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Sharks beef up forward pack for Glasgow Warriors

Sharks' Gerbrandt Grobler shakes hands with Mike Haley of Munster after the United Rugby Championship game. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO/Shutterstock

Sharks' Gerbrandt Grobler shakes hands with Mike Haley of Munster after the United Rugby Championship game. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO/Shutterstock

Published Sep 30, 2021

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DURBAN - The Sharks have beefed up their forward pack for Saturday’s visit to the Glasgow Warriors by moving Gerbrandt Grobler from the second row to blindside flank and recalling experienced lock Ruben van Heerden.

Van Heerden has only recently resumed playing after a long period on the sidelines because of appendicitis and will make a big difference to the forward effort.

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Coach Sean Everitt has also brought in Fez Mbatha for Kerron van Vuuren at hooker and Murray Koster takes over from injured Marius Louw at centre.

Grobler takes over from injured Henco Venter on the flank.

Koster and replacements Lourens Adriaanse, Thembelani Bholi, James Venter and Tian Meyer all make their United Rugby Championship debuts for the Sharks.

Sharks assistant coach John Mcfarland has highlighted the positive and negative from their round one match, citing the penalty count, but hinting at the team’s excellent defence. Against the Warriors, tightening up on discipline will have a significant influence on the game.

“The big thing we need to work on is our discipline, the penalties put us under pressure” he admitted. “Munster had 12 entries into our 22 of which 12 came from penalties – that’s the only way they got into our 22. But we’ve made great strides and there has been improvement in our discipline. I think some of the interpretations on the weekend were very different and we have to get used to them, and quickly.”

With the game played on artificial turf, Mcfarland warned that the tempo and pace will be very high which will require plenty of energy on both attack and defence.

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“We’re excited about the surface we’re playing on, I think it will be a quicker game and we know Glasgow like to keep the ball in hand, so we have to make our tackles and that’s something we can’t fault the players for last weekend – that was a real positive actually.”

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Murray Koster, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Gerbrandt Grobler, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Khwezi Mona

Substitutes: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Hyron Andrews, 21 James Venter, 22 Tian Meyer 23 Jeremy Ward

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@MikeGreenaway67

IOL Sport

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