Sharks: Shell-shocked falcons coach set to field new-look team

2008-09-17 00:00

The Sharks would be well advised to ignore recent video tapes of the Falcons in action. The indications are that John Plumtree’s log-leaders will be facing an almost totally revamped Falcons outfit in their Currie Cup game in Brakpan on Saturday and they will learn nothing from the one-way traffic of the past weeks.

The Falcons started the season in positive mood and they touched dizzy heights in toppling Western Province 38-32. In recent weeks they have come crashing to earth, spending most of their last three games behind their own poles as they conceded 232 points and scored 48.

Their losses to Griquas (59-19) and the Lions (83-14) was followed last week by a 90-15 thumping by Western Province, when giant Bok lock Andries Bekker scored five tries in 47 minutes.

The talk is that Rudy Joubert, the Falcons’ shell-shocked coach, is to throw a new-look team to the Sharks on Saturday with as many as 13 changes.

A rallying call has apparently gone out from the Falcons, who are in a battle to avoid relegation, and half a dozen club players are expected to make their debut against the Sharks.

Flanks Thaba Mamojele (Sharks) and Daan Roux (Tukkies), and Pukke flyhalf John Roodt are among those mentioned in dispatches, along with Nico Luus, Zane Killian and wing Frank Wagenstroom.

Former Sharks hooker Jody Jeneker, lock Marius Coetzer, centre Hanno Coetzee and Dewald Pretorius, out on the wing, are the only players expected to keep their places in the Falcons squad.

The Sharks will name their squad today and half of their first choice line-up are likely to be rested or not considered because of injury. The players unlikely to start on Saturday are Stefan Terblanche, Odwa Ndungane, Frederic Michalak, Beast Mtawarira, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis and Jacques Botes. In contrast to the Falcons, the Sharks have reserves of high quality already in their squad.

The match kicks off at 3 pm.

See page 21.

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