Sharks prepare for another wet-weather game in semi

2013-10-17 00:00

THE Sharks have made four changes and the Free State Cheetahs just one for the Currie Cup semi-final, which is again expected to be played at a wet King’s Park on Saturday evening.

Three experienced players have been included in a revamped Sharks backline, while a hand injury has sidelined Springbok tighthead Jannie du Plessis. Wiehahn Herbst will replace him in the only change to the pack.

Springbok Frans Steyn, after an injury break of nearly six months, will partner Louis Ludik in a new midfield pairing. They replace Tim Whitehead and Heimar Williams.

Springbok Pat Lambie takes over from the 20-year-old Fred Zeilinga at flyhalf.

Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has recalled wing Riaan Smit in place of Rayno Benjamin in the only change to the team that started against the Blue Bulls at the weekend.

“Riaan Smit’s inclusion is because he is our first-choice goal kicker,” said Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie.

“In a semi-final, you will take every opportunity for points that come your way and that is why we have decided to include him.

“Riaan has kicked 15 out of 15 attempts in the competition and will be our go-to man with regards to kicking against the Sharks.”

Drotské has named Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen among the replacements after he played in the last couple of minutes against the Pretoria-based outfit.

“We have decided to again include him [Goosen] on the bench and we are managing him after a lengthy injury,” he said.

“Just like Frans Steyn’s return for the Sharks, Goosen’s return is also a game of chance.”

Drotské will field an all-Springbok front-row in Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss and Coenie Oosthuizen.

“In the scrums, we expect another tough battle — our Springboks against theirs. It is going to be a hard match, that is for sure.”

Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson said they were preparing for another wet-weather game this weekend.

“I’m sure the Durban public are also not too happy with the prospect of rain again. But last Saturday’s game [against Western Province] should prove a good training exercise for what the conditions could be like again this Saturday.

“The set pieces become vitally important again and it is something we have been focusing on again this week,” he said.


Sharks: 15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Francois Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Peet Marais, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Danie Mienie, 18. Stephan Lewies, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. Heimar Williams

Free State Cheetahs: 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Riaan Smit, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Robert Ebersohn, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Elgar Watts, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Pieter Labuschagne, 6. Boom Prinsloo, 5. Lodewyk de Jager, 4. Francois Uys, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen

Replacements: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Rossouw de Klerk, 18. Teboho Mohoje, 19. Freddy Ngoza, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Johan Goosen, 22 Rayno Benjamin.

Kick-off: 5 pm.

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