Whitehead might replace Jordaan

2012-09-11 00:00

THE Sharks are hoping that centre Tim Whitehead will return from injury in time for Saturday night’s Currie Cup clash with Western Province at King’s Park.

The Sharks’ lively outside centre, Paul Jordaan, left the field after being heavily tackled late in the weekend game against Griquas in Kimberley and he is a doubtful starter for Saturday.

Assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards said yesterday that the Sharks had midfield options and former Bok Marius Joubert, who was on the bench in Kimberley, would be an obvious replacement.

“We can move personnel around and most of our backs are utility players. But there is a possibility that Tim Whitehead could be back this weekend if Paul Jordaan is ruled out.

“We will be looking to get more and more players back as the campaign progresses with [lock/flank] Pieter-Steph du Toit and [hooker] Kyle Cooper just two others.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s bruising loss in Kimberley, Reece-Edwards said the contest was as tough as they expected.

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight and Griquas really wanted that win. They are going to win more games at home this season, no doubt about it.

“We’re not happy that we lost, obviously and it changes our focus now that we are tied first instead of clear first.

“But we’re still in the top and we have three home games remaining and our two away from home are at big venues [Bloemfontein and Ellis Park] where we feel we can go and get a result.

"We know what we have to do.”

Reece-Edwards admitted that the Sharks had failed in Kimberley in areas of previous strength.

“Our attack let us down against Griquas and the backs played too laterally. But that is something that can be fixed quite easily.

“We also let in another driving lineout try, which is a concern. But the tries we have given away so far have been either through poor discipline or mistakes and turnovers.

“We’ve not allowed other sides to play really good rugby and run through us. If there is anything we need to look at, it is our discipline.”

The Sharks coach said they also wanted to put their opponents under more pressure.

“We need to dominate play and that’s all about discipline, territory and just being smarter.”

Kick-off against WP is 7.10 pm on Saturday.

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