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Sharks get Bok boost

  • 09 Oct 2013
The Sharks have beefed up their pack with Boks The Sharks have beefed up their pack with Boks

The Sharks have included five returning Springboks in their starting XV for their clash against Western Province at Kings Park.

The Du Plessis brothers, Jannie and Bismarck, along with Tendai Mtawarira, Marcell Coetzee and Pieter-Steph du Toit will pack down for the Sharks at Kings Park, with a sixth Bok, Pat Lambie, named on the bench.

WP’s five-pointer against the Lions last week saw them leap-frog the Sharks into first place on the log, with just one point separating the teams. Both teams have secured home semi-finals already, but there is even more riding on the outcome of Saturday’s match with the winner claiming top spot for the knockout rounds and the opportunity of hosting the final.

Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt said that with the expectation of a tight game, given the importance riding on the outcome, discipline and defence were going to be crucial.

'This week our focus is on discipline because that let us down against the Bulls at the weekend and we need to get that right playing a team like Western Province. Another focus will be on defence because Province use the width of the field well; they have some dangerous runners, especially in Cheslin Kolbe and Gio Aplon.

'For both teams, it’s extremely important to get a home semi and the opportunity to host the final, so I doubt either side will use this week as preparation for the semi-final when so much is at stake. We owe some success to Durban and the province; and likewise, they would love a home final because they played away last year.'

While WP won the first-round match, Everitt says much has changed since then.

'If you look at the match we played them down at Newlands earlier in the Currie Cup, it was a game of two halves. We conceded two soft tries in the first half, but purely because they outmuscled us at the breakdown. But in the second half we came back, we were way more physical and confrontational and I think we won those aspects of the game. We outscored them in the second half. We are aware of what’s coming this weekend from a physicality point of view.'

After equalling Helgard Muller’s record of 142 matches when he played against the Bulls last week, Jacques Botes will become South Africa’s most capped Currie Cup player, should he come off the bench. Wiehahn Herbst is also in line for a special milestone, playing his 50th Currie Cup game for the Sharks if he comes on as a replacement.

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 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Stephan Lewies, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Louis Ludik.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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