Sharks could feel Stormers’ backlash

2013-03-01 00:00

THE Sharks are taking little comfort from the Stormers’ limp showing at Loftus and their 25-17 loss to the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener last weekend.

The Stormers travel to Durban tomorrow to face the Sharks and they have taken flak from all sides this week with their coaching staff, media, fans and now their captain joining the chorus of criticism.

But the Sharks, who have been in similar back-to-the-wall positions before, are aware that they could be hit by the Stormers’ backlash tomorrow night.

Sharks coach John Plumtree is not reading anything into the Stormers’ defeat in Pretoria.

“One game and one loss at Loftus isn’t the end of the world in this competition,” he said.

“There is still a long way to go, both in the tournament and in this South African conference.

“The Stormers are still a good side and the last time most of their guys were here at King’s Park they took the Currie Cup off us.

“They’ll believe in themselves when they come here.”

Plumtree said that the defeat had to be put in perspective with the Stormers losing to “a really good Bulls side playing at home with their many Boks”.

“The Bulls had a good pre- season. They’ve been going for a while and their fitness levels are right up there,” he added.

He said that the Bulls were highly motivated “because they are in unfamiliar territory”.

“They’re used to dominating competitions, but they didn’t go so well last year which would have hurt them. They’re a very proud region and going to Loftus to get a win is going to be hard for any team. I don’t think the Stormers will be too worried.”

The Sharks and the Stormers are both missing four of their more influential players due to injury.

The Sharks are without captain Keegan Daniel, fellow-loose forward Willem Alberts, hooker Bismarck du Plessis and centre Tim Whitehead.

The sidelined Stormers are without their captain Schalk Burger, Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth, centre Juan de Jongh and fullback Jacon Taute.

“We’re not quite at full strength, but that will make for an interesting contest,” said Plumtree.

Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said his players had to take responsibility for their performances if they were to beat the Sharks, saying: “The players, young and old, are selected because they are good enough to be included in the team. It’s simply a question of players taking responsibility for playing the role that has been entrusted to them.”

He said the Stormers had lost to a better team in Pretoria “and that is a big wake-up call for us”.

While Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has again selected the out-of-touch Elton Jantjies at flyhalf, it is possible that the young Springbok will not be pressured into taking the goalkicks in the swirling wind at King’s Park.

Joe Pietersen, reliable and in-form, has replaced the injured Taute at fullback and he could also take over the goal-kicking duties.

Kicks off at 7.10 pm tomorrow.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.