Delay in Cronje hearing puts spanner in Sharks’ preparations

2009-07-22 00:00

THE Sharks’ preparations for Friday night’s Currie Cup against the Blue Bulls have been severely disrupted by the postponement yesterday of Guy Cronje’s disciplinary hearing.

Cronje was cited for a spear tackle in the Boland game last Friday night and his hearing was scheduled for yesterday. But Cronje’s fate will now only be decided today, five days after his transgression. And, with the game on Friday, the Sharks only have the light captain’s practice tomorrow before the big game.

Monty Dumond has been running at flyhalf this week, but there is a feeling in the Sharks camp that there were mitigating factors and the young Cronje could still escape suspension.

The Sharks team will be named today once the Cronje affair has finally been settled.

Argentinean flyhalf Juan Martin Hernandez is expected to arrive in Durban on Friday and should be available to play against the Free State Cheetahs the following weekend.

The Blue Bulls have made just one change to the team that edged out Western Province after centre Wynand Olivier was called up to the Springbok squad on Monday.

Another Blue Bulls U21 player, centre Stefan Watermeyer, has been promoted and will make his Currie Cup debut gainst the Sharks.

“We have the utmost confidence that Stefan can do the job,” coach Frans Ludeke said yesterday.

“Added to that, we have a 10/12 combination with him playing next to flyhalf Francois Brummer. They have played together since their school days.

“Stefan has been knocking on the provincial door for some time now and is playing good rugby. He deserves the chance to show his worth at this level.”

The former Sharks forward coach Balie Swart has been helping the Bulls with their scrimmaging problems after they struggled in that area against WP.

“Balie worked mainly on some technical aspects,” Ludeke said. “There are one or two areas that went wrong that we have focused on.

“The players took responsibility for their scrumming against WP and I’m sure they’ll produce a better performance against the Sharks.

“It will be a great challenge for the youngsters,” he said of Friday’s match. It’ll be the first time for a few of them in the Shark Tank.”

 

BULLS TEAM:

Tiger Mangewni, Gerhard van den Heever, Jaco

Pretorius, Stefan Watermeyer, Francois Hougaard, Francois Brummer, Heini Adams, Dries van Schalkwyk, Dewald Potgieter, Jacques Burger,Wilhelm Steenkamp, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Derick Kuün (capt.), Gurtrho Steenkamp.

Replacements: Bandise Maku, Frik Kirsten, Jaco Engels, Fudge Mabeta, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Marius Delport, Marnitz Boshoff.

Kick-off: 6 pm.

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