,” said Muir.

“We do have a few injuries at the moment, but hopefully they are not too serious. Among the players we will be nursing a bit before we name our team for the Chiefs game are Brent Russell, Waylon Murray, Cedric Mkhize, Craig Davidson and Odwa Ndungane. JP Pietersen is also injured, which is a great shame because he is a very special player.”

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Big Re-match

The match everyone has been waiting for in South Africa will be played in exactly a week’s time.

Yes ladies and gents, it is “The Big Re-match”.

A lot, if not too much has been said about the Currie Cup final of 2005, but we simply cannot deny the massive accomplishment Rassie and his men achieved at Loftus last year. Praises has been sung and compliments from far and wide have been given to this magnificent team and its coach, and rightly so, it was one of the moments in our Currie Cup history that will be remembered as one of the big upsets.

But it is 2006 now, the Cheetahs are no longer everyone’s second best team, they are the ones every South African team will want to beat, and given the ridiculous relegation situation hanging over everyone’s head, it is all to play for. Super 14 is also a far cry from Currie Cup rugby, the Bulls relative success domestically gauged against their Super 12 success, is testament to this.

So what can we expect?

Well, for me it is pretty straight forward, so if you are a Bulls fan you might want to stop reading now, because the Cheetahs will yet again claw the Bulls into submission, but with much more ease than last year.

In previous articles I highlighted a lot of factors I believe to be crucial for the Bulls and Cheetahs to be successful in this year’s Super 14. Weighing these factors up against each other it becomes clear the Bulls are much worse off than the boys from Bloem.

Looking at the Bulls, the main concern for them are players missing from their squad. Kees Lensing, Danie Coetzee and Anton Leonard have left the union. Guthro Steenkamp, Richard Bands, Gary Botha, Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez are all injured. They have no leader good enough for this competition and they are not playing at home.

Now just looking at that paragraph I actually see no reason to further explain why I believe they are fighting a loosing battle, but lets asses these issues more in depth a bit.

The first and most important issue is captaincy. When I looked at the Bulls team and gave my prediction for their chances in this year’s competition, I basically explained it as follows:

· Bulls of last year with Anton Leonard still there = Finalists
· Bulls of last year without Anton Leonard = Probable Semi-finalists
· Bulls of last year without Anton Leonard and crucial injuries = Nowhere

Unfortunately I do not believe Victor will be a great captain, I might unfairly compare him to Anton, but then again, you have to. Victor is injured. Fourie could actually have been a better choice if he talks more, but as Victor, Fourie is injured. Gary Botha, the best option given the choices, is of course, also, injured.

This leaves them with……no-one.

Apart from the captaincy, the injured or missing players leaves a massive gap in the team. Two of the Bulls’ strengths are line outs, and mauling. The absence of Victor will be felt. I also believe Bakkies Botha plays his best when Victor is on song; it frees him up to perform a more dominant role in the tight loose where he can be devastating.

Gary Botha, another important cog in the Blue machine when it comes to line outs and ball carrying abilities is also missing. The other two choices they have at hooker are both inexperienced and young and I believe they might get murdered by an experienced Cheetah front row.

Their props without Kees, Bands and Guthro looks very thin, they will be up against the old war horses in Os and Ollie, with CJ and Leota providing very competent back up in the front row area.

The Cheetah loosies, if they carry the form over from last year, will overshadow the Bully boys, they are simply too quick for them. It will be interesting to see if Heyneke will select Dlulane though, but given all the injuries, he can ill afford to leave Danie Rossouw, Jacques Cronje and Pedrie Wannenberg out.

Looking at all this, I can see only one logical conclusion. The Bulls will suffer in the line outs, in the tight loose, and even in the scrums. Their machine on what their recent success was built on, has suddenly become their biggest liability.

Looking at the back department, I fear the Bullies might be in for a torrent time. They have more class out wide, but what type of ball will these boys get?

Adams is a capable scrumhalf, but I believe looking at two very young and very vulnerable flyhalfs who must be low on confidence, you need a Fourie du Preez to not only give them crisp service, but also help take the pressure of these boys.

By all accounts, Derrick Hougaard seems to be the chosen one for the first couple of games, and given his form in the warm up games, I can imagine a few Bulls supporters will have sleepless nights over the flyhalf position. His kicking has been poor, and when you are up against a player like Willem de Waal and Gaffie du Toit with a booming left boot, who will no doubt look to put their team on the front foot both through goal kicking and tactical field positioning, you have to be on top of your game.

