South African Super Rugby Franchises






The Sharks



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Sharks3In this Article we look at the contenders for SCRUMHALVES at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.

SCRUMHALF – now here is where many a match is won or lost, not always because the scrumhalf was poor. Well sometimes this may be true, but because of various reasons beyond a Scrumhalf’s control, many times we say the flyhalf should control the game as he is normally the play maker, this although true to a degree, it is not always the case in the modern game where a more complete rugby is played.



Here is what a Scrumhalf is and what his functions are:


In General

When you want to create a high performance team you need to look at the team assets and individual strengths of players. Piecing together the optimum position for the players is one of the great team building activities of the coach and his players.

I think a lot of coaches underestimate the motivational power that will develop when you start working with the players and discussing where their competences will benefit the team the most.

With these players specific pages I hope to identify the main tasks that come along with the position. A great team-building activity would be to let the team match their individual skills with the positions.

Definition is one, to agree with these tasks is important, and performing the tasks is the third thing. Doing all three with all the players in the team is an elementary step to a successful team!

Good luck in developing your team spirit!


Scrumhalf (Number 9)

(Also known as Inside Half and Half Back)

This player has to be an all-rounder, an excellent passer off both hands, an effective kicker with both feet, a good defender around the fringes and in cover, and a nimble elusive runner who can sniff a gap and ‘snipe’ from both set and broken play: lateral movement, explosive steps, agility.



The scrumhalf is the one who has the ball the most of all players! Make sure you put your best overall player here.

Speed and accuracy of passing is more important than length. Many scrumhalves slow their backline down (less time and space) by winding up to throw long passes: no back-swing.

Avoid reaching away for the ball; this will cause imbalance and a difficult swing. Try to get above the ball, or take a step back after the pick-up.

Adapt the type of pass to the situation: dive – pop – spin.



The main task of thescrum half is the distribution of the ball between his forwards and his backs. Like the flyhalf he should have vision to put his back-row or back-line to work. A scrumhalf who can make breaks, on the blind side or past the ruck or maul is a potent weapon because it forces the opposition to focus on several areas of defense, both physically and mentally.

The scrumhalf is also the coach of the forwards in organizing their body positions in mauls and rucks. Demand they clear the ball for you, either drive over or pop it.



Yes, the scrumhalf should also be able to kick the ball when his flyhalf (the principal kicker of the team) is under pressure. Kick behind line-outs and scrums (“in the box”).

Rhythm: Step – Step – Kick: you do not have much more time, so you need to be able to kick facing many different directions.



The scrumhalf needs to have a good tactical perspective on defensive lines to play an important role. Most of the time he is the second or third line of defense.

Key issues for the scrum half: Quick accurate passing Speed of the mark Kick with either foot Tackle Communication Pace.


Can a Scrumhalf cost a team a match?

This should explain how important the scrumhalf position is and for example how it can cost a team when this player cannot perform his natural duties.

I want to take the Sharks here as an example and how this reveals why the Sharks lost the 2012 Currie Cup Final, due to not so much with the scrumhalf being poor, but poor selections and bad option-taking broke a player’s natural game down and forced poor decision making which of course filters down the line.

In the Currie Cup Final the Sharks firstly was without the services of Springbok star Bismark du Plessis at hooker, now I mention this as it was without Bismarck’s lineout throwing that the Sharks lineouts were poor, this not only caused lineouts to be lost but lineouts won were scrappy and the player the bor the brunt of this poor ball was the scrumhalf.

Next problem came at ruck time, here on most occasions the ball was slowed down by the opposing team and again caused for slow scrappy ball for the scumhalf to work with, and again a scrumhalf was made to look poor and this again took the fire power out of a backline. The rest as they say, is history!


