Cape Town - Sharks interim coach Hugh Reece-Edwards says they are ready for the expected physical onslaught from the Bulls in their Super Rugby encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The Sharks have therefore included Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis in the only change to the team that beat the Blues 22-20 last week. It will be the first time this season that the Sharks will field their all-Springbok front row of Du Plessis, his brother Jannie and Tendai "Beast
"We know what we want to do and that is to take them on physically," Reece-Edwards told the Beeld website
"It has worked there for us in the past. We will fight fire with fire.
“We are very aware of their physicality and certainly we know we need to be physical if we want to be in that game. But we also have to go up there and play our game to go and get the result we want. And that is to come back with a win to have any chance of staying in this competition.
“We have some talented players, some talented backs, and although we don’t have a huge number of backs, with what we’ve got we can certainly play exciting rugby. We know we have to keep the ball in hand for long periods of time against the Bulls and that doesn’t change regardless of the style of rugby we want to play.”
The Sharks, who are currently ninth on the overall log
, still have an outside chance of making the playoffs, while the Bulls (second) are eying top spot overall.
Kick-off for Saturday's game is at 19:15.Teams:Bulls:
15 Zane Kirchner
, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht
, 12 Jan Serfontein
, 11 Bjorn Basson
, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard
, 8 Dewald Potgieter
(captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip vd Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger
, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle
, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Jano Vermaak
, 21 Jurgen Visser, 22 Morné MelletSharks:
15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Odwa Ndungane
, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Butch James
, 11. Lwazi Mvovo
, 10. Patrick Lambie
, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel
(captain), 7. Willem Alberts
, 6. Marcell Coetzee
, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Edwin Hewitt, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Jandre Marais, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Jacques Botes, 21. Cobus Reinach
, 22. Jaco van Tonder