McLeod to miss Pumas clash, Van Staden in doubt

2011-09-06 00:00

THE Sharks will be without their first-choice scrumhalf, Charl McLeod, for Saturady’s Currie Cup outing against the Pumas at King’s Park.

McLeod left the field after half an hour of the game against the Blue Bulls at Loftus, and Sharks team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde told The Witness yesterday that the scrumhalf sustained a grade 2 AC joint strain.

“It’s a shoulder injury similar to the one suffered by Pat Lambie [Springbok fullback] against the All Blacks. Charl should be out for about two weeks, but we are hoping to have him fit for the big game against Free State on September 17.”

Van der Linde said tighthead prop Eugene van Staden has aggravated an old elbow injury against the Bulls.

“It’s not serious and he will have a fitness test on Thursday. He should be ready for the Pumas game.”

The team doctor said the other Sharks players have come through the tough game against the Bulls with the usual bumps and bruises.

“But the only other player out with injury is Ryan Kankwoski [number eight] who had surgery on his fractured thumb last week. He will probably be out for another three weeks.”

The Pumas are struggling at the foot of the Currie Cup log, but Sharks coach John Plumtree said they should not be taken lightly after they came within a minute of beating the Sharks in the first-round game in Nelspruit.

“They will be a tough nut,” said Plumtree. “The Pumas threw everything at the Lions [in losing by six points on Friday] and probably created a greater challenge for the Lions than we did.

“They’re a very competitive side and they deserve to be in a much better position than where they are. Nearly all their games have been close this year and we will have to play well against them.”

Plumtree said it had been crucial for the Sharks to win one of their two big games over the past fortnight (they lost to the Lions away but beat the Bulls at Loftus) to stay in play-off contention.

“There was pressure on us at Loftus and now we can look forward to a home game this week. I hope we get a large crowd to support us.

“It’s about wanting to improve every week, and I hope we can get our game going the way we’d like over the next few weeks,” the Sharks coach said.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 3 pm.

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