Vodacom Super 14

Sharks focus on law changes

2010-01-25 22:30
John Smit and Bismarck du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Christo Buchner

Johannesburg – Sharks coach John Plumtree will not concern himself with the scoreboard when his side takes on the Western Force at Newlands on Tuesday.

He is more concerned with the performance of the combinations he is experimenting with. His focus in Tuesday’s game, as well as Friday’s against the Stormers, is on smooth implementation of the law changes.

“It is the law at the breakdown, in particular, that can have a major influence on the role of fetching flanks and how effective they are. The referees are going to give fewer rights to the tackler and limit his influence at the breakdown,” said Plumtree.
“In the past the possession was often slowed by the tackler. Hopefully there will now be better flow and the ball will be available quicker. Besides that, it will also test defences better.”

Plumtree added that the new scrum law would hopefully lead to fewer re-sets and less time wasting.

“Referees will also be stricter with tactical kicking. The kick-and-chase tactic has become an important attacking weapon, but the chaser is often off-side in an attempt to stop counter-attacking.

“We’ll have to play smartly when the guys chase the ball and ensure that we listen to the referee’s instruction after kicking.”

Both the Sharks’ Springbok hookers – John Smit and Bismarck du Plessis – will get game time off the substitute’s bench. The same applies to former Lions loose forward Willem Alberts.

The Sharks’ starting line-up:
Stefan Terblanche (captain), Luzuko Vulindlu, Waylon Murray, Riaan Swanepoel, Lwazi Mvovo, Monty Dumond, Rory Kockott, Ryan Kankowski, Jean Deysel, Keegan Daniel, Steven Sykes, Alistair Hargreaves, Jannie du Plessis, Craig Burden, Beast Mtawarira.


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