Sharks show faith in tried and tested for Benetton crunch URC clash

Aussie centre Ben Tapuai with the ball for the Sharks during a match

Aussie centre Ben Tapuai was the only change in the Sharks team as he replaces the injured Rohan Janse van Rensburg. Picture: Steve Haag Sports/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published Apr 13, 2023

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Durban - The Sharks team to take on Benetton in a vital United Rugby Championship clash at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Friday is virtually unchanged from the side that lost to Toulouse last week In the Champions Cup.

The only change to the Springbok-laden team is at inside centre where the injured Rohan Janse van Rensburg is replaced by Australian international Ben Tapuai, with Marnus Potgieter coming onto the bench.

With two rounds left of the URC league games before the quarter-finals, this match is just one of a number of games where the outcome could determine who finishes in the Top Eight and who does not.

The Sharks are currently in eighth position and must fight off a late challenge for the playoffs from the Italians, who are one place lower on the overall log and a point behind.

The Sharks host Munster next weekend —  the team they defeated in the Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 a fortnight ago — and the pressure is on everyone to finish as high up as possible, or indeed, make the top eight and gain entry into the knock-outs.

Benetton has had a mixed bag of results, losing to the Lions a few weeks back (when they were without their Italy internationals), but have beaten Irish teams Ulster and Connacht.

They will come to Durban intent on causing an upset.

Sharks team: 15 Boeta Chamberlain, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Siya Kolisi (capt) 5, Hyron Andrews, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements: Kerron van Heerden, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Carlu Sadie, Jeandre Labuschagne, Phepsi Buthelezi, Cameron Wright, Marbus Potgieter, Thaakir Abrahams.

@MikeGreenaway67

IOL Sport