Nought Bru the Sharks get smashed

EISH! Eina! Ouch … This was a sad low for the Sharks. They were as atrocious as the conditions in stormy Wellington but while the weather may lift in the New Zealand capital in a day or two, the doom and gloom will cling to the Durban franchise for far longer.

In the words of Director of Rugby Gary Gold, “This was a performance unacceptable for a franchise as strong as the Sharks.”

The score was 41-0. Six tries to nil. It was the first time in the 21-year history of Super Rugby that the Hurricanes had held an opponent scoreless and it was also the first time that a team had failed to register a point in Super Rugby play-offs, dating back to the inception of the competition in 1996.

Yesterday, social media was awash with strident criticism of a Sharks side that was desperately disappointing. There were 21 missed tackles (this from a side that for much of this competition was the best defensive team through the efforts of no-nonsense defence coach Omar Mouneimne).

Yet in their last round robin match, against the Sunwolves, the Sharks shipped 29 points. Now another 41 … 70 points in two games ….?

It is easy to get carried away in criticism, and if you want hysteria go on to The Sharks’ facebook page and check out the comments), but perhaps we need to look at deeper issues before Gold is hung, drawn and quartered.

Key to this (mis) match at the Cake Tin was the vast discrepancy between the performances of the Hurricanes 9 and 10 and their Sharks’ counterparts.

TJ Perenara was the catalyst for most of the Hurricanes’ tries while flyhalf Beudon Barrett was quite simply sublime. It said a lot that with 20 minutes to go, coach Chris Boyd pulled the pair off to put them into cotton wool ahead of the semi-finals. That was as much an insult to the Sharks as it was recognition by the Hurricanes’ coaching staff of the gems they have at their disposal. Why risk them getting injured when the game was some time before won and lost?

The Sharks did not have similar playmakers in Michael Claassens and Garth April. The latter looked out of his depth and his defence is very concerning. He was pulled off after 55 minutes. April should not be written off but his inexperience and under-performance highlighted the fact that Patrick Lambie is conspicuous by his absence, particularly when you consider that another key Shark, scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, has likewise been injured for mot of Super Rugby.

If Reinach and Lambie had played yesterday plus another hugely influential (and injured) Shark in Marcell Coetzee, the dynamic flanker, these confidence-building players would have made a big difference.

Willie le Roux at fullback was another who could have made a positive impact had he played more of his natural game instead of kicking the ball virtually each time he touched it.

Gold said afterwards that the plan had to been a territory game but that the execution of the kicks was poor. TV commentator and former All Black scrumhalf Justin Marshall was astounded that the Sharks continued to kick without rhyme or reason even when they were 30 points down.

It was clear that the while kicking had been a pre-determined option because of the howling wind and blistering rain, this policy became a default for players who did not know what to do with the ball.

Paul Jordaan, the outside centre, did not once receive a pass down the backline.

You can’t blame him for departing for France. He is not alone. JP Pietersen has played his last game for the Sharks, as has Le Roux, Coetzee and hooker Kyle Cooper. All are going overseas.

There is growing speculation that talented back S’bura Sithole, who has been battling for game time this season, is being sought by the Stormers. If he goes it would be a significant loss.

This heavy defeat will hurt the Sharks and their fans but there is also reason to be encouraged. Until this game, the Sharks had been relatively successful against the five NZ teams, winning two matches and losing three by close margins. There has been the emergence of the young Du Preez twins, the continuing excellence of Philip van der Walt and the second-row of Etienne Oosthuizen and Stephan Lewies is growing in promise.

Clutching at straws? Possibly. But you can’t help thinking that the Sharks will look a whole lot better next year if Reinach and Lambie stay clear of injury and play from start to finish.


Sharks: Did not trouble the scorers

Hurricanes: Loni Uhila, James Marshall, Jason Woodward, Vaea Fifita, TJ Perenara, Brad Shields. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (3), Woodward. Penalty: Barrett.

By Mike Greenaway

Volunteering just 67 minutes can feed 450 000 hungry children for a year on Wednesday, 13 July


For 450 000 vulnerable children, giving 67 minutes of your time for Nelson Mandela on Wednesday, 13 July can stave off their hunger for as long as a year.

To honour Nelson Mandela’s rich legacy of caring for those in need, Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa and Sun International’s GrandWest Casino are gearing up to pack 450 000 meals that will benefit children at the Early Childhood Development Centres supported by Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, along with a number of non-governmental organisations partners.

