Daniel will start for Sharks in only change to Plumtree’s line-up to face Blues

2011-02-25 00:00

IT will be more of the same with both the Sharks and the Blues naming largely unchanged starting line-ups for tomorrow evening’s Super Rugby game at King’s Park.

Sharks coach John Plumtree has made the one change with flank Jacques Botes, nursing a sore rib, replaced by Keegan Daniel while the Blues are staying with the team that upset the Crusaders in the opening round.

There are changes on the Sharks bench with Springboks JP Pietersen and captain John Smit returning to the 22. Pietersen, over his hamstring strain, takes over from Adi Jacobs as one of the three backline replacements while Smit, who can play anywhere in the front-row, is named ahead of hooker Craig Burden.

Daniel, a first-choice selection throughout the Currie Cup, has had a slow start to the season because of an ankle injury, but he might have been preferred to Botes anyway.

Botes will undergo a late fitness test and he has been bracketed with the Sharks XV flank Lambert Groenewald. A product of Paul Roos Gymnasium and the Sharks Academy, the 22-year-old Groenewald is a strong ball-carrying blindside flank.

Jacobs, who drops out of the 22, desperately needs game time and he will see action for the Sharks XV this weekend.

Blues coach Pat Lam, delighted with the 24-22 win over the Crusaders in Auckland last weekend, has stayed with the same starting line-up (and 11 All Blacks) but made two changes amongst the replacements.

All Blacks flyhalf/centre Luke McAlister and lock Kurtis Haiu have been added to the mix. McAlister takes over from Lachie Munro while Haiu replaces Filo Paulo.

“Playing in the cauldron of the Shark Tank can be daunting,” Lam said yesterday, “but the big thing is our experience.

“There are a few boys in the team that have played here now. They know what it’s like and so we have to draw on that experience.

“As the coach and management team we give them the best possible preparation so they go out there confident,” Lam said.

He said the Blues are preparing for a wet night, either because of the humidity or the possibility of weekend thunderstorms.

“We have called for buckets of water and hoses to ensure that we can prepare with a wet ball,” he said.

TEAMS

Sharks – 15. Louis Ludik, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche (c), 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Pat Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Beast Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16. John Smit, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Jacques Botes/Lambert Groenewald, 20. Conrad Hoffmann, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. JP Pietersen.

Blues — 15. Isaia Toeava, 14. Joe Rokocoko, 13. Jared Payne, 12. Benson Stanley, 11. Rene Ranger, 10. Stephen Brett, 9. Alby Mathewson, 8. Chris Lowrey, 7. Daniel Braid, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Ali Williams, 4. Anthony Boric, 3. John Afoa, 2. Keven Mealamu, 1. Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Charlie Faumuina, 18. Kurtis Haiu, 19. Luke Braid, 20. Toby Morland, 21. Luke McAlister, 22. Sherwin Stowers.

Kick-off: 5.05 pm.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (RSA).

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