April at pivot for Lions clash

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 13 Jul 2017 at 12:18
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

Sharks coach Rob du Preez welcomes back a number of regular starters this week for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Lions at Kings Park.

Beast Mtawarira is still out of action, along with Franco Marais (who suffered a concussion against the Bulls the week before last), but du Preez has named a strong front row all the same, including South Africa “A” representative Thomas du Toit alongside test players in Chiliboy Ralepelle and Coenie Oosthuizen. Etienne Oosthuizen, in his final home match for the side, pairs new half-centurion Stephan Lewies in the second row, while du Preez welcomes back another Bok in the form of blindside flank (and son) Jean-Luc. Daniel du Preez, the other son, is perhaps fortunate to earn another start at the back of the scrum, with captain Philip van der Walt retained at open-side flank this week.

It’s at the back, though, that eyebrows will be raised, particularly amongst the half backs. Cobus Reinach and Garth April were both poor against the Bulls, yet both start again this week and will need to deliver significantly better performances if the Sharks are to tame the rampant Lions. Reinach, like Oosthuizen (and reserve prop Lourens Adriaanse) will mark his final appearance for the Sharks at Kings Park.

The rest of the backline looks strong and dangerous, with Lukhanyo Am and Kobus van Wyk returning at outside centre and right wing respectively. Lwazi Mvovo also comes back and will wear the number 15 jersey, meaning a surprising bench demotion for Curwin Bosch. He will sit alongisde Jeremy Ward and Michael Claassens as backline reserve.

Amongst the forward replacements, Adriaanse and Juan Schoeman keep their places, while Tera Mtembu drops down to wear jersey 20. Stephan Coetzee and Jean Droste come in to complete the match 23.

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sbusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Jeremy Ward,


  • Good team selection, would have preferred Bosch at 10….maybe RDP is resting him for QF…or some minor injury?!

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.07.17 12:23:09 by EugeneVT Reply
    EugeneVTUnder 21 player
  • We have a pretty weak bench apart form the backline reserves. The woeful defense and handling will have to be improved if the Sharks are to compete. But realistically it would be an upset if this Sharks team beats the Lions- athough havnt seen their team named

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.07.17 12:42:49 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • Sorry, but how.. HOW TF do you bench Bosch?? :shock: I feel he plays his best rugby at 10, then when he doesn’t perform at 15 for one week.. bench. I really hope I’m wrong.. but Rob made a serious mistake here.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.07.17 12:45:46 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
  • Who is this Stephan Elwies that has 50 caps?!?!?! :twisted:
    Hahaha I know you only did it to see if we actually read the whole article or just stroll down to the team.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.07.17 12:51:06 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    JDAssistant coach
  • @Another Nick (Comment 3) : my main concern in this team is how log wil the coach play his best no8 at 6 to make place for Dan!?!?!?!?
    Nothing against the young man but carrying on like this will hurt the little chance that the Sharks might have in the playoffs!!!!!

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.07.17 12:55:25 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    JDAssistant coach
  • @JD (Comment 5) : Truth. Also creates a sour taste in the mouth of both the supporters and players. Words like ‘favouritism’ pops up…

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.07.17 13:00:44 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
  • @Another Nick (Comment 3) : I agree…April had 2 good games on tour against the highlanders and chiefs in 2016. That’s where he peaked and the latest low point was his disjointed performance against the bulls two weeks ago…Rob’s the boss and has the info, but going what I saw on television against the bulls, April was poor. All I can conclude is that he may have been good in training, however training is way different from a real game…makes me miss the confidence that would have come with a fit Patrick.

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.07.17 13:02:06 by SeanJeff Reply
    SeanJeffSuper Rugby player
  • @SheldonK (Comment 2) : Am avoiding reading anything about the lions…very ostrich-like, but no matter who lines up for them, most people in South Africa see them as the great hope for SR glory and in the eyes of many they are wonderful rock stars who love puppies and the sun shines out of their arses. Its possible for the teachers pets to have an off-day…last year the hurricanes put 50 points past them and the next week we beat the hurricanes. Rugby is a funny old game.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.07.17 13:07:04 by SeanJeff Reply
    SeanJeffSuper Rugby player
  • @SeanJeff (Comment 7) : Ja sorry hey but I am just really struggling to understand the logic behind this decision. And this is not me bashing April, he is a quality player and I believe he will still come good some day. But hell.. to put Curwin on the bench? Come now.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.07.17 13:08:51 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
  • Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
    Substitutes: 16. Akker vd Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.07.17 13:17:16 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
  • @SeanJeff (Comment 8) : i still feel the Lions played better rugby last year than this year. They do still have a quality side though and just do the basics so much better thn any SA side. However i feel there are a few sides much better than thm in this comp

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.07.17 13:21:25 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @Baylion (Comment 10) : Interesting that the Lions hve chosen not to go with an out and out reserve flyhalf this year

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.07.17 13:25:34 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @SheldonK (Comment 12) : So far that hasn’t hampered them and Elton has the magic in him to keep going :)

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.07.17 13:30:57 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
  • @Baylion (Comment 13) : Yeh true and both Coetzee and Cronje can play 10.

