Sharks propped up for Oz

2012-03-23 00:00

SHARKS tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis yesterday passed a late fitness test and will start in tomorrow’s Super Rugby outing against the Waratahs in Sydney.

Du Plessis left the field during the Sharks’ win over the Reds in Durban at the weekend and both he and Wiehahn Herbst, his replacement on Saturday evening, have been on the injury list.

But Du Plessis will be fit to start while Herbst (injured knee) is expected to be ready for the game against the Brumbies in Canberra next weekend. Young Nick Schonert, who was rushed over to join the squad on Wednesday, will provide front-row cover off the bench.

There is just one change to the side which started against the Reds. Jandre Marais, who scored a try in an impressive debut in Super Rugby last week when he replaced Steve Sykes at lock — has retained his place. Sykes has also been passed fit and he has been included on the bench.

Centre JP Pietersen has been given another week to recover from his thigh injury and Marius Joubert will play off the bench.

Sharks captain Keegan Daniel said yesterday that the Waratahs, with one win in four outings, would be desperate to turn their season around against the Sharks.

“The Waratahs have had a rocky start to their campaign but will always be tough at home,” he said. “They have a good pack with some experienced backs and we need a massive performance from our forwards as well as being disciplined at all times in the game if we want to do well.

“They pretty desperate for a win at this stage and that can bring a team together, so no doubt they will bring a huge physical presence to the game as well as a huge will to win.”

Daniel said the Sharks had toured well in the past though their record in Sydney is poor.

“There are a number of reasons why we are a good touring side. It’s difficult to put it down to any one, but we have a good bunch of guys, we all get on really well and we have a good culture in the team. All that certainly helps when we’re on tour.”

The Waratahs will field a new pair of halves against the Sharks with captain and flyhalf Daniel Halangahu and former Cheetahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius dropped to the bench.

Wallaby prop Benn Robinson has been named as captain for the first time in his career.

The burly Wycliff Palu returns from a hamstring injury at No 8, while giant brothers Sitaleki and Lopeti Timani are on the bench as coach Michael Foley has beefed up his squad for the Sharks challenge.

Foley told reporters that the time was right to move Wallabies playmaker Berrick Barnes to flyhalf and include Tom Carter at inside centre.

 

TEAMS:

Sharks – 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Jandre Marais, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Nick Schonert, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Frederic Michalak, 21 Marius Joubert, 22 Louis Ludik.

Waratahs - 15 Bernard Foley, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson (captain).

Replacements: John Ulugia, Paddy Ryan, Sitaleki Timani, Lopeti Timani, Jono Jenkins, Sarel Pretorius, Daniel Halangahu, Peter Betham, Brackin Kauraria-Henry.

Kick-off: 6:35 am (SA time).

 

• Meanwhile Springbok flank Jean Deysel returns from an extended injury break to captain the Sharks XV against Free State in a Vodacom Cup match tonight (7.10pm).

The Sharks XV : 15. Gouws Prinsloo, 14. S’bura Sithole, 13. Wandile Mjekevu, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Rosko Specman, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Lubabalo Mtembu, 7. Jean Deysel (capt), 6. Chris Cloete, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Peet Marais, 3. Allan Dell, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Danie Mienie

Replacements: 16. Monde Hadebe, 17. Nicolaas van Dyk, 18. Braam Steyn, 19. Brynard Stander, 20. Conrad Hoffmann, 21. Piet Lindeque, 22. Jors Dannhauser

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