Sharks 'spoilt' for choice

    2012-02-11 13:54

    Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree says Friday night's victory over Boland has created further selection problems, with a host of players staking their claims for a starting berth ahead of the new season.

    The Durban franchise ran in 10 tries to trounce the visitors 62-0 at Kings Park in their first pre-season match of the campaign.

    "These are the problems [selection choices] we wanted and ones we asked for from the players," Plumtree said.

    "If we all had to pick a Sharks backline right now, everyone would pick a different one, I'm sure.

    "That's the benefit of all those boys working really hard and you need that depth because players are going to get injured."

    Marcell Coetzee and Lubabalo Mtembu scored braces, adding to tries from Riaan Viljoen, Bismarck du Plessis, JP Pietersen, Sibusiso Sithole, Lwazi Mvovo and Paul Jordaan.

    "Obviously Boland ran out of legs and were tired towards the end there," Plumtree said.

    "It was a very fast game the first 25-30 minutes. They went through a lot of tackling, so the second half was a lot easier.

    "I was happy with the performance, there was some good stuff there."

    There were impressive showings all round for the hosts, more noticeably in the backline where new signings Viljoen and Tim Whitehead excelled, along with the likes of Frederic Michalak, Mvovo and Pietersen.

    Springbok winger Pietersen, who played in midfield during an internal trials match last week, where he had impressed, again produced a solid performance, this time at outside centre.

    "JP looked good there, but so did most of the other centres," the Sharks boss said.

    "It's one of those tricky ones where we're going to have to sit down and decide whether we want to keep going with it.

    "We'll have to have a chat with JP, but it's a tough one.

    "I think putting JP into midfield will give us that X-factor out wide as well, so we'll see."

    The Sharks start their Super Rugby campaign against the Bulls in Pretoria on February 24.

    "It's going to be quite close this year," Plumtree said.

    "I don't think there's a stand-out South African side and it's going to be fairly difficult to pick who goes through.

    "All the teams are going to be competitive in our conference and our derby games."

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