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SharksIn this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.

At Lock the Sharks have had their fair share of worries this past year, none more so than the semi-final and final of the Currie Cup 2012.

Anton Bresler and Jandre Marais along with Steven Sykes were the frontline jumpers but there always seemed to be something missing, and although the Sharks made both the Super Rugby and Currie Cup Finals, one glaring aspect of their play that at times was very troublesome was the poor line-outs.

This was due, one can assume, to various issues such as injuries to key players at critical stages of the season as well as just poor play.

The season of 2013 will see the Sharks with the same young locks accept for two changes – Steven Sykes has signed for the Kings and is returning to his family farm (Steven was a great servant to Natal rugby and will no doubt be sorely missed) and on loan to the Sharks for the Super Rugby season 2013 is Franco van der Merwe, who no doubt with his experience can help fill that void and add some much needed experience.



The Contenders:

Anton Bresler:

Position Lock
Height 1.98
Weight 112 kg
Date of Birth 16 February 1988
Place of Birth Windhoek Namibia
Provincial Debut 2009 Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 40
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut 2011 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 23
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut 0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0

Anton “Ants” Bresler was schooled at Durban High School and has come through the ranks at the Sharks starting with the academy, having played the following:

  • Natal U18 Academy Week, Sharks U19 – 2007
  • SA U20 Trials, Varsity Cup – 2008
  • Sharks U21 – 2009 to 2011
  • Sharks Vodacom Cup,  Sharks Super rugby and Currie Cup – 2011 to 2012

He had a good season for the Sharks, considering he in many games had to carry the line-out burden alone when things went wrong. His work ethic in general play has also been outstanding but the one thing still lacking is for him to be a bit more dominant over opposing locks and winning ball on their throw-in’s.


Jandré Marais:

Position Lock
Height 1.98
Weight 118 kg
Date of Birth 14 June 1989
Place of Birth Welkom
Provincial Debut 2009 Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 51
Provincial Points 15
Super Rugby Debut 2012 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 7
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut 0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0

Jandré was schooled at Welkom Gymnasium, and went on the represent the Griffons at Craven Week and in the ABSA Under-19 Tournament in 2007 and 2008, after which he joined the Sharks academy.

His portfolio to date is as follows:

  • CLUB – Collegians
  • 2012 – Sharks Super Rugby and Natal Sharks Currie Cup
  • 2011 – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup, Sharks ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup, Sharks ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2009 – Sharks Invitational XV Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, South Africa IRB Junior World Championships, Sharks XV Vodacom Cup, Sharks U19 ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2008 – Griffons U 19 ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2007 – Griffons U 18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2002 – Griffons U 13 Craven Week.

He has had quite an illustrious junior career and much is expected of him. He made his way into the Sharks senior side this year and although he had a solid season his line-out prowess seemed to be a bit below par, something the Sharks coaching staff no doubt will work hard on during the off season.


Pieter-Steph du Toit:

Position Lock
Height 2.00
Weight 115 kg
Date of Birth 20 August 1992
Place of Birth Cape Town
Provincial Debut 2010  Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 5
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut 2012 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 6
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut 2012 South Africa Under20
Test Caps 5
Test Points 5

Pieter-Steph is one of the most promising up-and-coming juniors (Lock / Flanker) in South African rugby. He was schooled at Swartland High School in Malmesbury, just outside Cape Town.

Although only 20 years old he has had many a tongue wagging as he made his way from school to the Sharks academy.

A short portfolio at junior level he has, this being because his level of play is of a very high standard as he has already represented the Sharks at senior level as well as his super performances for South Africa in the Junior World Cup victory earlier this year.

Being a very skilled footballer he has played for the Sharks and Junior Springboks at Lock and Flank. He still attends the academy and has the following portfolio:

  • 2010 – Boland U 18 Craven Week
  • 2012 – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup, SA U 20 IRB Junior World Cup, Sharks Super Rugby and Currie Cup.


