Bench changes only as Sharks stick to their guns

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 Apr 2018 at 12:16
Tagged with : , , , ,

Robert du Preez has named an unchanged starting fifteen for a third week running, as the Sharks prepare to face the Bulls at Kings Park on Saturday evening.

The exact run-on team that featured in the big win against the Blues and the narrow loss to the Hurricanes in New Zealand will line up again, with only the bench seeing some changes.

Akker van der Merwe comes in to replace Franco Marais as the hooker substitute, while fit-again Dan du Preez also moves onto the bench to cover loose forward. Tyler Paul will thus be the lock replacement, with Hyron Andrews dropping out.

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (captain), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Dan du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Kobus van Wyk.


  • After the last two performances it’s hard to change the team so Go Sharks!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.04.18 12:23:27 by JD Reply
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  • I wonder whats the deal with Mapimpi?

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.04.18 12:23:41 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 2) : Could have a niggle? Could also be taking a break after more than a year of rugby

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.04.18 12:27:25 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • @DuToit04 (Comment 2) : Yeh me too, although as an out and out winger he kinda has to make the starting side as too much of a luxury including a pure winger on the bench. Overall good side on paper and lets hope they can show some good form at home. Bulls forwards will be tough as the Stormers found out

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.04.18 12:34:09 by SheldonK Reply

  • Let’s go boys! Hope the guys can keep the intensity up after the travel.

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.04.18 12:39:10 by Keagan_Sharks Reply

  • I’m hoping we win and win well to keep the confidence high and reel in the Lions on the log.

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.04.18 12:40:15 by StevieS Reply
  • A bit odd that Dan comes straight back onto the bench after a while out instead of playing the Pumas last week?

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.04.18 12:44:08 by Byron Wright Reply

  • @Byron Wright (Comment 7) : We need that power of three on the field

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.04.18 12:54:37 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Dragnipur (Comment 3) : How much rest is rest before it results in rustiness? Mapimpi last played vs the Brumbies a month ago?
    Nah, he must be regretting his move to Durban.

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.04.18 12:55:14 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 2) : Wondering the same thing. He is the only winger of ours that backs his pace. Mvovo seems to have lost a yard or 2. Mapimpi is a massive threat on attack. So why is he out of the match day squad?

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.04.18 13:01:51 by sudhir Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 9) : I’m sure it’s not a case of just leaving him out of the team, he might have picked up a niggle in training or something. The Sharks aren’t particularly known for informing their fans about injuries.

    None the less it’s still a very strong team, they absolutely have to win these next to matches or all the heroics in NZ will be for nothing. They have to go all out.

    The Bulls forwards are really putting in some good, hard work lately. It will be a tough game but I expect us to win.

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.04.18 13:04:43 by Quintin Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 9) : most of us are wondering about this. I think if there were no injuries or rest issues, he would have played for the Sharks 15 at least to get some much needed match fitness. Why I think there is a bit of an issue, but hopefully someone can shed some light on this. As much as I am a fan of his, there is no way you can play Mvovo ahead of him on current form. He is an excellent finisher and Mvovo has looked a bit lost on the field. If you so often Bosch and Nkosi gets involved (even Am!) you have to blame him for the fact that he was not really seen on the field. His replacement was noticed almost immediately on the other hand. Mapimpi is class, I am sure if he is available, he would be picked.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.04.18 13:15:32 by HeinF Reply

  • @sudhir (Comment 10) : He’s one of the best finishers when he’s in space no doubt. He does have to work a bit on his defense though. To me, Nkosi should move to 11, that’s where he’s best and van Wyk should start at 14 with Mapimpi on the bench.

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.04.18 13:27:16 by Quintin Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 12) : I agree Mapimpi should replace Mvovo but I’d play him from the bench. I just feel he’s at his best when the game is a bit more loose(like most of the Cheetahs games πŸ˜† ) in the last 20/30 minutes. If we need to finish off teams or score to win, bring him on as a super sub, if we need to defend, keep Kobus on.

