Sharks won’t risk Smit against Bulls on Saturday

2011-05-19 12:20

Sharks captain John Smit failed his fitness test today and will not feature in Saturday evening’s crucial Super Rugby encounter against the Bulls in Durban.

Smit missed the Sharks’ last match with a calf injury and, although he was given a 50-50 chance of being available this weekend, he will not be risked, with Bismarck du Plessis continuing in the No 2 jersey and Craig Burden remaining on the bench.

However, certain pundits would say this means the Sharks, once again, field their strongest front row, with the Du Plessis brothers continuing in tandem along with “Beast” Mtawarira.

In fact, the only change to the Sharks’ starting line-up from their last encounter against the Brumbies – they had a bye this past weekend – comes at openside flank where Jacques Botes has overcome an ankle injury to replace the suspended Keegan Daniel.

After their first competition bye, the Sharks made a sluggish start against the Hurricanes before pulling away to secure a good win, and coach John Plumtree said they had spoken about getting off to a better start upon their return to action this time round after last weekend’s break.

“This has been addressed and was part of what we have discussed this week,” explained Plumtree.

“It’s going to be absolutely crucial for us to come out and start very well.

“We didn’t do that against the Hurricanes and it took us about 40 minutes to get into the game.

“Hopefully, that won’t happen this weekend.”

The Sharks: Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Steven Sykes,
Alistair Hargreaves, Jacques Botes, Jean Deysel, Willem Alberts, Charl McLeod,
Patrick Lambie, JP Pietersen, Meyer Bosman, Stefan Terblanche (capt), Odwa Ndungane, Louis Ludik.

: Craig Burden, Eugene van Staden, Gerhard Mostert, Marcell Coetzee, Conrad Hoffmann, Adrian Jacobs, Lwazi Mvovo.

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