Given the confidence of the flyhalfs and the very real possibility that they will receive poor ball, the Bulls classy backs might just spend most of the afternoon tackling and wondering what a rugby ball feels like.

From number 1 to 10, the Cheetahs outclass the Bulls. If they allow the Bulls to spread the ball wide, the Cheetahs will have to do a lot of tackling.

So what do the Cheetahs need to do? Real simple, keep the ball close to the forwards and play the game in the Bulls’ half as much as possible. They need to put pressure on the half backs and dominate the tackled ball situations. If they do that, they will walk away comfortable winners.

And the Bulls? Well as strange as it sounds, they need to make the game as fast as possible can and look to get their game breakers, JP Nel, Roets and Habana involved in the action as much as possible.

I would play Wynand Olivier inside Nel to give me that extra attacking option. If they use Dries Scholtz as a battering ram at 12, they will loose. The Cheetahs are vulnerable in the midfield and out wide, expose that, and you will see results.

In the forwards, the Bulls and Heyneke need to do exactly what Rassie did to them last year, technically outsmart them. If they can contain the Cheetah forwards and secure their own ball, we will be in for a tight one.

I believe the game will be won by the team who enjoys the best field position for the majority of the match and the team that will win the forward battle - and on both counts, my money is on the Cheetahs because of the experience and speed in the forward department, and the boots of Willem de Waal and Gaffie du Toit.

Prediction:

Cheetahs by 10 or more, with the Bulls coming back in the last quarter with some frantic and gutsy play.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

CHEETAH NEWS


In the ever changing process of OORB trying to make sense of the cut and paste job, the following articles are included, in order to initiate a healthy denate on the Vodacom Cheetahs preparations for the 2006 Vodacom Super 14.

Unless otherwise indicated all articles in this thread are from www.news24.co.za or www.volksblad.com

Three all in injury stakes
01/02/2006 21:37 - (SA)

Hendrik Cronje , Die Volksblad

Bloemfontein - Three all.

This is the present state of affairs in the injury stakes between the Cheetahs and the Bulls prior to their Super 14 rugby match in Bloemfontein.

There is a good chance that the Cheetahs will be without two Springboks and an All Black against the Bulls.

The Bulls will probably be without three Boks because of injuries - Victor Matfield (lock), Gary Botha (hooker) and Fourie du Preez (scrumhalf).

Numerous Cheetahs players are injured. Hendro Scholtz (flank, shoulder) is one of the Boks who is unavailable, while the exciting young Alwyn Hollenbach (centre, shoulder) will be sitting in the stands for the next four weeks. Gavin Passens (Bok wing) has lost the race against the clock and will have to wait much longer to wear a Cheetahs jersey again.

This is not the last of the problems facing Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus.

Corniel van Zyl (lock) has a 50% chance of playing because of a broken cheekbone. He trains with the squad, but does not make contact. The All Black centre, Keith Lowen, has not been on the training field since the warm-up match against the Western Force.

He has aggravated his hip injury in a squash game and it is not yet clear how long he will be out of action.

The experienced Cheetahs Bok Ollie le Roux is also still out of action after he was injured in a scrumming session.

Report on the injuries

The Cheetahs medical staff will probably give Erasmus a final report about the state of the injuries on Thursday.

Erasmus is not someone who likes to be caught off-guard. He has Kabamba Floors and Gareth Krause to replace Scholtz, while Frans Viljoen's fiery play can get him the nod as loose forward. After his good performance against Treviso, Ronnie Cooke could be included at outside centre, while Chris Kruger could replace Hollenbach.

Cooke could also be considered as left wing, although Sinethemba Zweni has good ball skills and could take over from Passens.

Any team would be happy wit Cobus Grobler and Rory Duncan as replacements if Van Zyl should have to withdraw. Duncan is considered one of the strongest forwards in South African rugby.

After his good performance for Free State in the Currie Cup final it will be difficult to keep Barry Goodes off the field in the Super 14 series. He, Kruger and even Meyer Bosman can be play inside centre against the Bulls, depending on Lowen's availability.

It will be a big setback if Le Roux is unable to play. He can do duty as prop or hooker. The coach has Wian du Preez and Os du Randt as excellent looseheads, while Trevor Leota and Tiaan Liebenberg are the hookers in the Cheetahs squad.


****

Buiteperd Cooke se grote dalk gou
Feb 02 2006 12:05:27:873AM - (SA)
Hendrik Cronjé

DIE tafel is gedek vir Ronnie Cooke om as ’n jong buiteperd ’n onvergeetlike roman van die Super 14-rugbyreeks te maak.

