Currie Cup

Sharks brace for 'well-drilled' Bulls despite Johan Goosen's absence

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Johan Goosen on the charge against Griquas. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
Johan Goosen on the charge against Griquas. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

The Sharks are preparing to face a well-drilled Bulls team despite missing their Springbok flyhalf sensation Johan Goosen for the Currie Cup final this weekend.

Goosen tested positive for Covid-19, ruling him out of Saturday's final rematch, meaning Chris Smith will likely assume the No 10 jumper for Jake White's men.

Sharks head coach Sean Everitt said Goosen was a significant loss for his adversaries, but that was no indication they would let up despite missing one of their best squad additions since White took over in Pretoria last year.

READ | Sharks unshaken by return trip to fortress Loftus for Currie Cup final - coach Sean Everitt

"It will be a big loss for them. He was probably their best player," said Everitt.

"Jake rightly said he's one of the best in the world in his position. In saying that, they are a well-drilled unit and they've performed well when Chris Smith has played flyhalf as well.

"He (Smith) is an accomplished player at Currie Cup level and he's had enough exposure and experience in the Rainbow Cup and the Currie Cup to be able to do the job for them.

"They are a very good team with good loose-forwards, so it doesn't only [revolve] around one guy. We don't look at the Bulls as being without Goosen or with Goosen.

"We just know they are well-drilled, and we have to stop them."

Everitt also cautioned his team against ill discipline come Saturday's 17:00 kick-off at Loftus Versfeld.

The Sharks lost a close contest 26-19 in the 99th minute during the 2020-21 Currie Cup final in January in which three Morne Steyn penalties, a Smith drop-goal and an extra-time Arno Botha try buried the visitors.

"If you look at the last few games and pretty much the whole Currie Cup, our discipline has improved," Everitt said.

"In the semi-final (against Griquas), we gave away six or seven penalties in the first half, which put us under pressure, and we couldn't build scoreboard pressure as a result.

"So, yes, discipline will be very important. In the last Currie Cup final, we gave away a couple of early penalties, and Morne (Steyn) kicked them over from the halfway line to go 6-0 up.

"We mustn't underestimate scoreboard pressure; it does have an influence on how you play thereafter."



15 David Kriel, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Janko Swanepoel, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Joe van Zyl, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp

Substitutes: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Ruan Combrinck/David Coetzer, 23 Stravino Jacobs


15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wener Kok, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona 

Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Reniel Hugo, 21 Lucky Dlepu, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Anthony Volmink

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