Sean Everitt’s unbeaten Sharks under 21 side face their biggest challenge of the campaign to date as they take on the second-placed Blue Bulls at Kings Park tomorrow.
Heimar Williams has led the team to gutsy wins over both the Lions and Western Province in recent weeks, but with the boot of flyhalf Fred Zeilinga most often being the deciding factor in those wins, question marks remain as to the ability of this Sharks outfit to score tries and win games by playing attacking rugby. One would fancy that against the Bulls, they’ll need to play a few more of the cards at their disposal should they intend to emerge with a fifth successive win.
One thing that the Sharks do have in abundance at this level, though, is good strong props and a strong and dominant scrum could go a long way to laying the platform for victory against the Bulls, who despite their strong pedigree over many years have started to look just a wee bit shaky when it comes to the front row arts. Everitt, who opted to give Junior Springboks Allan Dell and Maks van Dyk a run in the starting fifteen last week, has made rotational changes up front again, with Danie Mienie and Nick Schonert taking over in jerseys 1 and 3 respectively. It’s a big call, given how well the younger pair did against Western Province in the wet, but with both available on the bench, the Sharks will be able to bring on fresh legs in the second half and hopefully keep the Bulls front row under the cosh all game long.
The rest of the side is unchanged, with Wandi Mjekevu continuing to ride the bench as former schoolmate Jared Meyer is preferred at outside centre.
Sharks under 21:
15 Jaco van Tonder, 14 Piet Lindeque, 13 Jared Meyer, 12 Heimar Williams (capt), 11 Sizo Maseko, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Hanco Venter, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Brendon Groenewald, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Wade Elliott, 3 Nick Schonert , 2 Franco Marais, 1 Danie Mienie
16 Allan Dell , 17 Maks van Dyk, 18 Paul Sanders, 19 Guy Alexander, 20 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 21 Wandile Mjekevu, 22 Keelin Bastew