Sharks coach Plumtree wary of ‘Canes backlash

Sharks coach John Plumtree says that the Cheetahs surprise victory over the Hurricanes in Wellington last week has made their task all the more tougher this week.

The Cheetahs came from being 32-11 down to win their Super Rugby at the “Cake Tin” 38-47 on Saturday for their first victory in New Zealand.

The loss which was the Hurricanes second home loss means that the Sharks will feel the backlash as the home team will be desperate to salvage some pride for their supporters.

“The Hurricanes will be hurting. They’re getting a lot of criticism in the local media because they might have underestimated a pretty good Cheetahs side,” said Plumtree.

“They’ve toured South Africa already (they lost to the Stormers and beat the Lions) and had one game in Australia.”

“They’re sitting okay, but they won’t want to drop another home game because they’ve still got some tough away fixtures.

“They’ve got some outstanding backs, like they always produce, and some experienced forwards.”

“Victor Vito wasn’t available last week and he’s very important from a leadership point of view. I understand he will be back against us.

“Ben May, their loosehead prop, has plenty of experience, lock Jason Eaton also wasn’t available against the Cheetahs and centre Tim Bateman will all come back into the mix,” Plumtree told TimesLive.

The Sharks coach also revealed that there are a few injury concerns following their 26-29 victory over the Brumbies as hooker Bismarck du Plessis has a quad strain, lock Steven Sykes suffered a knock on his knee and wing Odwa Ndungane has flu.

Flyhalf Pat Lambie is still in doubt after he suffered a blow to his jaw in Round 5.

“He trained with the team today (yesterday) and looked really good, but we will make a decision on him later in the week,” said Plumtree.

“If he’s not 100% he won’t be considered until the Blues game.”

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