Bok call-ups hurting Sharks

2012-08-31 12:54

Johannesburg - Assistant Sharks coach Grant Bashford believes the Free State Cheetahs are reaping the rewards of not having too many players in the Springbok set-up ahead of their Currie Cup clash in Durban on Saturday.

The men from Bloemfontein have just two selected compared to the eight named from the Durban-based union in national coach Heyneke Meyer’s latest rugby squad, a factor that could prove key in the top-of-the-table clash at Kings Park.

"They’re not really affected by Super Rugby players going to the Boks," Bashford said ahead of their meeting.

"So there’s a lot of continuity within their group and that does give them a bit of an advantage.

"But in saying that, we always knew this was likely to happen from the start of the year."

The two Cheetahs’ absentees are hooker Adriaan Strauss and rookie flyhalf Johan Goosen, who only just returned from injury, while the Sharks have a large chunk of their forwards out of the game.

However, they have welcomed back one of their Springboks, regular captain Keegan Daniel after Meyer omitted him from the squad.

His return, one of two made by coach John Plumtree with the other seeing Meyer Bosman come back from injury, could be vital as the Sharks try to bounce back from a first loss of the season last week.

Their inexperienced side went down 42-31 to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria, following victories over Western Province and the Lions to start their campaign.

"We thought we played okay for most of that game," Bashford said.

"We do have a young group, so there’s quite a bit of inexperience there, but the guys have still come through quite nicely."

Naka Drotske’s Cheetahs side began the competition with a loss to the Lions, but bounced back admirably with wins over the Bulls and Griquas.

"They’re a confidence team and have come back really nicely after starting the competition with defeat. They do all the basics well and are performing well at the moment."

With Goosen away, Drotske has included Sias Ebersohn at number 10, with Nico Scheepers and prop Schalk van der Merwe drafted in as part of three changes for the Free Staters.

Elsewhere on Saturday, another big clash is looming in Cape Town where the Bulls play Province.

The hosts have struggled this season with just a solitary win from their opening three games and coach Alistair Coetzee, whose side has been hit hard by injuries and national call-ups, does not expect things to get any easier.

"It is always a big blow to have these quality players being called-up," said Coetzee.

"But we have to prepare with or without them and the Bulls will pose another tough test for us. We will have to be prepared."

Province have had to make seven changes to their team, while the big talking point in Pretoria has been the debut of JJ Engelbrecht against his former employers at Newlands.


  • jeanpaul.boje - 2012-08-31 13:03

    But...How many Freestaters are there in the Sharks' side?

      charlietlo - 2012-08-31 13:14

      Cheetahs is Sharks' breeding ground

      denese.newby - 2012-08-31 13:17

      You mean in th Bok side!!!!!

      TravieGrif - 2012-08-31 13:52

      Thanks Cheetahs. Keep up the good work! I still think that you should have kept Meyer Bosman but generally I am happy with the standard of player that you are producing for us to purchase. He he he

      BoyvandieSuburbs - 2012-08-31 13:59

      Do you work in the province you were born in? And if you do, and you want to leave, do you think you should be allowed?

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-08-31 14:13

      Sharks are starting early this week... Game is not even been played yet....

      jeanpaul.boje - 2012-08-31 14:15

      Boyvandie Suburbs, fair comment. However if you buy international quality players from other provinces, you should not moan if they get selected to play international rugby...

      alfred.neuman.988 - 2012-08-31 14:27

      It's not our fault that every Freestate boy dreams of one day playing for the Sharks. Seriously though the Sharks do have an accademy for producing their own talent and just like every other province we lose many of our players not only to local franchises but to overseas teams as well.

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-08-31 14:47

      I would have said, 'Sharks callups hurting Boks' :)

  • wilhelm.greeff.5 - 2012-08-31 13:20

    What about Coenie & Brussouw being injured (Springboks) and what about WP Nel & Johnson leaving for Europe - pretty much a whole different pack than what played super rugby...

      courtney.bam - 2012-08-31 13:28

      Well said mate

      TravieGrif - 2012-08-31 14:16

      How does 4 out of 8 equal "pretty much a whole different pack"? Correct me where I am wrong, but is that not a little shy of half? Sharks have lost a front row plus a hooker, four loose forwards, (that would be eight forwards) a flyhalf, centre and two wings. I think that Bashford is allowed to say that they are hurting with the personnel changes.

      wilhelm.greeff.5 - 2012-08-31 15:01

      @TravieGrif - I never mentioned anything about the backline. Oh and if you count Strauss it's 5 out of 8, and if you really want to be technical Justin Downey going back to Griquas makes it 6 out of 8...

  • BoyvandieSuburbs - 2012-08-31 13:56

    What really pees me off is that Pat Lambie is being hogged by Meyer, to sit on the bench for 80 minutes each Saturday. I'd rather have him playing for the Sharks!

  • ruan.lacock - 2012-09-01 12:28

    SHARKS 4EVA !!

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