It’s a blessing for Sharks to get Thomas Du Toit back
DURBAN - The return from injury of Springbok prop Thomas du Toit is fortuitous indeed for the Sharks given that they are fighting to put a team on the field this week.
The Sharks are scheduled to play the Pumas in Durban on Friday night in the opening round of the Currie Cup after cancelling their Super Rugby Unlocked match last week because of the unavailability of tighthead props, so Du Toit’s recovery from a calf injury is a Godsend.
The Sharks have 10 players sidelined either with Covid-19 or in isolation because of contact with infected players, but with Du Toit back after a month out, they are in a better position to go ahead.
Last week, the Sharks were due to host the Stormers but had to pull out of the fixture because of an outbreak in their ranks. The match was thus “drawn” and each side was awarded two log points.
The called off game meant the Sharks and the Stormers lost the opportunity to win the game and take forward a healthier log point tally into the Currie Cup.
Instead, the Sharks and Stormers finished SR Unlocked tied on 19 points, four behind the champion Bulls, who now start the Currie Cup with a handy lead.
Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee said that the Sharks have to
get back on the park, even if they are missing a number of players.
“We were able to get the squad tested on Sunday
and while we have no new cases, we are still without the 10 players from last week,” Coetzee said.
“You will see when the team is announced that we are heavily hit in the front row and at loose forward, but we will have to make a plan and carry on. We must play. We can’t afford to lose more points on the log,” he added.
A home game against the Pumas is one the Sharks would expect to win so to cancel the game and take
just two points out of it as opposed to four or five would be a setback.
“We have no reason not to play,” Coetzee said. “Our side
will be re-jigged and that means opportunities for the guys who have been on the fringes.”
Coetzee said that his players have gone into a level four lockdown of sorts in that apart from attending
training (with social distancing), they isolate at home.
“Sometimes you can take all possible precautions but nothing is full proof,” Coetzee said.