Sharks name Springbok Thomas du Toit in starting lineup for Currie Cup final
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DURBAN – The Sharks have received a timely boost for Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Bulls in the form of Thomas “The Tank” du Toit.
It is an unexpected injection of beef for the Sharks because the big man was away with the Springboks in Australia only to have to return home because of a family bereavement.
Du Toit cannot return to Australia just yet so the Sharks are delighted to cash in on suddenly having the massive tighthead available for a final against a team renowned for their forward strength.
The Sharks have had their problems in the set-piece in recent seasons but over the last few weeks their tight five has been trasnformed by the signing of Gerbrandt Grobler from Stade Francais and the emergence as a force of the towering Le Roux Roets, and with Du Toit now back the Sharks will be confident they can tame the Bulls.
There is a brand new face on the bench in young scrumhalf Lucky Dlepu, who could make his debut as cover for Sanele Nohamba, because the Sharks have had their depth in the position heavily depleted of late. Grant Williams is away with the Boks while Jaden Hendrikse and Cameron Wright are injured.
The 21-year-old Dlepu featured at age-group level for Western Province, captaining their Craven Week side in 2017, before making the move to Durban last year.
“It’s one-all in the Currie Cup, we’ve beaten them once and there’s no reason why we can’t do it again,” coach Sean Everitt said of the big final.
“We know that the ball travels far at Loftus so we’re going to have to handle the aerial battle well, but we have three players – Curwin Bosch, Sanele Nohamba and Lionel Cronje - who kick really well and will be up for the challenge.
“We know the Bulls have a massive pack of forwards, they are playing well and were sublime in their semi-final. It’s all about momentum, we know what’s coming our way with regards to how they play and the emphasis for us will be about stopping their momentum and stopping their big ball-carriers.”
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakier Abrahams, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (capt), 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Le Roux Roets, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Reniel Hugo, 21 Lucky Dlepu, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Anthony Volmink.