Another Sharks Bok breaks down
The Sharks will be sweating over the fitness of veteran Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis, but coach John Plumtree feels their pride is hurting more.
The Sharks will be sweating over the fitness of veteran Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis, but coach John Plumtree feels their pride is hurting more than their bodies.
Du Plessis is in danger of joining brother Bismarck on the sideline with a knee injury, with Plumtree confirming the 30-year-old prop will have a scan on his knee on Monday.
While the result of the scan is unlikely to be available before Tuesday, it is expected the 42-Test Bok will be unavailable for the Sharks' encounter with the Rebels in Durban on Saturday.
Wiehahn Herbst, who came on for Du Plessis at half-time in the 10-29 loss to the Brumbies last Saturday, looks set to start at tighthead.
Plumtree hinted there may be other changes, following a performance he described as "embarrassing".
"There is a fair bit of ice floating around, but I think the pride is what is really hurting," the coach said on the Sharks' website.
In the second half, Plumtree introduced some of the young guns and said he was very pleased with their efforts.
"I thought the young guys played well," the Sharks mentor said, adding: "Kyle Cooper, Wiehahn Herbst and Pieter-Steph du Toit all put their hands up, good for them."
But for now, the hurt and pain has to be put aside to plot their next contest.
Their reaction to this loss is paramount said the coach.
"All we're talking about is how we're going to respond. The media and fans will get into us and rightly so, but it's how we respond, that's key. We have a week from the game to turn it around and that's what we need to focus on."
The Sharks, missing the likes of senior players like Bismarck du Plessis, Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel, are still under-strength and will look forward to their return.
"They are obviously very important to us," admitted Plumtree.
"They are big players particularly in the forwards, then there also guys like Tim Whitehead and Butch James - both good players - in the backs that we're missing. But we can't look in that direction, we need to cope with the players who are fit and everyone available has to front up. We have to lift every week.
"Hopefully this will be a good lesson that if you sit back and watch a team attack then eventually they'll wear you out. The Rebels will throw the same thing at us, they have similar players. We'll have to look at our selections and make sure we have players who can cope with that."