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Ken Borland

Sharks advised to concentrate more on coaching than who’s at flyhalf

Posted on April 11, 2022 by Ken

Springbok legend Joel Stransky has advised the Sharks to concentrate more on their coaching structure than who they actually play at flyhalf as they head into a crucial phase of the United Rugby Championship.

The Sharks host the Scarlets at Kings Park on Friday night and are leading the South African Shield, sitting inside the playoff places in eighth spot. But the Stormers and Bulls are within striking distance and the Sharks need to get bonus point wins against both the Welshmen and then Zebre Parma the following weekend to capitalise on home games against teams in the bottom half of the log.

But to do that, the Sharks will need to score tries and they seem unsure of who to play in the pivotal flyhalf role – Curwin Bosch, Boeta Chamberlian or Tito Bonilla?

“Whenever a team does not click on attack then people blame the flyhalf, but more often than not one should look at the coaching structure,” Stransky told The Citizen.

“Is the team getting good ball, go-forward possession, quick ball? Are they creating the space to attack and what are their running lines, are there dummy runners?

“The flyhalf plays a big part in all of that because he is first-receiver more often than not. If you have a forward as first-receiver than your whole game-plan changes.

“But if your flyhalf is first receiver then he must understand space and have the ability to carry the ball into that space with speed. He needs to understand if he needs to play flat or be in the pocket,” Stransky said.

The 1995 World Cup hero was part of the Natal Sharks’ Currie Cup winning teams of the early 1990s, and while his most famous moment came with the boot, Stransky was also an authoritative figure on attack, with silky skills. The Sharks then moved on to an iron-bodied, gain-line dominating flyhalf in Henry Honiball.

None of their current trio of No.10s are in that mould, but Stransky said he would back Chamberlain as his first-choice. The 23-year-old wrought a tough 24-10 win over the Pumas last weekend in the Currie Cup, kicking eight penalties as the Sharks failed to score a try.

“It’s a tough one but I would probably go for Boeta because he brings a bit more flow and rhythm to their game,” Stransky said. “He plays a bit flatter and understands when he needs to take the ball flat.

“Curwin is a great kicker and has other attributes, but he does hang back a bit in the pocket. The Sharks have got issues scoring tries, but when Boeta played URC five or six weeks ago, he wasn’t too bad.”

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