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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9