Six Springboks to boost struggling Sharks sides

2013-05-03 00:00

THE Springboks are on their way back, with six of them bolstering the Sharks’ two teams for this weekend’s games in the Super Rugby and Vodacom Cup competitions.

In faraway Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand, Sharks coach John Plumtree has made the expected six changes — recalling four Boks — to his starting line-up for tomorrow’s Super Rugby game against the struggling Highlanders.

Wings JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo, both back from injury, along with flanks Keegan Daniel and Marcell Coetzee, are the four returning Springboks while lock Franco van der Merwe and hooker Kyle Cooper also regain their places in the starting line-up.

Closer to home, Sharks XV coach Sean Everitt has named two Springbok backrowers, the discarded Ryan Kankowski and the recovering Willem Alberts, in his side to meet the Golden Lions in the Vodacom Cup quarter-final match at King’s Park today (3 pm kick-off).

“Ryan is keen to play and he’d like to get back into it as soon as possible so we’re very happy to accommodate a Springbok and obviously a very good rugby player,” said Everitt yesterday.

The players making way from the Sharks starting line-up in Dunedin are wings Odwa Ndungane and Piet Lindeque, hooker Craig Burden, lock Anton Bresler, and the two flanks, Jean Deysel and Derrick Minnie.

Number eight Tera Mtembu, after his strong debut against the Chiefs last Saturday, retains his place at number eight.

“Tera played really well against the Chiefs and he deserves to retain his place,” said Plumtree. “He also balances the backrow with Keegan and Marcell.”

There are new faces on a powerful forward bench with specialist loosehead JC Janse van Rensburg included along with Bresler, Deysel, Burden and possible Minnie if Plumtree opts for only two backs among the replacements.

Scrumhalf Tian Meyer has replaced the injured Cobus Reinach on the bench.

“We took some confidence out of the way we played against the Chiefs,” said Plumtree yesterday, “but at end of day, we lost and that’s disappointing.

“The players are really disappointed, they’ve lost three games in a row and we’re under pressure now. We can’t really afford to lose any more and we have to create that desperate edge that will drive us hard on the weekend.

“It’s tough times for all of us, but the players need to have the confidence to go out there and play on the weekend. That’s certainly been something we’ve talked about this week.”

Plumtree has resisted the temptation to field JP Pietersen at outside centre in place of Frans Steyn.

“We’ve had so many injury disruptions and I wanted to keep the midfield [Steyn and Meyer Bosman] together to have some continuity.”

He said that the improved form shown by Steyn against the Chiefs was also a consideration.

“He is starting to step up again,” the Sharks coach said of the Springbok.

Sharks team:15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Frans Steyn, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Pat Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Lubabalo Mtembu, 7. Marcell Coetzee, 6. Keegan Daniel (capt), 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Wiehanh Herbst.

Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. JC Janse van Rensburg, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Tian Meyer, 21. Piet Lindeque, 22. Odwa Ndungane Derick Minnie.

Kick-off: 9.35 am (SA time).

The Sharks XV: 15. Jaco van Tonder, 14. Kotaro Matsushima, 13. Marius Joubert (capt), 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Sizo Maseko, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Hanco Venter, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Peet Marais, 4. Jandre Marais, 3. Nicolaas van Dyk, 2. Monde Hadebe, 1. Robbie Harris.

Replacements: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Simon Kerrod, 18. Francois Kleinhans, 19. Khaya Majola, 20. Stefan Ungerer, 21. Tyler Fisher, 22. Gouws Prinsloo. The Sharks XV vs Lions (at King’s Park at 3 pm today)

Six Springboks to boost struggling Sharks sides

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