Bosman to start for Sharks, Lambie ruled out for Stormers clash

2012-07-26 00:00

MEYER Bosman will be at inside centre in the only change to the Sharks’ starting line-up to face the Stormers in the Super Rugby semi-final at Newlands on Saturday evening.

Young Paul Jordaan, who aggravated a hamstring injury during the Sharks’ superb quarter-final victory over the Reds in Brisbane, yesterday failed a late fitness.

Coach John Plumtree has switched Tim Whitehead to outside centre and former Springbok Bosman, one of the best distributors among South Africa’s midfield backs, will play at 12.

Bosman, who came on as a second-half replacement for the Sharks in Brisbane, has blown hot and cold since moving to Durban from Bloemfontein last year, but his experience will be invaluable in a tight battle at Newlands on Saturday.

The Sharks had hoped that Pat Lambie, who did not travel to play the Reds because of an ankle injury, would be fit for the semi-final, but he was also ruled out yesterday.

The Sharks pack is unchanged with Bok flank Willem Alberts again packing down at lock.

Plumtree is clearly expecting the toughest of forward battles at Newlands and he has added power on the bench by adding bruising flank Jean Deysel to the replacements.

Deysel, dropped for the Reds game, takes over from reserve scrumhalf Cobus Reinach as Plumtree has chosen a 5:2 split on the bench. Flyhalf Freddie Michalak will cover scrumhalf, with Odwa Ndungane and Riaan Viljoen the only two backs among the substitutes.

Plumtree said he expected the Stormers to try and squeeze the life out of the Sharks with Peter Grant’s kicking game and their tall lineout.

“The Stormers are a good kicking side and don’t mind conceding lineouts. They’ll kick a bit to try and strangle us and we have to be able to return the favour.

“The Stormers also feed off the fact that they have a lot of good players, but don’t have as many Boks as some of the other teams. That motivates them as well.”

He said that Grant, the KZN and Maritzburg College product, was one of the underrated Stormers.

“He is probably the most consistent flyhalf in the country, but he is not looked at by the national selectors. “

Plumtree said it was curious that a team like the Stormers could top the Super Rugby log and yet their halfbacks were not involved at national level.

“That doesn’t happen elsewhere and I’ve been most impressed with their consistency.”

Ironically, most of the Stormers’ Springboks are crowded into the backline, yet they have scored the fewest number of tries in this year’s Super Rugby competition. Instead, they have been concentrating on territory and Grant’s boot to see them to victory after victory.

SHARKS LINE-UP

15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (c), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis,

1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes,

21 Odwa Ndungane, 22 Riaan Viljoen.

Referee: Steve Walsh. Kick-off: 5.05 pm.

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