Sharks to rest Springbok trio
Durban - The Sharks' Springbok trio of Cobus
Reinach, Marcell Coetzee and Pat Lambie are all expected to be rested for this
weekend's Super Rugby showdown with the Force in line with the agreement with SA
Rugby over player management.
The three have earned the break after
influential performances during the competition, and the good news that Frans
Steyn was cleared to play means he may well take over the flyhalf position from
Lambie, although the coaches may not want to break up his midfield partnership
with JP Pietersen.
If the pair remain at 12 and 13
respectively, either Fred Zeilinga or Lionel Cronje will step into the No 10
jersey after solid performances for the Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup.
“It’s a huge boost that we will have Frans
available, it provides massive stability to the team, especially due to the
changes we will have with the resting of the Springboks,” assistant coach Paul
Anthony told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.
“We have to rest Cobus, Marcell and Pat, we
have to work in the greater picture of the national team. They allowed us to
play them last weekend, so it’s our turn to reciprocate in a sense.”
The loss of Lambie is a big one considering
his contribution - both as a player and leader who took over the captaincy on
“Effectively, the two-week break will be
good for him. He’s taking his rest week now which he thoroughly deserves
because he’s been magnificent for us. We will miss him but we know the guys
coming in will add value.”
There is an energetic feel about the team
after two wins, two invaluable victories that came at just the right time.
“Going into that Cheetahs match, we put a
mark on that game as the one where we really wanted to turn the ship around,”
he explained. “We knew it would take massive character to do that, and we managed
to come away with the win. We just want to keep evolving every week and really
put in a massive effort over the next three weeks, and obviously targeting this
Saturday to deliver a massive game.
“With that character display behind us, if
we can keep our discipline and mould that into a 15-man onslaught, that would
be great. We really want to have a crack at it, but we know the Force will be
hurting and just itching to come back after last weekend’s last-minute loss to
the Bulls, so we will have to be mentally and physical prepared.”
Talking mentally prepared, he said the team
had already accepted that they would be without their Springboks at various
times of the season. And now that time is here. Despite losing the rested
Springboks, the team is ready for the challenge - without them.
“We’ve prepared adequately because we knew
they would have to be rested. We always had a rotation policy, so we were going
to rest them anyway. Everyone in the squad is part of the package and they know
they are all going to get a chance to play. We’ve planned for this, we’re
ready. And we will be prepared for it in the future, because it’s going to
Saturday’s clash against the Force at Kings
Park kicks off at 17:05.