Sharks wary of Stormers threat
Durban - The Cell C Sharks are back in Durban and host the confident Stormers in the final Super Rugby match on Saturday evening before the June break commences.
It’s the 21st match between these two sides, with each winning 10 times before.
The Stormers have lost only once in the last month, against the Bulls in Pretoria, but the same goes for the Cell C Sharks, who returned last weekend from their Australasian tour having won three from four.
The KwaZulu-Natalians still boast the best defence in the competition, having conceded only 18 tries thus far, but they will have noticed the Capetonians’ improved attack in the last month.
The Stormers have scored 13 tries in their last four matches, including four-try hauls against the Highlanders and Cheetahs.
Both teams have scored five more tries than they’ve conceded thus far this season and as derbies between these two sides are always hard and uncompromising, there should be fireworks in Durban on Saturday.Jake White
, Director of Rugby at the Cell C Sharks, realises their opponents this weekend will be tough.
"If you had asked at the start of the season which teams were going to be dangerous, everyone would have backed the Stormers," said White.
"They were good last year – they got to the Currie Cup final, they are one team hard to break down, and that is a common thread that remains in their game.
"They didn’t have a good run early on but they are definitely improving, they’re playing better rugby now and their confidence will be much higher now that it was three or four weeks ago.
"I’m sure it will be another big derby game where we are going to have to play well."Allister Coetzee
, who was one of White’s assistant coaches with the Springboks from 2004 to 2007, knows his team faces a massive challenge in Durban.
"The Sharks are not the current Super Rugby log-leaders for nothing," said Coetzee.
"They’ve grown in confidence as the tournament has progressed and their win over the Crusaders in Christchurch says a lot about their character and state of mind.
"They’re a physical side who are strong at the breakdown and who boast a good kicking game.
"This is, without doubt, our biggest challenge of the year."Teams: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. Tera Mtembu, 6. Marcell Coetzee
, 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 WilliamsStormers:
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen
(captain), 7. Siya Kolisi
, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Michael Rhodes
, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Substitutes: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Sti Sithole, 18. Martin Dreyer, 19. Jean Kleyn, 20. Manuel Carizza, 21. Dylon Frylinck, 22. Demetri Catrakilis
, 23. Peter Grant