More freedom for Franco?

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 14:45
Large francovandermerwecrusaders Large franco van der merwe v chee

On-loan Sharks lock Franco van der Merwe is relishing his time in Durban thus far, admitting that he has been given a lot more freedom to play his natural game.

On-loan Sharks lock Franco van der Merwe is relishing his time in Durban thus far, admitting that he has been given a lot more freedom to play his natural game.

The 30-year-old is one of several Lions players that have been released to play around the country following the Johannesburg franchise's relegation from the Super XV.

And he has largely been credited as one of the main reasons for a much more stable line-out at the Sharks.

"It's funny how many things actually stay the same," Van Der Merwe said.

"The big thing that obviously is different is the personnel you're working with.

"There's been one or two things that are different, I mean at the Lions we had our set ways of playing, whereas here it's little less structured and they allow you more freedom to play and you have the options to do a few things more than I'm used to.

"There's a little bit of an adaptation, but I've settled in nicely."

Van der Merwe has been a fixture in the second row so far this season, starting all the games alongside either Anton Bresler or Pieter-Steph du Toit.

However, he played down his importance to the Sharks' set-piece.

"I think we've just simplified the line-out and gone back to basics as a team," he said.

"I remember we started in the beginning of the year with just two line-outs and that's the main thing we've been doing ever since. It was one of main objectives."

The Durbanites currently sit top of the South African conference standings and third overall ahead of their trip to the Stormers on Saturday, who they beat 12-6 at home earlier in the competition.

The men from Cape Town have continued to struggle since then, losing four out of six games, but Van der Merwe warned they will be a massive threat on Saturday.

"I think when you're in desperate time, trying to force things to happen makes it even more difficult," he said.

"Maybe that's what they've been doing. But they're a strong side, they've shown they can beat the best by beating the Brumbies and the Chiefs, so it's going to be a big challenge."

SAPA

Brumbies vs Blues
sast: 08h05 | local: 17h05

  • 6 | 8
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 30 April 2017
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Rebels v Lions 05h00 Melbourne
Chiefs v Reds 07h35 New Plymouth
Waratahs v Blues 09h45 Allianz Park
Sharks v Force 13h05 Kings Park, Durban
Bulls v Crusaders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Jaguares v Sunwolves 21h40 Buenos Aires
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Waratahs 9 3 0 6 13
Reds 9 2 0 7 11
Force 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 8 1 1 6 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 9 9 0 0 41
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 10
Sunwolves 9 1 0 8 6
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 8 0 1 37
Sharks 9 6 1 2 28
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 20
Kings 9 3 0 6 15