Sources in the Sharks camp report that Ruan Pienaar is likely to be out for at least 3-4 weeks with what is thought to be a shoulder injury, while of even more concern will be that fiery hooker Bismark du Plessis; the heart of much of the aggressive defensive and attacking work done by the Sharks pack, has a broken rib and will probably be out for about 4 weeks.
While the sublime all-round performance of young Rory Kockott will ameliorate the loss of Pienaar, the loss of du Plessis is likely to cause a few palpitating hearts down on the East coast. Not only will his strength in the scrums, powerful defensive work and bullocking runs be missed, but the men standing in line behind him are all inexperienced and, although talented, very raw.
One would assume that the Sharks will have to look to talented retreaded outside back, Craig Burden, to fill the not inconsiderable boots of du Plessis, and while the former is a powerful and elusive runner, big tackler and aggressive cleaner at rucks, his fundamentals are still a work in progress.
There are still questions over his lineout and scrum work, and although the fact that he is playing against another retreaded hooker in Derrick Kuun should offer some consolation for this Saturday, he will have to really raise his game in the next few weeks.
We will be sure to keep you posted on any further developments in this matter.Tweet