Stormers friendly: Sharks forced to name new captain and untested pair of locks

2011-02-04 00:00

SHARKS coach John Plumtree has been forced to name a new captain and an untested pair of locks for the Tri-Series friendly against the Stormers at Newlands tomorrow evening.

Captain and hooker John Smit, who played for 80 minutes against the Lions on Tuesday, is joining the Stormers’ Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers in flying back to Durban for Butch James’s wedding tomorrow. And locks Alistair Hargreaves (back) and Ross Skeate (broken finger), along with fullback Louis Ludik (badly bruised thigh), all injured against the Lions, are also unavailable.

In the starting line-up named late last night, Stefan Terblanche takes over the captaincy and, with Springbok Bismarck du Plessis nursing a minor shoulder injury, Craig Burden replaces Smit at hooker.

Gerhard Mostert and Anton Bressler will form a new lock pairing in place of Hargreaves and Skeate, who should both be back in action in two to three weeks.

Plumtree has opted against shifting flyhalf Pat Lambie back to fullback to replace the injured Ludik and has instead moved wing Odwa Ndungane to the last line of defence. Springboks Lwazi Mvovo and JP Pietersen will be on the wings.

Assistant coach Grant Bashford told The Witness that the Sharks’ worst fears were realised in the Lions match with two injuries [to Hargreaves and Skeate] in the same area.

“We were rusty, we made too many errors and the players were not tuned in on the night, but those are problems which can be fixed.

“But there is nothing you can do about injuries. We have depth and talent, but when three locks suddenly go missing [Steve Sykes did not make the Cape Town trip because of a leg injury], you are going to be exposed.”

Bashford said the 41-10 defeat by the Lions was a shake-up for the players “and it had been a typical first outing.”

“I think we played very much as the Lions did when they lost to the Stormers in their first match. We now have to do what the Lions did and show the same improvement on Saturday.”

The match kicks off at 5 pm and will be televised. A cr­owd of over 30 000 is expected and the Stormers’ supporters will be hoping their team avenge the 30-10 mauling by the Sharks in the Currie Cup final.

Sharks starting line-up: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Stefan Terblanche (c), 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Gerhard Mostert, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Beast Mtawarira.

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