The Contenders:

Charl Mcleod:

Position scrumhalf
Height 1.80
Weight 88 kg
Date of Birth 5 August 1983
Place of Birth Johannesburg
Provincial Debut 2005-2006 WP, 2007 Lions, 2007 Valke, 2008 to present- Sharks
Provincial Caps 0-WP, 6-Lions, 9-Valke, 67-Sharks
Provincial Points 100
Super Rugby Debut 2008 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 41
Super Rugby Points 15
Test Debut 7 July 2007 vs Australia in Sydney, aged 22
Test Caps 1
Test Points 0

Charl was born on 5 August 1983 in Johannesburg, was schooled at Wonderboom High School in Pretoria and after a short stint at Western Province, the Lions and the Valke, the Sharks lured him to Durban where he has been since, and although a very good scrumhalf, Charl has had his up’s and down’s as form let him down from time to time.

On 18 November 2010, whilst the Springboks were already two matches into their November tour of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England, Charl received the call to join the squad. This was after an extremely successful Currie Cup campaign where the Sharks were the deserved champions, many might feel this wa just reward.

On form though he is a very good player and plays with a lot of fire and is a dangerous runner that can at times tear the defending team’s defenses to shreds.

His career portfolio is as follows:

  • 2012 – The Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Sharks Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2011 – The Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Sharks Vodacom Super Rugby – South Africa Castle Tri-Nations
  • 2010 – South Africa Outgoing Tours – Springboks Outgoing Tours – Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Sharks Invitational XV Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup – The Sharks Vodacom Super 14
  • 2009 – Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Sharks Invitational XV Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies – Sharks British & Irish Lions Tour – The Sharks Vodacom Super 14 – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup – Sharks MTN test
  • 2008 – The Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Div – The Sharks Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies – Wildebeest Vodacom Cup – The Sharks Vodacom Super 14
  • 2007 – Golden Lions XV Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies – Valke ABSA Currie Cup Premier Div – Golden Lions ABSA Currie Cup Premier Div – Valke ABSA Currie Cup Qualifiers – Lions Vodacom Cup -
  • 2006 – Maties Fidentia National Club Championships – Vodacom Western Province ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Vodacom Western Province Vodacom Cup
  • 2005 – Investec Western Province ABSA Currie Cup Qualifying Round – Investec Western Province Vodacom Cup

Kobus Reinach:

Position Scrumhalf
Height 1.75
Weight 83 kg
Date of Birth 7 February 1990
Place of Birth Bloemfontein
Provincial Debut 2011 Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 31
Provincial Points 20
Super Rugby Debut 2012 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 1
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut 0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0

Cobus is the son of the late Springbok flyer and national 400m sprinter, Jaco Reinach, and boy can one see his son in him! Cobus was schooled at Grey College in Bloemfontein and like his father has a very good rugby brain and all the attributes to one day follow in his father’s footsteps in wearing the Green and Gold.

This young man has been hugely impressive so far for the Sharks and the likes of Charl McLeod and Conrad Hoffman will really have to lift their game. Cobus is hungry to play and advance his game and will not be making it easy for any other player to replace him, also with the likes of Patrick Lambie, Frans Steyn and Paul Jordaan alongside him, 2013 could be a bumper year for him.

His career portfolio is as follows:

  • 2012 – The Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup – Sharks Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2011 – Sharks ABSA Under 21 Competition – The Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Sharks XV Absa Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup
  • 2010 –   ABSA Under 21 Competition – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup
  • 2009 – Sharks ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2008 – Free State U18 Academy Week

Conrad Hoffmann:

Position Scrumhalf
Height 1.81
Weight 86 kg
Date of Birth 9 November 1987
Place of Birth Worcester
Provincial Debut 2007-2010 WP, 2011- Present  Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 42-WP, 15 Sharks
Provincial Points 62
Super Rugby Debut 2008- Stormers, 2011- Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 1-Stormers, 11-Sharks
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut 0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0

Conrad was schooled at Paarl Boys High and played Craven week for Western Province and made SA trials at Under 19 level, sadly though this promising young player was hampered by many injuries and has never really had the chance to show his true ability. He is known to be a very versatile player and although he mainly plays scrumhalf, he is very able at flyhalf as well as center.

