Durban – Sharks coach Sean Everitt has kept changes to the team that beat the Ospreys last week to a minimum for Saturday night’s visit to Cardiff for a fourth-round United Rugby Championship match.
Dylan Richardson, who has just been named in the Scotland squad for the November international season, swaps with James Venter at openside flank and Henco Venter shifts from No 8 to blindside flank to accommodate the return of captain Phepsi Buthelezi, who was rested last week, with Gerbrandt Grobler playing off the bench.
The final change sees Anthony Volmink starting on the wing for an injured Thaakir Abrahams, with Curwin Bosch returning to the team at fullback.
Everitt said his team has a good platform from which to end their tour of the UK and Ireland with a flourish.
“We’re obviously very happy with the result we got last week, and not just the result but the way we performed,” he said from Cardiff.
“Of the principal things you need to do to win rugby games, one of them is discipline and I thought we were outstanding in that department, only conceding four penalties in the last 60 minutes of the game which contributed a lot to us winning the territory battle.
“Our discipline has improved vastly since the first game when we gave away 17 penalties, but conceded 10 against Glasgow and this last week nine, which is below the tournament average of 12, so we are doing well in that department.”
Everitt is also pleased that the team performed well in three other important areas: set-piece, territory and defence.
“From a defensive point of view we were outstanding, the Ospreys had many attacking opportunities but we were able to keep them out through some really solid defence.
“We also won the territory battle which was due to some very good game management from Ruan Pienaar and Boeta Chamberlain, the latter deservedly Man of the Match.”
With 11 internationals in their starting line-up, Cardiff will present a tough challenge.
“Cardiff have a very proud home record and we’re expecting a hostile crowd which is great because it fires us up, but it is good to be playing in front of fans again.”
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch 14 Marnus Potgieter 13 Jeremy Ward 12 Murray Koster 11 Anthony Volmink 10 Boeta Chamberlain 9 Ruan Pienaar 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (capt) 7 Henco Venter 6 Dylan Richardson 5 Hyron Andrews 4 Ruben van Heerden 3 Thomas du Toit 2 Kerron van Vurren 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Gerbrandt Grobler, 21 James Venter, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Werner Kok