Sharks replace Steyn with Petersen for Reds clash

Sharks coach John Plumtree has made four changes to the team that lost to the Highlanders for this week’s Super Rugby match against the Reds in Brisbane.

Two of Plumtree’s changes are injury enforced after Frans Steyn and Lubabalo Mtembu were both injured last weekend.

In the front row, JC Janse van Rensburg, on loan from the Lions will start at loosehead prop, allowing Wiehahn Herbst to play in his favoured position at tighthead.

Van Rensburg has been retained after two outstanding performances, allowing Jannie du Plessis a mini-break after starting almost every game so far and carrying a heavy workload.

With Lubabalo Mtembu nursing some bruising picked up against the Highlanders and unavailable for the match, captain Keegan Daniel shifts back to eighthman, opening a spot for Jean Deysel, to complete an all-Springbok loose-forward trio.

In the backline, the loss of Frans Steyn last week means JP Pietersen will start at outside centre, handing Piet Lindeque his second start in three matches.

Monde Hadebe gets the opportunity to make his debut at Super Rugby level, having been named on the bench for Craig Burden who has returned home.

After two outings for The Sharks XV to gain invaluable match fitness, Willem Alberts has returned to the side and has been named on the bench which features three Springboks.

For The Sharks, despite the losses, their focus remains purely on the challenge that lies ahead without any thought for the overall campaign which only concludes in three months’ time.

“We worked really hard on attack, it hasn’t been easy losing personnel
and combinations keep changing which makes life difficult for us, but the boys
have gone out there and looked to play adventurous rugby, playing with ball
in hand, building up some real pressure on the opposition,” said coach
John Plumtree.

“People who know rugby will see that, but ultimately we didn’t get the
results, they just haven’t gone our way. “

“We’re just going from week to week, we want to take the pressure off,
play for each other, play for jersey, that’s important.”

“We’re in a different set of circumstance with the team because of the
fact that we have so many guys out, we just have to put our heads together,
we’ve sent 4-5 guys home and we are only halfway through the tour. “

“We’ve had to change personnel, we’ve had to play players out of position,
it’s not great. “

“Right now the focus is getting a team prepared for the weekend.”

Sharks

1. JC Janse van Rensburg , 2. Kyle Cooper , 3. Wiehahn Herbst , 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 5. Franco van der Merwe , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 7. Jean Deysel , 8. Keegan Daniel (Capt) , 9. Charl McLeod , 10. Patrick Lambie , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 12. Meyer Bosman , 13. JP Pietersen , 14. Piet Lindeque , 15. Riaan Viljoen

Replacements , 16. Monde Hadebe , 17. Jannie du Plessis , 18. Anton Bresler , 19. Derick Minnie , 20. Willem Alberts , 21. Tian Meyer , 22. Odwa Ndungane

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