Sharks fix shaky set piece for Lions

2013-08-14 00:00

THE Sharks could be without two of their high profile players, captain Keegan Daniel and centre Tim Whitehead, for Friday night’s Currie Cup game against the Golden Lions at King’s Park.

Daniel, nursing a sore knee, was a late withdrawal from last week’s Currie Cup opener against Griquas while Whitehead, who missed the entire Super Rugby season because of an arm fracture, now has injuries to his ankle and ribs.

Coach Brad Macleod-Henderson said yesterday that Daniel should “be ready for next week’s game against Free State in Bloemfontein.

“We’ll have to wait until tomorrow (today) until we know more about Tim [Whitehead].

Wing Sizo Maseko also has a bit of a hamstring niggle that he picked up on Friday night against Griquas.

“If Tim and Sizo are unavailable this week, we’ll look at playing Heimar Williams at centre and SP Marais on the wing.”

Macleod-Henderson said that Marais, signed from the Southern Kings, had joined the Sharks late last week.

“SP is raring to go and we’re looking forward to seeing him in action. Heimar’s a quality player. He played for Sharks U21 last year and captained them. He’s an intelligent rugby player and it will be good to see what he can do.”

The Sharks coach said they had analysed their shaky set piece performance against Griquas .

“We had a good chat about the scrums and it is an area we are focusing on getting right. Like most things, it is a combination of factors and we need to work together as a unit. We need to get focused at scrum-time and work on one or two technical things. We’ve had one bad experience and we’ll be looking to put it right this weekend.”

He said that the Lions were a strong side who had come through their promotion-relegation games against the Kings and were “probably a bit unlucky to lose last weekend to the Cheetahs.”

“We’re expecting a very tough game.”

He admitted that the coaches and players were suffering after Friday’s loss.

“You take any loss personally and obviously it hurts. The key issue is not to be irrational about it but remain focused on the job and rectify the problem areas.

“We can do nothing about the loss, it’s behind us and we need to look forward. It’s obviously not ideal to lose a home game and we hope it’s the last one we do lose at King’s Park.”

The match kicks off at 5.05 pm.

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