Postponed hearing delays Sharks’ plans

2009-07-29 00:00

FOR the second successive week the Sharks’ Currie Cup preparations have been disrupted by a postponed disciplinary hearing.

Last week the Sharks had to wait until the eve of the Bulls game, and after their main preparations were completed, before hearing that flyhalf Guy Cronjé had been suspended for a week for a high tackle; yesterday the discipilinary hearing into Rory Kockott’s apparent kneeing of a Blue Bulls opponent last Friday was again postponed and the Sharks scrumhalf will only hear his fate today.

The Sharks face Free State in Bloemfontein on Friday night and the loss of Kockott, their goal-kicker and one of their few remaining Super 14 players, would be a major blow.

The Sharks camp believe that citing officer Andrew Prior has, once again, over-reacted and that Kockott will be cleared, but nothing can be taken for granted when matters of rugby pass into the hands of lawyers.

Ross Cronjé is expected to replace Kockott if the scrumhalf is suspended, while head coach John Plumtree has a choice between Monty Dumond and Guy Cronjé at flyhalf.

The one piece of good news yesterday was that number eight Ryan Kankowski, who has failed to make the Springbok squad of 22 for Saturday’s Test against the All Blacks, has been released to the Sharks.

Plumtree now has a difficult choice at loose forward.

Kankowski and Jean Deysel are certain to start and the Sharks coach will have to choose between the hard-working, productive Keegan Daniel and the more experienced Jacques Botes, who showed improved form against the Bulls, as the open side flank.

The Sharks team, due to be named after Kockott’s hearing today, is unlikely to show any other changes.

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