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.04.18 13:31:25 by Quintin Reply

  • Finally the Dup brothers all in one game…if we play like we did the last couple of weeks we should put plenty past the ever improving Bulls team! Go Sharks!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.04.18 13:35:12 by EugeneVT Reply
  • @EugeneVT (Comment 15) : lol ai if we lose or the Dups have an off game you can expect plenty nepotism comments…strange how it has died down since we played so well in NZ πŸ™„ πŸ˜† …just shows you where our emotions go as fans

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.04.18 13:55:58 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @sudhir (Comment 10) : i agree on Mvovo comment, I honestly expected much more of him on attack…maybe the age is becoming a factor :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.04.18 13:58:01 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @Byron Wright (Comment 7) : I’d rather have him in the Super Rugby team, then a game like that where he could get injured…not to sound too blunt…but go all out in a super rugby game rather than a 15’s game. in my opinion

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.04.18 14:00:27 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @Quintin (Comment 14) : Funny thing is, he has sy=tarted almost every match, but the Cheetahs do give the ball more airtime. He was top scorer, and still is in Pro 14. Defence structures have been different, but we had no issues with his defence.

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.04.18 14:02:39 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Keagan_Sharks (Comment 5) : will be very interesting as the Bulls are coming from a bye…intensity will be key, bulls will be up for this game…i think we will want it more – need to make Kingspark a fortress

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.04.18 14:05:02 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 16) : Yeah that’s true…but we do need something to be excited about! At the start of the season we had very high expectations for this team…which didn’t pan out. Think it’s about time this team shows what they are really capable of! The best of players will have off days, but then others should stand-up…that’s what makes a great team!!

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.04.18 14:15:23 by EugeneVT Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 19) : From a Cheetahs point of view his defence is top notch… πŸ˜‰ 😈

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.04.18 14:28:14 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 19) : We are scoring more tries in the 2nd half this season as we look to open up play in the later stages of the game. That’s when I’d play him, I just think we’ll get the most out of him then. The Cheetahs defense has never been the best around so I wouldn’t compare what he did for you on defense vs what he’s doing/not doing for us. Fact is, he missed a lot of tackles in the games he played for us. He needs to sort that out. I rate the guy, don’t get me wrong, just pointing out that our other wingers’ general defensive play is better.

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.04.18 14:30:25 by Quintin Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 22) : Pretty much my comment summed up πŸ˜†

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.04.18 14:32:30 by Quintin Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 8) : Certainly can use the extra grunt that is for sure its just a bit odd and doesn’t help the claims of nepotism

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.04.18 14:34:17 by Byron Wright Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 18) : As long as he isn’t rusty which you would think he would be.

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.04.18 14:36:10 by Byron Wright Reply

  • I’d have picked Mapimpi over Nkosi.

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.04.18 14:50:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : so you also haven’t heard of an injury or any other reason why he is not playing other than he is not being selected?

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.04.18 15:05:01 by HeinF Reply

  • @Byron Wright (Comment 25) : Well if you are really worrying about claims of nepotism then, as the main antagonist, just refrain from making them. 😈

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.04.18 15:12:36 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 29) : Fair enough. We will just say its preference for some extra grunt on the bench.

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.04.18 15:27:01 by Byron Wright Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 22) : Hee hee, I saw what you did there πŸ‘Ώ
    Well, lets compare notes. Sharks have played 7 matches and have concede 28 tries, and scored 27. Say a big thank you to the Sunwolves for making your scoring column respectable πŸ™‚
    Cheetahs have played 19 matches, and have conceded 65, and scored 69.
    Their only big blowouts was in their first two matches vs Ulster and Munster away.

    So I would say it’s pretty even stevens πŸ˜€

  • Comment 31, posted at 12.04.18 15:57:17 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : Yeh probably me too, but lets see what happens on Sat. Any news on Zas? After hearing we have signed him i havnt seen or heard anything about him and he doesnt seem to feature on any team lists

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.04.18 16:00:06 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 31) : Drat, snookered by statistics, it must be the lingering image from their SupeRugby days that are permanently etched into my mind that makes me think that.

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.04.18 16:06:45 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 31) : stop bringing reliable stats on to a fan site, it takes away a lot of our version of the truth!

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.04.18 16:20:45 by HeinF Reply

  • @Byron Wright (Comment 30) : 😎 πŸ˜†

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.04.18 16:53:07 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 31) : ah, but can you really compare super rugby to pro 14? Super rugby is renowned for teams attacking efficiently and scoring lots of tries. Super rugby has New Zealand and Australian teams. Pro 14 has northern hemisphere teams (including Italian)…and the kings.

