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A hard week for the Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 Jan 2015 at 14:46
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , ,

“We trained hard this morning – a long session,” admits an upbeat Sean Everitt at the end of a tough week’s training. “We’ve just had a team lunch and the guys are off for the weekend.”

“We’ve been going hard this week and the weather has been – well, you know Durban weather – the heat and humidity have been a little extreme. We’re very happy with where the guys are – from an organizational point of view we got a lot done before Christmas and now we’re just putting some of the nuts and bolts together – but more importantly the guys are in a very good space. They’ve shown a lot of energy in training and we really couldn’t have asked for more of them.”

And how are the new kids settling in? “Yes, all settling in well,” according to Everitt. “Mouritz [Botha] came in for his first training session on Monday and has trained extremely well this week. Jack Wilson is also training really, really well. Renaldo Bothma has really impressed us at training sessions – I think he’s going to grab his opportunity, he’s really done well. And then of course there’s Giant [Mtayanda] from the Pumas. He’s actually just here on a bit of a development thing but obviously if things go well and we end up in a bit of trouble [injury wise] he can fill in.”

With all the new locks and loose forwards, wouldn’t a couple of fullbacks or centres be equally welcome, we ask? “In that area of the field there’s a bit of a shortage,” admits Everitt, “but even though it looks like (on paper) there’s only SP, you must remember that Odwa can play there, Lwazi can play there, even Pat Lambie could play there if we wanted him to, as well as Lionel Cronje. We’re pretty well covered in terms of outside backs, with JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn also coming back, even if it’s only in the third week of the competition. With the youngsters who’ve come through well in the Currie Cup we’re in good shape.

“We haven’t really spoken too much about selection yet – we’re concentrating more on the organizational things. At center we’ve got a bit of depth. With JP away we can obviously play S’bura Sithole at 13, who went extremely well during the Currie Cup and even got a Springbok call-up in that period. We’ve got Heimar who’s playing really well and Andre Esterhuizen showed in the Currie Cup that he can do the same job as Frans – he’s got a nice left foot as well. Those are the guys that we’re going to look to to fill those positions. We’ve built a bit of depth which is standing us in good stead for now.”

Depth is good, of course, because it allows for rotation. “I think with the World Cup coming up, we also have to look after our Springboks without sacrificing the team,” the coach concurs. “Obviously rotation will be important to us – including the two friendlies that we play we’ve got 12 games on the trot, so we’re going to have to rest some of players at some stage.”

And how are things looking injury-wise? “Paul Jordaan obviously has a serious injury and we’re not sure when he’ll be back. Stephan Lewies’s shoulder is coming along nicely, but we’ve got nice depth in that position. Marco Wentezel played really well in the Currie cup, plus we’ve got Pieter-Steph du Toit back. Willem Alberts has got a bit of a niggle on his hamstring but he’ll be fine within a week. Tondie Chavhanga had a bit of a scope on his knee and is doing a bit of rehab, but he’ll be back soon. Otherwise we’ve got a clean bill of health.”

All the best to Sean and the team for the hard slog ahead!


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