Head coach Joey Mongalo has made several changes to the Sharks lineup to face coastal rivals Western Province in the Currie Cup at Kings Park on Sunday.
Yaw Penxe shifts to fullback for the Sharks, as Phikolomzi Sobahle (right wing), Thembelani Bholi (blindside flank), Corne Rahl (lock) and Khutha Mchunu (tighthead prop) will start in a re-jigged 23 from last week’s defeat to Griquas in Kimberley.
Hooker Jason Alexander, prop Marco Palvie and utility back Alwayno Visagie have been named among the replacements, and set to make an impact with veteran playmaker Lionel Cronje and Vodacom United Rugby Championship campaigners Hyron Andrews and Dylan Richardson.
“It was a tough week for us after that performance against Griquas because I thought we did very well in the first half of that game, so we’re obviously disappointed with how we dealt with it after half time,” Mongalo said.
“But weeks of adversity also have a way of bringing groups together, we don’t want adversity to divide us, but to bring us closer together and there are definitely guys in the group, especially those who played in the Griquas game, will want to set the record straight.”
WP are unbeaten after back-to-back opening wins in the competition, and Mongalo has no illusions as to the stern test the Sharks will encounter.
“We as a group realise the magnitude of the game, this Province team won away at the Lions and also beat the Bulls URC team, so they’re a side with a lot of confidence,” he added.
“But we’re looking forward to the challenge, for us it’s round three of this heavyweight boxing clash, and we’re a team that’s building, we believe that the longer we are together, the better we will play for extended periods of time.
“At the moment we’re playing well in short bursts and we want that connection and cohesion to last longer in games.”
Sharks – 15 Yaw Penxe, 14 Phikolomzi Sobahle, 13 Murray Koster (c), 12 Francois Venter, 11 Marnus Potgieter, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 James Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Corne Rahl, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Subs: 16 Jason Alexander, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Marco Palvie, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Tiaan Fourie, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Alwayno Visagie.
Photo: Gallo Images