Double Bok blow for Sharks
Sun, 15 Jul 2012 14:27
You don't want to know what I said at half-time
The Sharks have been dealt a double blow ahead of their long haul to Brisbane and a Super Rugby play-off date with the Reds.
They face the defending champions in one of the two elimination matches scheduled for Saturday, with the Crusaders and Bulls going head-to-head in the other in Christchurch.
Sharks coach John Plumtree and his 24-man squad departed in Sunday without key Springbok playmaker Patrick Lambie.
Lambie and Baby Bok Pieter-Steph du Toit both suffered recurring ankle injuries in their team's 34-15 victory over the Cheetahs at the weekend.
They have been ruled out of the trip to Australia.
Plumtree also revealed that the Sharks failed in their bid to get special dispensation for World Cup-winning Bok utility back Frans Steyn.
The powerful midfielder, Steyn, does not meet the SANZAR requirements to play in the play-offs - after missing the April deadline for players to be registered.
He only joined the Sharks in July and only featured for them in the last three rounds.
Despite their please to SANZAR, they will have to make do without the Bok stalwart.
Plumtree admitted the team struggled to get going against the Cheetahs because they were "nervous" - which saw the visitors race into a 15-6 half-time lead, before a second-half rally saw the Sharks race clear and book their spot in the play-offs.
"It was quite stressful for all of us," Plumtree said.
"I thought everyone was nervous.
"Our line-out didn't function, we got free-kicked early for early engagement at the scrum.
"So it was five or six set-pieces that failed in the first 30 minutes and of course we didn't get any territory after that.
"They were dominating the advantage line at the breakdown because of our lack of getting across that line, so those were the things we had to fix at half-time."
Plumtree said a few choice words at the beak and the introduction of key players like Willem Alberts and Bismarck du Plessis did the trick on a second half that saw the Durban-based franchise score 28 unanswered points.
"You don't want to know what I said at half-time," the Sharks boss said.
"They were having a field day against us, our discipline failed because we were under pressure and they kept kicking points.
"It was just a case of turning all that around - and we did."
With only 24 players allowed to travel, the Sharks touring squad will comprise 13 forwards and 11 backs.
Sharks squad: Willem Alberts, Meyer Bosman, Jacques Botes, Anton Bresler, Craig Burden, Marcell Coetzee, Keegan Daniel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Wiehan Herbst, Paul Jordaan, Ryan Kankowski, Louis Ludik, Jandre Marais, Charl McLeod, Frederic Michalak, Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, JP Pietersen, Cobus Reinach, Steven Sykes, Riaan Viljoen, Tim Whitehead.
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