Dié 22-jarige senter van die Vodacom-Cheetahs het kenners aan die praat ná sy vyfster-vertoning teen Treviso in Welkom. Cooke het blitssnel deur die gapings geglip en Treviso se Suid-Afrikaanse piekniek in ’n oogwink in ’n veldslag verander.

Verlede jaar was hy die buitesenter in die Suid-Afrikaanse o.21-span wat as wêreldkampioen gekroon is. Hy het toe gewys hy is ’n speler vir groot oomblikke.

Sy grootste oomblik kan op 10 Februarie in Bloemfontein aanbreek wanneer die Cheetahs in ’n Super 14-wedstryd teen die Bulle speel.

Omdat Alwyn Hollenbach weens ’n skouerbesering nie vir 10 Februarie oorweeg word nie, is Cooke die gunsteling om die Cheetah-buitesenter te wees.

“Ek weet nog nie of ek in die span is nie, maar die Bulle is altyd ’n harde wedstryd,” sê Cooke.

Hy weeg 88 kg, is 1.82 m lank en wil net speel, maak nie saak of dit op senter of vleuel is nie. “Ek is net gelukkig as ek kan speel, daarom sal ek selfs vleuel speel.”

Cooke was ’n leerling aan die Laerskool Eureka en die Hoërskool Noord-Kaap in Kimberley. Dit is vir hom heerlik om sy loopbaan in die hartlandstreek voort te sit ná sy draai by die Luiperds, sê hy.

“Ek is ná skool na die Luiperds toe omdat ek aptekerswese wou studeer. Ek het nou besluit my rugby moet voorkeur kry, voordat ek in die toekoms my studies voltooi.”

Sy vermoë om ’n spelbreker te wees, het unies soos die Haaie en die Leeus laat toustaan om hom van die Luiperds weg te lok.

“My wortels is egter in Kimberley, aangesien my ouers steeds daar bly. Dit was nie vir my ’n moeilike besluit om terug te keer nie,” sê hy.

Cooke sal vir die Wildeklawer-Griekwas in die Curriebeker-reeks uitdraf.

Volgens hom is die aanpassing in die Cheetah-kamp onder mnre. Rassie Erasmus (hoofbreier) en Franco Smith (hulpafrigter) nie groot nie.

“Rassie-hulle laat ’n mens so tuis voel. Hier mag ’n speler bydraes lewer en hulle slaag daarin om jou bydraes te waardeer,” het Cooke bygevoeg.

Chris Kruger (met Hollenbach op die krukkelys) is die ander buitesenter in die wedloop, maar Cooke se vaart kan deurslaggewend wees. Kruger het in die Cheetah-losmakers egter gewys ervaring kan nie oor enige toonbank gekoop word nie.

Cooke kan hom solank voorberei om die sentermaat van Barry Goodes of Keith Lowen teen die Bulle te word. Alles sal afhang of Smith-hulle tevrede met Lowen se fiksheid is.

Goodes se fisieke spel en Cooke se glibberigheid kan hul in ’n goeie kombinasie laat saamsmelt.

Maar die vraag is hoe waardevol word Lowen se Super 12-ervaring deur Smith-hulle beskou?

Lowen het die Chiefs in meer as 50 Super 12-wedstryde verteenwoordig en die All Black-trui gedra.

Cooke verwag die Super 14-reeks sal uiters fisiek wees, maar hy sal nie toelaat dat dit hom ontsenu nie.

Hy kan die land eerder aan die praat kry met sy onvoorspelbaarheid en uitgeslapenheid.

CONNOLLY APPOINTED


OORB wants to congratulate John Connolly with his appointment to the "hottest seat" in Rugby Union at the moment and wish him well in his endeavours to getting the Wallabies back at their best, wink wink, yes we do actually....



John Connolly appointed Head Coach of Qantas Wallabies
February 02, 2006 - 11:30am
Story by: ARU

The Australian Rugby Union has announced the appointment of John Connolly as Head Coach to lead the Qantas Wallabies to Rugby Word Cup 2007.

Connolly, who has had professional coaching experience with the Queensland Reds, Stade Francais, Swansea and most recently Bath will head a new look structure designed to address key areas identified for improvement.

A more streamlined coaching management team will consist of John Connolly as Head Coach presiding over a new structure of an attack coach, a defence coach and a restarts coach.

Negotiations with candidates below the Head Coach position are ongoing.

ARU Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Gary Flowers says the appointment of the new team combines the vast experience of John Connolly and others with proven skills and innovation in critical areas of the game.

