Sharks leave injured stars behind

Sun, 21 Apr 2013 15:36
Large tendai mtawarira injured Large plumtreetraining630 Large andries coetzee injured Large john plumtree points Large john plumtree sharks gestur

It was a bruised and battered Sharks team that left South Africa on Sunday en route to New Zealand, leaving behind a number of injured players.

It was a bruised and battered Sharks team that left South Africa on Sunday en route to New Zealand, leaving behind a number of injured players.

Following their disappointing 6-12 loss to the Cheetahs in  dour arm-wrestle in dire conditions in Durban at the weekend, the Sharks now face a very demanding four-match Australasian trip.

It starts when they take on the Chiefs in a replay of last year's Final, in Hamilton on Saturday (April 27), before they tackle the Highlanders in Dunedin, the Reds (whom they beat in a preliminary play-off match last year) in Brisbane and conclude the trip when they head to Perth to face the Western Force.

However, the encounter with the Cheetahs have come at a heavy cost.

Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira sustained a calf injury, while Lions loan player Andries Coetzee went off with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

Sharks coach John Plumtree admitted the injuries were not ideal for the struggling outfit.

"It's not looking good for Beast [Mtawarira] and he won't be on the plane," Plumtree told a media scrum in Durban.

"He's probably out for four weeks," the coach added.

"I was really disappointed about Andries [Coetzee], because I thought he played really well too. He could be out for a couple of months."

Also missing the tour with injury are backs Lwazi Mvovo (hand), Tim Whitehead (hand), Butch James (knee), Louis Ludik (shoulder) and forwards Bismarck du Plessis (knee), Jacques Botes (hand) and Willem Alberts (shoulder).

It was not just the injuries that disappointed Plumtree, who felt the encounter with the Cheetahs was a game they should have won.

"We created plenty of opportunities and I thought we played all the rugby," Plumtree said.

"I think the Cheetahs played no rugby. They just kicked the ball away all night. We wanted to be a bit more ambitious and as positive as we could, but weren't entirely accurate.

"Losing [this match] is a big set-back.

"We needed that win big time before going on tour, but didn't quite get it and that puts us under a fair bit of pressure now."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19