The Sharks should beat the Lions. It really is that simple, but how they go about doing that will undoubtedly be the most important aspect of all.
The time when lacklustre performances can be overlooked has come and gone. The Sharks now need to start hitting their straps and there is little doubt in my mind that they will do just that when they take to the Absa Stadium field tomorrow.
Yes, Brad Barritt has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and yes Frederic Michalak is highly unlikely to start but the return of four Springboks as well as up-and-coming Jean Deysel should provide the Sharks with more than enough firepower to be able dispose of the injury-riddled Lions with consummate ease.
But before we get to their injury woes, let’s take a moment to analyse that latest development from the Sharks camp, namely the loss of Barritt to a hamstring injury. Barritt has had terrible misfortune thus far this season, injuries from his back to his quad to his groin and now to his hamstring have meant his Currie Cup is yet to really get started.
In addition, French international Frederic Michalak was still being put through the paces late Thursday afternoon to see if he has sufficiently recovered from a hip injury sustained last weekend.
The loss of these two players would be a major setback for the Sharks but ironically, the Lions’ first choice centre, Jacque Fourie, and first choice flyhalf, Louis Strydom, have also suffered injuries which have forced coach Eugene Eloff to completely reshuffle his backline.
As a result Jaco Pretorius will replace Fourie at outside centre while Earl Rose moves from fullback to fulfill the flyhalf berth. Louis Ludik goes from left wing to fullback, while Rayno Benjamin and new-kid-on-the-block Heini Gordon will be on the wings.
Therefore, a depleted Lions side, playing away from home against a Sharks outfit that contains a host of Boks should really be no match for the coastal franchise.Tweet