Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town – The touring Sharks have received a lift with the
news that injured lock Steven Sykes has been cleared by a specialist and flies
out to Sydney on Monday to join up with his squad-mates.
Sykes stayed behind when the party left on Sunday, for a
four-match Super Rugby itinerary in Australasia, starting with a fixture against
the Waratahs on Saturday.
One of their most senior second-rowers, he left the field on
the buggy in the 28th minute of the 27-22 victory over the Reds in
Durban at the weekend, but the meniscus injury to a knee has been found to be
In further good news for the Sharks, who have now won two
matches on the trot after losing their first two, their official website has
reported that Jannie du Plessis has also recovered from a calf strain and ought
to be in the mix against the Waratahs, who were upset at home by the Force on
The seasoned Springbok being fit is particularly encouraging
because the other tighthead in their ranks, Wiehahn Herbst, who picked up a
mild knee ligament injury – it forced uncontested scrums toward the end of the
Reds game – may only be ready for the meeting with Jake White’s Brumbies a week
JP Pietersen, the Bok wing who has been finding his feet
quite nicely in midfield this season but pulled up with a quad strain in the
warm-ups ahead of the fixture against the Reds, is also expected to be ready
for combat when the Sharks move on to Canberra.
Their remaining tour matches are against the Hurricanes and
Blues in New Zealand.