Sharks to test new strat­egy against Bulls

Pretoria News - - SPORT - MIKE GREEN­AWAY­[email protected]

THERE is one se­lec­tion in the Sharks team to play the Bulls to­mor­row night in Dur­ban that says it all about the way the Sharks in­tend play­ing in Su­per Rugby this sea­son.

It is the choice of James Ven­ter in the No 6 jersey and it is the first time for a num­ber of years that the Sharks are play­ing an out-and-out open­side flanker.

Typ­i­cally, the Sharks have opted for three highly phys­i­cal loose for­wards in the pursuit of ruth­less for­ward dom­i­na­tion, never re­ally re­ly­ing on an open­side flank.

It is how Jake White won the 2007 World Cup with the Spring­boks and what he en­trenched in Dur­ban when he coached here, and it was con­tin­ued by Robert du Preez.

Sean Everitt, though, thinks dif­fer­ently about rugby and we have seen how in the off-sea­son the Sharks bought fetch­ers that will be in­stru­men­tal to their play, namely the two Ven­ters: James from the Lions and Henco from the Chee­tahs.

The two of them, fit­tingly from a Sharks point of view, were bril­liant in last year’s Cur­rie Cup fi­nal, with James scor­ing two tries in a los­ing Lions ef­fort and Henco was the Man of the Match for the Chee­tahs.

For the 23-year-old James, it is a home­com­ing in that he is from Port Shep­stone and was schooled at rugby pow­er­house Glen­wood. A player in the mould of the fan­tas­tic but sadly un­der-utilised Hein­rich Brus­souw, Ven­ter will be tasked with at­tack­ing the break­downs and ei­ther slow­ing down the ball or steal­ing it.

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