Deysel cited for dangerous play during Sharks’ victory

2011-05-30 00:00

THE Sharks could be without burly flank Jean Deysel for their crucial Super Rugby clash against the rejuvenated Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Deysel has been cited for dangerous play during the Sharks’ 26-21 win over the Waratahs in Durban on Saturday evening and will face a Sanzar judicial hearing today.

Deysel received a yellow card after using “a dangerous headlock to clear Waratahs centre Tom Carter at a ruck in the 51st minute of the match”, said the Sanzar statement.

The hearing will take place at King’s Park at noon today with judicial officer Peter Ingwersen SC chairing the meeting.

The Sharks are already without injured number eight Ryan Kankowski and the suspension of Deysel would be a major setback as they look ahead to play away games against the Cheetahs, Lions and Bulls over the next three weekends.

Following other citings, Lions and former Sharks flank Michael Rhodes and Highlanders wing Siale Piutau will also face hearings today following their game in Dunedin. Rhodes used a headlock to clear Piutau from a ruck after which the wing retaliated by twice punching the Lions flank.

The Sharks, flirting with defeat and failure against the Waratahs, were rescued by a piece of JP Pietersen magic when they recovered to beat the Waratahs 26-21 and revive their Super Rugby challenge.

The Sharks, down to 14 men after Deysel was carded and with half-an-hour remaining, were trailing 21-13 with their scrum creaking horribly.

But a threatening Waratahs attack broke down, Pietersen snatched up the bobbing ball and a weaving, 70 metre run brought a try and transformed the mood of the players and the 22 000 crowd.

The Sharks, with territory and possession, should have put this game to bed in the closing quarter, but it was finally Pat Lambie, with penalties in the 70th and 78th minutes, who took the Sharks to their four-point win.

The Sharks overtook the Waratahs and Highlanders — shocked by the Lions in Dunedin — on the log and are now fifth.

Pietersen agreed it was “my best game of the season” and coach John Plumtree described his display as “awesome”.

“JP is in a good place at the moment and he is a real threat. We need him to play like that every Saturday,” the coach said.

While the Sharks were deserved winners, and made most of the running, the Waratahs certainly had their moments and coach Chris Hickey rued the lost opportunities.

“We knew it was going to be tough and at this level you have to take what few chances you get,” said Hickey.

He said that the Waratahs had been forced to play far too much of the game in their own half.

“We were seldom in the Sharks’ 22 area so we could not create any real pressure,” Hickey added.

Plumtree said it was the opportunities that were created by the Sharks rather than those taken that pleased him most about the win.

“With a bit of luck we could have had a few more tries, but again we turned ball over on attack,” he said.

The Sharks battled in the scrums, but Plumtree said that they had been “up against a formidable front row”.

But he admitted the Sharks, chasing a play-off spot, face a daunting final three weeks starting in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

“It certainly doesn’t get any easier. The Cheetahs have become an outstanding side, but if we can perform to our ability we can still do well in this competition.”

The Sharks produced moments of excellent rugby, said Plumtree, and this was encouraging.

“We played more rugby with the ball and, even though it was tough and close, I honestly thought we were the better team. I would have ripped off if we had lost,” Plumtree added.

He said he was also delighted at the form shown by flyhalf Pat Lambie, but said that scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman, who left the field with an elbow injury after just 15 minutes, could be out for the Cheetahs game.

“It’s a pity we didn’t see more of Conrad, but we’ll assess him on Monday,” he said.

He said that Westville Old Boy Tian Meyer, now with the Pumas, has trained with the Sharks in pre-season and he could return as back-up to scrumhalf Charl Mcleod.

“We have an agreement with the Pumas regarding Meyer, but we also have Ross Cronje here and playing good rugby. We’ll see what happens during the week,” Plumtree said.

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