Jake shuffles Sharks pack
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 TuitavakeSharks:
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 WilliamsHAVE YOUR SAY:
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