Alberts ‘just about’ up to Lions clash

2012-03-06 00:00

THE Sharks take on the Lions at King’s Park on Saturday evening in their first home Super Rugby game this season and Springbok flank Willem Alberts is “almost a definite” to play.

Alberts, now over his shoulder surgery, was medically cleared to play against the Stormers at the weekend, but coach John Plumtree opted against rushing him back.

Team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde told The Witness yesterday that he could “just about guarantee” that Alberts would see action against his old Lions team-mates on Saturday.

“We sustained no serious injuries over the weekend, just a few bumps and bruises,” Van der Linde added.

Fellow flank Jean Deysel is almost ready and should be back in action in the next few weeks. “He will be back sooner, rather than later,” said Van der Linde, adding that wing Odwa Ndungane and centre Tim White­head, both not considered for the Stormers game, will join full training today.

The Sharks doctor said that prop Beast Mtawarira was making a rapid recovery from his fractured ankle.

“He is looking good. It’s been six weeks since the injury and he’s now off the crutches and out of the moon boot.”

Ryan Kankowski had an operation on his hand and is now in recovery while lock Alistair Hargreaves will be in a moon boot for another two or three weeks with a stress fracture.

Scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann will join his team-mates training this week and will resume playing “in the next two or three weeks”.

The Sharks face the Currie Cup champions (Lions) and the Super Rugby title-holders (the Reds) in Durban over the next two Saturdays before leaving on tour of Austra­lasia and they desperately need a win to build some momentum.

“We knew that the Bulls and the Stormers would be tough, but it does need to be emphasised that they were away games,” said Plumtree after the 12-15 loss at Newlands.

“We rectified a lot of the things that we weren’t good at in the game against the Bulls at Loftus. And, whereas against the Bulls we just didn’t pitch and I questioned the attitude, this time there is no need for me to do that. Maybe where we fell down was in not sustaining the pressure on the Stormers when we had them under the cosh.”

Saturday’s game kicks off at 5.10 pm.

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