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    Sharks face acid test

    2014-07-10 14:20
    Cape Town - The Cell C Sharks face an uphill task when they take on the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday - the Capetonians have made winning derbies at home a habit in the last number of seasons.

    The Stormers’ last home defeat against a South African team was in the semi-final of the 2012 season, when the Sharks travelled back from their qualifying win in Brisbane to upset the log-leaders in Cape Town.

    That was one of only three home defeats in South African derbies for the Stormers going back 20 matches to the start of the 2009 season - they lost the opener that season to the Durbanites and were also beaten at Newlands by the Bulls in 2011.

    With wins in their last four matches, the Stormers are going into this match with momentum, while the Sharks have lost their last two encounters.

    Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has warned against any form of complacency on Saturday as the Sharks will have a lot to play for.

    “We need to focus on ourselves, and not (on) the Sharks,” said Coetzee.

    “The important thing for us is to pitch up like we have the past few weeks - like we did against the Bulls (last week) - and to show that same kind of intensity.

    “Like I said at the start of last week, these last two games are very important for us - but this last one is probably the most important one because that is where you leave your last impressions.

    “We definitely would like to end the 2014 season on a high. If we don’t get the result it will be a bit of a setback (for us).”

    Jake White, the Sharks’ Director of Rugby, admitted that Saturday’s match will be a good test for his team before the playoffs.

    “At the beginning of the year, people said the Stormers and the Sharks had amongst the two strongest squads in the competition, and that hasn’t changed,” said White.

    “It doesn’t matter what they say about the injuries, they still have a great squad. We always knew at the back end of the competition they were going to be a threat and that’s exactly what’s happened.

    “In a lot of ways, with nothing to gain, that gives them a lot of freedom because it doesn’t feel like they have a noose around their neck.”

    Kick-off for Saturday's match is scheduled for 19:10.

    Teams:

    Stormers:

    15. Jaco Taute, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Schalk Burger (captain), 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Michael Rhodes, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Alistair Vermaak

    Substitutes: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Sti Sithole, 18. Martin Dreyer, 19. Manuel Carizza, 20. Siya Kolisi, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Peter Grant, 23. Seabelo Senatla

    Sharks:

    15. SP Marais, 14. S’bura Sithole, 13. JP Pietersen, 12. Paul Jordaan, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Francois Steyn, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Thomas du Toit

    Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Charl McLeod, 22. Fred Zeilinga, 23. Tonderai Chavhanga

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    01 May 2015
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