As it stands, the Sharks can sneak into a play-off in Johannesburg against the Lions should they get maximum points from their final two matches - the Bulls on Friday and then the Lions, both at Kings Park.
“It looks like we are playing a quarter-final in New Zealand but you never know how things will turn out over the next fortnight because if we get 10 points, and the Crusaders lose against the Hurricanes, we could suddenly be playing against the Lions at Eliis Park, and we would fancy our chances of winning there as against travelling for the best part of two days to an encounter in New Zealand.
The only thing that the Sharks can influence is who they pick to play this weekend, and there is a noticeable absence of Springboks that played against France.
“Players such as Jean-Luc du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira are sore and need a break,” the coach said.
In-form lock Ruan Botha is another out of the selection frame because of the red card he incurred playing for SA 'A' against the French Barbarians last week.
Coach Du Preez has decided to go with Garth April at flyhalf for this must-win game and picked Curwin Bosch at fullback.
Many would suggest that it should be the other way around.
“Look, there are players we cannot pick because of injury.
"They are wing Kobus van Wyk, outside centre Lukhanyo Am and Lwazi Mvovo, and then there are players coming back from injury that are not ready yet.”
Regarding, the choice of April at 10 ahead of Bosch, Du Preez said: “Garth did very well for us in that emphatic win against the Stormers.
"He attacked the gain line and defended so well that we have rewarded him, while Curwin is equally happy at 15 where he has been exceptional for us. So it works.”
SHARKS STARTING XV: Curwin Bosch, Odwa Ndungane, S’bura Sithole, Andre Esterhuizen, Sbusiso Nkosi, Garth April, Cobus Reinach, Daniel du Preez, Tera Mtembu, Philip van der Walt (capt), Stephan Lewies, Etienne Oosthuizen, Coenie Oosthuizen, Franco Marais, Thomas du Toit;
REPLACEMENTS: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Juan Schoeman, Lourens Adriaanse, Hyron Andrews, Jacques Vermeulen, Michael Claassens, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw