PREVIEW: Sharks v Golden Lions
CURRIE CUP SEMIFINAL: At Kings Park, the Sharks will be determined to build on their 37-21 victory against the Golden Lions in a repeat of this match in the pool stages, but they will be wary of underestimating the visitors.
The Durbanites have suffered only one defeat at home against their Gauteng rivals since 2008, and that was in 2015, which should bolster their confidence going into the match.
Interestingly, the Golden Lions have scored 46 more points than the KwaZulu-Natalians in the pool stages, but they conceded 80 more.
The Golden Lions have included Springboks Aphiwe Dyantyi and Warren Whiteley in their team to face the Sharks.
Cell C Sharks vs Xerox Golden Lions Rugby Co pre-match Press Conference. #SHAvLIO #OurSharksForever
Posted by The Sharks on Thursday, 18 October 2018
The Sharks also made minimal changes to their side with Thomas du Toit and Daniel du Preez starting after being forced to withdraw last week, while Marius Louw and Robert du Preez are back at centre and flyhalf respectively, which sees Curwin Bosch move to fullback.
After their last meeting in Round Six, Sharks lock Hyron Andrews will be hoping for more of the same on Saturday.
“One thing comes to mind from that game and it is the set-piece battle,” said Andrews.
“I thought we had a good day, we scrummed well, had good line-outs and our backs really performed. And on defence, we put in a good effort which is important in games against the Lions because they are a very attacking side.
“Both defence and attack are going to be important this weekend. If we have the ball, we have to maintain possession, and if they have it, we need to defend well.”
He added: “The Lions are a very good side, a world-class team that played in the Super Rugby final, but we won’t look at what they have to bring. We’re focussed on our own processes and what we need to do to win this game.”
Meanwhile, Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies believes the returning Springboks in both teams will lift the intensity of the game.
“We need that to play our attacking brand of rugby, and that is something that won’t change.
“They [the Sharks] also have a few Springboks, and so do we and hopefully that will boost their team and then us as well.
“We will then have a very good semifinal on Saturday,”
2018: Sharks won 37-21, Durban
2017: Sharks won 24-10, Durban
2017: Sharks won 47-31, Johannesburg
2016: Golden Lions won 28-16, Johannesburg
2015: Golden Lions won 26-18, Johannesburg
Prediction: The Sharks look a lot stronger up front and that will give them a big edge. The Sharks will take this one by 15 points.
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Leolin Zas, 23 Aphelele Fassi.
Golden Lions: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom (captain), 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Jo-Hanko de Villiers, 6 James Venter, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan van der Merwe, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Chergin Fillies, 19 Vincent Tshituka, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Wandisile Simelane
Date: Saturday, October 20
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 14.30 (12.30 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs, Jaco Pretorius
TMO: Christie du Preez
#OurSharks ARE BACK IN TOWN! We head into the clash at JONSSON KINGS PARK this weekend and are looking to 'rock some bodies' in the next step towards Currie Cup victory.#OurSharksForeverTHIS IS A PARODY, We do not claim ownership to the rights in this song.Music in this videoSongEverybody (Backstreet's Back)ArtistBackstreet BoysWritersDenniz Pop, Max MartinLicensed to YouTube bySME (on behalf of Jive); UMPG Publishing, UMPI, EMI Music Publishing, ASCAP, Kobalt Music Publishing, and 17 Music Rights Societies
Posted by The Sharks on Tuesday, 16 October 2018