Gold needs a cure for his pain at the back

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - DAR­RYN POL­LOCK

AF­TER be­ing rather for­tu­nate to have some con­ti­nu­ity in their se­lec­tion, the Sharks face a back­line cri­sis for their must­win game against the Chee­tahs at Kings Park tonight (7.10pm kick­off).

Long- term dis­rup­tions to Nos 9 and 10 have been some­what over­come, but coach Gary Gold has had to do some se­ri­ous head-scratch­ing at cen­tre and full­back in the run-up to a po­ten­tial play­off.

How­ever, Gold has grown ac­cus­tomed to the ab­sence of captain and fly­half Pat Lam­bie this sea­son. Lam­bie is still suf­fer­ing from con­cus­sion.

“At the be­gin­ning of the week it was dis­ap­point­ing to find out that Pa­trick was not go­ing to make it, but we always knew there was a chance that he may not be right,” he said. “But we have just got on with our work.”

Luck­ily for Gold, he is able to call upon his An­dre Ester­huizen, who was a late with­drawal from last week’s match. But Ester­huizen’s mid­field part­ner Paul Jor­daan has not re­cov­ered from a knock suf­fered against the Lions at El­lis Park last Satur­day.

JP Pi­etersen starts at No 13, while Pukke star Rhyno Smith takes over from Odwa Ndun­gane at full­back.

“This is the time that you re­ally want the con­ti­nu­ity, so it is a big loss to lose Paul Jor­daan, and along with Pat, and Wil­lie (le Roux),” Gold said. “But it an op­por­tu­nity for some­one else to step up to the plate.”

Asked about Ndun­gane’s omis­sion, Gold ex­pounded on his back­line prob­lems that those on the bench to­day of­fer more ver­sa­til­ity. “We need to cover as many po­si­tions as we can,” he said.

“S’Bura (Sithole) can cover us at No 13 and at wing, Lwazi (Mvovo) can cover us at full­back and at wing. We only have three backs on the bench and one of those has to be a scrumhalf, that is why Odwa misses out.”

One of the Sharks’ ex­cit­ing prospects, SA Un­der- 20 star Cur­win Bosch, will cover fly­half and full­back. Bosch comes off an im­pres­sive show­ing at the re­cent Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship in Eng­land, where he was nom­i­nated as one of the play­ers of the tour­na­ment.

“We be­lieve Cur­win is a prodi­gious ta­lent, and I be­lieve if you are good enough you are old enough,” Gold said. “There are still ar­eas in his game that he needs to work, but we think he has come back from the Un­der-20 World Cup – where he was one of the play­ers of the tour­na­ment – and we saw what he can do with ball in hand.

“So I think he de­serves a shot.”

RHYNO SMITH: Of­fers more than Ndun­gane

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