Alberts, Coetzee boost for the Sharks


Alberts missed the Sharks’ last clash against the Rebels as the result of an ankle injury, while Coetzee was rested as per Saru’s Bok management policy, but both will be back to bolster the Sharks’ loose-trio.

Etienne Oosthuizen, who featured at blindside flank against the Rebels, now shifts to the second row where he will start alongside captain Marco Wentzel.

The all Springbok front-row remains intact, and for the overseas-bound Du Plessis brothers, as well as Alberts, they will be hoping for a fitting farewell.

Besides the changes up-front for the Sharks, the same backline has been retained from the Rebels clash, with Stefan Ungerer and Lionel Cronje now starting their fifth successive game in the 9-10 channel.

It’s been a breakthrough season for Ungerer, who has been outstanding since taking over from the injured Cobus Reinach.

“You never wish an injury on a guy, and Cobus and Conrad (Hoffmann) were ahead of me for selection at the start of the year, but it’s nice to be getting some game time at the moment – especially alongside Lionel, I work nicely with him on the field,” Ungerer commented.

“We do work on quite a few extra things with our kicking after training and it has shown in the game – I think we’ve really clicked well. Lionel has an attacking nature to him so he’s brought a new dimension to the play in the last few games for the Sharks.”

Although Ungerer came into the starting line-up at a time when the Sharks were on a troubling losing streak, the 21-year-old said the team environment had always remained positive.

“I think the guys really pulled together despite the results. We didn’t always get the wins we were looking for but I think the spirit in the camp was high throughout our whole overseas tour. And when we did finally get the win, it felt good, it felt like all the work we were doing finally paid off.”

After losing six games in a row, the Sharks have managed to clinch back-to-back wins, and they will be desperate to complete their campaign with another positive result against the Stormers.

Although the South African conference winners are likely to bring a second-string team to Durban, Ungerer said there was still everything to play for,

“For us it’s important not to see this last game as a dead rubber. We need to play for the full 80 minutes, finish the campaign on a high note and give some guys that will be leaving a nice send off.” - The Star

Original source: Alberts, Coetzee boost for the Sharks