generic hexagon

Preview: Lions vs Sharks

  • 27 Sep 2013
Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies is tackled by the Sharks Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies is tackled by the Sharks

The Golden Lions and Sharks will go into their Currie Cup clash at Ellis Park on Friday full of confidence.

Both sides registered impressive wins last weekend with the Lions beating the Bulls 35-26 in Joburg and the Sharks crushing the Cheetahs 50-26 in Durban. That left the Sharks in top spot on the Currie Cup log, ahead of WP on points difference, with the third-placed Lions four points behind.

The last time these sides faced each other the Sharks won 33-25 at Kings Park, but apart from being out for revenge, Lions coach Johan Ackermann knows a victory could help clinch a home semi-final for his team.

'We know this competition isn't easy and we want to stay in the top four,' he said. 'A win on Friday could see us advance even higher on the log, but the Sharks would want to hold on to their place, so it is going to be a tough and interesting game.'

Ackermann has made two changes for this match, with Chris van Zyl starting at No 4 lock and Warren Whiteley back at No 8 having recovered from a hip injury.

Sharks forwards coach Brad Macleod-Henderson says his charges are determined to claim a home semi-final berth, but cannot afford to be distracted by their position on the table.

'We want to have a home semi and if all goes well, a home final, but we've said all along, the process and the performance is what we're really looking at,' he said. 'We played a fantastic game on Saturday [against the Cheetahs], but there are still areas we need to improve on. We'll have to play as well, if not better, this Friday against the Lions if we want to get the right result.'

The Sharks have also made two changes with U21 lock Stephan Lewies set to make his Currie Cup debut and Justin Downey coming in at openside flank.

Our team's predictions

What the bookies say

Golden Lions – 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Andries Coetzee, 13 Deon Helberg, 12 Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Derick Minnie (c), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Subs: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Willie Britz, 19 Warwick Tecklenberg, 20 Guy Cronjé, 21 Grant Janke, 22 Ruhan Nel.

Sharks – 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Subs: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Bynard Stander, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Butch James, 22 Jaco van Tonder.

Preview: Cheetahs vs WP

Preview: Griquas vs Bulls

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Richie McCaw holds the Webb Ellis Cup aloft

Richie ‘the great’ has done it all

Richie McCaw’s longevity, leadership and consistency have made him the greatest player of the modern era, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

Jean de Villiers in SA Rugby magazine

Jean was a true warrior

Jean de Villiers will go down as a Springbok great, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

Jonah Lomu bulldozes Mike Catt in the 1995 World Cup semi-final

Lomu’s indelible mark

Jonah Lomu may be gone but his unique contribution to the game will never be forgotten, writes JON CARDINELLI.

You may also like
Get our daily email update. Subscribe to the SA Rugby magazine newsletter: