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    Jake shuffles Sharks pack

    2014-05-15 07:14
    Christchurch - Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White has moved his players around for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash with the Crusaders as he looks to deliver a strong message in this year’s campaign, reports Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

    The Sharks are on top, but it’s tightly-congested in the upper half of the log and a win would do their campaign aims the world of good.

    In changes to the side selected last week, Willem Alberts reverts back to the loose-forwards, having been selected at No 8, while Tera Mtembu gets a start at flank, which means Ryan Kankowski and Keegan Daniel will play off the bench. Etienne Oosthuizen will get a start in the second row, while a vastly experienced front row remains unchanged.

    SP Marais reverts back to the starting line-up, which means Lwazi Mvovo moves to the wing in the only change amongst the backline personnel.

    The Sharks' record in Christchurch indicates that beating the Crusaders is not going to be easy, but White believes that records are there to be broken. “Clermont in France were beaten at home for the first time in 77 games this past weekend, in rugby union people have the opportunity to put their names down in record books. The Crusaders have lost two games at home this season, so it’s not impossible, but we need to make sure we’re up for it.”

    The Crusaders come off a big win over the Reds and a five match winning streak (including the scalps of the Brumbies and Chiefs). White agreed that they're on a roll at the moment playing with a lot of confidence.

    “They’re a good side, let’s not forget they’re an All Black laden side and they’re a team that always hit their straps around this time of year. So it is a difficult time to play them at a time in the season when they are on a high.

    “In saying that, it’s not mission impossible, we have to believe we have a chance and we’ve got to make sure we give it a crack.”

    Kick-off for Saturday's game is at 09:35 (SA time).

    Teams:

    Crusaders:

    15 Tom Taylor, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Ryan Crotty (captain), 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Willie Heinz, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett

    Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 George Whitelock, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Nafi Tuitavake

    Sharks:

    15. SP Marais 14. JP Pietersen 13. S’bura Sithole 12. Paul Jordaan 11. Lwazi Mvovo 10. Francois Steyn 9. Cobus Reinach 8. Willem Alberts 7. Jean Deysel 6. Tera Mtembu 5. Stephan Lewies 4. Etienne Oosthuizen 3. Jannie du Plessis 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain) 1. Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper 17. Dale Chadwick 18. Lourens Adriaanse 19. Ryan Kankowski 20. Keegan Daniel 21. Charl McLeod 22. Tim Swiel 23. Heimar Williams

    HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you agree that this has been one of SA's worst ever Super Rugby seasons? Send your thoughts to Sport24.

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