Sharks coach turns to experience for Super Rugby opener against Lions
Sean Everitt says something different is expected from the Lions‚ but they are prepared for it
Sharks coach Sean Everitt may have picked a mixed‚ but well balanced match-day 23 for Friday’s Super Rugby opener against the Lions at Kings Park‚ but he is already warming up to what new recruit Yaw Penxe brings to the party.
The former Southern Kings pace merchant has been recruited by the Sharks on a short-term basis and will not be playing this weekend.
Everitt went for experience on the wings with JP Pietersen and Werner Kok.
Makazole Mapimpi is in Japan while S’bu Nkosi and Madosh Tambwe are recovering from injuries and with the Springboks also set to travel to Australia for the Rugby Championship‚ Penxe will not be lost in the system.
“We feel Yaw is a player who really shined in the Pro14. He did a damn good job at the Springbok Showdown on Saturday.
“He nearly had a try-scoring opportunity that was set up by Sanele Nohamba‚ but a player like him can add huge value to the Sharks‚” Everitt said.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve had injuries in that position. Mapimpi’s left for Japan and he’s arrived there safely.
“We’re happy for him‚ while Nkosi is two to three weeks away while another week will do Madosh good.”
With the Lions picking a beefy pack that includes Jaco Kriel‚ Len Massyn‚ Vincent Tshituka and Willem Alberts‚ the Lions have already shown their physical hand.
This was not lost on Everitt‚ who said they have planned well for the Lions.
“The Lions squad has changed quite a lot since the beginning of the year. They bought in a number of players‚ some of them are experienced‚ during the lockdown period.
“They’ve gone for a big centre combination in former Bulls captain Burger Odendaal and Dan Kriel. For this particular game‚ they’ve moved away from their DNA centred on ball continuity‚” Everitt said.
“They’ve moved Willem Alberts to lock and picked three bigger loose-forwards than they normally do in the past. We’re expecting something different from them‚ but we’re prepared for it.”
Sharks: Manie Libbok‚ JP Pietersen‚ Lukhanyo Am (capt)‚ Marius Louw‚ Werner Kok‚ Curwin Bosch‚ Sanele Nohamba‚ Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ Phendulani Buthelezi‚ James Venter‚ Hyron Andrews‚ Ruben van Heerden‚ Thomas du Toit‚ Dylan Richardson‚ Ox Nche. Replacements: Dan Jooste‚ Mzamo Majola‚ John-Hubert Meyer‚ JJ van der Mescht‚ Celimpilo Gumede‚ Grant Williams‚ Jeremy Ward‚ Thaakir Abrahams
Lions: EW Viljoen‚ Jamba Ulengo‚ Burger Odendaal‚ Dan Kriel‚ Rabz Maxwane‚ Elton Jantjies (capt)‚ Dillon Smit‚ Len Massyn‚ Vincent Tshituka‚ Jaco Kriel‚ Marvin Orie‚ Willem Alberts‚ Carlu Sadie‚ Jaco Visagie‚ Sti Sithole. Replacements: Jan-Henning Campher‚ Dylan Smith‚ Wiehahn Herbst‚ Wilhelm van der Sluys‚ MJ Pelser‚ Hacjivah Dayimani‚ Morné van den Berg‚ Gianni Lombard‚ Wandisile Simelane‚ Ruan Dreyer
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