  • 2012 – Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup – Sharks Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2011 – Sharks ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup – Sharks Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2010 – Western Province ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Western Province Vodacom Cup – Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2009 – Western Province ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Western Province Vodacom Cup – Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2008 – Western Province ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – Western Province Vodacom Cup – Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2007 – Western Province U21 Absa Competition
  • 2006 – SA U19 2006 WP U19 – Western Province A Inter-Provincial Sevens
  • 2005 – WP U18 Craven Week – SA U19 Trials

Hanco Venter:

The 4th choice and will probably only play Under 21 matches for the Sharks or play Vodacom Cup unless injuries necessitate for him to be called up to the premier side.

Hanco was schooled in Witbank and although there is not really too much information widely available regarding this young player, I do know he has come through the Sharks Academy with a lot of success and played Sharks Under 19 and Sharks Under 21, where he has been rated very highly and is a nippy scrumhalf with a good boot.

He has also played a few games at flyhalf when injuries occurred within the Under 21 team this past season.



The one good thing about making a call for the starting scrumhalf is the fact that unlike at the loose forward choices there are only two men to really call upon, either Charl McLeod or Jaco Reinach.

Either way the Sharks will have a solid 9 to start the match but my guy feel is John Plumtree will start with Jaco Reinach, as he finished stronger the past season and had been very solid. Again much will depend on conditions for the match on hand as well as who they are facing.

I can only see Conrad Hoffman or Hanco Venter coming into the picture if and when injuries occur.

30 Responses to Super Rugby: Sharks squad contenders – Scrumhalves

  • 1

    1 @ Sharks_forever:
    Morning bro,

    Good article enjoyed reading it. I said on another thread here that we should have started with McLeod in the CC final. I thought once he came on he played well and much faster finding gaps as well. Though saying that Cobus is top class and will learn. Still good to know we have both McLeod and him. Did you read on Sports24 that Rory Kockott is playing outstanding rugby for his club in France? Still think he was a loss for Sharks. Many will not agree, but I felt we lost a excellent player.

  • 2

    @ Puma:
    GM Bro, thanks! and yes I read about Rory, yeah it all depends whom we are playing against, rotation is the key but for the right reasons, One does not want to cause confusion either

  • 3

    I been trying to do an article like I said but it wont let me add media on an article, well I add it but then it does not work, and I don’t want to bug Rudi right now so just leaving it, was going to do that article on funny clips and the walmart people of America, and then a countdown clock for this evening, it works the same as an embedded youtube clip, just wont work lol

    been sitting with it for an hour now and frustrating, I gave up now as I thing it is a setting on Rudi’s side. what we are allowed to post and what not,

  • 4

    2 @ Sharks_forever:
    Agree, although think Plum is going to stick with Reinach in 2013 well that is a feeling I get. He did show that he is pure class, but in the final he struggled. McLeod also has his off days, but come the big games where it counts I feel he delivers.

    Another thing with Hoffman he still has time on his side, age wise. He has shown he could be a very good scrummie, just like you said the injuries have kept him back. If injuries stay at bay who knows he also may be right up there with McLeod and Reinach. Remember McLeod only got his chance once Rory left. He was 25 at the time and played some of this best rugby later in his career. McLeod is 29 now and turning 30 next year. Hoffman still has time I feel. For now though at the Sharks it will be Reinach and McLeod.

  • 5

    @ Puma:
    Pooms, actually Reinach’s struggle in the final was more the problems at the breakdowns and pressure and not so much his own doing, our loose forwards got whacked because we were not up to it on the day, Fourie should have been taken to the cleaners by the likes of alberts etc in cleaning out rucks, they did not and the rest is history,

    Like I said before?? Just the return of Bismark and we would have won, 3 Area’s we were poor on , on the day? are all 3 area’s of bismarks strengths.

    1.Lineouts- Bismark would not have lost all those lineouts, experience would have had him sought out the problem during the game.
    2 Breakdown area’s- Here Bismark would have been smashing rucks and his fetching is on par with the best we have in SA
    3 Bismark is the fire in the belly of the Sharks pack, his natural agrresion was sorely missed and when the WP lifted their game we had no one telling the players losing is not an option, reality was never throen into their minds when the going got tough.

  • 6

    3 @ Sharks_forever:
    You’ve been stuffing around the Media Upload stuff in stead of just adding the Youtube URL (EXACTLY like you do inside Comments)!

  • 7

    @ grootblousmile:
    Rudi I did that way and it still didn’t work on the article, on the blog postings yes it works NP

  • 8

    I tried for example to do an article with this count down clock,

    http://countingdownto.com/my-countdown/206626 , it is embedded but it is not Youtube so I understand this one not working

    But the other article was a normal you tube clip,

  • 9

    8 @ Sharks_forever:
    Doing it this way screws with the website.. let me do the Coding, Tjarkie.

  • 10

    @ grootblousmile:
    That’s fine thanks Bro,

  • 11

    Will I be able to add text with the count down clock??

  • 12

    9 @ grootblousmile:
    Jeez if Sharky is having a problem can you imagine when I do the ‘Team of the Week’ next year! You trust me with it? HAHAHAHAHA. I gonna bomb out everything here and that is no lie! You coming with your big stick for me too then??? Wonder if I should do it Pondering or leave it for you guys…… Overjoy

    Think Pietman and myself will just stay bloggers here and not Authors, we both will screw it up I am sure of that…….. Happy-Grin

  • 13

    @ Puma:
    :lol: Pooms

  • 14

    Pooms has prolly gone for his midday Nap,

  • 15

    13 @ Sharks_forever:
    It will happen I tell you no lie………… Overjoy If you having a problem I have no chance………………. Happy-Grin

  • 16

    14 @ Sharks_forever:

    Nah, just got some lunch.

  • 17

    @ Puma:
    :lol: Pooms it is not that bad, remember I was trying to add a count down clock for today and for midnight tonight, its not something we normally load and add

    As for the comedy thread/? that I will still sought with Rudi, lol I am not sure why it wont load a normal youtube clip on the thread article

  • 18

    17 @ Sharks_forever:
    Okay, but if I mess up I mess up big.

  • 19

    17 @ Sharks_forever:
    Think the countdown clock is a great idea for today also the comedy thread. We going out early today around 4pm so if it is not up by then will only be able to post tomorrow on it.

  • 20

    well when I get the talk to Rudi I will try the comedy thread, The clock one If Rudi can get it working will be nice, But I think it is also giving him a headache :lol:

  • 21

    @ Puma:
    I hear the Sharks extended squad I post a couple of months ago is pretty much correct. Uncertainty is still re Nick Schonert, Rumours is he might be studying at Kovsies in Bloem

  • 22

    17 @ Sharks_forever:

    We should have that comedy thread up now also use it as thread to wish eveyrone here. Think in New Zealand it will be New Year there already. Oz at 3pm our time. Can wish our overseas friends on that thread. Wonder where OldG is these days? Always enjoyed his posts here. He lives in Sydney.

  • 23

    Happy New Year to all the people in Aucland New Zealand. New Year there already.

  • 24

    sorry meant = Auckland

  • 25

    20 @ Sharks_forever:
    No, not giving me any headaches… just busy browsing for an easier alternative at the moment.

  • 26

    21 @ Sharks_forever:
    Okay then more or less know who will be there. What will happen with Schonert? If he is studing in Bloem surely he wont be playing for Sharks.

  • 27

    @ grootblousmile:

    Hi Rudi sorry to bug again bro, I have goner for adding the 2 articles together, all seems fine now but the clock shows only a blank screen by me, ??

  • 28

    How long until the Sharks supporters calling for McAverage to be the starting 9 for the Boks?

  • 29

    @ Loosehead:
    :lol: loskoppie, your baiting technic has become weak, try harder :lol:

  • 30

    29 @ Sharks_forever: I will have to up my game then. Worry

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