Sharks face injury before key match

2014-10-07 00:00

THE Sharks had their worst fears confirmed yesterday ahead of their final Currie Cup crunch clash against Western Province this weekend.

Outside centre Paul Jordaan, who was stretchered off the field in the first five minutes against the Lions on Friday night, is out of action until next year.

He suffered a fracture-dislocation on his hip early in the game after a late tackle and has been ruled out for six months. He has already had an operation.

Any outside chance of Jordaan edging his way into the Springbok team before next year’s World Cup in England now seem unlikely. He was involved in a training camp during the June internationals and has been a promising prospect for future Bok colours.

Closer to home, his loss will be felt by the Sharks, as he has been potent on attack and linked up well with young inside centre Andre Esterhuizen in the past three weeks. S’bura Sithole will shift in to fill the void left by Jordaan.

Sithole is no slouch at outside centre and played well there during the Super Rugby tournament and the first few rounds of the Currie Cup before Esterhuizen was brought into the starting line up.

The two played well together on Friday night and their physicality will be something to watch out for this coming weekend.

The other casualty this week is hooker Kyle Cooper, who has arguably been one of the Sharks’ best forwards this year. He has carried the ball superbly on attack and been tireless on defence and at the break down point.

Cooper is carrying an ankle niggle and will be out for a week – ruling him out of the clash at Newlands. Monde Hadebe is the likely replacement.

Despite losing two star players, there is a building belief the Sharks can beat Province and eventually defend their Currie Cup title.

Their first call of duty is Province on Saturday and there is still an outside chance they can secure a home semi-final if they beat the Cape Town outfit and the Lions loose to the Cheetahs.

Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson is not holding thumbs and is more focused on getting a good result.

“I think we have seen it all this Currie Cup. There have been lots of twists and turns so I wouldn’t guarantee who is going to be in the final just yet. There is still a lot of rugby to be played and so I wouldn’t say who exactly is going to be playing whom at home just yet.”

The Sharks take on Province at 5.05 pm on Saturday at Newlands, Cape Town.

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