Plum: Boks beef up Sharks, no thanks to Bryce

2011-10-17 00:00

THE returning Rugby World Cup Springboks have revived the Sharks’ Currie Cup ambitions, but coach John Plumtree says he will not be thanking New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence for the role he had played in sending the players home early.

Lawrence played a controversial role in South Africa’s loss to Australia in the quarter-finals, but the early return of the Springboks has provided the Sharks with an unexpected and timely boost.

The Sharks had six RWC Boks in their weekend squad and they bullied and bashed the log-leading Lions, scoring seven tries in a 53-9 win and securing a home semi-final against the Free State Cheetahs at King’s Park on Saturday (2.30 pm).

Plumtree was asked if he would be sending Lawrence a thank-you gift for ensuring that the Sharks would have the influential Boks back for the business end of the Currie Cup.

“I won’t be sending Bryce anything. He has hurt me in the past and he has hurt us [the Sharks]” said Plumtree.

The Sharks coach said he had met the returning Boks as a group and individually before selecting them for the Lions game.

“They were all massively disappointed after what happened in New Zealand, but they all said they were keen to help the Sharks.”

The only RWC Boks not involved against the Lions were hooker and captain John Smit and loosehead Beast Mtawarira.

“Beast had a minor chest injury problem, but he will be ready for the Cheetahs semi-final,” said Plumtree.

He said he has spoken to Smit.

“John and his family leave for the UK shortly [to take up his contract with Saracens] and he has plenty to do with making all the arrangements and packing. It is best that he concentrates on that right now.”

The second Currie Cup semi-final on Saturday will be between the log-leading Lions and fourth-placed Western Province at Ellis Park (5 pm).

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