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."

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Sat, 13 February 2016
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
TUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Pretoria
Fri, 19 February 2016
Zebre v Leinster 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Sat, 20 February 2016
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Gloucester 15h00 Allianz Park
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 13 February 2016
France v Ireland 10 | 9
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 13 | 7
Fri, 12 February 2016
Scarlets v Edinburgh 22 | 21
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 26 | 14
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 13 | 10
Leinster v Zebre 52 | 0
Thu, 11 February 2016
Dragons v Connacht 21 | 26
Mon, 08 February 2016
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 17 | 23
Maties v CUT-Ixias 40 | 0
UJ v NMMU-Madibaz 19 | 12
Wits v TUT 53 | 0
UWC v UKZN-Impi 13 | 24
UP-Tuks v NWU-Pukke 15 | 38
Sun, 07 February 2016
Ireland v Wales 16 | 16
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 11 | 14
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Sharks 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0