Currie Cup

Sharks show desire to rotate

2014-08-22 22:35
Matt Stevens (Gallo Images)
Durban - The Cell C Sharks team selection for Saturday’s Currie Cup clash with the Free State Cheetahs at Kings Park was based on what was enforced as well as the desire to rotate.

"“We thought it was a good time to give Dale Chadwick and Matt Stevens a go," explained coach Brad Macleod-Henderson to Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

"Both came on against Griquas and did really well, Matt did really well against the Pumas so it’s nice to give him a start."

In other rotational changes, Monde Hadebe is replaced by Franco Marais on the bench.

"Monde swaps with Franco who is on the bench for the next two weeks. And Kyle Cooper is a fantastic hooker, he sat on the bench a lot in Super Rugby, now is his chance to start.

"He’s playing really nicely, he’s working hard and we’re fortunate to have two quality back-up hookers; we’re just trying to rotate time between the two of them."

Stephan Lewies is back after missing last week’s game, although a final call will only be made later today on whether he will play.

He has been bracketed on the bench together with Under 21 player Johan Meyer.

"Stephan hasn’t trained for the last 10 days, but he got through Thursday’s training fine, so a final decision on him will be made today," the coach confirmed.

Aside from the changes in the pack, the backline remains intact which is good for continuity.

"It’s always a balancing act between giving guys opportunities and keeping continuity in the side.

"It’s great to keep the same backline, they did very nicely on the weekend and I’m sure they’re looking forward to the game on Saturday."

Assessing the team’s progress so far, Macleod-Henderson declared himself content with the way things are going.

"It’s the third week of the competition and of us being together as a team together.

"I was happy with our performance last week, it was better than the first week and if we can improve on last week’s performance this Saturday, we’ll be very happy.

"If we keep on that trajectory, the sky is the limit.

"We know it’s going to be a tough game, we’ve had a nice week’s training and we’re looking forward to it."

One interesting aside is bringing the element of fun into their working week.

Not at the expensive of hard work, but as a product of it, and the reward hard work brings.

"The guys are working really hard, and if you work hard and you’re enjoying what you do and you’re successful, you will have fun.

"We’re working hard, enjoying our time when training and so far we’ve been successful.

"So we’re enjoying it."

Something else is a need for the players to express themselves on attack.

"When we met before the Griquas game, we sat down and chatted about how we were going to play and how we wanted to play.

"This team is different to the Super Rugby team we had and we are trying to play towards our team’s strengths.

"We don’t want to put shackles on the guys, if there are opportunities, we want them to be able to take them, and recognise those opportunities."

Looking ahead to the Free State side, cutting out their opposition’s attacking threats is going to be vital to their success.

"Sarel Pretorius is a world class scrumhalf.

"He’s very quick, looks to break, so we’ll have to make sure we keep an eye on him.

"There is a lot of continuity amongst their backs, most have played Super Rugby and did this year, so we’ll need to make sure we have them covered.

"Upfront, they have a good maul, they back themselves there so we’ll need to make sure that we cover that area too."


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