Aphelele Fassi has replaced Rhyno Smith at fullback for the Sharks against the Cheetahs this weekend. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The Sharks have made four changes to their team to face the Free State Cheetahs in their Currie Cup clash at Kings Park on Saturday.
Sharks coach Sean Everitt has made two changes amongs the forwards and backs each.

Upfront, Mzamo Majola comes in for Juan Schoeman at loosehead prop, while Luke Stringer makes way for Jacques Vermeulen in the other change to the pack.

In the backline, Aphelele Fassi takes over the fullback jersey from Rhyno Smith, while Sanele Nohamba will start at scrumhalf, with Cameron Wright playing off the bench.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s match against Free State, there are some lessons that will have been taken on board after the loss to the Pumas.

“It was a game of two halves. The wheels fell off the bus a bit because we lacked composure in the second half. And while we’ve spoken about an 80-minute performance, we didn’t pull it through,” said Sharks scrumhalf Wright.

“I don’t think there is any questioning our effort, that was there. But perhaps we were a bit over-eager, throwing offloads and 50-50 passes where it wasn’t necessarily on.

“From a physicality perspective, I think we are up there. We have a physical side and we pride ourselves on that: it’s something we back ourselves on.”

With three matches of the pool stages remaining, it’s vital that the Sharks pick up a victory this weekend.

“We want to win every game, that’s our goal and that should be the mindset. Other teams have done us a few favours – the Blue Bulls and Western Province going down – and kept the Currie Cup quite open.

“But we definitely have to win, we want to win all three – that’s a non-negotiable – and we need to win all three,” Wright added.

After Free State lost narrowly last week, the halfback expects a backlash this weekend.

“They are hurting a bit and we expect them to come hard at us, particularly early on. They like to play an expansive style of play married with physicality, so if we can match them, I think we’re in for a good shot.”

Sharks Team

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jeremy Ward (co-captain), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Tera Mtembu (co-captain), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Phepsi Buthelezi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola.

Bench: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Evan Roos, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Rhyno Smith.

African News Agency (ANA)