Injury worries for resurgent Sharks

2014-09-23 00:00

THE Sharks may be smiling after their win on the weekend, but there are a few injury concerns to ponder this week.

Thomas du Toit, Conrad Hoffmann, Stephan Lewies and Jacques Botes are all nursing injuries and will be assessed during the week.

The news isn’t great but none of the players have been highlighted as long term concerns by Sharks team doctor Alan Kourie.

There was plenty to be happy about considering the way they played but the Sharks will be looking closely at their scrum.

A strong Bulls pack had the men from Durban on the back foot for much of the match and perhaps the loss of Du Toit last week was a factor.

The 19-year-old prop has been a revelation for the Sharks with his size, speed and work rate exceptional for such a young man.

The bad news is that he is unlikely to be fit for this weekend as he is still suffering with a toe injury.

Meanwhile Lewies could be back this week but he is recovering from a chronic knee injury.

The backline will have to wait on Hoffmann, who is laid low with a strain in his glute.

The real concern is with Botes, who is nursing a sprain to his SC joint (shoulder). The coaching staff will make a call on the Sharks veteran later in the week.

Considering their upcoming clash, the Sharks will not be too stressed having lost their players. The Kings have not won a match in the Currie Cup and there are ample replacements in the Durban outfit’s ranks.

Nevertheless Sharks assistant coach Paul Anthony delivered a stern message.

“Winning at Loftus is big, for anybody, but the secret is to put that behind us and turn our attention to the next challenge. All our thinking is now on the EP Kings. They will come here with nothing to lose and we need to focus purely on them,” he said.

The Sharks will do well to earn a bonus point victory over the Kings as there is once again a log jam behind Western Province and the Lions (first and second placed). Just 11 points separate the Lions and the Bulls (sixth).

The Sharks are in third with 20 points, while Province are riding clear with 29 points.

There is a chance to secure bonus point victories with the next two games at home for the Sharks before they finish off the pool stages with a clash against Province in Cape Town early next month. Kickoff against the Kings is at 2 pm in Durban.

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