    Have the sharks defended well this season? Definitely not.

    But would the cheetahs be on 11/19 wins if they were playing against super rugby teams?

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.04.18 16:54:04 by SeanyJMc Reply

  • Well realistically Rob only has 2 weeks of form play to build on so continuity must be foremost on his mind. If he does make changes it will probably be next week onwards.

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.04.18 17:58:10 by coolfusion Reply

  • @SeanyJMc (Comment 36) : Shhh, don’t point out the obvious, people might get offended πŸ˜†

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.04.18 19:35:17 by Quintin Reply

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if mpimpi us doing strength and speed training. Its been long 2 seasins for him

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.04.18 19:39:21 by byron Reply

  • @SeanyJMc (Comment 36) : Fair comment, but you should do yourself a favour and watch more Pro 14 matches. Some are a delight to watch. In all honesty the S15 is very skewed. You have 6 or 7 very good teams that make for exciting clashes when they play, the rest are dour or one sided. Would love to see the Sharks play Munster, Leinster or Edinburgh. Many of those teams are loaded with internationals. In S15 you play like 4 matches overseas, we play 10 or 11

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.04.18 19:47:13 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Quintin (Comment 38) : No offence! Two very different competitions and the Cheetahs defence has improved. They no longer concede soft tries. As I pointed out to Seany, there is no easy way to compare. There are some quality teams in Pro 14, and away, even teams like Zebre are tough to put away. We play much more games overseas than you guys do, and in horrible conditions. Also consider the Cheetah players haven’t had a break, been playing non-stop rugby since Feb 2017. I think they have done admirably well in adapting to new conditions, new teams and with no rest. The rugby in Pro14 is as entertaining and of an attacking nature as you will see. Very few boring Aussie like derbies

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.04.18 20:01:35 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 34) : πŸ™„ πŸ˜†

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.04.18 20:04:22 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 16) : the funny thing is the nepotism rants have gone away since Jean-luv came back. So 1 du Preez is nepotism, but 2 are integral to the success of the team. What’s 3? Nepotism or the heart of the Sharks?

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.04.18 20:05:07 by Hulk Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 33) : Agreed! A lingering image that was justified. They were mud!

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.04.18 20:05:30 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 43) : From a neutral (Usually), the whole nepotism is a crock of shyte! Most coaches would play all the duP brothers in the current setup. I would play vd Walt at 8, but given that there is no specialist 6, I would also want the best loosies, namely the duP twins and Ginger in my team.

  • Comment 45, posted at 12.04.18 20:09:17 by KingCheetah Reply

  • So Sharks have not beaten Bulls in 5 SR games? That is just not on and needs an immediate end

  • Comment 46, posted at 12.04.18 21:09:11 by Kabouter Reply

  • There are a few boys who need to front up on Saturday and start justifying the coach’s continued faith in them, Mthembu,Schreuder,Rallepelle and Stephan Lewies who has been very average this year.
    I do think Botha and Lewies are very much the same player and maybe they should alternate on the field and bring in Tyler Paul for an extended run in the other lock position

  • Comment 47, posted at 13.04.18 09:40:16 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 47) : I do think that Schrueder was much better against the Hurricanes until he got injured – back to good form, so as much as I would love Cam to start, he does have the ability to speed up the game towards the end when it is needed, so think that the two complement each other well

  • Comment 48, posted at 13.04.18 10:01:09 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 48) : The more I see of Schreuder the more I think he’s another April,brilliant or dog shite with nothing between.Hope he has a brilliant run tomorrow cause I really rate that new young Bulls no 9 and what he does for Pollard’s game.
    I think we are in for a huge game tomorrow ,Mitchell has a few things to prove with the Sharks management, who ignored him for the whole time he was living here on our doorstep and preferred that loser Gold to an All Black head coach.

