Vodacom Super 14

Sharks shocked at Meyer

2010-02-12 09:55
Steve Meyer (File)
Gavin Rich

Durban - The Sharks could not have had a more confusing and bizarre build-up to their first game in this year’s Super 14, with a shock retirement following on from the confusion created by SA Rugby’s inability to rule on Willem Alberts’s eligibility.

Everyone is looking for a reason and there is hardly anyone who doesn’t feel there must be more to it than meets the eye, but the Sharks are adamant -- they were as blindsided by Steve Meyer’s decision to retire from rugby as everyone else is.

According to Sharks sources, Meyer pitched up at the office of the Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl on Wednesday with his father in tow, and the pair of them announced that for personal reasons Meyer did not want to continue with his rugby career.

"While this has come at an inopportune time, we respect his decision and have agreed to release him," said Van Zyl.

Just 25 years of age and an old boy of Kearsney College, Meyer had recently returned to Durban from French club Perpignan and was the man that coach John Plumtree had earmarked to play flyhalf in Saturday night’s opening match against the Chiefs at Absa Stadium.

Already without the services of Argentine international Juan Hernandez, who has had to undergo an operation, the Sharks have had to return to Monty Dumond as their hoped for salvation in a No 10 jersey which has seen several quality players come and go in the last few seasons.

Dumond was not impressive in the warm-up games against the Stormers and Western Force in Cape Town, and until Wednesday he would not have been expecting to start, so to say that the Meyer decision has impacted negatively on the Sharks plans would be an understatement.

All of this comes on top of the continued uncertainty over Alberts, who, together with fellow former Lions player Louis Ludik, remains at the centre of a tug of war between the Sharks and the Lions. The case will go to court on Friday, and if it turns out favourably for the Sharks, Alberts will be on the bench wearing No 19 in the Chiefs game.

If not, the Sharks will have to make another plan - but for now they have at least named a team, which itself is an achievement considering the circumstances.

Plumtree has left Jannie du Plessis on the bench for this one and retained skipper John Smit as a tighthead in a tight five that looks strong on paper at least with the old firm of Steven Sykes and Johann Muller packing down in the second row.

As anticipated, Ruan Pienaar, who may well find himself playing flyhalf after all, is on the bench, as is fellow Springbok Adrian Jacobs.


15-Stefan Terblanche, 14-Odwa Ndungane, 13-Waylon Murray, 12-Andries Strauss, 11-JP Pietersen, 10-Monty Dumond, 9-Rory Kockott, 8-Ryan Kankowski, 7-Jean Deysel, 6-Keegan Daniel, 5-Johann Muller, 4-Steven Sykes, 3-John Smit (captain), 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16-Craig Burden, 17-Jannie du Plessis, 18-Gerhard Mostert, 19-Willem Alberts, 20-Jacques Botes, 21-Ruan Pienaar, 22-Adrian Jacobs

15-Mike Delany, 14-Dwayne Sweeney, 13-Richard Kahui, 12-Jackson Willison, 11-Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10-Stephen Donald, 9-Brendon Leonard, 8-Colin Bourke, 7-Tanerau Latimer, 6-Liam Messam (captain), 5-Kevin O’Neill, 4-Craig Clarke, 3-Nathan White, 2-Aled de Malmanche, 1-Sona Taumalolo

Substitutes: 16-Hika Elliot, 17-Ben Afeaki, 18-James McGougan, 19-Culum Retallick, 20-Jarrad Hoeata, 21-Junior Poluleuligaga, 22-Tim Nanai-Williams


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