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    Fit-again Boks boost Sharks

    2012-05-09 15:42
    Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree has welcomed the recent return to fitness of several key players as they prepare to tackle the Force at Kings Park on Saturday.

    Injuries during the first half of their campaign halted their charge, which led to some erratic results that have seen them win five and lose five, leaving them languishing at seventh spot on the overall log.

    “Hopefully those injuries we’ve had are now a thing of the past and we can move forward with a fit squad, and who knows, perhaps we’ll have the luxury of naming the same team for the first time in a long time,” Plumtree told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

    “With continuity in player personnel, those combinations get a little better and build, and some players don’t make the 22 which creates competition you want in training, so it’s definitely a positive.”

    The return of Springboks Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, Ryan Kankowski, Jean Deysel and Willem Alberts could not have come at a better time as they look to leap into a top six finish.

    Plumtree lauded the changes he made to last week’s starting line-up, suggesting that competition for places is bringing out the best in his players.

    “The contributions that everyone made last week were good, Beast coming back gave the pack that little bit of extra confidence, I thought Paul Jordaan played really nicely in the midfield and his partnership with Tim Whitehead can grow. JP Pietersen was back in what is probably his preferred position, although he did enjoy the midfield and Louis Ludik was solid at fullback.

    “That’s what you want to create: a situation where opportunities are taken, the pressure comes on them from the other players and hopefully if I do make changes again, that will be the same case, where everyone takes their opportunities.

    "We have five games coming up that are really crucial, we’re sort of into finals rugby already and if I can have a group of players that perform really well and we run with that group, then that’s really great," said Plumtree.

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