Currie Cup

Sharks giving their injured players more time

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The Sharks will only make a call on their inured players’ availability on Thursday before announcement of the side for the Currie Cup match against Griquas in Durban on Saturday a little later.

It is a match for which coach John Plumtree would want his very best players available.
 
Both sides have lost only one game from the six to date, and Saturday’s winner will go into the second round the following week as the leader after the first round of the Premiership.

The Sharks do have a few injury concerns, but could also welcome some of their players back.

“We will wait until Thursday before we make a call on Johann Muller, Rory Kockott and Juan Hernandez,” said assistant coach Grant Bashford at a media conference.

“There are a few injuries and we’d like to give everyone the opportunity to get selected, we’re prepared to give everyone the time they need.

“Rory has bone bruising, he has trained with a bit of pain but hopefully he will be right for the weekend. Fortunately, there is nothing necessary surgically.

“Johann (Muller) is coming off a broken arm, and will be X-rayed. He has trained with little discomfort this week and we are confident that he will make it.

“Hernandez ran lines with little pain, but the true test with this form of injury is running at angles, so he needs to pass there.”

Griquas can expect the Sharks to run, if granted the opportunity – but the home side might find it will be as difficult to get first-phase ball as it was against the Lions last weekend.

“The plan is always to attack when we can,” said Bashford, “but we battled at set piece time against the Lions which inhibited our attack.

However, we made good use of the little ball we got, so we will look to match attack with defense to get a result on the weekend.

“This match was different from previous weeks where we have attacked well and we’ve been impressed with the way we have played. But our territory and possession stats were right down and we will have to work on that.

“We felt as a group that we didn’t play that well. We scored good tries from counter attack and broken play but not phase play.”

“But that many tackles for us is simply not on,” said Bashford.

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