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Sharks v Western Province – Teams and prediction

CURRIE CUP, ROUND THREE PREVIEW: There is no love lost as the Sharks host the Western Province in the coastal derby at Kings Park on Sunday.


The Western Province head into the contest on the back of two consecutive wins against the Lions and the Bulls

Following their dreadful 2022 Currie Cup, the men from Cape Town made a decent start this season – collecting 10 points and currently third on the log.

The Sharks will look to bounce back after their 40-48 loss to the Griquas in Round two.

The Durban-based side opened their campaign with a 32-16 win over Griffons, however, fell short to Griquas last weekend.

The Sharks are currently fifth on the log with six points.

Despite the defeat to the Griquas, Sharks head coach Joey Mongalo praised his team’s character.


“I have to compliment the players,” the coach said.

“To be 28-10 up in Kimberley says a lot about the quality of the group and what they can produce.

“It really showed us the potential of the group, so there were a lot of positives we can take from that.

“The way we finish the game says a lot and the ability to stay in the fight for long periods of time and to keep fighting for the scoreboard was impressive.”


Sharks v Western Province – Teams and prediction


Hitting the clubs

Sharks and WP’s depth will be tested as both franchises are without some senior players due to the United Rugby Championship and European Champions Cup.

The absence of some senior players like Clayton Blommetjies (WP) and Thaakir Abrahams (Sharks) have forced the coastal sides to delve into some club rugby resources.

Phikolomzi Sobahle, who plies his trade at College Rovers Rugby club, gets a start in the starting XV of the Sharks.

In the WP squad, wing Fazeel Robertson, from St Georges RFC in Strand and scrumhalf Labib Kannemeyer from SK Walmers will be making their debuts.

The match is also a big moment for Labeeb Levy, who will be the interim head coach for the Currie Cup team while John Dobson on the road with the Stormers.

“It is obviously different [being the head coach],” WP coach Labeeb Levy said, adding: “But I have had a couple of stints with the Under-20s and in Super Rugby campaigns.

“So, it’s a bit better from my perspective, as the past experience is helping in terms of dealing with the associated stress as a head coach, managing the programme.”

“We are still in discussion with the URC coaches on that side, and vice versa. I am enjoying the ride at the moment, bouncing ideas off the senior players and getting their buy-in.”

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Stern Sunday test

The WP might head into the contest slightly favourites, however, they face a Sharks team who is desperate and have some talented players believes Levy.

“The Sharks have good players, and played an excellent game against Griquas, who also played very well,” Levy admitted.

“The Sharks have a very experienced team that played last week, so we are expecting the same – and they’re at home.”

Sharks coach Mongalo said he is bracing for a very confident WP side.

“Province will come out flying due to their confidence. The franchise’s URC team the Stormes have beaten the Sharks in their last visit to Kings Park.

“They are a well-coached team, I don’t think a South African team has beaten the Western Province or Stomers in quite some time now, so we are looking forward to the challenge.

“We are excited and would not want it any different.”

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@rugby365com:  Sharks by five points


Sharks: 15 Yaw Penxe, 14 Phikolomzi Sobahle, 13 Murray Koster (captain), 12 Francois Venter, 11 Marnus Potgieter, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Bradley Davids, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 James Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Corne Rahl, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Jason Alexander, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Marco Palvie, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Tiaan Fourie, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Alwayno Visagie.

Western Province: 15 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, 14 Fazeel Robertson, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Bruce Sherwood, 11 Duncan Saal, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Keke Morabe, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Paul de Villiers, 5 Gary Porter, 4 Connor Evans, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Dylan de Leeuw, 20 Louwan Horn, 21 Armand Maritz, 22 Labib Kennemeyer, 23 Edward Coulson.

Date: Sunday, March 26
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT)
Referee: Christopher Allison
Assistant Referees: Local
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen

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