Sharks keep winning combination

Wed, 06 Mar 2013 11:24
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Sharks coach John Plumtree retained the combination that started their campaign with back-to-back Super Rugby wins over the Cheetahs and Stormers.

Sharks coach John Plumtree retained the combination that started their campaign with back-to-back Super Rugby wins over the Cheetahs and Stormers.

The 2012 beaten finalists head to Port Elizabeth this week to take on the tournament newcomers, the Southern Kings.

While there is a temptation to rotate, given the length of the competition, Plumtree admitted he prefers continuity at this stage.

"The 22 you see at the moment is pretty much what we''e got, apart from Riaan Viljoen and Marius Joubert," Plumtree said.

"The rest are all injured at the moment, so we're just hoping we can stay relatively injury free until those boys return."

His reference was to the lengthy injury list, which included Springbok forward trio Keegan Daniel, Bismarck du Plessis and Willem Alberts as well as veteran Butch James, Tim Whitehead and Dale Chadwick.

"We're only at round three, there are two more games after the Kings before we have a bye and we'll then have an opportunity to freshen everyone up which will be good," told the Sharks website.

Plumtree said his team will look to produce a more expansive game against the Kings, following the dour arm-wrestle in Durban last week that produced a 12-6 win over the Stormers.

"Hopefully we'll get better, players will make good decisions and we'll maintain ball for long periods of time," Plumtree said.

"That will give guys like JP Pietersen, Lwazi Mvovo and the rest of our backs more ball, more fast ball.

"That's certainly what Pat Lambie wants, because it's obviously not ideal for him to get slow ball, it makes it pretty hard to run off, we just have to make sure we will get better."

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Francois Steyn (captain), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Odwa Ndungane.

Date: Saturday, March 9
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwessen

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26