Sharks under 21 coach Sean Everitt has been dealt something of a bitter blow ahead of his side’s clash with the Blue Bulls at Loftus tomorrow afternoon; both his leading points scorer, flyhalf Fred Zeilinga and understudy Gavin Hauptfleisch have been ruled out of action this week due to injury.
The loss of both his tens has led to Everitt handing Maritzburg College utility back Keelin Bastew the opportunity to showcase his talents at pivot. Bastew has played at fullback for the Sharks at under 19 level and up until last week was filling in as a makeshift left wing, with regular 11 Sizo Maseko out of action. The good news for the coach is that Maseko, at least, is back this week to hopefully continue his try-scoring exploits down the left flank.
The only other change sees Wandi Mjekevu start again at outside centre, displacing Jared Meyer to the bench. That number 13 jersey appears to carry a strange curse for the Sharks at this level, with nobody who has played in it over the last few seasons seemingly able to make it his own. Last season’s occupant, Piet Lindeque, seems to have reinvented himself with great success as a right wing and is delivering encouraging displays each week in the number 14 shirt. Mjekevu and Meyer, though – KES boys both, incidentally – have been involved in a strange game of tag all season and only the coach will know whether the constant changes are about rotation, or form.
An interesting change on the bench sees Duan Coertzen named in place of Allan Dell, who is out of the squad entirely this week, while Kyle Wilkinson replaces fellow Rovers man Mzo Mbona amongst the backline replacements. Wilkinson last represented the Sharks at under 19 level back in 2010.
Sharks under 21: 15. Jaco van Tonder, 14. Piet Lindeque, 13. Wandile Mjekevu , 12. Heimar Williams (Capt), 11. Sizo Maseko, 10. Keelin Bastew, 9. Hanco Venter, 8. Francois Kleinhans , 7. Brendon Groenewald, 6. Chris Cloete , 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Nick Schonert, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Danie Mienie
Replacements: 16. Duan Coertzen, 17. Nicolaas van Dyk, 18. Wade Elliott, 19. Khaya Majola, 20. Murray Bondesio , 21. Jared Meyer, 22. Kyle Wilkinson