Injury likely to sideline hooker Burden for Currie Cup

2011-09-22 00:00

HOOKER Craig Burden has suffered a groin injury and his Currie Cup season could be over.

Burden, who has waited patiently and played most of his rugby in the shadow of Springboks John Smit and Bismarck du Plessis, had been showing excellent Currie Cup form but he suffered a groin tear at training this week.

The injury will be assessed today, but there is a possibility that the explosive hooker could miss the final weeks of the Currie Cup season.

Kyle Cooper, a chunky, strong ball-carrier, was yesterday named as his replacement in the starting line-up to face Griquas at King’s Park tomorrow with Sharks’ U21 hooker Monde Hadebe joining the bench.

Coach John Plumtree has also dropped scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman, who was strangely hesitant against Free State at the weekend. Ross Cronje, who replaced him in the final quarter in Bloemfontein, is back in the starting line-up while Springbok scrumhalf Charl McLeod returns from injury and joins the replacements.

Two other forwards returning from injury, lock Ross Skeate and prop Wiehahn Herbst, are also on the bench.

“It’s a big shame that we have lost Craig Burden,” said Plumtree, “and it is really disappointing at this time when we’re approaching the business end of the season.

“Craig has been going really well, but Kyle Cooper has also been good off the bench and this is an opportunity for him to show what he can do.”

Plumtree said he expects a “big step-up this weekend” after the Bloemfontein defeat.

“We’ve got a run of home games so the boys are really excited about pushing hard to pick up some wins to take us through to the play-offs.”

Griquas also named their side yesterday, with a number of changes to the team surprisingly beaten by the Pumas in Kimberley at the weekend.

Significantly, the highly-rated scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius is missing with Marnus Hugo at the base of the scrum while Wilmaure Louw and Matthew Rosslee take over from Jean Stemmet and Hanno Coetzee in midfield. Former Shark Justin Downey replaces Marnus Schoeman on the flank.

The match kicks off at 7.10 pm tomorrow.

TEAMS

Sharks:

15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Eugene van Staden, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Louis Ludik.

Griquas:

15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Matthew Rosslee, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Earl Rose, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Jonathan Mokuena (captain), 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Frikkie Spies, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Ivann Espag.

Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Steph Roberts, 18 Leon Karemaker, 19 Marnus Schoeman, 20 Hanno Coetzee, 21 Monty Dumond, 22 Rudi Vogt.

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