Grudge match, bogey team, local derby… all just words.The Sharks came unstuck badly against the Cheetahs twice last year and in both cases, those defeats went on to rule them out of winning the trophies on offer. There have been even more shenanigans in Durban this week, with two locks ruled out, plenty of hush-hush signings and even a few (long anticipated) positional switches.
The Cheetahs, in contrast, look more settled, but were possibly flattered somewhat by the scoreline against the Bulls last week. Both sides lost at home in round 1 and both are absolutely desperate for a win here. This one will not be for the faint-hearted!
Ref: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
ARs: Pro Legoete (South Africa), Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
Venue: ABSA Stadium, Durban
Kick-off: 18.00 SA time; 16.00 GMT
Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Adrian Jacobs, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Monty Dumond, 22 Andries Strauss.
Cheetahs: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Frans Viljoen, 7 Juan Smith (captain), 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Hennie Daniller.