Fitness concerns for Sharks ahead of Dunedin clash

2010-03-16 00:00

SHARKS coach John Plumtree said yesterday that there are a number of fitness concerns ahead of Saturday’s Super 14 match against the Highlanders in Dunedin, with prop Deon Carstens and centre Adi Jacobs nursing injured knees and Riaan Swanepoel a sore ankle.

“We are hoping our midfield [Jacobs and Swanepoel] will be ready by Thursday’s practice.”

Plumtree dismissed speculation that he was considering beefing up his loose trio, by fielding a combination of Willem Alberts, Jean Deysel and Ryan Kankowski and dropping his smaller, quicker open side flank (Keegan Daniel or Jacques Botes).

“Your loose forwards have to be fast. The game is about pace, the phase play is speeding up because the breakdown is with the new-look laws. The bigger, heavier players will battle because if you are not quick and mobile you struggle both on attack and defence.”

The Sharks’ record in Australia is poor — they have lost 17 of their last 19 games there — but they have curiously been far more effective in New Zealand and won two matches there last year.

But Plumtree is taking little notice of history.

“I’m just worried about one week at a time. History says we have gone five games without a win and we are low on the log, and that’s what I want to change.”

The Highlanders limped back to New Zealand yesterday after their South African tour which saw them beating the Cheetahs, but losing heavily to the Stormers and the Bulls.

“It’s always tough to come back from SA, but they are a courageous team. They also beat the Cheetahs, which is something we struggle to do, and they are much tougher at home,” said Plumtree.

“We know how difficult it’s going to be, but we also know that if we can hold on to that ball and build periods of attack and defend well, we can win. Our discipline has to be right and all the different factors that are letting us down need to be accurate on the day.”

The game kicks off at 8.35 am on Saturday.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.