The national Mandela Day commemoration will also take place at a further four Sun International properties, namely The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth on 16 July, Sibaya in KwaZulu Natal on 18 July, Carnival City in Johannesburg on 19 July and Sun City on 20 July.

The initiative forms part of Stop Hunger Now’s global campaign to mark International Mandela Day by packing and distributing meal boxes to those in need. Each meal box contains 36 meal bags, which in turn contain six meals each. Meal bags are planned to deliver optimal nutrition to children. The bags are packed with rice, soya, soup mix and a vitamin sachet containing 23 essential vitamins and minerals.

Between 8.30am and 5pm, GrandWest’s Market Hall will be transformed into a streamlined packing facility with 30 production lines consisting of 20 volunteers each. In total, 600 volunteers, organised into 150 three-member teams working four shifts, will pack a total of 12 500 meal boxes containing 36 meal bags in each.

Heidi Edson, Sun International Group Socio-Economic Development Manager said, “We appeal to Capetonians, and especially to other corporate companies based in Cape Town, to join us in making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. From our privileged position it is often difficult to imagine what it must be like to go to bed hungry every night, but for 3-million South Africans this is a reality. Please help us to make this challenge a reality, and to ensure that 450 000 children can stop worrying about where their next meal will come from”.

Explaining the registration process, Saira Khan CEO of Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa said, “An entry fee of R10 000 will be levied for each corporate team of 20 people. This money will be used to buy the dry ingredients and to cover the basic cost of the packaging. Individuals wishing to participate can do so for a donation of R500. Pre-registration can be done either online viaevents to request a registration form.”

Four two-hour packing sessions have been planned for the day but will be extended to a fifth session if sufficient entries are received. Once packed, the meals will be stored at the Stop Hunger Now warehouse, to be distributed over the next 12 months.


Sharks and the Cheetahs match preview for tonights game

The Sharks and the Cheetahs have dished up some thrilling entertainment over the years of Super Rugby and tonight’s clash at Kings Park has all the ingredients for another classic.

It is worth noting that six of the last nine meetings between these sides have been won by the away team, including each of the last two. While it is true enough that the Cheetahs are playing only for pride and the Sharks have infinitely more to gain from a win – a step closer to the play-offs – the Sharks will not forget that the Cheetahs love nothing better than upsetting the favourites.

So often the underdogs, it is part of the Cheetahs’ psyche to upset the apple cart. Many a Sharks team has had their Super Rugby or Currie Cup ambitions rudely disrupted by a plucky Cheetahs team fuelled by their determination to beat the odds.

Last week, in Bloemfontein , the Cheetahs scored a number of outstanding tries to rush into a commanding lead over the Western Force at half time …. only to cave in on defence in the second half and they were exceptionally lucky to get away with a 30-29 win after Peter Grant missed an easy penalty to win the game.

That is the Cheetahs in a nutshell. They are capable of brilliance on attack but can be woeful on defence.

“It makes them a difficult team to prepare for,” Sharks coach Gary Gold admitted. “We have to show them a lot of respect because they are a team that is capable of scoring tries against the best defences in the competition. They will have no lack of intent, they use the width of the field, and they have an effective passing game. Their back three has been outstanding – in fact they have a very good backline full stop.”

But the fact remains that the Cheetahs leak tries faster than they score them. It is why they are out of the running for the play-offs. The Sharks are the opposite. They have been exceptional in defence this season, apart from last week’s game against the Lions, but tries have not always been easy to come by.

“We have to just concentrate on ourselves,” Gold said. “We let ourselves down badly on defence last week at Ellis Park. We have looked at the reason for the bad defence and a lot of it was down to errors at the breakdown. We don’t want to be giving the opposition quick ball. We have worked hard on that. We have to focus on our own play, on keeping the ball through the phases and building pressure.”

Gold will be hoping for a return to form for flyhalf Garth April. The 25-year-old was put under pressure by the Lions and did not attack with the freedom he has in previous games for the Sharks. It will be a big test for April tomorrow. He needs to rebound and deliver an assured performance.

Patrick Lambie was ruled out earlier in the week with continuing symptoms of concussion but should be available for next week’s final round robin game against the Sunwolves, at Kings Park.

The Sharks will be lifted if Lambie can return against the Sunwolves, hopefully after a win against the Cheetahs, and if they beat the Japanese team as well, they will book a place in the quarter-finals ahead of the Bulls.

