Jake’s Great White Sharks should give Lions a tough time with unchanged line-up

2014-03-06 00:00

Super Rugby

BARRING injury, the Sharks coach should today name an unchanged line-up for this weekend’s Super Rugby game against the Lions at King’s Park Stadium.

White has so far emphasised this season how important it is to get his troops playing well in their combinations, and with the Sharks sporting a two-out-of-two record so far this season, the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies for the current leaders of the South African conference.

At this stage last year, the Sharks couldn’t get going as they were hampered by a number of injuries, which meant new players were coming into the team every week.

But, as written so many times already this season, White has been blessed, firstly with a big squad with lots of depth, and has been lucky to have finished both the first two games — against the Bulls and Hurricanes — without any injuries.

The Lions, who have done well so far this season, were beaten by a wounded Bulls outfit last week, and they should find the going a bit tough in Durban against Jake’s Great White Sharks.

But, the men from Durban have been keeping their feet on the ground following their good start to the season, with Lwazi Mvovo and Frans Steyn telling reporters earlier this week that they were in no way underestimating Johan Ackermann’s Leeus.

The player who has impressed most for the Johannesburg-based side has so far been former Bulls player — and Morné Steyn back-up — Marnitz Boshoff, while his halfback partner Faf de Klerk has also been impressive. Both players found themselves in the side following injuries to the franchise’s first choice halfback pairing of Elton Jantjies — back from his Cape affair with the Stormers — and Michael Bondesio.

Before the season began, the Sharks sunk their teeth into the Lions in the final warm-up game as they annihilated them 57-14 at Ellis Park. But that Lions side was missing a couple of their more experienced names, as Ackermann rested his boys to prevent any further injuries.

This weekend’s game, the Sharks’ second local derby and the Lions’ fourth, should be a much tighter affair. But White’s men should have enough gas in the tank to be in front when the hooter sounds at the end of the 80 minutes.

Predicted line up

Sharks: 15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Pat Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarirs Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Stephan Lewies, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Charl McLeod, 22. Heimar Williams, 23. S’bura Sithole.

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