Franco Van der Merwe:

Position Lock
Height 1.98
Weight 116 kg
Date of Birth 15 March 1983
Place of Birth Paarl
Provincial Debut 2009 Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 36
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 2012 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 10
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut 0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0

Franco was schooled Hartswater High School and is on loan to the Sharks for the 2013 Super Rugby season, his rugby portfolio is as follows:

2012 – South Africa Castle Outgoing Tours squad, MTN Golden Lions ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, South Africa Castle Incoming Tours squad, MTN Lions Vodacom Super Rugby

  • 2011 – MTN Golden Lions ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, MTN Lions Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2010 – Xerox Lions ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Lions Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Auto & General Lions Vodacom Super 14
  • 2009 – Xerox Lions ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Xerox Lions Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Xerox Golden Lions British & Irish Lions Tour, Emerging Springboks British & Irish Lions Tour, Auto & General Lions Vodacom Super 14, Golden Lions Vodacom Cup, Lions MTN test
  • 2008 – Xerox Lions ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Xerox Lions Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Golden Lions Vodacom Cup, Auto & General Lions Vodacom Super 14
  • 2007 – Golden Lions XV Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Golden Lions ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Lions Vodacom Super 14
  • 2006 – Impala Leopards Vodacom Cup, Impala Leopards ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2005 – Impala Leopards ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Leopards ABSA Currie Cup Qualifying Round, Impala Leopards Vodacom Cup
  • 2004 – Leopards ABSA Currie Cup First Division, South Africa IRB U 21 World Championships, Leopards Vodacom Cup
  • 2003 – Leopards ABSA U 20 A Section
  • 2002 – Leopards U 19 U19 Competition


Peet Marais:

Position Lock
Height 1.99
Weight 115 kg
Date of Birth 31 October 1990
Place of Birth Welkom
Provincial Debut 2011 Sharks
Provincial Caps 19
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 0
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut 0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0

Peet, like older brother Jandré, was schooled at Welkom Gymnasium and has pretty much the same junior career that his brother had, they also both play No4 lock and it will be interesting to see which of the two ends up with the better career. Peet is slightly taller and Jandré is slightly heavier.

Peet is also a product of the Sharks academy and his portfolio is as follows:

  • 2007 – Griffons U 18 Craven Week
  • 2008 – Griffons U 18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2009 – Griffons U 19, Elite Squad U 18
  • 2010 – SA U19 Trials 2010
  • 2012 – SA U 20, Sharks XV Vodacom Cup, Sharks Currie Cup



The Lock position, having been a problem area for the Sharks, will make it interesting to see which combination coach John Plumtree starts with, and how and if he will rotate them during the season as it unfolds.

I for one, feel that the coach will start with the most experienced Locks he has at his disposal, that being Anton Bresler and Franco van der Merwe, with the two Marais brothers as backup and rotation. For me the question however it is going to be when does he bring Pieter-Steph du Toit into the picture, as the latter is potentially the best Lock at the Sharks and potentially one of the best in SA! Du Toit is also the tallest Lock at the Sharks and the most mobile.

Of course the Locks are not always to blame for poor line-outs, as much depends on their partnership with the Hooker in the team. Also no doubt with the line-out calling problems, the coach will use the skills of 8th man Ryan Kankowski in calling line-outs.

42 Responses to Super Rugby: Sharks squad contenders – Locks

  • 1

    Looking at the pedigree of these Locks it is hard to believe the Sharks lineouts were so poor in some games this past season.

  • 2

    Just hope they stand up to be counted and have learned from the experience

    Me personally believes that PSDT must be the primary jumper, he is the tallest and has the hands etc, play him at 5 and let the rest fight it out at 4

    My other reasoning for that is that I believe PSDT should be the partner lock to EE in the Bok team, with EE being the no 4 enforcer

    PSDT is the faster of the 2 and has exceptional skill for a big man

  • 3

    1 @ Sharks_forever:
    Agree it is hard to believe our lineouts was a problem this year with the players we have. Who is to blame? The Hooker or the locks? Remember we also struggled at the start of Super Rugby as well, where we had Bissie. Eventually it came right with Kanko there. So could it be the locks? Who was doing the calls then? Sykes? We need to address it as no way will we go far by not winning our own ball in the lineouts.

    On a positive we have Kanko from the start next year and also Van der Merwe, plus PSDT.

  • 4

    @ Puma:
    Agree with you, don’t forget though we have Franco too for SR and he has been very good for the LIons, thus his Bok call up

    how you enjoying the articles so far??

  • 5

    oops I just read again lol you did mention Franco @ Puma:

  • 6

    4 @ Sharks_forever:
    Articles are great bro, good work.

    We must the the only site having some rugby articles up this time of year…. Approve

    Good workd to all putting these rugby articles up right on Xmas Eve too. Well done.

  • 7

    Jeez I am a plonker for sure.

    Should read: We must BE :)

  • 8

    Just looking at our Locks ages. They are all so young, ranging from 20 to 24 which is a good thing. Bresler will only be 25 next year the oldest out of the Sharks Locks. Van der Merwe on loan from the Lions is the oldest, but he comes with excellent experience and it is good to have him on board at Sharks.

