Viljoen at flyhalf a bonus for Sharks

2012-08-24 00:00

THE success of Riaan Viljoen, playing out of position at flyhalf, has been an unexpected bonus for the Sharks in their opening two Currie Cup games and he will again have a key role to play in tomorrow’s clash against the Blue Bulls at Loftus.

Viljoen has played most of his rugby at fullback for Griquas, the Cheetahs and the Sharks, but he has proved highly effective at flyhalf in the opening fortnight of the Currie Cup.

Coach John Plumtree said that be believed that Viljoen, elusive but lacking genuine pace, was more at home when closer to the action.

And so it has proved in the Currie Cup as Grant Bashford, the Sharks assistant coach, pointed out this week. “The blend of youth and experience in the backline has been a real positive and Riaan Viljoen has looked really comfortable at flyhalf,” he said.

“It was one of those positions where we were a bit thin in after losing Pat [Lambie] to the Boks and Fred [Michalak] back to France.”

Viljoen is a prodigious kicker but he has also been lively on attack and has varied his play astutely. His commitment cannot be faulted and he has defended strongly while even a heavy, if accidental, kick to the head by Lions’ flyhalf Butch James did not deter him on Saturday night.

Bashford said the coaching staff had been impressed by the form of the Sharks backline.

“We rested [scrumhalf] Charl McLeod in the first week and Cobus Reinach had an opportunity and he played very well.”

He said that Meyer Bosman, who will miss the Loftus game because of a knee injury, had added much-needed experience in the midfield.

“Paul Jordaan [outside centre] is young and inexperienced at this level but brings a whole lot of X-factor which has been evident every time he has played for us.

“S’Bura Sithole is growing as a wing while Odwa Ndungane is hitting form at the right time. Louis Ludik had a great Super Rugby campaign and is carrying that through.

“So overall, we’re pretty happy with where the backs are at the moment …”

But, of course, Loftus tomorrow will be all about the battle at forward and that is where the Blue Bulls will test the young Sharks.

“We have both been hit by Springbok selections but it is always a physical contest between us and I think we can expect the same on the weekend,” he said.

Tomorrow’s Currie Cup games (home team first):

Griquas vs Cheetahs (3.00 pm).

Lions vs WP (5.05 pm).

Blue Bulls vs Sharks (7.10 pm).

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.