Sharks rugby coach John Plumtree has made minimal changes to his side that beat the Lions this past weekend for their Absa Currie Cup match against Griquas this Saturday in Durban.
The most notable change sees World Cup winning captain John Smith replace Bismarck du Plessis at hooker. Keegan Daniel takes the place of Jean Deysel on the side of the scrum and Steven Sykes comes into the starting line-up in the final change to the match-day 22, displacing Albert van den Berg.
The selection of Sykes and Smit are clearly just to give both a bit of match practice ahead of the play-offs while the selection of Daniel is perfectly understandable considering Deysel has been struggling with a virus this week.
The Sharks are currently top of the log but will probably be temporarily displaced from pole position when the Bulls take on the lowly Falcons at home Friday evening. Therefore rest assured, they will not be lacking any motivation come kick-off at Absa Stadium at 3pm on Saturday, because the coastal franchise have come too far this season to drop the ball at this late stage against a smaller union.
The Sharks’ backline will also undoubtedly be the centre of attention this weekend as they look to replicate the kind of performance that was evident during the second half against the Bulls.
Greater patience and accuracy on attack will be their focus on Saturday and few would bet against them getting it right. A Sharks win is all but guaranteed….
Sharks team: Stefan Terblanche, Odwa Ndungane, Adrian Jacobs, Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen, Frederic Michalak, Ruan Pienaar, Ryan Kankowski, Keegan Daniel, Jacques Botes, Johann Muller (captain), Steven Sykes, Jannie du Plessis, John Smit, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements – Bismarck du Plessis, Deon Carstens, Albert van den Berg, Jean Deysel, Rory Kockott, Bradley Barritt, Waylon Murray.