“Patrick has had his injury concerns in recent seasons but he is a very strong character, he has a strong mind,” Gold said. “He reminds me of Jean de Villiers in terms of his determination to get over injury. Patrick and Jean are both resilient. Jean had some terrible injuries but recovered to be a great Springbok. I have no doubt it will be the same with Patrick.”

Sharks – 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Garth April, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Beast Mtawarira (c).

Subs: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 Curwin Bosch.

Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche. 

Subs: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 George Whitehead, 23 William Small-Smith.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)

Assistant referees: Rasta Rashivhenge (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)

TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Music Exchange returns to Cape Town Thursday, 8 and Friday, 9 September 2016.

South Africa’s premier music, film and entertainment programme. Music Exchange(MEX) returns to Cape Town between Thursday, 8 and Friday, 9 September 2016.

Celebrating its sixth anniversary, this year not only will it be within heritage month, MEX16 returns to Sun International’s GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, to host South Afrirca’s entertainment economy indaba.

Adding weight to the now well-established and much respected conference, MEX’s most recent new inclusion the Mother City’s regional pop radio station, Good Hope FM, is the latest in a string of new media partnerships signed up and on board for this year’s all-entertainment economy emersion. Eastern Acoustics will handle all the technical production of the event and Cape Town Tourism will be actively promoting the event on all its platforms.

“We’re extremely proud to be able to return for a sixth consecutive year, with some of the most important names and talents actively invested in music and film today,” states Music Exchange founder Martin Myers.

2016’s #MEX16 is focused on excellence, storytelling, and journeys, and each of speakers will not only promote, but also punctuate the power of aural dictation.

Guest speakers confirmed already include: Samm Marshall, Sophia Foster, Derek Geddes, Lukas De Beer, Nick Matzukis, Siphokazi Jonas, Mornay Hofmeeyster, Steve Harris, Brian Mawdsley, Brandon Bakshi (BMI London) and John Fishlock, among others

Over the two days, the annual symposium of the industry strategists, marketers and musicians will get to share and engage in lectures, collaborative breakout sessions, all geared to empower, edify and entertain.

Diverse subjects covering every aspect of the African and global entertainment economy will be unpacked and shared by the very best in their respective disciplines. From the importance of arts and culture, insights into international trends, working in Africa, marketing, multi-media distribution mechanisms, right through to rights protection and how to be seen and heard in a local and global market, both cluttered with more noise than harmony – MEX2016 will deliver it all.

For more information, visit #MEX16

5.6.7 JULY -3 Shows -with top SA Jazz band Top Dog at Grandwest -Don’t Miss it

Three nights and a mere 450 seats make this highly anticipated new album reveal July’s hot, must-see show ,with Top Dog SA

Top Dog SA’s saxophonist Donveno Prins, who most recently lead the band for the inaugural run for David Kramer’s Kanala show at The Fugard Theatre, is also the band’s leader.

Add Camillo Lombard on keyboards, Charlton Daniels on bass, Mornay Hoffmeester on drums and Mark Williams on guitar and you’re in the company of some of South Africa’s most highly sought after and hugely respected music makers who’ve played with some of the greats.

Now it’s their turn to shine and you’re invited.

Described as a fresh vibrant band, and a force to be reckoned with, Top Dog SA has already made its mark in venues as diverse as Bellville Velodrome, right through to Carnival City in Johannesburg. They’ve also featured at major music festivals, including Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Jazz On The Rocks Festival, Safricon Jazz Fest, Kenya, and Satchmo’s Jazz Fest in Nigeria.

With a recipe that’s made up of equal parts Afro Vibes and fusion jazz fuelled by Khoi san legacy and various indigenous African rhythms the band calls “KhoiJazz”.

“We’ll be doing two sets,” Don reveals, “where the full repertoire of our musical influences and stories will be played.” “It’s going to be two hours of exceptional music,” Mornay adds. “Some tracks, from our recently released debut album, Griqua DNA, have never been played live before, so we’re excited to perform them in front of a live audience for the very first time. The vibe in the studio was amazing when we recorded these songs, so seeing how they’ll translate live has us all filled with nervous anticipation. It’s a great place and privilege for any musician to be in that space.”

The collective is also focused on Youth and Community Development, sharing their time and talent teaching youth in impoverished communities, as well as presenting reading classes, and supporting events the likes of Music Exchange.

To book tickets to Top Dog’s inaugural showcase,

go to Computicket or

Doors open at 7.30 and show starts at 8pm.

Springboks lose Lambie and undefeated status against Ireland at Newlands

Springbok pivot Pat Lambie has been ruled out of the second test match of the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland next weekend after being concussed in the series opener at DHL Newlands.

Lambie was injured in a tackle that saw Irish flanker CJ Stander being red-carded for dangerous play in the first half of the match, won 26-20 by Ireland. Stander will appear before a disciplinary hearing in Cape Town on Sunday morning.

“The provisional diagnosis is that Pat was concussed and although he is ok, will not be considered for next weekend,” Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said after the match. A call on a possible replacement will be made later.

Lambie was injured in the first half of the match that saw the Springboks battling to find momentum, something Coetzee admitted as being a problem for his side.

“This performance lacked the standards expected of a Springbok team. We are very, very disappointed with this performance and the result, it was not how we want to perform as a team. We take responsibility in the fact that we have not delivered today and can only promise hard work to fix this. We will be better next week,” Coetzee said.

Coetzee applauded the effort from the Irish.

“They played outstandingly well, considering that they only competed with fourteen men for so long. They deserved the win,” Coetzee said.

He was less impressed with the team’s effort in his first match in charge.

“The performance was not good enough if you want to be called a Springbok. Test match rugby is not Super Rugby. Discipline will cost you at this level. We conceded eight penalties in the first half, made too many little mistakes on attack. By losing ball in contact or on the ground, we could not get the momentum we needed. Lots of hard work awaits and we have to fix it, as simple as that.”

Springbok captain, Adriaan Strauss, said “unforced errors and the penalties we conceded prevented us from picking up any momentum”.

“This was a disappointing effort from us and we need to work hard this week to fix it. We had opportunities to score on a number of occasions, but did not execute well enough. We also did not defend well enough. We did let ourselves down,” Strauss said.

Issued by SA Rugby Corporate Affairs

No time to Faff about as De Klerk named in starting lineup to face Ireland at Newlands on Saturday

Coetzee hands Springbok debut to Faf de Klerk

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has named Faf de Klerk as the only uncapped player in the starting team to face Ireland on Saturday at DHL Newlands in Cape Town, while Elton Jantjies has passed a fitness test and will start the first of three Castle Lager Incoming Series Tests between the two countries on the bench.

Coetzee has included six players in the match-23 who did not feature at the Rugby World Cup last year, ushering in a new era for Bok rugby. They are the Emirates Lions quintet of De Klerk, Jantjies, Warren Whiteley, Julian Redelinghuys and Lionel Mapoe, who will earn his first start for the Boks, as well as DHL Stormers hooker Bongi Mbonambi, the only other uncapped player in the match-day squad.

De Klerk has been in good form this season for the Emirates Lions in Vodacom Super Rugby and he earns a starting berth alongside experienced flyhalf Pat Lambie, who has played in 50 Tests for the Boks.

The Springbok coach said he is looking forward to seeing De Klerk earning his first Test cap for South Africa and that it was good to know Jantjies has fully recovered from his injury. The Emirates Lions flyhalf passed a fitness test at Thursday’s training session at the Cape Town Stadium.

“I have no doubt Faf will do a fantastic job,” said Coetzee.

“He has lots of experience around him in the form of Pat next to him and Duane at the back of the scrum. So in that sense he will be looked after, but I know Faf can also look after himself.

“Both our flyhalves, Pat and Elton, have been in outstanding form in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition and it’s great to have both of them available and in the match day squad. To have a right and left foot kicker at halfback is always a good option,” said Coetzee

Adriaan Strauss will become the 57th player to lead out the Springboks as captain, with the 30-year old Vodacom Bulls hooker playing in his 55th Test for his country.

Strauss will pack down in the middle of the front row between Tendai Mtawarira, who has earned 75 Bok caps, and Frans Malherbe. Coetzee picked Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth as his lock pairing, while the loose trio consists of Francois Louw, Siya Kolisi and the experienced Duane Vermeulen.

Amongst the backs, Coetzee opted for an experienced all-Cell C Sharks back trio of Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo. Emirates Lions outside centre Lionel Mapoe earns his second Bok cap and partners Damian de Allende in an exciting midfield.

A total of eight players in the run-on team started in the Springboks’ previous Test, last October, when the Boks defeated Argentina 24-13 in London to clinch the bronze medal the 2015 Rugby World Cup. They are Mtawarira, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Louw, Vermeulen, De Allende, Pietersen and Le Roux.

Coetzee said he was pleased with the balance of the team.

“I am excited about the composition of the team and the players selected are rewarded for their consistently good performances in Vodacom Super Rugby,” he said.

“We’ve worked extremely hard these past two weeks to become a team and to make sure we cover all the necessary areas so we can face the Irish.

