Sharks only look for quick fixes: Mjekevu

2013-05-19 14:00

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France-bound Sharks winger Wandile Mjekevu has dropped a bombshell: the playing atmosphere at the Sharks is not conducive to development.

Mjekevu, who signed a two-year contract with French Top 14 side Perpignan, said mentoring at Sharks was not at the highest level, which influenced his decision to leave the Durban-based Super Rugby franchise.

“The biggest problem at the Sharks is that when a young player comes through, they want him to be perfect,” Mjekevu said on Friday.

“They don’t have room for mistakes and they are not adept at coaching a player up. When a young player is coming through and makes mistakes, they are not willing to sit down and help them. Not everyone is going to be like Pat Lambie.”

He referred to winger Sibusiso “S’bura” Sithole as a perfect example.

“They say he (Sithole) is not safe under the high ball, but he has been in the system for five years.

“If they say there is a problem, how have they not fixed it for five years? It’s not his fault because he is a hard worker. It is a coaching thing.”

Mjekevu, who burst on to the scene with the Lions in 2010 and also represented the Baby Boks at the 2011 Junior World Championships in Italy, said the problem was not just limited to players of colour.

The lanky winger did not feature in any Super Rugby for the Sharks and lamented the nonexistent opportunities he received at the franchise.

He said: “It happens to most black players but to also a couple of the white players. They (Sharks coaches) are not willing to spend time and develop players.

They would rather bring a mercenary from outside.

They are always looking for a quick fix.

“You can work as hard as you can but there will be no reward. It is a crushing feeling as they will pick a guy whom they say has ‘more experience’. You are not going to get experience holding tackle bags at training.

“When you have Marius Joubert (former Springbok centre) playing Vodacom, I feel sorry for guys like Tyler ­Fisher.”

Sharks’ commercial manager Rudolph Straeuli said Mjekevu’s contract expired at the end of last year and it was not renewed.

He would not divulge the reasons for Mjekevu’s departure nor the reason for the Sharks keeping Joubert.

“He (Mjekevu) is playing club rugby at the moment but he is going overseas. He decided he wants to go overseas, to Italy, I think, but I’m not sure where he’s going,” said Straeuli.

Mjekevu said his move to the Sharks may not have worked out the way that he wanted, but added he will try to make the most of his stay in France.

“The most disappointing part of it is that I never got an opportunity to play Super Rugby.

“I’ll always have the blame at my door, though, because I’m the one who controls my performance.

According to the coaches, I did not play well enough to get an opportunity.

The coaches had their reasons, whether they were valid or not.

I feel for someone like S’bura, whose been in the system for so long yet he has not been given the chance.

“You can’t let these things get you down, though. The sun is going to come up the next day and you have to go to work. Everything happens for a reason and God has placed me at Perpignan do do my best. I’m leaving (the Sharks) with no regrets.”

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