The Sharks might boast brute force in their back row of the Du Preez twins and Keegan Daniel, but Province’s loose forward personnel is certainly one to watch.
Not only can they contribute to the physical battle (as seen last week), but the quickness of No 6 Sikumbuzo Notshe can put the likes of Curwin Bosch under good pressure, while his skillset speaks for itself.
Don’t forget about Nizaam Carr – a player who’s looked like a man on a mission in recent weeks.
2 Wilco Louw
The Sharks’ set-piece strengths need no explaining, but with a tighthead like Wilco Louw, Province have a strong counter to whatever the hosts produce at scrum time. At WP’s team announcement on Thursday, coach John Dobson said that they plan to play Louw deep into the game. And if you look at the kind of shows he has produced at the scrum, it’s not hard to see why the Province coach wants to go with Louw for as long as he can.
3 With a backline like that
Dillyn Leyds, Ruhan Nel, Huw Jones, Damian Willemse, Seabelo Senatlawith players like these, how can we not expect Province to hurt the Sharks in Durban?
I’m sure the visitors will do their thing against the Sharks so well that Kobus van Wyk will wish he never left the Cape only to be on the receiving end of what Province’s backline will dish up in the Shark Tank.
Willemse’s feet, Senatla’s pace, Nel’s Sevens flair, Jones’ general attacking ability and Leyds’ know-how when it comes to handling the oval ball can anyone expect a better backline spectacle than that?
4 Robert du Preez’s family fuel
Robert du Preez has made it a habit of performing well against his father’s team.
As Dobson says – he doesn’t know what goes on in the Du Preez WhatsApp group (yes, apparently there is one) – but I’m sure the Durban Du Preez group will be sharing any top-notch motivational chain messages with everybody but their bro in Cape Town.
I doubt he needs it anyway - I’m sure a replica of what he did against his brothers and father last time they met should be enough to fuel another strong performance.
5 Curb Curwin
Bosch’s boot is a most dangerous kind of threat – he can slot penalties and drop-goals from anywhere it seems.
But maybe WP need to rattle him a bit... run hard at his channel so he has no other option but to attempt a tackle (we all know that isn’t his favourite pastime).
Also, close down his space and hit him hard. If they do that, Bosch might shift his focus from drop goal to getting the ball away quickly. Voila.