Sharks in high spirits for Lions encounter

2018-10-19 13:42
Robert du Preez junior is back at flyhalf for the Sharks’ semi-final clash against the Lions on Saturday.

Robert du Preez junior is back at flyhalf for the Sharks’ semi-final clash against the Lions on Saturday. (Gallo)

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The Sharks are in such high spirits at the moment that even the confirmation on Thursday of the Lions getting back three powerful Springboks for Saturday’s Currie Cup semi-final in Durban is of little bother to them.

Earlier this week, several Sharks players brought out their musical “talent” to “produce” a catchy song for their fans on the team’s Twitter account, and the great mood was still evident at training on Thursday as coach and captain expressed limited fear of coming unstuck this weekend.

The “hit” the players mimed was the Backstreet Boys’ Everybody, and they hope their fans not only enjoyed the Twitter experience, but will come in their numbers to back them at King’s Park at 2.30 pm on Saturday.

Sharks coach Robert du Preez, who has made minimal changes to the team for the match, says they had to create some kind of fun to help players with tense nerves ahead of the game.

“Obviously, the boys were getting nervous because some of them haven’t played in a match like this, so yes, there’s a fantastic spirit in the team. It’s really been great and it’s nice to see the boys having fun off the field as well,” said Du Preez.

Captain Louis Schreuder said: “Obviously, there will be a bit of tension because it is a big game, but as long as everyone is confident, positive and excited for the weekend, I think it’s a good thing.”

Du Preez made only three changes, with Thomas du Toit and Marius Louw back in the starting line-up. Louw is back at inside centre as Robert du Preez junior moves back to flyhalf, while Connie Oosthuizen drops to the bench to make way for Du Toit. In the other change, Aphelele Fassi starts on the bench as Curwin Bosch moves back to fullback after playing at 10 last week.

The second semi-final on Saturday sees Western Province favoured to beat the Bulls in Cape Town at 5 pm.

TEAMS

SHARKS: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (capt), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman. Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Leolin Zas, 23 Aphelele Fassi.

LIONS: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Janties, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pikkie de Villiers, 6 James Venter, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sti Sithole. Substitutes: 16 Tiaan van der Merwe, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Chergin Fillies, 19 Vincent Tshituka, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Wandisile Simelani.

Read more on:    sharks rugby

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