The Sharks will be hosting the Hurricanes after a big win for them last week against the Lions.
They were not brilliant but they took their opportunities to get the win and at this stage of the competition it is all you can ask for.
The Hurricanes brings a total new challenge to Durban specially with Beauden Barrett back at the number ten jumper. He brings a total new dimension to this Hurricanes side when he is at ten and will be looking to hit the Sharks with their brilliant backline.
The only way we can really see the Sharks winning this one is if they are able to put in another strong performance from their pack and dominate the set pieces.
This will enable them to play in the right side of the park and starve the Hurricanes from ball. Silly kicks will be punished which the Sharks can not afford against the attacking mindset this Hurricanes team have.
The Hurricanes is not known for their great set pieces but they have a great coach in Plumtree who knows South African and Sharks rugby well.
The Sharks are in a race to finish strong in firstly to make the playoffs and secondly to try and catch the Jaguares for that top SA conference spot.
Beside from having Barret back at ten Plumtree also included Coles in the bench for the match.
Prinsep also return to the run-on team with Du Pessis Kirifi moving to the bench and Ardie Savea also back in the starting XV.
We also see Fraser Armstrong returning after his injury to the bench. It looks like Marshall will get his 50th cap of the bench for the Hurricanes as well this weekend.
The Sharks coach Du Preez have opted for continuity making only one change to his side from last week in Phillip van Der Merwe out with an injury and being replaced with Jacques Vermeulen.
It will be the last home match for the Sharks having to play the Jaguares and Stormers away in the last two weeks.
With five sides still gunning for the playoffs in the SA Conference no team can afford to loose any more matches.
The Sharks can overtake the Jaguares but need to win this week and next week against the Jaguares.
This may just be one of those classic matches we have not seen really from the Sharks this year.
It will take a team effort and a massive effort on defence to stop the Hurricanes attack this weekend.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The Hurricanes have won four of their previous six Super Rugby games against the Sharks, including their last two on the bounce; they have never won three successive games against the Durban outfit.
- The Sharks have won their last four home games on the bounce against New Zealand teams in Super Rugby, only once conceding more than 15 points in that span.
- The Hurricanes have won their last three Super Rugby games on the bounce away from home; the last time they won more in succession was a six-game spread to open the 2015 campaign.
- Only the Crusaders (25) have conceded fewer total tries than the Sharks (31) in Super Rugby 2019, though the Sharks have conceded a joint league-low 16 second-half tries.
- Wes Goosen (Hurricanes) has crossed for a try in every one of his previous three Super Rugby games in South Africa; though, this will be his first visit to Durban.
Prediction: Beauden Barret is back which means full on attack from Hurricanes and add Ardie Savea to that then you have the Hurricanes with the win by 13
Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden/Cullen Collopy, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Kobus van Wyk.
Hurricanes – 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Kane Le’aupepe, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Gareth Evans, 22 Richard Judd, 23 James Marshall.