Category: United Rugby Championship

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.


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.


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.


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.


Ox back for Edinburgh

Aphelele Fassi is still out injured but the Sharks will welcome back Ox Nche. Anthony Volmink takes over the fullback position after not having featured in any Sharks team for weeks.

Having doing well to manage bonus points against below strength Benetton and Scarlets teams (due to Six Nations call-ups) and the bottom dwelling Zebre team, the Sharks will face a full strength Edinburgh team featuring the likes of Hamish Watson.