White looks for depth

2014-03-29 00:00

WHEN taking on the Waratahs later today, the Sharks will look to release all of their pent-up frustrations after losing to the Bulls in a close game last week.

This was Sharks coach Jake White’s view of how important bouncing back and getting a result against the Sydneysiders was this afternoon.

The Sharks’ depth will once again come under the spotlight when they take on the Waratahs at King’s Park this afternoon.

One area of particular concern for Sharks coach Jake White is at lock where he has lost both of his first-choice second rowers in Pieter-Steph du Toit and Anton Bresler to injury so far this season.

When they run on to the field today against the Waratahs, flanker Willem Alberts will be in the number four jersey and will be squaring up against Springbok Jacques Potgieter.

At 1,92 metres and 120 kilograms, the big hitting Alberts will be the enforcer in a Sharks pack who have so far done well during their current campaign.

But with the Sharks’ numbers in the second row depleted following the loss of Du Toit and Bresler — for two months — White admitted he was looking at drafting in a player from outside ahead of the tour down under.

“I am [thinking of bring in another lock]. I should know by the end of this week. By all things equal, I’ve got some guy in mind and we’ll announce it next week. I haven’t got it official yet, but as soon as I get it over the line, I’ll let you guys [media] know,” White said.

“It is a position that we need to look at. Not taking anything from the guys who are in there, but if we get one or two more bumps, we don’t want to be short in terms of man power,” he said.

For White, this was a week where they could go all out against the men from Sydney, as they looked to bounce back after losing last week against the Bulls in Pretoria.

“We’ve got a week off [next week], so we can really give it a full go this week. We’ve got nothing to lose in the terms of the fact that we leave nothing out there. We let ourselves down last week.

“It happens in a tournament. It’s highly unlikely teams go through a tournament unbeaten. I’m not making excuses, but losing Pat so early on and then losing Cobus with a broken hand doesn’t help you. We’re back at home, in front of our crowd.

“We want to try to create a culture that when we lose, we make sure that the next team obviously get all the pent up frustrations that we’ve taken out of that loss,” White said.

Making his first appearance this season will be the Sharks’ former skipper Keegan Daniel, who has not played this season as he has been recovering from a shoulder injury.

However, the Sharks announced some sad news yesterday about Daniel, who led to victory in last year’s Currie Cup campaign, revealing that he would be leaving the franchise at the end of the Super Rugby season.

Quoted in the Sharks’ website, the 29-year-old Old Dalian, capped five times at Test level, said, “I am eternally grateful to the Sharks for what they have done for my career. I have been at the union for years, experiencing many highs, and have had the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and have built lasting friendships along the way.”

He added that he was sad to be leaving the union and would always respect what the Sharks jersey stood for.

“It was an honour to captain the team for a couple of seasons and I have enjoyed every single moment of my time here,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to contributing to the team’s aspirations of lifting the Super Rugby crown this year.

Today’s game will kick off at 5.05 pm and will be officiated by New Zealander Mike Fraser.


Sharks: 15. Lwazi Mvovo, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Willem Alberts, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse,

19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Keegan Daniel, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Heimar Williams, 23. SP Marais.

Waratahs: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Rob Horne, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu,

7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (captain), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Jacques Potgie­ter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.


Blues vs Highlanders, Auckland at 8.35 am

Reds vs Stormers, Brisbane at 10.40 am

Bulls vs Chiefs, Pretoria at 3 pm

Sharks vs Waratahs, Durban at 5.05 pm

Yesterday’s results

In Melbourne: Rebels 32, Brumbies 24

In Christchurch: Crusaders 26, Hurricanes 29.

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