Currie Cup

Bok-less Sharks still confident

2013-08-28 20:00
Sean Everitt and Brad Macleod-Henderson (Gallo Images)
Durban - The coaches within the Sharks camp have a delicate balancing act in selecting a side between team continuity, players returning from injury, rewarding good play and rotation to maintain freshness and little adjustments are also possible.

According to the Sharks website editor, Michael Marnewick, Odwa Ndungane has trained this week after missing the Cheetahs match, as did SP Marais who left the field early in that match, but has recovered sufficiently.

The only other injury concern is in the forwards where Tera Mtembu has a slight groin problem and will be assessed through the week.

"We unfortunately have no Boks available for selection," explains Sharks forwards coach Brad Macleod-Henderson.

"We will leave SP at fullback and Odwa is back on the wing after performing so well at 15.

"SP gives us something at fullback and Odwa is comfortable on the wing where he has played the majority of his rugby.

"SP got injured early against Cheetahs so he has another chance and we want Odwa back in the team for his experience and his ability."

With the log as congested as it is and every team looking to take advantage of any slip-ups – hoping to avoid suffering a hiccup or two themselves – this Currie Cup is playing itself out as a real strength-versus-strength tournament.

The Sharks, currently in second spot on the log, but for them, it’s not about where they stand but rather what gets them there.

"We’re not focussing on the log, just on our performances," said Macleod-Henderson.

"If we get that right the results take care of themselves.

"This is obviously a big game and with the Bulls having slipped up they will want to right that result.

"We have some momentum and we want to continue with that."

At some stage the Sharks will want to admit that they are playing as complete a performance as the coaches could wish for.

"We are still growing as a team and are improving each week," admits Macleod-Henderson.

"Individually the players are also developing and that is most important.

"That is what we are worrying about rather than looking for the ultimate game which you probably will never achieve anyway but would obviously like to have"

Macleod-Henderson stated that although the Bulls brand of rugby is well-known, yet effective, the Sharks will still try to impose their own approach onto proceedings whilst adapting to their Pretoria-based counterparts.

"You have to look at what the opposition is doing and nullify their strengths but you also want to keep on focussing on what is going well for you and not stop doing it.

"But you have to bear in mind what the Bulls are strong at."




Blue Bulls:

15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Ulrich Beyers, 11 Akona Ndungane, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Morné Mellett

Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 David Bullbring, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tiaan Schoeman, 22 Clayton Blommetjies


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