Sharks coach John Plumtree looks set to take advantage of an easier game this weekend to rest a number of key players who are carrying niggles after a long season.
The Sharks travel to Kempton Park this weekend to take on the wounded Valke, fresh from another 90 point thrashing at the hands of Western Province. For the visitors, this outing will be about ensuring the bonus point early, improving the points difference for sure, but mostly about keeping the momentum going, while not taking any unnecessary risks with key players.
Beast Mtawarira is clearly still struggling and will sit this one out entirely, with Pat Cilliers and Deon Carstens likely to be the props. Bismarck du Plessis is another who won’t be needed, with Skipper Badenhorst and Craig Burden looking after the middle of the scrum. Jean Deysel is doubtful after picking up a niggle against the Cheetahs, so expect to see Ryan Kankowski continuing his comeback with a start against the Valke.
In the backs, Adi Jacobs, Fred Michalak and Odwa Ndungane are all doubtful, the latter still in some pain after bruising his hip against the Cheetahs. Stefan Terblanche is also due to be rested, having played every minute of every Currie Cup match so far this year. Monty Dumond or Chris Jordaan could come into the team at fullback.
Possible Sharks team for Valke:
15 Jordaan, 14 Pietersen, 13 Swanepoel, 12 Barritt, 11 Murray, 10 Steyn, 9 Pienaar, 8 Kankowski, 7 Daniel, 6 Botes, 5 Muller (capt), 4 Sykes, 3 Cilliers, 2 Badenhorst, 1 Carstens
16 Burden, 17 J du Plessis, 18 van den Berg, 19 Ndlovu, 20 Kockott, 21 Dumond, 22 Mvovo