  • Comment 49, posted at 13.04.18 10:08:12 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 49) : van Zyl or Papier

  • Comment 50, posted at 13.04.18 10:18:11 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • 😑 @Julesgr8ter (Comment 50) : sorry Papier no relation to Peyper,who I am very happy to say will not be at Kings Park on Saturday πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 51, posted at 13.04.18 10:22:43 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 51) : not even in the Match day 23 – John Mitchell has included Warner instead. Papier had a great game off the bench and the next game he started and happened to b decidedly average and was put back on the bench after that but I think that he has huge potential – only 19 years old and needs to gain massive experience

  • Comment 52, posted at 13.04.18 10:45:03 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • lol the cheetahs supporter perpetuating ominous Mapimpi conspiracies

    lets not be so quick to assume the worse

    I’d rather we let him train to get the defensive position and tackle technique on point that just play him and let him figure it out like stormers are doing with Rhule to great effect (not!)

    Lets not jump to the worse conclusion with franco noy in the team and chilli starting, we will need all three of our quality hookers if we are going to salvage this season. remember when so many were righting chilli off because of unfounded negative rumours ? and his start his third game on the bounce.

  • Comment 53, posted at 13.04.18 17:53:25 by revolverocelot Reply

  • Good call on the same team, why not. Looks like I’m the only sharks fan not buying into Mapimpi. Gets himself in some of the worst defensive positions I’ve ever seen and doesn’t like to tackle, bit of a no brainer to keep him out if you want to win a game.

  • Comment 54, posted at 13.04.18 18:57:27 by tomwatchingsports Reply
  • Keen to see sharks building and refining the game they are playing now.

  • Comment 55, posted at 13.04.18 19:03:55 by coolfusion Reply

  • @revolverocelot (Comment 53) : I also have a feeling we are sparing him he will probably be back soon. It would be stupid to not deploy such an obvious weapon.

  • Comment 56, posted at 13.04.18 19:30:08 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 56) : Meanwhile nothing wrong with building Nkosi who will become every bit if not more dangerous.

  • Comment 57, posted at 13.04.18 19:32:28 by coolfusion Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : personally I’d pick van Wyk over both (even with that beard)! That sad think the competition for match day squads should bring out the best in the players!

  • Comment 58, posted at 13.04.18 21:32:09 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 58) : I can’t figure out if that’s bold or safe…

  • Comment 59, posted at 13.04.18 22:07:19 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 59) : for me van Wyk always plays full out. Maybe not as flashy as Nkosi and Mapimpi but he’s a grafter and personally I think he’s very under rated.

  • Comment 60, posted at 13.04.18 23:53:41 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 60) : Personally I can’t see how Mvovo keeps being selected ahead of all 3.

  • Comment 61, posted at 14.04.18 06:15:30 by Hulk Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 61) : I agree with you both. Kobus is a machine, nkosi is willing to try and mapimpi pops up in the right place at the right time to score. Mvovo just isn’t mvovo anymore

  • Comment 62, posted at 14.04.18 06:56:44 by jdolivier Reply

  • @JD (Comment 60) : Not disagreeing. I also find him a safe option on attack and defense. Personally I think if he could kick well he would be a dangerous fullback. He has shown good hands and pretty decent under a high ball.

  • Comment 63, posted at 14.04.18 08:21:24 by coolfusion Reply

  • @revolverocelot (Comment 53) : Cheeky! Did you miss the memo, about me supporting the Sharks in S15 πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 64, posted at 14.04.18 09:14:21 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 64) : No one reads memos anymore. Email with a follow up phonecall.

  • Comment 65, posted at 14.04.18 09:24:24 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 65) : πŸ™„ πŸ˜†

  • Comment 66, posted at 14.04.18 10:30:05 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @JD (Comment 60) : Agree 100%. He does better when the opposition defense is tight as well, not as flashy as you said but he can break tackles if its a tight affair.

  • Comment 67, posted at 14.04.18 10:55:22 by Quintin Reply

  • I personally think we are going to have a very tough game today. The Bulls have improved immensely from the start of the season. Their forwards are grafting very hard and we’ll need to match that work rate if we want front foot ball. Looking forward to see how Dan performs after his injury setbacks. Hope he gets right back to it. I would also like Thomas to make runs with ball in hand like he did against the Canes, he gained some valuable go forward and hammered them physically.

  • Comment 68, posted at 14.04.18 11:00:36 by Quintin Reply

  • @Quintin (Comment 68) : On my way to the game with a lot of hope but also with a lot of trepidation.Weather is shite expect rain, wet slippery ball

  • Comment 69, posted at 14.04.18 15:52:31 by The hound Reply
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