Adrian Jacobs, one of the few Sharks backline players to consistently shine on attack this season, suffered a potentially campaign-ending shoulder injury against the Hurricanes on Saturday. The veteran centre dislocated his shoulder early in the encounter and it appears to be a recurrence of the injury that plagued him in the early parts of last year.
John Plumtree has hinted that Jacobs will probably be out for the remainder of the Super 14, leaving the Sharks with a massive headache in the centres, an area of real concern even with Jacobs fit. The Springbok offers huge versatility, able to play either inside or outside centre; his direct competition for the number 13 jersey, Waylon Murray, still appears out of sorts and offers nothing at all on attack for the third season running. Riaan Swanepoel hasn’t had things all his own way at 12 either and the thought of these two operating as the first-choice centre pairing for the remainder of the season would be a cause for concern, given current form.
Looking at the Sharks XV, Andries Strauss has been tried at Super 14 level before and has never quite made the grade, while former Matie Jean Stemmet and the precocious Jerome Pretorius are both still very green. It’s the latter, though, who may just find himself thrust into the Super 14 spotlight as Plumtree searches for a replacement for Jacobs.
If anything, one would hope that the contrasting fortunes of Andy Goode and Pat Lambie have taught the Sharks management a few things about the folly of last-minute buying – as well as the wisdom in backing a promising youngster.
All the best, Adi. Sharksworld wishes you a speedy recovery.Tweet