Lambie and Jordaan might be fit for Stormers semi-final

2012-07-24 00:00

THE Sharks are hoping that their walking wounded, fullback Pat Lambie and centre Paul Jordaan, will be ready for Saturday’s Super Rugby semi-final against the Stormers at Newlands.

Springbok Lambie, who has been troubled by an ankle injury this past month, did not travel to Brisbane for the weekend playoff against the Reds, but he will be assessed during the week and he could add to coach John Plumtree’s backline options.

Young centre Jordaan left the field midway through the Brisbane game and Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford said last night that he might still be available for selection.

Bashford said there were no other injury concerns following the win over the Reds.

The one piece of bad news is that SA U20 player and Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, who also missed the trek to Brisbane because of injury, has undergone ankle surgery and will be sidelined for three months.

The Sharks left Brisbane shortly after their stunning win over the Reds and were back in Durban on Sunday night.

Bashford said the players did not train yesterday, but would practise again today. They will leave for Cape Town on Thursday or Friday.

Fellow-assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards said that the players’ attitude had been the decisive factor in the Suncorp Stadium win.

“The stats show we did not have much of the ball and certainly not too much territory, but it was huge attitude from the boys.

The players went there with the belief that we were going to win the game, that we could win it and hats off to everyone involved. It was a fantastic effort there.”

Reece-Edwards said the players were aware they had let themselves down in the pool stages and this had cost them any chance of hosting any of the playoffs.

“We knew we could go over there and win, and when you have that belief that you know you can do well, the travel is forgotten.

“We prepared really well in Surfer’s Paradise so that by the time we went into Brisbane the day before the game, the boys were feeling good and refreshed …”

Reece-Edwards said that the rub of the green had been in the Sharks’ favour.

“We’ve had a couple of decisions go against us this season, but this time the bounce of the ball went for us. And so did the one TMO decision ,but I don’t think it would have changed the game.”

Looking ahead to Saturday, he said discipline would be important against the Stormers’ in-form goalkicker, Peter Grant.

“We know we can beat them because we have in the past. We have to do our homework well, set the plan accordingly and then execute it. They’ve had a week off and, as we all know, having a break isn’t necessarily the best thing.

“They have players coming back from injury [number eight Duane Vermeulen and Bok lock Eben Etzebeth] but we’re a side that wants to do well and the character in the side is coming through really nicely.”

• Three of the top four referees in Super Rugby this year have come from South Africa, Sanzar confirmed yesterday. Pietermaritzburg-born-and-bred Craig Joubert and Steve Walsh (Australia) will referee the semi-finals this weekend.

Two South African referees, Jaco Peyper and Jonathan Kaplan, took charge of the weekend qualifiers in Christchurch and in Brisbane.

Match official appointments for semi-finals

Chiefs v Crusaders, Friday, 9.35 am in Hamilton

Referee: Craig Joubert (SA).

Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (SA), Keith Brown (NZ).

Stormers v Sharks, Saturday, 5.05 pm in Cape Town

Referee: Steve Walsh (Aus)

Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Marius Jonker

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