Sharks eager to impress after dismal showings

2011-09-10 00:00

THE Sharks are determined to impress their home supporters and referee Jaco Peyper when they take on the Pumas in their Currie Cup match at King’s Park this afternoon.

The Sharks are lagging six points behind the log-leading Lions and anything less than a bonus point win today will be regarded as another home failure for Plumtree’s squad.

The Pumas, stuck at the bottom of the log with the Leopards, do not travel well and the Sharks have an excellent opportunity to add some polish and cohesion to their attacking game before they face the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein next weekend in what could prove their most testing game in the second round.

The Sharks found Peyper difficult to please last time they met and he penalised them heavily at the breakdown and the scrum at Ellis Park, allowing Elton Jantjies to boot the Lions to their important home win.

The Sharks’ lack of discipline has not only cost them points this season but has broken their continuity and momentum while frustrating their coach.

Their other problem has been one of attitude. They have lifted themselves to beat the big boys — the Blue Bulls (twice), Western Province and Free State — but were ragged in losing to Griquas and struggled to beat the Pumas in Nelspruit and then the Leopards in Durban.

The limp showing against the Leopards, their last outing in Durban, saw them dominant in every area, but they could only score three second-half tries in their disappointing 23-3 win.

The Pumas will come to Durban with some hope. They bothered the Lions for long periods last weekend while they enjoyed themselves against the Sharks in Nelspruit before just losing 23-22 in the final moments.

Plumtree, still looking for the complete performance, is not taking them lightly.

“The Pumas have been impressive in many ways this season. They probably should have beaten us in the first round and they were only seven points behind the Lions with time up on the clock last Friday. We have a lot of respect for them and we have to arrive with the right attitude.”

The Sharks, with two tall jumpers in Alistair Hargreaves and Ross Skeate, should hold an edge in the lineouts but the scrum could suffer. Still, the Sharks have quality players spread through the ranks and they should overcome a willing Pumas outfit.

Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has welcomed back flank and captain Corné Steenkamp, prop Dawie Steyn and scrumhalf Shaun Venter from injury, but has emphasised the need for his team to limit their mistakes.

Plumtree, in turn, is hoping that the Loftus win of last week will spark his players’ attacking game. And, after the limp showing against the Leopards, and with the distraction of the other tournament in New Zealand, he is hoping that there will be someone at King’s Park this afternoon to watch them.


Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik, 14. Sibusiso Sithole, 13. Stefan Terblanche, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Frederic Michalak, 9. Conrad Hoffmann, 8. Keegan Daniel (Captain), 7. Marcell Coetzee, 6. Jean Deysel, 5. Ross Skeate, 4. Alistair Hargreaves, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Dale Chadwick. Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Ross Cronje, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. Adrian Jacobs.

Pumas: 15 MJ Mentz, 14 Wilhelm Hendrik Loock, 13. JW Jonker, 12. Tiaan Marx, 11. Deon Scholtz 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Christo le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corne Steenkamp (captain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Rudi Matthee, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 1 Dawie Steyn. Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Brett Nel, 18. Willem Serfontein, 19. JP Mostert, 20. Hendrik van der Nest, 21. Siviwe Magaba, 22. Johan Jackson.

Referee: Jaco Peyper. Kick-off: 3 pm.

Today’s fixtures (home team first): Sharks v Pumas 3 pm; WP v Leopards 3 pm; Free State v Blue Bulls 5.05 pm.

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.