"Over the past two months we have identified where we need to go. I am very pleased to announce today that John Connolly will head the coaching team to take us there. We certainly have the players, now we have a Head Coach with the right skills to get the Wallabies back in a winning vein."

"John's experience in Australia and overseas, his approach to the game and his ability to lead a specialist team made him the outstanding choice."

"The ARU received a large number of applications and we cast a broad net. Given the challenges we face, a John Connolly led coaching team is the fresh start Australian rugby needs."

The new Qantas Wallaby Head Coach says he's under no illusions about the magnitude of the job ahead.

"I don't mind a challenge and they don't come bigger than winning a World Cup. It's a great privilege to coach the national team. We've got 20 Test matches to get the team in a winning position."

"I am focused on the positives. I will have the benefit of a new coaching structure and what will be an excellent coaching team around me. Super 14 provides the opportunity to look at more players than we have in the past with greater competition for places. The work of the High Performance Unit and the selection Panel has also given me a head start with the work they have been doing over the past two months."

"We are also fortunate that our four Super 14 teams are very well coached. I look forward to working with the provinces in the next 18 months to ensure our mutual goals are achieved.

"We do need to think about the game differently and I think the coaching structure we are looking at is innovative. Importantly, with the right people in place it will address the key problems." Connolly said.

Mr Flowers also announced that former Wallaby coach Rod Macqueen will continue as a Rugby Advisor to the ARU.

"Rod has made an outstanding contribution to the coach selection process and he has had an ongoing role since June last year with a number of projects. Rugby needs to retain its intellectual property. Rod's ongoing involvement makes a lot of sense.

John Connolly's first day in the office is this Monday February 6th.

Coaching Career Highlights

1994 Super Ten Qld Reds Champions
1995 Super Ten Qld Reds Champions
1996 Super 12 Qld Reds Minor Premiers
1999 Super 12 Qld Reds Minor Premiers
2000 French Champs Stade Francais Premiers
2001 Heineken Cup Stade Francais Finalists
2003/04 Zurich Premiership Bath Minor Premiers/Finalists
2003/04 Zurich Premiership Coach of the Year Award
2004/05 Powergen Cup Bath Finalists


An announcement on the remainder of the coaching team is expected in the coming weeks.

Sharks Update: Oom Kartoffelkopf To The Resuce


Well, well, well! It seems there wasn't a whole lot of good news to come out of last night's A team game against the Cats, but at least the mystery of the "A.N. Other" in the B team has been solved. Seems a Samoan winger by the name of Alesana Tuilagi has flown in to help us out at short notice - all part of a unique agreement put together by our much-maligned Commercial Director, Herr Staaldraad himself!

It seems that the agreement allows for the transfer of players between ourselves and the Leicester Tigers on short notice - a deal that can only spell good things for Sharks rugby. Our young stars-in-the-making will no doubt benefit greatly from the opportunity to play in Europe. It's also comforting to know that we could conceivably call on a number of battle-hardened English tight forwards should the need ever arise. Now, if only a certain Mr Johnson were still on there books...

Nice going, Rudi!

OO NOTE

It seems that this Tuilagi fellow is a strapping dude, stats and photo from www.ercrugby.com





Alesana Tuilagi
Date of Birth: 24th Feb 1981
Position: Centre / wing
Height: 1.85 m (6' 1")
Weight: 111 kg (17 st 4 lb)
Honours: Samoa


Another Note about the player AN Other

Sharks Spring Samoan Surprise
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 21:08

There was a surprise package at Olympia Park in Rustenburg in the considerable form of giant Samoan wing Alesana Tuilagi, who has joined the Sharks as part of an innovative exchange programme between the Sharks and Leicester, the prominent English club.

The 114kg Tuilagi arrived in the country on Tuesday and was given a second half run in the early game against the Cats second-stringers. He did not have many opportunities to impress, even though the Sharks were convincing winners of that match.

This innovative arrangement with Leicester was brokered by Sharks commercial manager Rudolf Straeuli and it allows for the Sharks and Leicester to loan each other players at short notice.

Tuilagi and the Sharks' pre-season signing, Daniel Farani, played for their country against England at Twickenham last November.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sharks Update: Teams for tonight's games against the Cats


Hi all - and thanks to OO for the invitation to post here. I'll be doing my best to keep you guys up to date with matters in Sharks Country, which should be kinda interesting since I live in Jozi.
Anyway - to get us all in the mood, here's the latest info on the teams for tonight's friendlies against the Cats in Rustenburg. This courtesy of those kind folks over at sharksrugby.co.za

"Sharks coach Dick Muir has named his two sides to take on the Cats on Wednesday in Rustenburg in the Sharks final warm-ups ahead of the Vodacom Super 14 which starts next weekend.

