The first semi final today sees the Sharks hosting the Bulls in Durban, a match that the Bulls did not think they would be taking part in with a few weeks to go in the regular season, but with good results in the final weeks they have managed to squeeze into the play-offs.
The Sharks have held back on making wholesale changes since the return of the Springbok players, opting to utilise the experience from the bench, with Beast Mtawarira and Willem Alberts sure to have a huge effect in the second half. This does give the players who have gotten the Sharks this far to get the experience of playing in playoff rugby, something that could come in handy during the Super Rugby season.
The Bulls have gone about things completely differently, relying on their Springboks to bolster their team and force their way into the playoffs, looking for one more good performance from the tired Boks to get them into the final next weekend. The battle between Morne Steyn and Pat Lambie should epic, as is almost every other one on one match up.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandré Marais, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Steven Sykes/Peet Marais, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Meyer Bosman.
Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Dean Greyling.Tweet