The Sharks’ live-wire scrumhalf Rory Kockott has been declared unfit for Saturday’s Currie Cup crunch game against the Cheetahs, and for an indefinite period.
Kockott went for further scans to his inured ankle on Monday, only to reveal a hairline fracture which was over-looked in previous examinations.
“It’s really bad news,” captain Johann Muller told rugby365.com on Tuesday, in light of the need to field a full-strength side against the defending champions.
The Sharks are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Currie Cup standings, though the consensus this week is that the Durban side are far from happy with certain aspects of their game, especially with regards to their defensive patterns.
“It’s a funny one – we’re leading the Currie Cup log but we’re disappointed with our performances in the first couple of rounds, especially with our defence,” said Muller.
“During the Super 14 we were one of the top defensive sides, but in the Currie Cup we’ve let ourselves slip.
“So we’ve been working hard on it this week, starting with a great video session on Monday. It was really beneficial for the younger members of the team, who have a tendency to make wrong decisions at the wrong times,” Muller added.
Kockott’s new diagnosis could rule him out for a lengthy period, as the Sharks will have to build on the resources of replacement scrumhalves Scott Mathie and Charl McLeod.
Muller also confirmed that BJ Botha and Deon Carstens were struggling with respective niggles, their selection for Saturday’s encounter also uncertain.
Good news for the Sharks however is that loose forward Jean Deysel trained with the side on Monday, with his selection and return to the starting XV looking promising.
The Sharks have a fairly undesirable record against the Cheetahs in the domestic competition, having lost their previous nine matches.
Their last win against the Free State outfit however was in Bloemfontein in 2003, where they pipped the Cheetahs 28-25.Tweet