Currie Cup latest (Thurs) brings you the news from the Currie Cup.

Kanko cops one-week ban

Ryan Kankowski will miss this week’s game against the Leopards after being suspended for stamping.

Following Saturday’s loss to the Lions, the Shark No 8 was cited under Law 10.4 (b) for stamping on an opponent. Kankowski used his right foot in a stamping action on the body (stomach area) of Lions flank Trevor Hall during the 75th minute of the game. He received a yellow card for the offence, but was later cited.

On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty to the charge. His defence argued that he was in the process of falling backwards which forced him to lift one leg to regain his balance and that resulted in him placing his foot on his opponent as he regained his balance. It was also argued that the Sharks No 8 did not have the benefit of being able to stop during the incident to regain his balance and ensure that his foot was placed away from his opponent.

According to a statement from Saru, after considering all relevant facts and available video evidence, the judiciary recommended a suspension of two weeks. This was however reduced to one week after a ruling that Kankowski’s action was impulsive rather than reckless was made. There was thought to be no malice in Kankowski’s actions.

Pretorius gets start

Andre Pretorius will start his first match for the Sharks against the Leopards in Durban on Friday.

The flyhalf comes in for Pat Lambie, who drops to the bench. The Sharks have made four other changes and one positional change, which sees lock Gerhard Mostert make his first appearance since injuring his shoulder in the opening match of the Super 14 against the Chiefs while Springbok tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis also gets a run.

Sharks – 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Andries Strauss, 12 Riaan Swanepoel, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Andre Pretorius, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie Du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden,1 Eugene van Staden.
Subs: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Patric Cilliers, 18 Anton Bresler/Michael Rhodes, 19 Michael Rhodes, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Pat Lambi and 22 Luzuko Vulindlu.