White impressed by SA number 10s
The Sharks coach says young fly-halves have a chance to stake their claim in the national team.
JOHANNESBURG - Sharks coach Jake White on Tuesday told EWN Sport he has been impressed with the display of South Africa's fly-halves during the Super Rugby competition.
The top three points scorers in the competition are all local, with the Lions' Marnitz Boshoff leading the pack, followed by Johan Goosen and Patrick Lambie of the Cheetahs and the Sharks respectively.
White says Morne Steyn's exit to France has given young fly-halves in South Africa a chance to stake their claim as the country's premier playmaker.
"I know Goosen is back from injury, so I'm sure Heyneke [Meyer] is enjoying the fact that the number ten jersey is up for grabs. Everyone seems to be playing at the top of their game. Come the Tri-Nations and the incoming tours, there will be an opportunity for one of those guys to get higher honours."
The Sharks lead the combined conference with four wins out of four.
The Durban-based side head to Loftus in Pretoria on Saturday hoping to make it five from five.
White says this has been a nice turnaround for the Sharks after a few tough seasons.
"They've had a few coaching changes and their campaign last year wasn't that successful. Supporter numbers were dwindling, so it's not just about the results. There's now a nice buzz in Durban and the supporters are edging their way back into the stadium."
White was full of praise for winger JP Pietersen, who will run out for his 100th cap on Saturday.
"He's been around the block and he understands the pressure that comes with these big games. He basically landed from Japan on Tuesday and had an unbelievable game on Saturday in his first run out. If that's the way he's going to play this season, it bodes well for the club and for JP."
The former Bok coach offered some advice to the Stormers who face the Brumbies this weekend.
White says the Cape Town side mustn't underestimate themselves.
"I see they're getting depleted with injuries now and there's talk that Duane Vermeulen might play at lock. Obviously it's not great when you're in the third week of a tour and you have to rejig your team. No one thought that the Force would beat the Highlanders last weekend and the Lions beat the Stormers when no one gave them a chance."