Steyn, Kanko dropped from Sharks starting XV


Last weekend’s match against the Brumbies saw some big performances from a number of younger players in the team, and for that, Sharks coach John Plumtree has rewarded them for the Rebels game this Saturday.

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The Sharks starting line-up for this match at KINGS PARK shows seven changes with new combinations throughout. It has not been an easy week but it has been an honest one and there has been no shying away from the loss or wrapping it in cotton wool.

“There have been changes because of what I saw as poor performance,” explains Sharks coach John Plumtree. “I was really happy with what Pieter-Steph du Toit brought to the team last week and we’re continuing his development by giving him a start, it’s the same with Kyle Cooper. Meyer Bosman deserves an opportunity too and we’ve taken Frans out to give him quite a big week of conditioning.”

Jannie du Plessis has a minor knee injury and his wife is about to have a baby, “so he’s had a difficult week and Wiehahn Herbst starts at tighthead prop. Jacques Botes has been in great form so he gets a start this week and Ryan Kankowski will get a rest this week, the same as Craig Burden. They can show me what they have when they come off the bench.”

The Sharks have been missing some of their big strike-runners which has hampered some of the onfield things they want to achieve. But that’s not to take away from what they want from the players currently doing battle.

“We’re a bit down in firepower, we’re missing quality players and we know we’re not at full strength, but we still have a good side,” he admits. “But it is a different team and we’ve played really good opposition and we’ve won three games and only lost one, that’s not all bad. But we want to play better, we had a lesson on the weekend and it’s how we respond to that lesson that will characterise us.”

He adds that this week has been all about themselves: making sure they do what they need to in training and then translate that into accuracy and intensity on game day.

“We’re in a situation where we’ve put a huge focus into what we’re trying to achieve as a team because we haven’t clicked yet. So no disrespect to the Rebels but we have to worry about ourselves.”

The Sharks

1. Tendai Mtawarira
2. Kyle Cooper
3. Wiehahn Herbst
4. Pieter-Steph du Toit
5. Franco van der Merwe
6. Jacques Botes
7. Marcell Coetzee
8. Keegan Daniel (Captain)
9. Cobus Reinach
10. Patrick Lambie
11. Lwazi Mvovo
12. Meyer Bosman
13. Paul Jordaan
14. JP Pietersen
15. Louis Ludik

16. Craig Burden
17. Jannie du Plessis
18. Jandre Marais
19. Ryan Kankowski
20. Charl McLeod
21. Francois Steyn
22. Riaan Viljoen

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