The Sharks face the unpleasant prospect or travelling to Johannesburg this weekend without a recognised goal-kicker, as both Rory Kockott and Juan Hernández look unlikely to make the trip.
Hernández injured his ankle some 20 minutes into the Leopards game last week and is unlikely to be risked this week, while Kockott is still feeling the effects of a shoulder injury sustained against the Cheetahs ten days ago. While Charl McLeod is a more than capable replacement at scrumhalf, his likely flyhalf partner, Guy Cronjé, has shown some alarming inconsistency with the boot since coming into the side. Monty Dumond will come back into the 22 this week, though and he will at least provide a more reliable goal-kicking option on the bench. Who can ever forget that 55m monster against the Cheetahs?
There is some good news as well, with Deon Carstens on the mend and looking odds-on to play some part against the Lions. Odwa Ndungane is fit again and he and Ryan Kankowski will both be allowed one final Sharks fling before joining the Bok tour to the Antipodes, which departs next Monday.
The Sharks will need to win well in Joburg to keep up the pressure on runaway leaders Griquas, facing a second successive tricky home fixture against the Blue Bulls. Should the Sharks win and Griquas lose, first place on the table will be up for grabs when the table-topping sides meet in Durban next weekend. It’s a pretty ironic turn of events that the Sharks management are wrapping players like Hernández in cotton wool for a home match against Griquas – seeing that game as far more crucial than an away fixture to the Lions!Tweet