Sbu Nkosi of the Sharks challenged by Schalk Brits of the Bulls at Loftus Versveld in March. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The Sharks by their own admission are in ‘obsession-mode’ when it comes to tomorrow’s Super Rugby match against the Reds. They are desperate to bounce back from the hiding they received at the hands of the Jaguares.

Strong leadership is required. Here are four Sharks who need to lead the way.

Sbu Nkosi

This is a big game for the incumbent Springbok right wing. He has been dogged by injury this season and from the sidelines has seen Sharks teammate, Makazole Mapimpi, dazzle in his place.

Mapimpi, is having a rotational break this weekend at the fortuitous time that Nkosi is returning from injury. The latter will want to impress from a national point of view but he will also know that his positive, aggressive style of play rubs off on his teammates. The Sharks need him to be at his robust best.

Kobus van Wyk

The former Stormers and Bordeaux Bègles player comes into the side at outside centre for resting Bok Lukanhyo Am. Van Wyk fills big boots as Am has been a stand-out Sharks player this year.

The 27-year-old Van Wyk is an exceptional player in his own right and is vastly underrated in South Africa. He has suffered injured this season and as a wing/centre he is also in a position where the Sharks have very good depth. But he now has a great chance to shine with his thoughtful approach to the game.

Kobus van Wyk of the Sharks during the 2018 Currie Cup Rugby match against Western Province. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Kobus van Wyk of the Sharks during the 2018 Currie Cup Rugby match against Western Province. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Dan du Preez

The No 8 was one of the better Sharks players against the Jaguares and this time when he charges from the back of the scrum he needs to have more support. The 23-year-old has played SA Schools, SA Under-20, four times for the Boks and has 40 Super Rugby caps for the Sharks.

Though young, he already has considerable experience and is a player that commands respect from his peers. Du Preez is vital to the Sharks starter movements and is also a very strong finisher, especially when in bulldozer distance from the tryline.

Coenie Oosthuizen

‘Shrek’ is a unique personality in the Sharks team. Jovial and colourful, he is just as nice off the field as he is on it. The beefy Oosthuizen is another Sharks player who is on the fringes of World Cup selection and he will be doing both himself and the Sharks a favour if he has a barnstorming performance against the Reds, having been rested last week, along with fellow front-rower Tendai Mtawarira. Oosthuizen and Mtawarira led from the front at Ellis Park.

They need to do so again!


The Mercury

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