Brumbies’ toughest task

Sharks coach John Plumtree wants his charges to make life difficult for the Brumbies.

Plumtree was quoted as saying that he wants to give the Brumbies their toughest match of the season so far. Plumtree is of the opinion that the Brumbies are a side that do a lot of things very well, and the Sharks will have to be defensively organised to compete. The Brumbies’ ball retention is good and if the Sharks kick poorly, Jesse Mogg will take full advantage of that.

The game plan against the Brumbies will not differ too much from the Kings match, especially given the Durban humidity. Do not expect the team to run the ball from their own tryline, but you can expect the tactical kicking to continue. The coach does expect more running rugby from his team as the Durban heat subsides.

The Sharks preparations have taken a knock though, with news of two injuries amongst the loose forwards. Jean Deysel, as expected, has been ruled out for four weeks with an ankle injury, while Jacques Botes has a cracked wrist and is also ruled out for four weeks.

Good news though is that Keegan Daniel trained well with the Sharks so far this week and is expected to start the match as well as take back the captaincy. With three flankers now crocked, Plumtree will resist the temptation to shift Pieter-Steph du Toit to the side of the scrum, letting the youngster settle in his preferred lock position.

Frans Steyn is also back to full fitness after not feeling 100% against the Kings, explaining the early substitution. Steyn had a neck problem during the match which led Plumtree to bring on Meyer Bosman.

Plumtree hinted at backline changes, where we might see Charl McLeod get his first start of the season, while Odwa Ndungane could come in for Lwazi Mvovo. The team is expected to be announced tomorrow.

By Richard Ferguson