This is the fourth article in the series of Cell C Sharks Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.
We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for LOOSE FORWARDS in the Cell C Sharks 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday confirmed the names of 10 Springboks who were awarded long-term national contracts in August this year, which will see them remain in South Africa until the end of 2015.
As we approach the final of the Currie Cup this weekend, all is not well in the Sharks camp.
There is the possibility that Bismarck du Plessis will miss the final due to a citing for stamping and in addition there is a couple of injuries to key players, which does not make things any easier.
Uncapped loose forward Arno Botha has been called into the Springbok starting team in the place of the injured Willem Alberts for Saturday’s Castle Lager Incoming Series opener against Italy at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban.
The Sharks are again being hampered by numerous injury setbacks before the Super Rugby season officially kicks off, no less than seven stars out for anything between 4 weeks and 8 weeks.
In this Article we look at the contenders for LOOSE FORWARDS at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.
Loose Forward is a set of 3 positions where the Sharks have abundance of, but much will depend on the coaching staff’s game plans and which combinations to use accordingly and as we have seen with John Plumtree, you could very well see someone like Willem Alberts playing a game or two at lock.
But before I continue, let me get this out of the way first! The biggest problem at the Sharks at Loose Forward is the lack of a FETCHER and as many great Loose Forwards that they have, not having a fetcher is that one huge weakness. All one has to do is look back at the Currie Cup Final of 2012 and see how it hurt them as a team, specially with Bismarck du Plessis being out injured, because it is common knowledge that Bismarck du Plessis fulfills that role for the Sharks.
It was a try. The referee awarded the try and the referee is ‘the sole judge of fact and Law during a match’. But was his judgement right.
He did take advice from the TMO whose scripted advice was: ‘You may award the try.’
But should it have been awarded? Was the judgement right? Was the Law correctly applied? It is an interesting situation.
The convincing win of the Springboks on Saturday was followed by news on the injury front.
Most notably Francois Steyn, who rolled his left ankle last Monday morning, will have to undergo an operation to clean the ankle up and will be sidelined for 3 months recovering from the surgery.
The Sharks’ chances of winning their crunch Super Rugby derby against the Bulls have suffered a mortal blow with the confirmation that star backline player Patrick Lambie is unlikely to line up for the match, whilst Willem Alberts is doubtful for the clash, whereas Frans Steyn is bound to slot straight into the starting lineup at centre.
Willem Alberts remains a doubtful starter for Saturday’s final test against England but the Springbok training session at Grey’s High on Monday brought some much needed tidings of joy for coach Heyneke Meyer.
Lock Juandre Kruger was assumed to be in doubt for the Nelson Mandela Stadium game here in Port Elizabeth after being carried off the field during the second test in Johannesburg with what was assumed to be a serious neck injury.
There may be an upside in that the depth of his squad will now be tested in a dead-rubber test, but Heyneke Meyer’s plans to use the final match against England at Nelson Mandela Stadium as a build-up or dress-rehearsal for The Rugby Championship look set to be disrupted.
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer reserved special praise for his giant forward pack after their 22-17 first Test victory over England on Saturday.
The Sharks have been given a boost with the news that flank Willem Alberts has been cleared to play after having extensive rehabilitation during the off-season.
The 4th and Article in the set discussing the Sharks Super Rugby players for 2012.
In this Article we look at the contenders for LOOSEFORWARDS in the Sharks 2012 Super Rugby group, and what their worth will be in Super Rugby terms.
The Sharks might be without two of their most bruising forwards, back row stars Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel, when their Super Rugby season gets underway next month.
Springbok and Sharks backrow forward Willem Alberts has undergone shoulder surgery while rugby takes a break in South Africa but he should be ready for the Super Rugby season.
South Africa’s momentum must be stopped at Eden Park tonight. If it is not, then the Springboks’ confidence will swell to frightening proportions in the months to come.
By TOBY ROBSON in Auckland – The Dominion Post