The Sharks scored eight tries in their 44-12 victory over Northern Free State in Welkom on Friday night in a friendly match that caretaker coach Grant Bashford described as “a very worthwhile exercise”.
The bad news is that one of the best players, No 8 Jean Deysel, might have broken his hand, according to Mike Greenaway on IOL.
Deysel will learn more on Monday and, if his hand is seriously injured, it would be a big blow for the Sharks ahead of their Currie Cup opener against Western Province on Friday night.
The tough former Lions loose forward was expected to fill the void created by A J Venter’s move to Western Province.
With new captain and flyhalf Bradley Barritt directing play, the Sharks backs were too sharp and pacey for the home side.
Barritt left his kicking boots at home, missing all five of his conversion attempts that could have boosted the scoreline.
The Griffons competed well at forward and their new loose forwards worked tirelessly with the Shimlas flanker, Albert Parsons, scoring one of his side’s two tries.
Bashford said that Steven Sykes had had a promising game at blind-side flank but that he still had a fair amount to learn about the running lines (lock is his customary position).
“We learned a lot about our depth,” Bashford said. “Last year we did not have a warm-up game before the Currie Cup and we suffered as a result. In this game we looked at club players and blooded a number of youngsters off the bench. We were very good in the beginning of the game and at the end, but in the middle we became a bit disjointed because of the changes we had made so that everybody had a run.”Tweet