This final preparation will afford the coaching staff one last opportunity to test combinations and finalise a possible starting lineup against the Chiefs, while the players have this chance to stake a claim for a berth in that first match.

Muir has chosen a few players in different positions from the last game against the Bulls; in the first game Nico Breedt and Jaco Gouws are swapped around and in the second, Brett Hennessey takes over from the injured JP Pietersen at fullback, Henno Mentz gets a start on the wing, Jacques Botes shifts from eighthman to flank and Braam Immelman is given the number 8 jersey.

Daniel Farani gets a start after coming off the bench against the Bulls and Johann Muller takes over from Albert van den Berg, while Brendon Botha returns from injury and Heinke van der Merwe replaces injured Deon Carstens. In the final change, Jody Jenneker is given a run in place of Bismarck du Plessis at hooker.

The Raggies Team to play at 5pm:

15. Greg Goosen
14. Craig Burden
13. Grant Rees
12. Bradley Barritt
11. An other
10. Scott Spedding
9. Scott Mathie
8. Nico Breedt
7. Jaco Gouws
6. Solly Tyibilika
5. Albert van den Berg
4. Steven Sykes
3. Brent Moyle
2. Skipper Badenhorst
1. Danie Saayman

Cats: 15 Oginga Siwundla, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Dewey Swartbooi, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Jorrie Muller, 10 André Hough, 9 Dave von Hoesslin, 8 Russell Winter, 7 Gerhard Vosloo, 6 Roland Bernard, 5 Gordon Gilfillan, 4 KleinJan Tromp, 3 Bertus Smit, 2 Delarey du Preez, 1 Lawrence Sephaka.

The Hammerheads Team to play at 7pm:
15. Brett Hennessey
14. Henno Mentz
13. Gcoboni Bobo
12. Andries Strauss
11. Dusty Noble
10. Percy Montgomery
9. Ruan Pienaar
8. Braam Immelman
7. Daniel Farani
6. Jacques Botes
5. Johann Muller
4. AJ Venter
3. BJ Botha
2. Jody Jenneker
1. Heinke van der Merwe

Cats: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Ashwin Willemse, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Grant Esterhuizen, 10 Tiaan Snyman, 9 Enrico Januarie/Jano Vermaak, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Wikus van Heerden (captain), 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Jannes Labuschagne/Willem Stoltz, 4 Trevor Hall, 3 Marius Hurter/Daniel Muller, 2 Lukas van Biljon, 1 Pietman van Niekerk/Heinrich Kok.

Sharks Reserves
Bismarck du Plessis, Warren Britz, Sandile Nxumalo

Cats Reserves
Ethienne Reynecke, Pietie Ferreira, Arno Coetzee, John Daniels, Ethienne Reynecke."

I reckon we have reason to be pretty bullish (or should that be Sharkish?) about our chances tonight. Both Cats packs look pretty solid, if lacking any real gamebreakers. I reckon we should match them quite easily in the tight 5, with our loosies edging theirs. I expect Bernard and Grobelaar to be quite a handful, but Solly and Jacques Botes should be able to beat them to the breakdown. Let's hope Farani puts in a big performance and shows us all why he's here. Breedt and Immelman also need to put their hands up for a change, especially Nico. He hasn't impressed at all since moving from Free State but he's back in his best position tonight, so let's hope he has a blinder.

Our halfbacks in both teams are a ton better than what the Cats can put out there (except for Ricky - he's pretty good, but will he play?) and the outside backs are pretty evenly matched. The Cats have more experience on their side, but they also have Jorrie, which swings the arguement in our favour. I reckon Strauss and Bobo are likely to be outgunned by the Bok pair of Julies and Fourie in the later game, but it'll be a good test for the youngster and the oldster. Young Bradley Barrit is an exciting prospect too, so with any luck our woes at 12 will soon be a thing of the past, with some young talent coming through, as well as the imminent return of James and arrival of Brown. (James Brown? I feel good!)

Whatever the outcome, remember that a lot of frontline Sharks players are not going to be involved tonight, including Davidson, James, Brown, Russell, Hall, Kokoali, Smit, Carstens, Ackermann, Jacobs, Murray and Pietersen. There's a lot of depth in this squad and most of the youngsters look to have real talent. Bright times are ahead for the Sharks!

Cheers
RobD


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