SA latest – Sharks lose Sykes

Keo.co.za brings you news from South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises.

Sharks lose Sykes – Lock Steven Sykes has failed a fitness test and will not travel to New Zealand to play the Crusaders in Saturday’s play-off.

Sykes is still battling a knee injury and won’t be available for the game. Gerhard Mostert and Alistair Hargreaves are likely to pack down in the second row.

The good news for the Sharks is that Odwa Ndungane and Eugene van Staden will be available for selection.

Chiliboy to lead Bulls? – The Bulls have already begun the process of searching for a new captain given Victor Matfield has played his last Super Rugby game for the Pretoria franchise.

Reports from up north indicate that Chiliboy Ralepelle could be handed the ultimate responsibility in 2012. Pierre Spies and Dewald Potgieter are also strong contenders.

The Bulls will also need to decide on a team captain ahead of the Currie Cup in July. Given that a number of senior Springboks will be unavailable due to Tri-Nations duty, Gary Botha, Derick Kuun and Potgieter are in the running for the position.

The Bulls are also set to confirm a new coach for the Currie Cup. Frans Ludeke will stay on as coach of the Super Rugby franchise, but former Free State U21 mentor Pine Pienaar is expected to take the reins in the domestic competition.

Penalties to break deadlock - A penalty shoot-out will decide play-off matches that are tied after extra-time.

This according to a directive from Sanzar on Tuesday. Any draw in the regulation 80 minutes would be followed by 10-minute periods of extra time, then another 10-minute period of “sudden death” if needed, in which the first team to score would be awarded victory.

Should the score still remain level, the teams would have a kicking competition, nominating five players to take shots at the posts from set positions on the 22 and 15-metre lines with victory awarded to the most accurate kicking side.