The Sharks are not the current Super Rugby log-leaders for nothing. They displayed their championship credentials with a clean sweep on the New Zealand leg of their tour.
And they are up against a Stormers outfit with almost an entire team sidelined through injuries – players like Tiaan Liebenberg, Schalk Burger, Siyabonga Ntubeni, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff and Jean de Villiers, to name but a few.
However, the biggest threat to the visitors is not so much their extensive injury list, but rather the quality of the players the Sharks will field.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee admitted the Sharks’ historic and dramatic win over the Crusaders in Christchurch a fortnight ago says a lot about their character and state of mind.
2013: Stormers won 22-15, Cape Town
2013: Sharks won 12-6, Durban
2012: Sharks won 26-19, Cape Town (semifinal)
2012: Sharks won 25-20, Durban
2012: Stormers won 15-12, Cape Town
2011: Stormers won 32-12, Cape Town
2011: Stormers won 16-6, Durban
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Heimar Williams.
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Sithembiso Sithole, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Manuel Carizza, 21 Dylon Frylinck, 22 Demetri Catrakilis, 23 Peter Grant.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Johan Greeff