Robert du Preez brings plenty of value to the Sharks with his deadly boot. Photo: BackpagePix
 The Sharks will know that the Golden Lions arrive at Kings Park here for today’s eagerly anticipated Currie Cup clash (5.05pm kick-off) full of fire and fury having lost badly at the hands of Western Province last weekend.

But for the Sharks it has been a week off with a bye and time to recharge their batteries as well as hopefully pick themselves up for the remaining challenges that await.

For Robert du Preez’s side, it means they will have to really get themselves up for this game as although they are undefeated and have picked up bonus points in all their matches, they have, by their own admission, underperformed.

Against the Blue Bulls at the beginning of the campaign, the pressure kept abating as the Pretoria outfit kept making costly, unforced errors. Even against the Pumas, the Sharks got the job done, but were not clinical or ruthless.

It was against the Free State Cheetahs that the Sharks really failed to fire, just pipping the second string Free Staters in Bloemfontein in a game that many expected them to run riot in.

But the belief is that the Sharks are very close to clicking, and in the words of Robert du Preez jr, when they do, it will be devastating. So the Sharks will be hoping that devastating form is not too far away as the Lions will no doubt be looking to outscore the home side.

“Western Province did a lot of good things in their game against the Lions but the Lions also scored a lot of tries” Du Preez said.

“They’re a team who know how to score tries and we all know that so we have to be wary of that. They function well off turnover ball so we’re going to have to look after the pill.

“It’s never nice being beaten so I can only imagine that the Lions will come hard this weekend but regardless of the result they still would have been a difficult side so we’re really looking forward to their challenge.”

Luckily for the Sharks, they have some powerful back-up for this match with a few returning Springboks as well as key Currie Cup additions.

Thomas du Toit gets some game time having been released from the Boks, but there is also Coenie Oosthuizen who makes his return to competitive rugby off the bench.

Sbu Nkosi and Jacques Vermeulen are also on the bench after their own injury concerns, while new recruit Ruben van Heerden gets a chance straight away as a replacement.

The Sharks will be hoping to keep their unbeaten streak alive at home as their next challenge is probably their toughest as they face Western Province in Cape Town.


Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (capt), 1 Juan Schoeman

Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Ruben van Heerden, 19 Jacques Vermeulen, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Sbu Nkosi, 22 Aphelele Fassi

Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronjé (capt), 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Len Massyn, 6 James Venter, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sti Sithole

Replacements: 16 Corné Fourie, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Reinhard Nothnagel, 19 Driaan Bester, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Gianni Lombard, 22 Wandisile Simelane


Independent on Saturday 

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