Smit selection no surprise

2011-04-28 19:01

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

Johannesburg - The retention of John Smit as the starting hooker will be the big talking point of the Sharks team that was announced on Thursday, but it shouldn't really be.

By bringing Bismarck du Plessis back from injury off the bench, Sharks coach John Plumtree is only sticking to the tried and trusted policy he has stuck with for the last two years - as far as possible, injured players will be reintroduced to the team off the bench. So the selection is not a case of Plumtree preferring one player over another.

Du Plessis was out with a shoulder injury when Smit played so well for the Sharks against the Hurricanes last week, so it makes sense for Du Plessis to be part of what is a power packed bench that includes four further Springboks in the form of Alistair Hargreaves, Jean Deysel, Adi Jacobs and Lwazi Mvovo.

The last mentioned makes way for Odwa Ndungane in what has been described as a rotational selection for this game. The return of Ndungane to the No 14 jersey is one of three changes to the side that beat the Hurricanes last week.

Keegan Daniel is back at openside flank for Jacques Botes in what would have been a rotational selection anyway even were it not for the fact that Botes is now ruled out with injury. Deysel comes into the squad for the first time in 10 months as a replacement for Botes on the bench.

Jannie du Plessis is back at tighthead prop in place of Eugene van Staden, who is another player the Sharks will be pleased they can call on with fresh legs later in the game. Certainly on paper at least the Sharks bench looks better placed to make an impact than the Stormers bench, although it remains to be seen how much Deysel will be able to offer as he makes his way back from his long injury lay-off.

By all accounts he has made good progress with the Sharks XV, however, and Plumtree said earlier in the week that he was back to near where he would want him to be for Sharks senior action. If that is the case the Sharks are spoiled for choice when it comes to driving loose-forwards for Willem Alberts, who is a similar style of player, has come into his own since Deysel last played Super Rugby.



15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant/ Lionel Cronje, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (captain), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Wicus Blaauw

Substitutes: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brok Harris, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Lionel Cronje/ Kurt Coleman, 22 Juan de Jongh


15. Louis Ludik, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Ross Skeate, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. John Smit (captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16. Bismarck du Plessis, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Alistair Hargreaves, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Conrad Hoffmann, 21. Adrian Jacobs, 22. Lwazi Mvovo


  • scipio - 2011-04-28 19:12

    I hope John Smit plays a massive game and silence both me and all his other critics. BUT, It probably won't happen. Looking forward to this game. Stormers by 7

      Steve - 2011-04-29 09:37

      Sorry, but it will happen. Sharks by 5

      Anc13thDisciple - 2011-04-29 10:44

      Gents did you not get the Memo??? chilliboy will be captain and starting hooker for the proteas formerly known as the spring bucks....

  • burtfred - 2011-04-28 19:14

    Smit is a better player than Bismarck. Period. Bismarck's time will come.

      Wolff - 2011-04-28 20:21

      And on what do you base your opinion my dear friend?

      roboman1 - 2011-04-29 02:02

      You right, he used to be in 2006

      Hunter 008 - 2011-04-29 07:46

      What games have you been watching??? Tubby battled to run on and off the field a few games ago !! He had a average game lat week !! Lets see what happens tom orrow !!

  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-04-28 19:22

    The rotational policy where players are much of a muchness - other than for slightly biased supporters - makes perfect sense. I just wish we had more options at centre and perhaps lock.

  • Punani - 2011-04-28 20:43

    Nice cover up. It would be suicide playing Bismark in a tense game because he is already worth 12 points plus to Peter Grant as well as a yellow card. By playing King John, they beef up the front row, sort out the line out throws and double the IQ of the entire Sharks pack.

      kosie - 2011-04-29 09:58

      tell me, when last did bismarck get a yellow. and he gets penalties against him because he act as a fetcher as well, and if you take all the fetchers in the comp into consideration he is the least penalised, you twat.

  • hunterdog - 2011-04-28 20:50

    I dunno about this issue. I don't envy the selectors. 2 damn good hookers and a Captain in John Smit, i suppose John Smit edges Bismark in that case. I still think Bismark must go to the RWC, his service will be required!!!

      SportDoctor - 2011-04-29 07:52

      he will go to the world cup, but John must start!

  • vicj - 2011-04-28 22:28

    I would like to see Smit and Bismark rotate during the world cup. About this game, GO SHARKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

      SportDoctor - 2011-04-29 07:53


  • Kuhle - 2011-04-29 01:46

    John's experience and cool-headedness makes him a massive asset to the team - provincial and national. Not to downplay Bismarck's ability as an impressive player at all, but given the choice right now,I certainly agree with the selection.

      ck - 2011-04-29 09:26

      Spot on.

  • zoli - 2011-04-29 01:49

    Both Smith are stuppind over rated farm boys who cannot take us any where

      vicj - 2011-04-29 07:54

      Zoli, it sounds if you come from the bush, or funny farm. Who was captain in the last world cup?

      steve - 2011-04-29 08:35

      Zoli you dont make sense ! Who are both Smith ?

      Shauno - 2011-04-29 08:51

      I think you might be the "stuppind" one here china!!

      Outpost - 2011-04-29 09:59

      @ zoli. Sometimes it is much better to just shut the f#ck up.

      Slash - 2011-04-29 10:39

      "Rather keep quiet and look stupid than say crap like this and prove you're stupid", I allways say!

      JVR - 2011-04-30 06:26

      Zoli, you must go to school first before you attempt writing again.

  • Henry - 2011-04-29 02:21

    His try Saturday was nearly 2 years since he last scored in a game. Not to good for a hooker.

      Rugby Rocks - 2011-04-29 06:05

      Only hookers that really score are the woman from Tswane !!!!

  • Hunter 008 - 2011-04-29 07:48

    SHARKS are a classy side !!! My money is on them !!!!

  • Anneleen - 2011-04-29 08:42

    Here's wishing the SHARKS best of luck!!! Pledging my support to them always!!!

  • toobos - 2011-04-29 08:44

    I hope for the Sharks' sake that Meyer Bosman and Stefan Terblanche can contain Jaque and Jean.

  • saburger - 2011-04-29 08:51

    Had John Smit played much better last week because he played hooker? Or because he played hooker and not with one of the du Plessis brothers the first half who might try to make their own brother looks better? Or only because he had lifted his game? His improvement was very significant and we hope he can constantly perform like last week. The du Plessis brothers I rate also world class!

  • kosie - 2011-04-29 09:59

    just because john scored a try doesn't mean he played well. the llines outs sucked.

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