Town - Derbies between the Sharks and Stormers are always spicy, but this
Saturday's Super Rugby clash at Kings Park even more so.
That is down to the fact that
both sides are struggling for Super Rugby survival in 2018.
The tournament is only at its
half-way stage, but already there is the danger of the play-offs slipping away
for both sides.
The Sharks have won just two of
their eight fixtures so far this season and are in 3rd position in the South
African Conference and 10th on the overall log.
The Stormers, meanwhile, have won
three of their eight but still find themselves a point behind the Sharks - 4th
in the SA Conference and 11th overall.
With the top eight sides on the
combined log all qualifying for quarter-finals this year, there is still a lot
to be decided.
But neither side can afford
another slip-up this weekend.
According to Stormers coach
Robbie Fleck, the Sharks will be a much-improved side from the one that was
hammered 40-10 in their own back yard by the Bulls last weekend.
"I don't think you'll see
the Sharks like they were against the Bulls again ... they looked flat. They
will look to front up this weekend, and rightfully so," he said.
"They're in a similar
position to us. They know it's a massively important game for them and they've
got some tough customers coming their way.
"Their backs are against the
wall and they're in the same boat as us. They won't be as subdued as they were
against the Bulls."
This is not the time, however, to
The Stormers do still have eight
matches left this season, and five of those are at Newlands while they must
also travel to the Sunwolves and Jaguares.
With a number of points and
likely wins still on offer, Fleck does not view this weekend as make or
"We've still got eight
games. We're not where we want to be, but we're still positive in terms of what
we want to do," he said.
"That's our motivation. We
acknowledge where we're sitting, but the exciting thing is that it is by no
"We work pretty hard and
we're excited about where we can land up. It'll be a good story if we can turn
it around this weekend and keep clawing our way up that log."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:15.
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13
Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9
Cameron Wright, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5
Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (captain), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle,
1 Juan Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der
Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Jacques
Vermeulen, 21 Louis Screuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry,
13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt
Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain),
5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni,
17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21
Paul de Wet, 22 SP Marais, 23 JJ Engelbrecht