Bulls: Bok warning to Sharks
Dewald Potgieter (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Blue Bulls believe it will be a challenge for a few of the Sharks' returning Springboks to quickly find their feet in the Currie Cup semi-final in Durban on Saturday.
It often occurs in rugby when the national players return to provincial level, they take time to gel together as a unit. The Bulls had the same issue against the Golden Lions last week when they trailed 16-6 early in the game before finding their feet. Luckily for them it was against a second-string Lions outfit and skipper Dewald Potgieter
believes the Sharks won't find a comeback that easy should they start poorly on Saturday.Patrick Lambie
and Marcell Coetzee
were the only returning Springboks who started against Griquas last week, and according to the Beeld website
, coach John Plumtree is expected to include Jannie du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira
, Lwazi Mvovo
and Willem Alberts
in his starting line-up for the first time since their return from national duty.
Together with Springboks Keegan Daniel
, JP Pietersen
, Odwa Ndungane
and Jean Deysel the Sharks have a classy line-up, but Plumtree also admitted earlier in the week how tough it can be to ease the returning players back into the playing pattern.
"It’s about finding a balancing act between breaking up the rhythm you already have and bringing great players back into your side, which the Springboks are," he told SAPA
And the men from Pretoria are banking on the Durbanites possibly struggling to find their feet.
"Last week it definitely took us time to find our feet and that should also be a challenge for the Sharks," Potgieter told Beeld
"But with this being a semi-final and due to them having a fair amount of quality players, they'll have to adapt quicker than what we did last week."
The Sharks are expected to name their side on Thursday, with the clash at Kings Park kicking off at 16:30 on Saturday.Teams:Sharks:
15 Zane Kirchner
, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht
, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson
, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak
, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter
(captain), 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger
, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Mornè Mellett
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle
, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Francois Hougaard
, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Dean Greyling