'Workhorse' Oosthuizen a big loss says Du Preez

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 13:17
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Etienne Oosthuizen's absence is a big blow for the Sharks, but they do have an able replacement in Springbok Stephan Lewies says head coach Robert du Preez.

Oosthuizen was handed a two-week suspension for striking an opponent in his team's 26-28 loss to the Reds in Round One of Super Rugby.

Lewies takes his place in the starting XV for the clash against the Brumbies and Du Preez is not losing sleep over the switch. 

"Etienne [Oosthuizen] is a workhorse and is a big loss," Du Preez told rugby365.

"He played every single game in last year’s campaign. We need to move on though and we have a very good replacement in Stephan Lewies, who is a Springbok.  

"Stephan is relishing the opportunity to play on Saturday."

Du Preez said he is not keen on letting the Brumbies play too much rugby in the strike zone.

"We need to ensure that we get more territory from an exit point of view, so that we can exit better," he said.

While the result was disappointing in Brisbane, Du Preez said there is plenty for his team to build on against the Brumbies in Canberra.

"Areas that I was satisfied with [against the Reds] were the fact that we were in the match until the last minute and we could have pulled it through, despite the lack of possession.  

"Our defence looked good at times and when we did manage to keep ball in hand we looked dangerous," he added.

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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