Boks beef up Sharks pack

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:02
Large tendaimtawarira Large willemalbertssharkstraining Large craigburdensharkstraining

Sharks coach John Plumtree has named a Springbok-laden starting XV for Saturday’s Currie Cup Final against Western Province.

Sharks coach John Plumtree has named a Springbok-laden starting XV for Saturday’s Currie Cup Final against Western Province.

After making minimal changes to his run-on team over the past fortnight, Plumtree has opted to reintroduce a number of Springboks in the pack.

Up front, Tendai Mtawarira and fellow Springbok Craig Burden join Jannie du Plessis, with Wiehahn Herbst and Kyle Cooper providing front row cover on the bench.

Steven Sykes partners Anton Bresler in the second row, while Willem Alberts rotates with Jean Deysel at flank.

The backline remains unchanged, with fit-again Odwa Ndungane coming on to the bench.

“The squad is all together now, we have been for a couple weeks, so there were fewer selection headaches for me,” Plumtree said in naming his side.

“We do feel for the players that are left out, that makes it hard on those who went through the whole campaign. And might not be involved.”

Plumtree also dismissed Western Province’s claims that the Sharks are favourites to win the title at home.

"It's a way of deflecting pressure away from themselves for them to call us the favourites,” he said.  

“They’ll have their own expectations and they will be coming here to win, I am not buying into that.

“They are good enough to be here at this point, we respect that and we will go full out at them and they will be doing the same with us.”

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Odwa Ndungane.

Date: Saturday, October 27
Venue:  Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Christie du Preez, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Johann Meuwesen

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8