The Lions are coming of a bye week to take on the Sharks at home this Friday evening.
The Sharks come into the match under pressure with another loss last week against a South African franchise.
Biggest problem again this year for the Sharks have been the quality of their game with just too many basic mistakes.
It will be a massive clash between the two packs which will be decisive in the result. The Sharks have not had an great success this year against South African sides when it came to the set pieces.
It will be interesting to see how the two tens will go in this game as both are struggling just a bit this year to get to their top game.
Jantjies have been the most improved between the two and if he can get his backline going it may be a long afternoon for the Sharks yet again.
Coach Du Preez has made a few changes to the side as well as we see Curwin Bosch bak in the team, but not at the number ten spot but fifteen in place of Fassi.
In the pack he had to replace Akker van der Merwe who has been suspended with Kerron van Vuuren. Fez Mbatha will cover from the bench.
Lions coach De Bruin has also made some changes to his team which sees Springbok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi starting at outside centre.
Dyantyi replace Simelane in the midfield.
Good news for Lions this week was that Cyle Brink return after a long layoff to the side of the scrum.
Coetzee also return to fullback with Tyrone Green moving to the wing. Coetzee has also given Ross Cronje the number nine jumper for this week match.
Some interesting fact (BY: OPTA)
- The Sharks beat the Lions in their most recent Super Rugby encounter (Round 17, 2018), ending a run of seven defeats against them.
- The Lions are on a three-game winning run in Super Rugby, the last time they enjoyed a longer streak was their record 14 game run on their way to the 2017 final.
- The Sharks have lost their last seven away games in Super Rugby against fellow South African sides, their last such win coming against the Cheetahs in March 2017.
- The Lions have scored 10 tries in the 20 minutes immediately after half-time in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other team in the competition.
- Elton Jantjies (Lions) has missed more tackles (20) than any other player in Super Rugby so far this season, completing just 67% of his attempts.
Prediction: Lions by 8
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Lionel Mapoe, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Ruan Vermaak, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (c), 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan Macbeth, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Stephan Lewies, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Hacjivah Dayimani, 23 Sylvian Mahuza/Wandisile Simelane.
Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Louis, Schreuder (c), 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Aphelele Fassi.
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