Sharks could face gap in the backrow if Keegan Daniel punished

2011-05-09 00:00

FLANK Keegan Daniel has been cited for a dangerous tackle following the weekend win over the Brumbies at King’s Park and the Sharks could face a backrow problem in the weeks ahead.

According to a Sanzar statement yesterday, Daniel will appear before a judicial hearing at King’s Park today charged with making a dangerous tackle on Brumbies centre Christian Lealiifano in the 71st minute of the match. The incident was not sanctioned by referee Mark Lawrence.

The hearing will be chaired by Sanzar judicial officer Jannie Lubbe, and the Sharks, with their loose forward resources stretched, will be hoping that it is found that Daniel was already committed to the tackle when the Brumbie centre went down under the challenge of another player.

The Sharks, who have a bye this weekend, have lost number eight Ryan Kankowski to a cheekbone fracture and flank Jacques Botes has been sidelined for a fortnight with an ankle injury. They are confident he will be ready to face the Bulls in their next game in Durban on May 21.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said that the heavily involved backrower Willem Alberts was also “bruised and sore”, but said he was delighted by the impact made by flank Jean Deysel on his return from an extended injury break.

The Sharks fiddled and faffed, but finally flourished in their game against the Brumbies and their five log points, following the defeat of the Stormers by the diluted Crusaders at Newlands, has brought them back into play-off contention.

For long periods it seemed the Sharks were determined to fritter away every scoring opportunity as they lost lineouts and frequently turned over possession on attack. They trailed 16-6 after a stop-start half of missed chances and Plumtree said that frustration was his biggest concern.

The Sharks proceeded to score 28 unanswered points and it was the sixth game out of 11 that they have scored four tries or more.

Plumtree said the Brumbies had worked extremely hard defensively “and that was a pretty tough match.”

He praised the efforts of Sharks replacement centre Adrian Jacobs who had an energetic final quarter after replacing Meyer Bosman.

Plumtree said that the toughness and pressures of the competition are taking their toll on the players with the injury toll mounting. The Sharks have their second bye of the competition on Saturday, but Plumtree said the squad will be out working on several problem areas during the week. “And then,” he added with some feeling, “I’m taking myself and a case of beer down to the Wild Coast for the weekend.”

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