A McLaren… McLaren??

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If you want something done properly, then do it yourself! I’ve heard and said this many times. It is an unfortunate fact of life that one’s vision and philosophy may not resonate with those to whom you assign the task of executing it.

Take a rugby team, the Hurricanes from Wellington. For years they have been famous for their enterprising attacking play, but lacked the necessary “mongrel” up front to compete with the Crusaders, although not for lack of trying. They just didn’t have the necessary player resources. They tried a few different coaches but in the end it was the home grown coaching team of Chris Boyd and ex Sharks coach John Plumtree who solidified them into an all-round team. They kept the dynamism they’ve always had, but eradicated their old weaknesses, turning them into strengths and the results have been quite spectacular. The Hurricanes are miles ahead of the next best team in this year’s competition. Not that long ago they were languishing in mid-table mediocrity and all it took to get them out of there was a bit of home grown determination and vision.

McLaren partnered with Honda in 2015. Honda make the engines, McLaren make the rest of the car. By all accounts, the parts that McLaren have made are working, the engine made by Honda just isn’t.

We’re just about half way through the 2015 season and they’ve yet to score a point, or show any sort of real speed to be honest. Unless Honda really come to the party in a big way in the latter half of the year I expect there to be some rather unsavoury words spoken, not least by Fernando Alonso who’s pegged his last shot on a third world title on the McLaren Honda partnership.

What I don’t understand is this. Why can’t McLaren make its own engine? Why do they need Honda anyway? They’ve built the F1, P1, and the MP-4C after all, each a technological wonder in its own right. They can build amazing engines!

That’s right, why can’t McLaren build a McLaren… McLaren? Why not take your destiny in your own hands and sock it to Mercedes and Ferrari properly! It couldn’t be any worse than the current Honda engine they’re using or the Renault that Red Bull Racing has to contend with.

Come on McLaren, get your Chris Boyds and John Plumtrees into the factory and build your own engine! Show them what you’re made of!

My team selection – Cell C Sharks vs The Hurricanes

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Being a confused selector is probably the toughest job in the world; just ask any badly programmed automatic gearbox. No matter how powerful the engine or aerodynamic the body, if the gearbox throws you into 6th gear when you should be in 2nd, you won’t be going anywhere fast…

So, in the interests of all involved I’ve decided to help the Sharks pick their team for this weekend’s game vs the Hurricanes.

To be clear, i have no qualifications as a team selector, nor do i pretend to know any more about anything than any body else. These are just my opinions so take them with however much salt you wish.

I’ve selected what I think will be the most defensively sound backline available and due to the lack of loose forward cover I’ve picked Andre Estherhuysen on the bench as cover. He has the size and speed to cover and did so last year with varying degrees of effectiveness. His defensive skills at 12 have been found wanting but that hasn’t been entirely his fault as there is no real backline defensive organiser in the mould of a Brad Barritt or Jaque Fourie.

Frans Steyn will have to take up the role of defensive organiser. Fred Zeilinga deserves another crack. He has been unfairly thrown into the fire, bypassing the frying pan completely. With the more experienced head of Frans outside him it should give him a bit more confidence and take some of the pressure off.

Conrad Hoffman has been the back up 9 to Reinach in the last few games, but he has been found wanting in all areas, therefore it is time to pick the youngster Ungerer and see how he performs.

The backline desperately needs a reshuffle with JP on the wing and Sithole at 13 which is without a doubt his best position. Odwa should continue at fullback in the absence of SP Marais and Jaco van Tonder.

As a side note, I would have selected Heimar Williams either as my starting 13 or on the bench in place of Waylon Murray whom I feel has added nothing to the squad all year.

15. Odwa Ndungane 14. JP Pietersen 13. Sbura Sithole 12. Francois Steyn 11. Lwazi Mvovo 10. Fred Zeilinga 9. Stefan Ungerer 8. Renaldo Bothma 7. Willem Alberts 6. Marcell Coetzee 5. Marko Wentzel 4. Etienne Oosthuisen 3. Jannie du Plessis 2. Bismarck du Plessis 1. Beast Mtawarira 16. Kyle Cooper / Franco Marais 17. Lourens Adriaandse 18. Dale Chadwick 19. Mouritz Botha 20. Andre Estherhuisen 21. Conrad Hoffman 22. Lionel Cronje 23. Waylon Murray