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Big guns for Bloem


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 11 Mar 2015 at 10:30
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Jannie du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira are expected to be restored to the Sharks’ front row for Saturday’s must-win clash against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Du Plessis missed out on the disastrous defeat at Newlands last week due to a combination of paternity duties (wife Ronel gave birth to their second daughter last Friday) and mandatory rest at the behest of SARU, while Mtawarira has been out of action since injuring his calf in the first-round loss to Naka Drotske’s side. With the Sharks scrum coming decisively second in the Cape, you can understand the coaches’ desire to reunite their Bok front row, even if that in itself is not guaranteed to fix the problem.

Du Plessis himself has been at pains this week to point out how scrumming is a full-pack effort and that the props are only one of a number of factors that come into play when determining the outcome. Looking at the Sharks pack that took such strain last weekend, it doesn’t differ substantially personnel-wise from the unit that dominated the Lions at scrum time just a few weeks before, apart from the props. Concern has been raised regarding the form of Matt Stevens, though, with many pundits questioning whether his current level of conditioning is acceptable for a Super Rugby player.

The task of trying to figure out just how to win scrums without du Plessis on the field is one that the Sharks will need to address in pretty short order. For Saturday, though, with a win simply not negotiable, the big Doctor looks set to play a key role and that, I’m sure, will make fans sleep just that little bit more easily.

In other prop-related news, Mike Greenaway writes in The Star that Dale Chadwick appeared to break a finger at practice on Monday. We await confirmation from the union.



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