Ndungane out injured, Mametsa out on bail

2008-10-20 00:00

The Sharks’ Odwa Ndungane will not face his twin brother in Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Blue Bulls at King’s Park.

The Bulls have problems on the wing, with Springbok wing Akona Ndungane yesterday ruled out of the final and his obvious replacement, John Mametsa, reportedly spending Friday night in a Brooklyn police cell after an altercation with the traffic police left him with a head injury.

Ndungane yesterday failed a fitness test. Team doctor Org Strauss confirmed that Ndungane is not yet 100% and has been ruled out of the final.

“Akona started to run during the course of last week and he trained with the team (yesterday) but he has not recoverd well enough to play in a match,” said Strauss.

“We don’t want to take any chances with his fitness.”

Ironically, shortly before Ndungane failed his fitness test with the Bulls yesterday, his obvious replacement, the in-form Mametsa, was appearing briefly in court.

Mametsa apparently landed himself in trouble when he witnessed a car accident involving Bulls team-mate and lock Fudge Mabeta in Hatfield. An altercation with a traffic officer followed and Mametsa was arrested. He appeared in court in a bloody shirt at the weekend and was released after paying R500 bail.

He again appeared in court yesterday and his case was postponed until December 5.

Mametsa said he was not going to comment on the matter because it could harm his case and he wanted to concentrate on preparations for Saturday’s final.

Meanwhile the Bulls are ignoring critics who claim that the Sharks are favourites in the final.

Speculation has no bearing on what happens on the day, Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said.

“The Bulls have won trophies when they were the favourites and also when no one gave them a chance. To us, any prediction is six of the one and half- a-dozen of the other.”

Some critics are tipping the Sharks because they are desperate to end a long period of failure and will be determined to avenge last year’s Super 14 defeat.

“One must accept that the Sharks are hungry, but the Bulls have reason to be equally determined to win the final,” Ludeke told News24.

“Remember what Victor Matfield said before the semi-final against the Cheetahs — the more trophies you win the more enjoyable it becomes.”

It is equally important for players not to listen to speculation about personal duels, he added.

“Individual brilliance is, of course, an important asset to any team, but rugby remains a team game. Even the best player can’t do anything if those around him do not contribute to the execution of the game plan.

“The pressure is at it greatest when it’s a matter of all or nothing. It is in such extreme situations that players have to carry each other. The team that keeps their cool as a unit, especially in the last 20 minutes, should have the last laugh.

“The result is determined by the temperament, defence, decision making, finishing and discipline of all the players.”

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