    Bresler had a brilliant year for Sharks hope to see the same next year. Wonder who will wear the 4 lock jersey? With Kanko back we should be getting our lineouts working again. Think he will once again take control of the calls as he was superb there this year. Also Kanko himself is a great lineout jumper. Think we will sort out our problems there. Just a pity we don’t have Bissie from the start.

  • 9

    Sharks tight 5 looks pretty decent. Only concerns are the replacement props at a glance. So far the players in all the squads show that there is a healthy spread of talent, with only the Kings coming short.

    Methinks we are in for a bumper season!

  • 10

    9 @ Cheetah4eva:
    Agree Sharks tight 5 does look decent. My only concern is if Beast picks up a injury, then we in a bit of trouble, as I don’t think Chadwick is in the same class. Herbst has covered Jannie quiet well in Super Rugby. Only time was in CC final that I felt we missed Jannie when he came off.

    Really looking forward to S15 think all of the franchises in SA have a good squad except Kings. Well saying that about Kings as have no idea how they will play with the players they have. Also being their first year in SR and straight into it without any CC first.

  • 11

    @ Puma,
    Indeed, they have some decent players, the only problem is many of them are in the twilight of their careers, and most others are journeymen. They might offer resistance initially, but their depth is non-existant. These are the harsh lessons that the Cheetahs have learnt, you need at least 50 decnt players to remain competitive.

  • 12

    Tjarkie, now this is what I call an Article, brother!

  • 13

    I will do the Bulls and the Southern Kings locks tonight… watch out for them.

  • 14

    @ grootblousmile:

    Thanks bro, it seemed to go better with each one as I did them.

  • 15

    All these articles is just a reference point for me. It really means f all, big names never made me happy.
    Do your info articles , great work OK but in the last week before the first warm up games show your knowledge and guts and tell us what YOU think the right gamepla would be and lets see what the coaches come up with.

    Will the so called perfect Shark game plan be followed?
    Will Plumbob try the safety first approach first? Remember he was almost deported early season…..
    Will Frans try something totally new or will he ride the bolted horse of Heynecke for another year?
    Will Allistaire try and test his luck with the same game plan that brought him the CC against the perennial chokers?
    Well i know one thing , the State will play one part of the game with excellence, but will they remember that the game is far more intriguing

  • 16

    How can PSDT have 49 provincial caps?

  • 17

    Why would the return of Spies lite change the fortunes of the Sharks lineout? He calls the throw, he doesn’t throw in, or jump for every ball. Yes, he is usefull jumping at the tail, but with Burden et al not being able to throw in………..things will improve when Bismark gets back.

  • 18

    @ Loosehead:
    Well if you read the article properly I did talk about the problems of the throw ins, and on the Hooker thread I spoke at length of Burden and Coopers, fantastic play, but the throw in basics they are poor,

    BY the way thanks for pointing out the PSDT error I have fixed it,

  • 19

    I gotta ask? if some don’t like these articles and think them a waste of time why read them???

  • 20

    Merry Christmas everyone!!

  • 21

    Merry Xmas M, hope you and the family have a great festive season

  • 22

    Merry Christmas all Rugby Talkers. Enjoy your day everyone.

    To all the guests that we have looking in from time to time, Merry Christmas to all of you as well.

    To all our Kiwi, Aussie and British friends here Merry Chritsmas to all of you too.

  • 23

    @ Stormersboy:
    @ Sharks_forever:

    Merry Christmas to both of you and your families.

  • 24

    19 @ Sharks_forever:E

    Exactly, I have to wonder as well…. :roll: Ag, don’t worry bro, just about all of us here really enjoy these articles. Keep up the good work to you and all the others that are putting the Super Rugby squads up. We are a step ahead of the rest of the rugby sites doing these articles this time of year.

  • 25

    17 @ Loosehead:
    Sharks had a problem with their lineouts early season when Bissie was there in the S15 as well. We only really got it right once Kanko started. Kanko was bloody good in the lineouts, because of him our lineouts worked brilliant. He made the difference for sure. The problem could be the calls who knows, it seems that way to me. I know Burden never threw in straight during the CC, but he had been great during the S15 when Bissie was out injured. He is far better than what he produced in the CC final. My feeling he was under cooked after touring with the Boks for two months before that final. He had absolutely no game time.

