It’s the last away game of the round for the Sharks and they’ll be looking to consolidate second spot on the log with a good victory in Johannesburg.
The Lions have been bolstered by the return of some first-choice players and will need to step up several gears after their uninspiring and scrappy win against Boland last week. In Herkie Kruger, Dusty Noble and Henno Mentz, they have a trio of backline players who will know what to expect from the Sharks, having played for them in the past.
The visitors have been strengthened by the addition of Odwa Ndungane and Deon Carstens to the run-on fifteen, while another Bok, Jannie du Plessis, is on the bench. They have lost start import Juan Hernandez, however and much will rest on Monty Dumond’s play in the flyhalf jersey.
Will the Lions defeat the Sharks, as they have on every occasion bar one that these two teams have played in Johannesburg (in the Currie Cup), since 1996?
Or will the champions extend their unbeaten run to five games and set up a dream top-of-the-table clash against Griquas in Durban next week?
Kick-off is at 17h05 SA Time
Golden Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Alwyn Hollenbach, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Henno Mentz, 10 Herkie Kruger, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar (captain), 5 Willem Stoltz, 4 Nico Luus, 3 Gert Muller, 2 Hans van Dyk, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Derek Harwood, 17 Kevin Buys, 18 Wouter Moore, 19 Todd Clever, 20 Derek Minnie, 21 Pieter Engelbrecht, 22 Ruan Boshoff.
The Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche (captain), 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Andries Strauss, 12 Riaan Swanepoel, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Monty Dumond, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Albert van den Berg, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ross Cronjé, 21 Guy Cronjé, 22 Waylon Murray.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referee: Mtheleni Msileni, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Shaun Veldsman