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Bosch starts against WP

The Sharks have loaded the Currie Cup team with URC players to see if a last chance saloon win against WP can get the team into the Currie Cup semi-finals. Even a bonus point win against WP will only be enough should Pumas and Griquas draw the next game, or Griquas beat the Pumas, or the Pumas trounce the Griquas while denying them a bonus point and the Sharks winning score against WP combined with the Pumas winning score exceeds 61 points, or Pumas beat the Griquas by one point with no bonus point and the Sharks winning score exceeds 67 points.

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Quarter-final Time

Sean Everitt has gone for continuity with only 1 change to the starting lineup (Le Roux Roets at 4 with Ruben van Heerden dropping to the bench). This week he is using a 5-3 bench split with Ben Tapui rejoining the squad.

The pundits are talking up the Bulls (and the Stormers): Matfield believes Bulls’ better coaching will trump Sharks’ star power in URC showdown. Mallett backs Bulls for URC title charge.

Bookies are currently giving odds of 1.53 for a Bulls win with the Sharks at 2.58.

It will certainly be a close game that the Sharks can win, but the team will need to make better decisions, cut down on mistakes and show absolutely 100% commitment from every player in the squad.

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Team for the Lions

Even though the big Sharks game on Saturday is the URC quarter-final at 13:45, there will also be a Currie Cup game at Kings Park at 17:00. The Sharks will face a strong Lions team (free to use all of their URC players) with 5 uncapped players in the squad (including the two hookers).

With only 2 log points ahead of the Pumas the Sharks need to win this game (or hope the Cheetahs beat the Pumas by more than 7 and prevent them from scoring 4 tries).

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Am and Ruben starts against Ulster

The Sharks will have play maker Lukhanyo Am back at outside center while hard working Ruben van Heerden starts in the number 4 jersey. Le Roux Roets who provides a lot of bulk and go forward to the Sharks pack is not in the mix – I can only assume he is out injured. Likewise fiery Gerbrand Grobler will also be missed.

I am worried that the Sharks will be rusty due to the bulk of the squad not playing rugby for 3 weeks. If the Sharks can pull of a win they will be guaranteed a home quarter final.

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Fez starts against Cheetahs

Etienne Fynn has made wholesale changes to last week’s pack and one change in the back line. Khwezi Mona, Fez Mbatha and Lourens Adriaanse will start this week, Emile van Heerden replaces Ruben van Heerden and Dylan Richardson, Thembelani Bholi and Mpilo Gumede start in the back row. Murray Koster is back at inside centre.

Junior Bok Blaine Golden will most likely get a first CC cap later in the game along with Nick Hatton.

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New Sharks signing – Update 2.0

Yesterday the Sharks announce the signing of Vincent Tshituka from the Lions on a three year deal. At only 23 he will be one to watch for the future. He’s also not a small lad at 1.95m and 107kg. Some good performances placed him on the Bok radar but before that can happen he will need to get his SA passport. Although the Sharks loose forward department is well stocked for now I’m sure he will add value and further depth to the Sharks loose forward pool.

Today the Sharks announce the signing of another Lions player in Carl├╣ Sadie. The 25 year old will join the Sharks on a 2 year contract and will for sure help to prop up the tight head department.

And there is yet another new player signing announced. Well not totally new as Lionel Cronje previously played for the Sharks. The 32 year old Cronje signed a 2 year contract.

Fleurs starts against the Puma

New signing Nevaldo Fleurs who just over a week ago featured for Maties in the Varsity Cup final will start at fullback against the Pumas on Friday night.

It is good to see URC bench players like Kerron van Vuuren, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and especially Boeta Chaimberlain get some game time before the business end of the competition. Zee Mkhabela may make a Currie Cup debut at nine later in the game.

In other news the signing of centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg has been confirmed.

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No changes for Connacht

Sean Everitt has picked an unchanged side for the game against Connacht. The Sharks should be safe for a quarter final, but now it is all to play for the final position in the top 8 in order to play the QF at home.

The Sharks showed some very positive progress in the game against Leinster (good to see Bosch and Fassi counter-attacking again), but they do need to work on their discipline. Too often the team let up the pressure by giving away silly penalties at crucial times.

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Kolisi starts against the Lions

Siya Kolisi and Henco Venter will regain their jerseys for the match against the Lions while Reniel Hugo starts in the 5 lock position and Le Roux Roets moves back to the bench. No changes have been made to the backline.

The Sharks will do well not to underestimate the Lions who have recently managed to put away top 5 teams Munster and Edinburgh.

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