John Plumtree has acknowledged that the loss of Juan Martin Hernandez for the Super 14 is a massive blow to his side’s aspirations.
The Sharks coach has confirmed that neither Ruan Pienaar nor Guy Cronjé will be fit to train for at least the next month, leaving him few options at pivot. Monty Dumond has apparently impressed the coach at training, particularly as his conditioning is top-notch. The Sharks are, however, understood to be scouring the globe for a suitable flyhalf option.
This is not as simple as it seems, however. All the good pivots are, as usual, tied up in contracts, either locally or abroad and finding someone that will offer more than Dumond may well prove prohibitively expensive – if not completely impossible. Any mercenary brought in at this late hour will presumably also need some time to acclimatise to the Sharks structures and game plan, adding further to the risk.
Dumond is understood to be a favourite of Currie Cup backline coach Grant Bashford. With the introduction of Hugh Reece-Edwards to the mix, though, it is possible that the players shares may fall once more. Bashford will play the roles of skills coach this Super 14, while Reece-Edwards, it is rumoured, is being groomed to take over as head coach for the Currie Cup.
In the same interview with Christo Buchner from Beeld, Plumtree went on to blame the Sharks’ semi-final defeat in the Currie Cup on the fact that his Bok contingent came back from the Tri-Nations campaign unfit. It’s just the latest in a string of factors Plumtree has brought up (none of which includes his own gameplan) but may well have some merit. Certainly, one wonders how a player like Ryan Kankowski could possibly have benefited from three months of carrying tackle bags when he could have been playing in the Currie Cup.Tweet