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.07.17 13:33:17 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @SheldonK (Comment 14) : And Faf :)

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.07.17 13:34:32 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.07.17 14:02:28 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
  • Sharks keen to leave super rugby?

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.07.17 14:02:57 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 17) : Surprised me to read this. Seems the rumour originated with the EP Herald.

    There were rumours too that the Lions “volunteered” to move north if the Aussies cannot cut one of their teams

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.07.17 14:15:52 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 17) : The day the Sharks decide to leave the premium rugby competition in the SH to go play in a second tier competition in the NH is the day I resign as a Sharks supporter. However I am sure Gray is sucking this out of his nether regions.

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.07.17 14:20:31 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Another Nick (Comment 9) : Bosch had one very good game at 10 against the Lions, but since then (especially during the JRWC) he has also lost form. Probably needs to build up his confidence a bit.

    Perhaps he would also rather play in the second half on the receiving end of Claasens’ much better service :roll:

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.07.17 14:26:08 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • Sad to say, the Sharks have a habit of saying very poorly farewell to their players. This dates back to the farewell of Ian, Garry and Lem. This being said, we have the habit of performing exceptionally well when we are the underdogs.

    My main concern with the team is not the April and Dan, but the lack of current leadership. This I think is going to be our downfall……

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.07.17 14:41:29 by BluffShark Reply

    BluffSharkUnder 21 player
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 20) : Bosch was very average at the JWC- almost looked like he was trying to save himself

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.07.17 16:23:17 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @SheldonK (Comment 22) : shouldn’t have been there. Had nothing more to prove at that level

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.07.17 16:35:15 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @Baylion (Comment 10) : Interesting trio there – Junior Ackers at 8 and Kwagga at 7 – might it not make more sense to swap them?

    But Kwagga and Kriel on the field at the same time – eish

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.07.17 18:11:50 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 24) : I don’t think either team has anything to lose by experimenting.

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.07.17 18:22:05 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionTeam captain
  • If the lions lose who do they face?

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.07.17 18:29:07 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionTeam captain
  • @coolfusion (Comment 26) : It all depend on the Saders – Canes match. If the Saders beat the Canes, the Lions end up in second place no matter what => play Landers in Jhb

    Otherwise if Canes draw / beat Saders, and the Lions beat the Sharks, they will top the log and play the Sharks again in Jhb.

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.07.17 19:48:58 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @coolfusion (Comment 26) : They could face either the Clan or the sharks depending on what happens tomorrow in the Clan Reds game

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.07.17 19:58:39 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
  • @Baylion (Comment 28) : The Landers will have to loose without a bonus point and the Sharks win with a bonus point to make a difference to the log. Either case would be very very unlikely.

  • Comment 29, posted at 13.07.17 20:20:30 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 29) : True. The Sharks’ loss to the Bulls made it unlikely for them to go past the Clan. That was a game they never should have lost

  • Comment 30, posted at 13.07.17 20:27:25 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
  • Who was the TMO in our last outing @ Lions……
    Guess what …………..

  • Comment 31, posted at 13.07.17 21:38:08 by BluffShark Reply

    BluffSharkUnder 21 player
  • @BluffShark (Comment 31) : Exactly.

    However I am afraid wed are getting a hiding this weekend, but praying I am wrong but that is an excellent Lions team and they are very in form.

  • Comment 32, posted at 13.07.17 21:50:56 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    sharks_loverAssistant coach
  • Who knows the Lions might reconsider their options, if by some miracle the Reds win and the Crusaders win. My opinion is that the Crusaders are not going to let this one slip,

    Unfortunately, I have little hope, but true Sharks supporters are always positive, thinking we have a chance and refs don’t control games…

    I recall that famous trip to Pretoria many-many years ago. Nobody gave us a chance and the bets were completely against us… and then the year thereafter Naasie said: “They will not win it in another 100 years…”

  • Comment 33, posted at 13.07.17 22:06:30 by BluffShark Reply

    BluffSharkUnder 21 player
  • @Baylion (Comment 30) : That loss kind of made me a bit dead inside for a bit there. I’m hoping we can play like we did in some of our better games this year. But right now I steadfastly refuse to have any high expectations… :o :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.07.17 06:59:29 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Agree on the nothing to prove but he was still playing for his country and looked almost half heartedly which isnt a good sign of character. However that is just trying to read between the lines. My gut feel is that he wasnt 100% fit, judging by the strapping and his running gait so think that contributed to it. I mean its not like he was bad. Just not the energetic Bosch we used to. He is still young and has played a lot of rugby this year, his body could be tired.

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.07.17 07:51:18 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : :shock: If he didnt have anything to prove then he should have taken the opportunity to lead…….

  • Comment 36, posted at 14.07.17 12:10:28 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach

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