Fresh blood in Sharks’ team tonight

2008-06-26 00:00

The Sharks will toss a new flyhalf into Currie Cup action tonight when young Andrew Borgen makes his debut against Boland at King’s Park.

Borgen takes over from Brad Barritt who failed a fitness test late yesterday.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said that the quad muscle injury to Barritt was not serious, “but he was not comfortable at training and we don’t want to risk him”.

“This gives Borgen a chance at this level … He has practised well with the squad over the last few weeks and deserves a chance.”

The withdrawal of Barritt will result in a second change to the team that beat Western Province a week ago.

They also have 20-year-old speedster Lwazi Mvovo making his debut on the wing in place of JP Pietersen, who is now with the Springboks. Significantly, they will field an unchanged pack and they should control this contest at the source.

The Sharks are hoping that this game will also provide them with the opportunity to unveil their attacking game after they stuttered to a 28-25 win over WP. Tonight they should be able to express themselves on attack against the Bolanders, who last weekend leaked 42 points, and five tries, against the Falcons in Brakpan.

Remarkably, Boland still won the game, recovering from a 36-17 half-time deficit to win 48-42, which suggests that they have stamina and character — at least on attack.

The Sharks, with another week to settle and with a largely unchanged line-up, should show greater cohesion on attack, although Borgen may take time to settle in at flyhalf.

“We are expecting Boland to lift themselves as teams usually do when playing the Sharks at King’s Park,” said Plumtree.

“But if the players are switched on, and play with passion, we should get the result we want.”

Plumtree will be looking for an improvement at the lineout and, if the forwards do their job, the backs will have plenty of chances to find their attacking rhythm. Boland, meanwhile, have made a late change to their bench, replacing one of their forwards, loosehead prop Janro van Niekerk, with World Sevens specialist Stefan Basson.

The Sharks will want to keep his attacking opportunities to a minimum, but anything less than five log points from this game will be regarded as a failure by the home team.

Teams:

Sharks

Stefan Terblanche, Lwazi Mvovo, Waylon Murray, Andries Strauss, Henno Mentz, Andrew Borgen, Rory Kockott, Keegan Daniel, Steven Sykes, Jacques Botes, Johann Muller (capt), Alistair Hargreaves, Jannie du Plessis, Craig Burden, Deon Carstens.

Replacements: Skipper Badenhorst, Robbie Harris, Nikolai Blignaut, Skholiwe Ndlovu, Charl McLeod, Riaan Swanepoel, Monty Dumond.

Boland

Justin Peach, John Daniels, Piet van Zyl (capt), Lionel Cornelius, Alvin Hugo, Elgar Watts, Marnus Hugo, Dries van Schalkwyk, Frankie Horne, Zolani Mofu, Coenie Basson, Cecil Kemp, Andries Human, Clemen Lewis, Jean Botha.

Replacements: Pieter Wium, WP Nel, Frikkie Spies, Angelo Brinkhuys, Neil Papier, Deon Scholtz, Stefan Basson.

Kick-off: 7.10 pm. Coverage on SuperSport 1 on DStv.

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