Habana ruled out of Saturday’s Super 14 clash with the Sharks

2010-05-06 00:00

THERE was finally some good news for the Sharks yesterday when dynamic Springbok and Stormers wing Bryan Habana was ruled out of Saturday night’s Super 14 game at King’s Park.

Habana left the field during the Crusaders game last Friday night with bruised ribs, and Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has decided not to risk fielding him against the Sharks.

Centre Tim Whitehead, who took over from Habana against the Crusaders, retains his place on the wing on Saturday, but Coetzee has options with the exciting Joe Pietersen back from injury and named on the bench.

Pietersen, the form fullback in the Super 14 before going down with injury, has played at wing and flyhalf for Western Province.

“Habana could be back against the Bulls in Cape Town next weekend,” Coetzee said yesterday.

“Whitehead was an easy choice. He is a natural footballer and he has started twice for us before [at centre],” he said.

Coetzee said he wanted to ease Pietersen back into action, adding that props JC Kritzinger and Wicus Blaauw will be back within the next fortnight and in time for the play-offs.

Sharks coach John Plumtree described the Stormers as “a pretty complete team”.

“Their props have developed and stood up well this year and they have good, hard locks with Andries Bekker developing his game. He is not only a ball winner, but probably has the most off-loads for a lock in the competition because of his skill.

“Their loose forward trio hasn’t been bettered this season and they complement each other effectively,” said Plumtree.

He said that flyhalf Peter Grant’s game had matured, while Springbok centre Jaque Fourie ran the ship from the midfield. “It has taken a little while for the Stormers to get to the top, but now that they have Allister Coetzee and their coaching staff must take the credit.

“The Stormers have some serious armoury in their squad. They have recruited well and invested plenty in the team, and that’s why they are where they are.”

The Sharks team will be named today.

Stormers team:

15 Gio Aplon, 14 Sireli Naqelevuki, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Tim Whitehead, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JD Moller.

Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Eusebio Guinazu, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Willem de Waal, 22 Joe Pietersen.

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