Michalak boost for Sharks

2011-10-24 23:31

John Bishop

Durban - French flyhalf Frederic Michalak, who left the field during the weekend play-off match against the Free State Cheetahs, will be fit for Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Golden Lions. However, centre Marius Joubert is doubtful.

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Sharks team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde told The Witness on Monday that Michalak suffered bruising to his thigh after colliding with team-mate Stefan Terblanche in the opening minutes.

“But he has recovered well and he will definitely be ready for the final,” Van der Linde said.

The doctor said Joubert is suffering from a groin problem.

“We’ll make a call on him later in the week, but I would say he has a 50/50 chance of playing.”

Van der Linde said all the players who were nursing injuries last week, wing Lwazi Mvovo, Adi Jacobs and Jean Deysel, had all come through the Free State game without any problems.

“Apart from the injury to Joubert we came through a very physical game well.”

Jacobs could take over at inside centre if Joubert is sidelined, although coach John Plumtree also has the option of switching Pat Lambie from fullback to the midfield and including Mvovo on the wing with Odwa Ndungane at fullback.

Springbok lock Alistair Hargreaves, who has been nursing a back strain, could challenge for a place this weekend.

Plumtree is unlikely to tamper with his pack, but Hargreaves could provide lineout cover off the bench.

The South African Rugby Union announced On Monday that the experienced Mark Lawrence will referee his second Currie Cup final on Saturday.

The 46-year-old Lawrence recently announced his retirement from international rugby. He was in charge of the Currie Cup final in 2007 and the Super 14 final in 2008.

Said André Watson, general manager of the South African Rugby Referees’ Association, “Mark has consistently been one of the best referees in South Africa, if not the world, and his appointment to the Currie Cup final is just reward for his superb performances not only this season, but throughout his career.

“The decision has not been easy as we are blessed with some very good referees who are capable of refereeing finals.

The performances of Marius Jonker and Jaco Peyper in the semi-finals are testimony to this,” Watson added.

Lawrence will be assisted by Stefan Breytenbach and Christi du Preez, with Marius Jonker as reserve referee.

Johan Meuwesen has been appointed television match official.

The Currie Cup final will kick off at 17:30 and not 17:00 as previously announced. It is scheduled for Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

The main curtain-raiser will be the U21 final between the Blue Bulls and Sharks at 14:30.

The Witness

  • Denése - 2011-10-24 23:43

    Go Sharks and U 21's. Wouldn't be awesome to have a double victory on the day. However we can't be greedy so I at least hope the "Big" Sharks can make it.All the best Sharks!!!

      John - 2011-10-25 09:25

      not possible Lions all the way.

  • Kevin - 2011-10-25 06:04

    Sharks , teach them a lesson they will take another 10 years to remember.

  • jos.pike - 2011-10-25 06:52

    Oh Dear...Lawrence to ref final....Not happy. One has affected a knock out game in RWC, hope the same does not happen in CC final!

      Paul - 2011-10-25 10:10

      its a different Lawrence jos.

  • Sbuda - 2011-10-25 08:32

    Honestly, Marius Joubert is no loss. It's actually a blessing in disguise

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-25 13:29

      @Sbuda – I agree with you. Marius Joubert needs to be reintroduced to the rulebook. As a former Springbok you don’t expect him to give away the silly penalties he’s been gifting in the last few days. As for Michilak, the Sharks game turned around on Saturday immediately after he went off and the same happened in the Lions game. Makes you wonder if Stefan didn’t take him out on purpose! :)

  • Douglas - 2011-10-25 12:07

    There is actually on one thing to say here: " Go for it Lions & make us all proud!" " GO LIONS!!!!! "

      Kevin - 2011-10-25 14:00

      Hey last you have something to cheer and the other three loyal Lions supporters!!!! Lions have the most fickle support base out of all unions...but anyway good luck and enjoy the moment.We're extremely hungry great whites...GO SHAAAAARRRKKKSS!!!!

  • Grant - 2011-10-25 12:28

    Dont think having Michalack available is a boost. Not for finals rugby in any event. Notwithstanding I think the odds are heavily stacked against the lions, but who knows. If they manage to get their fair share of ball against the Natal heavyweights their in with a shout. Go Lions. You've already made us proud.

      Niki - 2011-10-26 23:11

      Michalak has a sponsor's logo tattooed in a place where no sponsor could legally require him to display it in public, so you can't accuse him of lack of courage. Thank heavens it is MARK Lawrence refereeing: Had it been Bryce, we'd have sent him to Michalak's tattooist to have the insignia of both teams inscribed surgically.

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