DURBAN – There has been very little disruption the the Sharks team all season from injuries and the likes, and this trend continues as they prepare to take on the Chiefs at Kings Park on Saturday, 3pm.
Coach Robert du Preez has decided to rotate two backline players as one-capped Louis Schreuder comes in for Cam Wright, and then out on the wing, experienced flyer Lwazi Mvovo takes over from Makazole Mapimpi.
There is also a return for the industrious Philip van der Walt who took a knock to the face and missed out the last encounter against the Bulls.
The Sharks will be looking for some much needed points as the four teams in the African conference below the Lions, the Bulls, Jaguares, themselves and Stormers are only separated by a single point. In fact, all but the Cape Side are sitting on the same number of points.
“The log is wide open, the Bulls, Jaguares and us are all on the same points with the Stormers one point behind, so there is a lot to play for and it’s still in our hands,” flyhalf Robert du Preez said in the week. “We aren’t in the situation where we have to depend on other teams winning or losing, we just need to win all our games, then we’ll be home and dry. We’re positive.
“We know we messed up against the Bulls, but this weekend is another chance to fix our mistakes and we’re looking forward to the game.”
The Chiefs are set to name a team without any of their frontline All Blacks as the word from New Zealalnd is that the likes of Brodie Rettalick, Sam Cane and Damien McKenzie, to name a few, have returned for a national camp.
“I don’t think their structures will change much, although they will have some new personnel, I can’t see them changing the way they play in one week. But you never know with New Zealand teams… We’ve done our studies and analysis and we kind of know what to expect,” du Preez concluded.
The Sharks team is:
15. Curwin Bosch, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Philip van der Walt, 5. Ruan Botha (captain), 4. Tyler Paul, 3. Thomas du Toit, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Makazole Mapimpi.