Plumtree weighs up his options

2008-09-09 00:00

Centre Brad Barritt has been ruled out and number eight Ryan Kankowski remains in doubt ahead of Saturday’s home Currie Cup game against Free State.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said yesterday that Barritt, who stagerred off the field during the Blue Bulls game at the weekend, has been rested for a week.

“It’s not serious and the symptoms aren’t bad, but the medical team don’t want to risk him.”

Plumtree said the Sharks would be losing a quailtiy player, but they had Springbok centre Adrican Jacobs returning, while Waylon Murray provided cover.

“We are still not sure about Kankowski, and Beast (Mtawarira) has a bit of groin problem, but we have plenty of cover.”

Plumtree said the strength of the Sharks bench could prove important.

“It is important how we use it. I could again go with a 5:2 (five forwards and two backs) split. I was impressed with Patric’s (Cilliers) impact against the Bulls. Jannie du Plessis and Deon Carstens have done well and so has Beast, so we are well covered.”

Plumtree said referee Willie Roos will have an important role to play this weekend.

“The Cheetahs attack the breakdowns and they have the players to do that. We’re hoping that the referee controls that area and also keeps an eye on the collapsing of the scrum.

“We don’t have a great record against them. They have plenty of talent with speed out wide and their loose forwards are world-class. They haven’t been top of the Currie Cup over the last few years for nothing.”

Plumtree said the challenge for the Sharks is to lift themselves after the hype of the Bulls win.

“It is a huge match for both teams. Free State don’t want to drop two games in a row after losing to Province and we can’t afford to slip now. This game has real spice to it an it will be good to have a big crowd.”

Kick-off is at 5.05 pm.

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