Sharks coach John Plumtree has opted to once more go, as far as possible, with the team that beat the Force, with just two changes made for the Cheetahs game, according toSharks website editor Michael Marnewick.
After three home games, the Sharks are again on the road, although it’s just for the weekend as they head to Bloemfontein for their 12th Super Rugby pool game.
There is only one change to the starting line-up, with Riaan Viljoen coming in for Louis Ludik in an enforced change. Ludik has failed to recover from a bad knock he took to his bicep against the gooForce last week and will sit this game out. He is still struggling and hasn’t been able to shake that injury off but should hop
efully be over it next week.
Pat Lambie has suffered no ill-effects of the knock he took last week and will take his place at flyhalf.
The second change is rotational, with big Willem Alberts getting a run off the bench in the place of young Pieter-Steph du Toit. The rest of the match-day squad remains unchanged.
“The Cheetahs are an exciting attacking side, although we obviously like to attack as well, so if both sides look after the ball at the breakdown and Jonathan Kaplan rules it really well at the breakdown, we could get a really open game,” explains coach John Plumtree.
However, as a derby game, every expectation is that this game will be won in the tight exchanges. “I’m sure we can expect this game will be typical trench warfare,” Plumtree adds.
The Sharks kept David Pocock quiet last week and will be hoping to do the same this weekend with the Cheetahs’ own fetcher extraordinaire.
“Obviously, Heinrich Brüssow is a major threat to us, but if we stick to our structures and do what we want to in terms of attack then we’ll keep him quiet. But he’ll still be a presence, and just as it was against Pocock of the Force at breakdown time, he’s just one player they are relying on, and they’ll be looking for other guys to feature as well.”
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 George Earle, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman
Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Willem Alberts, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Ryan Kankowski, 21 Frederic Michalak, 22 Meyer Bosman