Sharks switch around forwards

Date published: August 21 2014

The Sharks team to take on the Cheetahs on Saturday shows some changes to the pack that featured against the Pumas last week.

The Sharks team to take on the Cheetahs on Saturday shows some changes to the pack that featured against the Pumas last week.

The backline remains completely unchanged, but amongst the forwards, there have been some changes, both enforced and rotational.

JC Astle has not been passed fit which means Etienne Oosthuizen reverts back to lock, opening the door for Francois Kleinhans who starts on the flank.

Upfront, Matt Stevens starts ahead of Lourens Adriaanse and Dale Chadwick plays at loosehead in place of Thomas du Toit.

Two wins from two starts is just reward for the team's efforts both on and off the field and they will be looking to continue their winning form.

“We're very happy with where we are right now and the guys have been working really hard,” said coach Brad Macleod-Henderson.

“This a tough competition and fortunately we've got through the first two games, but we have another tough one on Saturday.

“In some ways, Free State are quite similar to us. They have lost quite a few players who have either gone overseas or are with the Springboks, so they are regrouping. After losing in the opening weekend, they got it right against Griquas last weekend, so we know we're in for a tough game.”

There are plenty of positives to reflect on in assessing last week's 34-17 defeat of the Pumas, although the coach admits there were one or two concerns as well.

“There were quite a few positives: I thought we defended well for large periods of the game. We also attacked with quite a bit of width, our handling was good and the breakdown was pretty good.

“Perhaps we gave away a few too many penalties and that first try they scored, a mauling try in the first 10 minutes, wasn't great, so we've worked on those areas this week and looking forward to putting them right on Saturday.”

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S'bura Sithole 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Tera Mtembu (c), 7 Francois Kleinhans, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies / Johan Meyer, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Lionel Cronje

Date: Saturday, August 23
Kick-off: 19:10 local (18:10 BST, 17:10 GMT)
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Referees: Marius Jonker, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Jason Jaftha