Sharks tipped to extend Stormers´ woes

28 February 2013 06:20

VENUE & TIME: King's Park, Durban, South Africa, Saturday, March 2 19.10 (local time)

HEAD TO HEAD: Played 18, Sharks 9, Stormers 9

LAST TIME: July 28, 2012 (Cape Town) – Stormers 19-26 Sharks.

WALKING WOUNDED: Stormers fullback Jaco Taute is out of the game after taking a heavy blow to his groin in the Bulls match and Juan de Jongh is still recovering from a hamstring strain. The Sharks are in good shape with Meyer Bosman and Jean Deysel both recovered from first round head injuries while Lwazi Mvovo has recovered from a groin injury.

FORM: First five-eighths Elton Jantjies has been struggling to find form but he has held his place this week in spite of the return from Japan of Peter Grant. He has been placed in the reserves to allow him to take time adapting to this year's side. And with Jantjies suffering goal-kicking lapses last weekend there will be back-up available with the return of Joe Pietersen at fullback. The Stormers backline struggled for form last weekend and have been criticised for running the ball from too deep. Sharks coach John Plumtree is looking for improved ball retention, especially at the breakdown where his side coughed up too much ball last weekend.

Week 2: v Blues, won 37-31 (h)

Week 2: v Bulls, lost 25-19 (h)

WHO'S HOT: The Sharks five-eighths combination of Pat Lambie and Frans Steyn has already proved effective and looks like becoming a key force for the side this year. Lambie says he's enjoying the role and the competition from the high quality of flyhalves playing in South Africa at the moment. Flanker Jean Deysel made an impact when coming on against the Cheetahs and is starting against the Stormers. Lock Andries Bekker wasn't able to dominate as much as he would have liked against the Bulls, but if the combination with his hooker Deon Fourie, the effect could be the lift the Stormers need.

WE THINK: Back at home the Sharks are likely to be a more united force than against the Cheetahs. The Stormers certainly struck the rough card when having two demanding opening games away, the Bulls and the Sharks. That is why they will struggle to contain the Sharks in Durban. The all-round qualities the Sharks possess should prove too much for a diffident-looking Stormers side and we think there could be 10 points in the final result.


Sharks: 1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Craig Burden, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Anton Bresler, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 7. Jean Deysel, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 9. Cobus Reinach, 10. Pat Lambie, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 12. Frans Steyn (captain), 13.Paul Jordaan, 14.JP Pietersen, 15.Louis Ludik.

Reserves: 16.Kyle Cooper, 17.Wiehahn Herbst, 18.Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19.Jacques Botes, 20.Charl McLeod, 21.Meyer Bosman, 22.Odwa Ndungane.

Stormers: 1. Steven Kitshoff, 2.Deon Fourie, 3.Frans Malherbe, 4.De Kock Steenkamp, 5.Andries Bekker, 6.Siya Kolisi, 7.Rynhardt Elstadt, 8.Duane Vermeulen, 9.Nic Groom, 10.Elton Jantjies, 11.Bryan Habana, 12.Damian de Allende, 13.Jean de Villers (captain), 14.Gio Aplon, 15.Joe Pietersen.

Reserves: 16.Martin Bezuidenhout, 17.Pat Cilliers, 18.Don Armand, 19.Nizaam Carr, 20.Louis Schreduder, 21.Peter Grant, 22. Gerhard van den Heever.

Jonathan Kaplan

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