RECAP: Sharks v Hurricanes
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to our coverage of the Super Rugby Round 16 clash between the Sharks and Hurricanes at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium
The link to the match report will appear here later.
Brawn versus brains. That, in a nutshell, is how this crucial encounter will pan out.
The Sharks have a tricky run-in to the play-offs – with games against the Hurricanes (in Durban this week), the Jaguares (in Buenos Aires) and the Stormers (in Cape Town).
The Hurricanes, after Saturday’s outing at Kings Park, face the hapless Lions in Johannesburg and the Blues back home in Wellington.
A win over the Waratahs, followed by a draw with the Crusaders and a close loss to the Chiefs saw the Sharks take away seven league points from the three-match trip.
The win last week ensured the Sharks remain in the race.
Springbok loose forward Dan du Preez will make his 50th Super Rugby appearance.
2018: Hurricanes won 38-37, Napier
2016: Hurricanes won 41-0, Wellington (quarterfinal)
2016: Sharks won 32-15, Durban
2015: Hurricanes won 32-24, Wellington
2014: Sharks won 27-9, Durban
Prediction: The Hurricanes have won four of their previous six Super Rugby games against the Sharks, including their last two on the bounce; they have never won three successive games against the Durban outfit. The Sharks have won their last four home games on the bounce against New Zealand teams in Super Rugby, only once conceding more than 15 points in that span. The Hurricanes have won their last three Super Rugby games on the bounce away from home; the last time they won more in succession was a six-game spread to open the 2015 campaign. Only the Crusaders (25) have conceded fewer total tries than the Sharks (31) in Super Rugby 2019, though the Sharks have conceded a joint-league-low 16 second-half tries. Wes Goosen (Hurricanes) has crossed for a try in every one of his previous three Super Rugby games in South Africa; though, this will be his first visit to Durban.
Margin: Four points
LIVE: Sharks v Hurricanes
Kick-off: 15.05 local time; 13.05 GMT.
Our updates will appear below. There might be a slight delay in the match centre loading, please be patient. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden/Cullen Collopy, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Robert du Preez, 23. Kobus van Wyk.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Kane Le’aupepe, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Gareth Evans, 22 Richard Judd, 23 James Marshall.
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Divan Uys (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)