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Sharks running out of options


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 1 Sep 2014 at 12:04
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We await a detailed injury report after Friday’s massacre against the Pumas, but things are certainly not looking up for the Cell C Sharks.

They may face lowly Griquas this weekend – a winless team that they battled to subdue in Kimberley in round 1, despite having the numerical advantage for 70 minutes – but it’s forwards coach Paul Anthony who, in particular, is going to struggle to name a competitive unit with which to do so.

Casualties from the Pumas match include Francois Kleinhans (who we believe broke his arm), JC Astle (hamstring) and Etienne Oosthuizen (ankle), while Stephan Lewies appears to still be struggling as a result of overuse during the Super Rugby season. Already properly thinned out at both lock and 7-flank, having lost the likes of Anton Bresler, Peet Marais, Edwinn Hewitt, Jean Deysel, Keegan Daniel, Brynard Stander and Justin Downey from last year’s squad (in addition to the Boks and other injured players) the Sharks now appear to have reached the bottom of the proverbial barrel in terms of available talent.

Johan Meyer will probably earn a maiden start on the flank – and it looks like the coaches will now have to back him to come good – with Khaya Majola hopefully earning an opportunity to impress off the bench (although he’s definitely not a blind sider). Lock is going to prove tricky indeed; aside from Lewies and Marco Wentzel (who may return early from holiday), there’s only the untried Wiehan Hay to turn to.

The under 21 side is also short of locks, with loose forward Sias Koen currently operating as a makeshift 5 alongside Dave Fisher – what’s more the performances of that side’s pack as a whole hardly suggest that any of its constituents is necessarily ripe for a call up.

All in all rather bleak times and quite a turnaround from just 12 months ago, when we had more good utility forward options than we knew what to do with.



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