Springboks return timely as another Shark is injured

2011-10-11 00:00

THE return of the Springboks from the Rugby World Cup could not have come at a better time for the Sharks with centre Meyer Bosman now sidelined by injury for the rest of the Currie Cup.

Bosman, who had shown improved form in recent weeks, suffered a fractured eye socket in the weekend match against the Leopards, Sharks team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde told The Witness yesterday.

“He will undergo surgery and he is out for at least three weeks,” said Van der Linde.

The Sharks also lost fellow-centre Adi Jacobs to a hamstring strain on Saturday, but Van der Linde said he could be fit for the Currie Cup semi-final (against Free State) at the end of next week.

The good news from Van der Linde is that both number eight Ryan Kankowski and hooker Craig Burden will be “ready to go” against the Lions in Durban on Saturday night. Kankowski had pins removed from his fractured hand last week while Burden has made a rapid recovery from a groin injury.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said yesterday that “the players are dribbling back over the next few days with the last arriving on Wednesday [tomorrow].”

“It’s an unsettling time. These Boks have been through a lot mentally and they’ll be distraught about what happened [in the RWC quarter-finals]. Rugby is possibly the last thing on their minds. They might want to just escape so it is really about them coming back and wanting to play. That’s what is really important.”

Plumtree said that he was hoping that the Boks would help out the Sharks.

“We’ve had a difficult season with injuries and losing players, especially key individuals in the pack, it is going to be great to have some players back. But it’s all about their wellbeing, how they’re feeling mentally and physically.”

Plumtree said he needed a committed group of players.

“Knowing the characters of the group, they’ll be pretty keen to play. They’ve had a major disappointment, but maybe they can turn that disappointment into Currie Cup glory.”

Plumtree said that the Lions, in an unassailable position at the top of the log, had earned the right to rest key individual players on Saturday to avoid injuries ahead of the semi-finals a week later.

“They’ll do what they think is what is best for their group. We’ve been in that situation before and rested players who have been overplayed or are carrying injuries. It’s a very comfortable place to be, it’s like having a bye week ahead of a big game.

“This is a massive game for us. We’re playing against a side this weekend that has nothing to lose, that makes them dangerous. We’re focussing on what we need to do this week and obviously integrating the Boks is part of that focus.”

Saturday’s match kicks off at 7.10 pm.

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