Sharks team for Waratahs

May 26 • National, Super Rugby, Super Rugby News • 1499 Views • Comments Off on Sharks team for Waratahs

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Durban – The Sharks host the Waratahs at Kings Park in their final home game of the Vodacom Super Rugby pool stages, intent on putting in a strong performance to maintain their hopes of finishing in the Top 6.

According to Sharks website editor, Mike Marnewick, with both sides having injury issues, the coaches have underscored the value of depth in their respective squads. Missing Jannie du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Odwa Ndungane and Adrian Jacobs, the Sharks welcome back John Smit and Keegan Daniel to the fray, with coach John Plumtree naming Smit at loosehead alongside Bismarck du Plessis and Eugene van Staden who comes in for Jannie du Plessis.

The second row of Alistair Hargreaves and Steven Sykes remains intact with Sykes playing in his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby game for the Sharks.

Keegan Daniel will start at eighthman, giving Willem Alberts a break, the big loose-forward having started all 12 games to date. In other changes, scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann will also allow another player with a heavy workload, Charl McLeod, to get a break, having been named to start his first game. The loss of Ndungane means Lwazi Mvovo will wear the number 11 jersey this week.

The loss of Jannie du Plessis and the selection of John Smit to cover prop and hooker means Wiehahn Herbst has been brought into the mix to provide cover in the front row, while Riaan Swanepoel and Jacques-Louis Potgieter add depth to the backline off the bench.

The Sharks coach, in acknowledging the injury situation in his own camp, adds that the Waratahs are in a similar position. “They’ve had some injury problems too; they’ve lost Wycliff Palu and Phil Waugh, as well as one or two backs, including Drew Mitchell. They’ve lost some senior players, so it’s been a bit of a difficult season for them.”

The Waratahs, along with the Bulls, Sharks and Highlanders are all hovering in and around the top six places on the log and in the final four weeks will be keeping a close watch on each other. The Waratahs have a pretty good challenge here and in Pretoria (they play the Bulls next week) and the Highlanders have a few derby games still, so it won’t be easy for any of these four teams. That makes it interesting I guess.”

Looking ahead to the Waratahs next two matches and how a negative outcome could affect their chances of making the play-offs, Plumtree explains, “If we do the job this weekend and the Waratahs lose to the Bulls, that puts them out. That’s the great thing about his competition, four games out and everyone’s talking about finals, that’s great for everyone… except the coaches I guess.”

Sharks:
15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Stefan Terblanche, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Conrad Hoffmann, 8. Keegan Daniel, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Eugene van Staden, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. John Smit (captain)

Substitutes: 16. Tendai Mtawarira, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Gerhard Mostert, 19. Willem Alberts, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. Riaan Swanepoel

 

(Sport24)

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