The first Friday night game in South Africa in a while, The Sharks host the Bulls in Durban, where the Sharks are fighting for a place in the playoffs while the Bulls could end that dream with a victory away from home, bolstering their position in the top half of the log.
The Sharks, after a somewhat surprising loss to the Lions before the break, are fighting for a very slim chance of playing in the playoffs, and with certain results not going their way, and now a host of injury concerns, have their backs against the wall before even taking the field. To have any chance of playing further than the regular season, the Sharks require 5 points from tonight’s match, and that is a non-negotiable.
The Bulls are sitting pretty in the playoff zone, as it stands before the start of this round, they are in fourth spot and will have a home ‘quarter-final’ before going into semi-final weekend. A win for them will keep them in that spot, and will prevent them from having to tour for their first playoff match.
Sharks: 1. Tendai Mtawarira , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 4. Anton Bresler , 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 6. Keegan Daniel (Captain) , 7. Marcell Coetzee , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 9. Charl McLeod , 10. Frederic Michalak , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 12. Francois Steyn , 13. Tim Whitehead , 14. JP Pietersen , 15. Louis Ludik
Replacements , 16. Craig Burden , 17. Wiehahn Herbst , 18. Jandre Marais , 19. Jean Deysel , 20. Cobus Reinach , 21. Meyer Bosman , 22. Odwa Ndungane
Bulls: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (captain), Jacques Potgieter, Dewald Potgieter, Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling.
Replacements: Willie Wepener, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, CJ Stander, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouche, Francois Venter.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Marius Jonker
Assistant Ref 2:Tiaan Jonker
TMO : Shaun Veldsman