Selection dilemma for Sharks staff

2008-06-30 00:00

DURBAN — The Sharks coaching staff face something of a selection dilemma this week for their first away match of the Absa Currie Cup, against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versveld on Saturday.

Despite topping the log, this crucial match could go a long way to assessing just how good the Sharks really are. If the truth be told, they were pretty poor against Boland and despite notching up a bonus point win, coach John Plumtree admitted it was a pretty hollow victory.

“For me, it’s how we play,” he said after the game. “I’d rather we played a whole lot better than that and got four points.”

A litany of errors and breakdowns in play reinforced what captain Johann Muller had to say after the game: “This was probably the worst 40 minutes of rugby I’ve ever played. I’m very disappointed and know we played really bad rugby in the first half.” He also admitted that similar play against the Bulls would result in a “hiding”.

Not only has the Sharks coach suggested a little soul-searching among his charges, he also has some hard decisions to make.

Rory Kockott has been ruled out for the next two weeks, but Monty Dumond — who played for the Sharks last year — has returned from France and his goal-kicking on Friday night was exemplary.

That potentially solves the kicking dilemma, but with Bradley Barritt back, Plumtree will need to include the pair in the side — but where?

“We lacked the direction and leadership of Brad [Barritt],” said the coach. “He’s a pretty big player for us and we missed him, but fortunately he’ll be back this week,”

The scrumhalf position will fall to either Scott Mathie or Charl McLeod, who also showed deft touches having missed out to Mathie a week earlier.

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