  • 26

    @ Sharks_forever:
    sorry dont take it personal, for me it does not matter if the Bulls buy all the current Bok locks, if they can not play as a team they will look bad and over the hill.
    My feeling is that we rate players highly long before they achieved anything.
    Look at we have talent galore in SA and honestly i dont think many of the names mentioned in the articles will get anywere. But like i said the articles will be revisited if one of these young “stars” do shine. In fact the media will remind us of their pedigree. Puma wrote:

    the good work to you and all the others that are putting the Super Rugby squads up

    as far as i know the squads in NZ are already picked or assigned, they have them down to about 33 players, here we have every tom dick and harry that have a contract still in our traing groups.

    My feeling is that our coaches have not made up their minds, and stil wish for that miracle player. No problem for most of you , my problem is that our coaches are not so self assured to play their chosen 30 men.

    I feel that too much is not good.
    Wll lets see witch conference will be the best prepared come S15 playtime.

  • 27

    I recon that with the exception of one or two players, most SA Super Rugby management teams know more or less who will be in the starting 30. The harder part I think is keeping the next 5 or so players up to fitness in case of a pre-season injury, as happens every year.

    I’m sure i could pick the Stormers 33 or so that will be accurate to within one or two players to be announced.

    As you could for the Sharks.

    You need:

    3 Hookers
    3 Scrummies
    4 Props (probably 5)
    4 Locks
    6 loosies

    10 or 12 other backline players.

    Then 1 or 2 other players depending on versatility in the backline for example.

    Bob’s your mom’s brother.


  • 28

    @ superBul:

    Fair enough Super.
    As for our SR squads we only advertised extended squads as all the local unions have not released any squads. like the Sharks have not, I was told by a mate that is high up in the Sharks management, that the squad will only be released around the first week of Feb.

    This is why in the article we are making our own suggested squads till we have the officials ones.

    The reason is thus to point out what our different teams have to work with in players, And as for touting some players?? well as supporters which we are as we are not genuine journo’s nor profess to be lol, so of course we give a supporters view. some in there is negative and some positive

    I expect the opkes doing the other articles to hype some of their players too, its all in the fun and also, hey if a player in your view is something special, and is in his 2nd or 3rd season and is really proving himself why not?
    Anyhows old chap, I also see where ur coming from

  • 29

    Another thing we should check on for the new season is, will our teams also be allowed to have 2 props on the bench and that means having 23 players in the match day squad?? same as the Bok tour up north recently?

  • 30

    29 @ Sharks_forever:
    Morning bro, hope you and your family had a great Christmas day together yesterday.

    I think that rule of the extra prop on the bench is here to stay, I am sure that will be the case for S15.

  • 31

    @ Puma:
    GM Brother, I hope you are right? I will be researching to see if it is confirmed.

    we had a very good xmas boet, and thanks for asking, how was yours?? hope you has a great festive season

  • 32

    Just finished the last article of the player position series, Phew lots of things researched, lotta hard work lol

  • 33

    31 @ Sharks_forever:
    We had a great day Xmas bro.

    I just remember reading that that rule was going to stay. Think it is the way to go for sure to stop the uncontested scrums. Always takes away the advantage to the team with the dominate scrum. Check it up bro, but feel quite sure it is here to stay.

  • 34

    should read = dominant scrum

  • 35

    32 @ Sharks_forever:

    Good work bro. I certainly appreciate all the hard work that you have done here with the articles. That goes for the others doing their franchises as well. Good work from all of you.

  • 36

    @ Puma:
    Thanks bro, I am just glad mine are all done lol

  • 37

    36 @ Sharks_forever:

    It is a lot of work that. Who is doing the Stormers? Is it JFK or Stormersboy? Think Gbs said now that JFK has moved overseas he was gonna ask Stormersboy to do the Stormers articles. Well I might be jumping the gun here, but sure he had said that earlier.

  • 38

    I enjoy these articles.

  • 39

    @ Loosehead:

    Hiyas loskoppie , these articles are very good in identifying many differences and aspects of players one might not have known before, well specially for me as I researched etc.

  • 40

    When are we getting the loose forward articles? Something I would like to mention.

  • 41

    Have to say I am looking forward to seeing PSDT play from the start in S15 this year. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, just great to know we have him. Superb lock from what I have seen. Also a great blindside flank, just hope the Plum plays him at lock though as we have enough brilliant loosies at Sharks.

  • 42

    I look forward to PSDT playing.
    I hope that he lives up to the pedigree.


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