Sharks coach makes six changes for Griquas game

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Sharks coach makes six changes for Griquas game

By Mike Greenaway Time of article published 13m ago

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DURBAN – Sharks coach Sean Everitt has freshened up his team for Saturday’s home Currie Cup match against Griquas, making six changes to the side that lost heavily to the Cheetahs without it appearing to be a colossal overhaul.

Everitt has seldom had the luxury of selecting the same team post lockdown, mostly because of Covid-19, but also because of injury. This week Everitt once more cannot pick vital tighthead prop Thomas du Toit, in-form centre Marius Louw and crucial lineout specialist Hyron Andrews because of Covid protocols, and the coach himself has been banished to his bedroom for 14 days after returning a positive test.

The Sharks were smashed in the set scrums by the Cheetahs and this week Michael Kumberai is tasked with deputising for Du Toit, at the expense of John-Hubert Meyer.

Everitt has picked Fez Mbatha at hooker and in the second row JJ van der Mescht starts with Ruben van Herden.

There is a significant change on the flank, with Dylan Richardson getting a break after a long campaign of outstanding performances, and the excellent former Kings man Themenlani Bholi comes in.

“We’ve struggled with consistency in our selection due to Covid protocols and with injuries, it’s not ideal changing your team week after week and we’re losing important people as we go along,” Everitt said. “But that’s a problem all the teams are facing.”

There is just one change at the back, with Aphelele Fassi starting in place of Manie Libbok who left the field early after taking a knock last week but has recovered sufficiently to be named on the bench.

“It’s been frustrating in that we are winning certain aspects of the game, like territory and possession, line breaks, the gain line battle, but we’ve struggled in the set-piece and because of individual skill error,” Everitt added. “We need to cut out those individual errors so we can put together a complete performance.

“It’s going to be a physical battle against Griquas – as always. We know what we are going to get from them — they’ll be fired up, but we’re a determined group and we have set ourselves goals and high standards, and I expect our team to bounce back and do well this weekend.”

Sharks XV: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Henco Venter, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 JJ van Mescht, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche.

Subs: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Hanru Jacobs, 19 Aston Fortuin, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Anthony Volmink.

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