Untimely disruption for Sharks if Du Plessis found guilty of headbutt

2010-04-07 00:00

SHARKS head coach John Plumtree may again have to revamp his front-row after tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis was yesterday cited for a headbutt during Saturday’s narrow 30-28 Super win over the Queensland Reds.

Du Plessis will appear before a Sanzar judicial officer at the Free State Rugby Union offices in Bloemfontein at 10 am tomorrow after being cited for dangerous play.

Du Plessis is alleged to have struck Reds hooker Sean Hardman with the head at a breakdown and he was also cited for entering a ruck in a dangerous manner.

The loss of Du Plessis, if he is found guilty and suspended, would be an untimely disruption for the Sharks. They have been scrumming impressively since captain John Smit switched from tighthead to loosehead and packed down with the Du Plessis brothers, hooker Bismarck and Jannie, in the front-row.

The Sharks have a bye this weekend, but face the Lions at Ellis Park the following Saturday and Smit may again have to be shifted back to the tighthead if Jannie du Plessis is suspended.

The Sharks have obvious cover at loosehead in Springbok Beast Mtawarira.

Bok number eight Ryan Kankowski will also be out for over a month with a broken thumb.

Sharks team doctor Craig Roberts told The Witness yesterday that Kankowski had undergone surgery on Monday and his thumb was pinned.

“We think he will be out for four to six weeks and could be back for the last game or two in the Super 14 if the thumb mends quickly.”

He had good news on the other Sharks’ injuries. Flank Keegan Daniel, who has been sidelined for the last few weeks with a pinched nerve in his shoulder, is recovering well.

“We expect him to be available for the Lions game and Johann Muller is having the pin removed from his broken finger on Monday.

“We will have a brace made for the finger and he should also be ready for Ellis Park.”

Lock Alistair Hargreaves, who limped off during the Reds’ game, suffered bad bruising and he will be ready after the week’s break, as will Smit who left the field with a slight shoulder strain.

Former Lions fullback and wing Louis Ludik is continuing with his rehabilitation, said Roberts, and is building up the strength in his knee after surgery. It now seems unlikely that he will play before the Currie Cup season.

The Sharks had a double training session yesterday and on Monday, but have now been given the rest of the week off after eight matches on successive weekends.


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