Plumtree shuffles the Shark deck for WP game

2010-10-08 00:00

HEAD coach John Plumtree has mixed, matched and rested key players in naming his Sharks team to meet Western Province in the final round Currie Cup match at Newlands in Cape Town tomorrow.

Province coach Allister Coetzee, in turn, has surprised the local critics by selecting veteran Bok centre Jean de Villiers on the wing and returning Ricky Januarie to scrumhalf ahead of Dewaldt Duvenhage.

Plumtree, with top spot on the log nailed down, has the luxury of selecting with next weekend’s semi-finals in mind and he has made a massive nine changes to the team that thumped the Leopards by 60 points last Friday night.

The Sharks coach will again start with Andre Pretorius at flyhalf, but he has selected Pat Lambie at fullback in place of Louis Ludik, with Rory Kockott rather than Charl McLeod at scrumhalf.

Captain and centre Stefan Terblanche returns from injury to partner Andries Strauss in the midfield.

Flank Willem Alberts (knee injury) is being rested and Michael Rhodes replaces him while Keegan Daniel, after a busy, bruising season, will be on the bench with Ryan Kankwoski, after his suspension, at number eight.

Alistair Hargreaves, over his ankle problem, returns to partner Gerhard Mostert in the second row and the bruised Steven Sykes is on the bench.

Plumtree will field an all-Springbok front-row of the Du Plessis brothers and Beast Mtawarira with Eugene van Staden and Craig Burden dropping to a powerful bench, which also includes Bok centre Adi Jacobs, who is making his way back from injury, Ludik, McLeod, Sykes and Daniel.

Bok wing JP Pietersen (hamstring) was not considered.

“This is a good opportunity to see Andre Pretorius under pressure and he needs more game time,” Plumtree said yesterday. “He had a good hit out against the Leopards, but Western Province offer greater intensity and we’ll see how he goes.”

The Sharks coach said he wanted Terblanche and Strauss to play together against the two Province Springboks in midfield (Juan de Jongh and Jaque Fourie).

Locks Gerhard Mostert and Alistair Hargreaves will be together for the first time, Ryan Kankowski missed out last week and Michael Rhodes has played only a bit part this season “so the forward pack actually need the game time.”

WP coach Coetzee has followed Bok coach Peter de Villiers’s example in fielding Jean de Villiers on the wing, including Jaque Fourie at outside centre and switching Juan de Jongh back to 12 for tomorrow’s game. It was expected that Coetzee would simply play Fourie on the wing in place of Aplon who has moved to fullback in place of Conrad Jantjes.

Bok Bryan Habana is back on the other wing and Schalk Burger, predictably, returns on the flank for Pieter Louw. But it is the selection of Januarie, who has battled with his form and fitness this year, ahead of Duvenage at scrumhalf which will be a talking point in Cape Town.

eams — Sharks:

15. Patrick Lambie, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche (captain), 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Andre Pretorius, 9. Rory Kockott, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Gerhard Mostert, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Steven Sykes, 19. Keegan Daniel, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Adrian Jacobs, 22. Louis Ludik

Western Province:

15 Gio Aplon, 14 Jean de Villiers, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Anton van Zyl (captain), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 JD Moller.

Replacements: 16 Hanyani Shimange, 17 JC Kritzinger, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Conrad Jantjes.

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