Currie Cup

Terblanche adds bite to Sharks



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The Sharks have been bolstered by the return of Springbok and former Ospreys fullback Stefan Terblanche ahead of their Absa Currie Cup semi-final encounter with the Golden Lions in Durban on Saturday.

Terblanche, who scored seven tries in the seven Currie Cup games in which he played in the first half of the season, returned to Wales to fulfil contractual his obligations with the Ospreys.

He returned to the Sharks this week after Ospreys agreed to release him from the remainder of his contract with the Welsh outfit – which would have run till the end of the 2007/08 European season.

Terblanche signed a one-year contract with the Durban-based outfit – which will see him play in this year’s Currie Cup play-offs, as well as the Super 14 and Currie Cup competitions next year.

“It’s great to have Stefan back,” coach John Plumtree said.

“Odwa [Ndungane] has been playing well at fullback, but we also know what he can do on the wing and Stefan is such a steadying influence.”

The return of the 32-year-old could not have come at a better time for the Sharks, with winger Henno Mentz ruled out of the semi-final with a hamstring injury.

Ndungane, who was rested last week, will take Mentz’s place on the wing and Terblanche slots straight back in at No.15.

Plumtree’s side will be further boosted by the return of first-choice players like locks Johan Ackermann and Steven Sykes, Rory Kockott (scrum-half), Ryan Kankowski (No.8), prop Tendai Mtawarira and centre Waylon Murray.

They were all rested last week and are back for the showdown with the Lions.

They are joined by fit-again stars Brad Barritt (centre), Skipper Badenhorst (hooker) and captain AJ Venter (on the flank).

Gcobani Bobo, who captained the side from centre for their 43-29 win over the Falcons last week, will be on the wing, while Plumtree has opted for the highly effective Super 14 centre combination of Murray and Barritt.

In an interesting move Plumtree has opted for five forwards on the bench with prop Kees Lensing back from World Cup duty with Namibia and flank Keegan Daniel back from a three week suspension.

With the return to full fitness of Barritt, Plumtree faced a selection dilemma at fly-half. However, he has opted to play Adi Jacobs in the number 10 jersey.

“Both have done a good job this year. Brad played there a lot, but you can’t ignore what Adi has done there the past few weeks,” he said.

Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Bradley Barritt, 11 Gcobani Bobo, 10 Adrian Jacobs, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 AJ Venter (captain), 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Johan Ackermann, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Robbie Harris, 2 Skipper Badenhorst, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Ronnie Uys, 18 Kees Lensing, 19 Nikolai Blignaut, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Scott Mathie, 22 Monty Dumond

Date: Saturday, 13 October
Venue: Absa Stadium, Durban
Kick-off: 14.30 (12.30 GMT)
Referee: JC Fortuin (SARU)
Touch judges: Phillip Bosch (SARU), Cobus Wessels (Blue Bulls)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (Eastern Province)
Assessor: Freek Burger, Banks Yantolo
365 Digital

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