“The big test will come up front where we will have to make sure that we do well at set pieces, especially at scrum and lineouts. Those are the areas where the Irish have been strong, so we want to compete there and set a platform so our backs can hopefully get into their rhythm.”

The Springbok team to face Ireland on Saturday at DHL Newlands:

Position Name Franchise / Club Test Caps Test points
15 Willie le Roux Cell C Sharks 34 45
14 JP Pietersen Cell C Sharks 66 115
13 Lionel Mapoe Emirates Lions 1 0
12 Damian De Allende DHL Stormers 13 5
11 Lwazi Mvovo Cell C Sharks 15 25
10 Pat Lambie Cell C Sharks 50 134
9 Faf de Klerk Emirates Lions 0 0
8 Duane Vermeulen Toulon, France 35 10
7 Siya Kolisi DHL Stormers 13 0
6 Francois Louw Bath, England 43 40
5 Lood de Jager Toyota Cheetahs 19 20
4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Stormers 44 10
3 Frans Malherbe DHL Stormers 12 0
2 Adriaan Strauss (captain) Vodacom Bulls 54 30
1 Tendai Mtawarira Cell C Sharks 75 10
16 Bongi Mbonambi DHL Stormers 0 0
17 Trevor Nyakane Vodacom Bulls 23 5
18 Julian Redelinghuys Emirates Lions 2 0
19 Pieter-Steph du Toit DHL Stormers 8 0
20 Warren Whiteley Emirates Lions 3 0
21 Rudy Paige Vodacom Bulls 2 0
22 Elton Jantjies Emirates Lions 2 6
23 Jesse Kriel Vodacom Bulls 11 15

Stats and facts:

· The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 474 Test caps (179 in the backline and 295 in the forwards), while there are a further 51 caps worth of experience on the bench.

· South Africa and Ireland have played each other 22 times since 1906, with the Springboks winning 16 Tests, losing five and one was drawn. The Springboks have scored 432 points and 62 tries and conceded 277 points and 26 tries for an average score of 20-13.

· South Africa and Ireland last met on 8 November 2014 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The Springboks lost 15-29 largely due to a contribution of 16 points from the boot of Jonathan Sexton. He kicked four penalties and two conversions.

· Adriaan Strauss will become the 57th Springbok captain in history.

· Faf de Klerk will become Springbok #870 in history. If he goes on, Bongi Mbonambi will become Springbok #871.

· Tendai Mtawarira is the most experienced player in the side with 75 Tests to his credit. He is just five Tests short of Os du Randt’s record of 80 Tests for South Africa as prop. Three other players have played 50 or more Tests for South Africa – JP Pietersen with 66, Adriaan Strauss with 54 and Patrick Lambie with 50. The last time that the Springboks played without a centurion in their side was against Argentinia on 23 August, 2014 in Salta, some 20 Tests ago.

· Adriaan Strauss played against his cousin Richardt Strauss the last two times the Springboks and Ireland met – in 2012 and 2014. They are likely to meet each other again as Richardt is in the Ireland squad for this tour.

· Elton Jantjies last played in a Test for South Africa in 2012 and Julian Redelinghuys played his two Tests in 2014.

· It will be Allister Coetzee’s first Test in charge of the Springboks since he took over from Heyneke Meyer earlier in 2016.

· The referee is Mathieu Raynal of France. It will be his first Test involving South Africa.

· This will be the Springboks’ 52nd Test match at DHL Newlands in Cape Town. The Boks have won 35 of the previous 51 matches, lost 14 and drawn twice. The average score at DHL Newlands is 19-12.

Springbok Test match records at Newlands Rugby Stadium:

· Most points – 35 by Percy Montgomery (1t, 12c, 2p) against Namibia on 15 August, 2007.

· Most tries – three by Tom van Vollenhoven against the British & Irish Lions on 20 August, 1955; by Andre Snyman against Tonga on 10 June, 1997; by Schalk Burger against Namibia on 15 August, 2007 and by Juan Smith against Namibia on 15 August, 2007.

· Most conversions – 12 by Percy Montgomery against Namibia on 15 August, 2007.

· Most penalty goals – seven by Percy Montgomery against France on 24 June, 2006 and by Morné Steyn against Australia on 8 August, 2009.

· Most drop goals – two by Naas Botha against the NZ Cavaliers on 10 May, 1986 and by Francois Steyn against Australia on 16 June, 2007.

Issued by SA Rugby Corporate Affairs


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