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Back row resources a little stretched?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 Feb 2015 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

The Sharks are expected to confirm their injury situation after last week’s French trip today, but with Tera Mtembu having cried off just ahead of the Toulon game and Etienne Oosthuizen picking up an injury during it, the chances are pretty good that the loose forward cupboard might be a little bare heading into the opening rounds of Super Rugby.

As is, the Sharks were forced to make do without Willem Alberts, who tweaked a hamstring during pre-season and Ryan Kankowski (still in Japan) for the trip to the south of France. So short were they, in fact, that only Mtembu, Renaldo Bothma and Marcell Coetzee were included in the squad as genuine loose forwards. Mtembu’s rib issue necessitated a switch to blindside flank for Oosthuizen (a position he played regularly during Currie Cup last year) but with the latter limping off with what looked like a knee injury against Toulon, depth will again come under the spotlight.

It’s not clear whether Alberts or Mtembu will both (or either) be in doubt for Saturday’s opener against the Cheetahs. Kankowski, who should start training with the team this week, may be forced to slot in immediately in that case. Bothma and Coetzee, both hugely impressive at the Stade Mayol, must be feeling pretty confident about starting places at this stage but with neither an established lineout option, the coaches will be holding thumbs that at least one of their bigger men pulls through for the Valentine’s Day clash.

With Marco Wentzel showing just how much life is still in those old legs, it’s of course completely possible that Pieter-Steph du Toit could find himself filling in in the number 7 jersey should none of the other options be available.



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