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Sharks select Bok front-row

09th October 2013 11:58

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Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis

Back: Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis

Tendai Mtawarira and both du Plessis brothers will start for the Sharks when they face Western Province on Saturday in the Currie Cup.

The Sharks will be looking to close out the pool phase Currie Cup on a strong note with a Springbok-laden team.

Province's five-pointer against the Lions last week saw them leap-frog the Sharks into first place on the log, with just a one point buffer separating the teams.

Both teams have secured home semi-finals already, but there is even more riding on the outcome of Saturday's match with the winner claiming top spot for the knock-out rounds and the best possible opportunity of hosting the final.

The Sharks starting line-up has been bolstered by the inclusion of Springboks Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, Mtawarira, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Marcell Coetzee, with Pat Lambie named on the bench while he acclimatises himself to the Sharks way of playing.

Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt said that with the expectation of a tight game, given the importance riding on the outcome, discipline and defence are going to be crucial. A lapse here or there could prove to be costly.

"This week our focus is on discipline because that let us down against the Bulls on the weekend and we need to get that right playing a team like Western Province. Another focus will be on defence because Province use the width of the field well, they have some dangerous runners, especially in Cheslin Kolbe and Gio Aplon," said Everitt.

"For both teams it's extremely important to get a home semi and the opportunity to host the final, so I doubt either side will use this week as preparation for the semi-final when so much is at stake. We owe some success to Durban, the province and likewise they would love a home final because they played away last year."

After equalling Helgard Muller's record of 142 matches when he played against the Bulls last week, Jacques Botes (named on the bench) will become South Africa's most capped Currie Cup player ever should he play.

Wiehahn Herbst is also in line for a special milestone, and will play in his 50th Currie Cup game for the Sharks if he comes on as a replacement.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane. 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst. 18 Stephan Lewies, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Louis Ludik

Date: Saturday, October 12
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan

  • Currie Cup Fixtures
  • Currie Cup Table
Currie Cup 2013
Currie Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Western Province1037
2Sharks1033
3Cheetahs1026
4Golden Lions1026
5Blue Bulls1017