The biggest thing of Saturdays match between the Sharks and EP Kings is that Patrick Lambie will return to the playing field after a head injury in June against Ireland.
That the Sharks will want to get back to winning ways is must and against the EP Kings they cannot afford to lose another game. They lost against the Free State last week which will not sit well with the men from Durban as they also lost against Western Province the week before.
With only two rounds left every point has become important and a slip now will end in a disaster after a great start from the Sharks.
The EP Kings have not won a game this year and they are re-building what has been a disaster in their boardroom this year. That they have been competitive this far is great but it does not seem that the “lap en plak” Kings side have progress at all this Currie Cup seeason.
Sharks coach Robert du Preez says they will not underestimate the EP Kings despite their poor run this season.
“Both our remaining fixtures are important and we will not be taking Eastern Province lightly. They showed what they were capable off against the Bulls and we cannot afford to be complacent,” Du Preez told the Sharks official website.
“There is a lot to still play for and our preparation has gone well. We need to execute our opportunities and stick to our structures”.
Thyno Smith will replace injure Ndungane at wing, with Mjekevu replacing Sithole. At number nine Claasens replace Ungerer which should bringh much needed experience to the side.
In the forwards Kleinhans moves to number eight with Majola that gets a spot on the bench. Du Toit moves to loosehead with Meyer coming in as the tighthead with Ralepelle getting the starting birth at hooker and the captaincy.
There are a couple of rotational changes for the Kings with Barend Portgieter starting in the number one jersey with Vukile Sofisa dropping to the bench to the bench.
At hooker Martin Bezuidenhout takes the reins. Etienne Oosthuizen drops to the bench with Brandon Brown taking his place at the side of the scrum.
Lungelo Gosa starts at full-back instead of Johann Tromp at fullback. Waylon Murray starts at inside centre at the expense of JC Greyling who falls out of the squad.
Prediciton: Sharks should take this by 20 points
The Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Rhyno Smith, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Inny Radebe, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Francois Kleinhans, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (c), 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Neil Maritz
The EP Kings: 15 Lungelo Gosa, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Burton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Ricky Schroeder (c), 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Brandon Brown, 6 Vince Jobo, 5 Sebastian Ferreira, 4 Dylan Pieterse, 3 Justin Forwood, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Barend Portgieter
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Vukile Sofisa, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Luke van der Smit, 20 Vian van der Watt, 21 Minenhle Mthethwa, 22 Alcino Isaacs
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