Sharks director of rugby Jake White has largely stuck with the same line-up for the Super Rugby clash against the Stormers.
Sharks director of rugby Jake White has largely stuck with the same team for Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Stormers at Kings Park, making just one change.
The return to action of Marcell Coetzee, who has recovered from injury, is well-timed and he is the only change to the matchday 23 from last week.
Another win at this stage would prove hugely valuable to their title aspirations, but everyone acknowledges that the Stormers are a much better prospect than their table position suggestions.
Last week they prevented the Cheetahs from scoring a solitary point which is a rare enough achievement, and the way their attack has come on to compliment one of the tournament's most miserly defence suggests that this is going to be a very tough match.
“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.”
He agrees that they are striking a nice balance between attack and defence which makes them that much more of a complete side, a dangerous one.
“They did score a few more tries on the weekend and held the Cheetahs scoreless, so they're probably getting the balance right on attack and defence,” he explains. “They've always had good defence and it was just a question of time before they got their attack going.”
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 (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Heimer Williams.
Date: Saturday, May 31
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19:10 loca (18:10 BST, 17:10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Berry, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Johan Greeff