Selection headaches loom for Sharks coach
DURBAN – Sharks coach Sean Everitt is predicting some tough selection headaches for himself when the Rainbow Cup begins in April, after his team of mostly second-string players emphatically beat Griquas 35-10 in an entertaining preparation series match at the weekend.
For the first two or three matches in this series, Everitt has said he will explore his depth while giving the players that bore the brunt of the playing time in the Currie Cup opportunity for skills and fitness work.
He says he will start feeding some of these players into the starting line-up for the third match and then look to pick his best team for the fourth (and last) preparation match, against the Bulls at Jonsson Kings Park on March 26.
The Rainbow Cup starts on April 17.
“On the whole, we are very happy with this performance against Griquas and this team will grow,” Everitt said.
“We know that if a team stays together for a period of time they will only get better. It is very exciting indeed for us to see the talent coming through at the Sharks.
“These guys would all have loved more opportunities in the Currie Cup, and when they got their chance (against Griquas) you could see how energised they were on the field,” Everitt said.
“They are now fighting for positions in the latter part of the preparation series. Competition is going to be fierce when we start selecting our best team towards the end.”
Everitt said this new group had just two training sessions before playing Griquas, with the Sharks having come back from their threeweek break last Monday.
“I am very happy for the youngsters. They had little preparation yet went out with a nice intent to use the ball,” he said.
“The weather allowed for running rugby and it is the route that we want to go.”
Everitt’s substitutes, mostly players graduating from the age groups, played with great enthusiasm.
“Ntuthuko Mchunu is a convert from No 8 to loosehead prop and it was his first game at this level at prop. He came on and won us a scrum penalty,” Everitt said.
“So I thought he was outstanding with the energy he brought onto the field, not only in the scrums but in his ball-carries and defence.”
Everitt was also pleased with the performance of 22-year-old centre Murray Koster, who was making his debut.
Koster is yet another former member of the unbeaten Sharks U19 team of 2018 that Everitt coached.
Junior Springbok wing/fullback Thaakir Abrahams also looked good in coming on and scoring a try.
There are 10-day breaks between matches in this series and the
Sharks next play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, March 10.