Sharks name side for Stormers showdown

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The Cell C Sharks have built up a nice head of steam in the opening two rounds of this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby competition and will be looking to maintain this momentum in Saturday’s derby clash with the Stormers at Jonsson Kings Park.

Once more, head coach Robert du Preez has the good fortune of being able to name an unchanged side. Last week he stuck to the same starting XV with changes amongst the replacements, but this week has not altered the match 23.

It’s just reward for the outstanding effort each player put in, and as that old saying goes, ‘Don’t fix what ain’t broke.’

There was some concern after Sbu Nkosi was stretchered from the field in last week’s win over the Blues, but it was more precautionary and the dreadlocked speedster has suffered no ill effects as he takes his position on the wing.

After two wins, the signs are there that the team is on the right track: has the squad, the individual talent, the game plan and above all, the desire. The Stormers will pose a different challenge to what’s gone before, but no doubt, as derby matches go, this game will be intense.

“We couldn’t ask for much better that the two big wins, it’s a confidence booster for us going into this week’s match against the Stormers,” explains Cell C Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am of the season so far.

“Like us, the Stormers have a big pack and a good backline, we know we need to pitch up as far as physicality goes.”

The Stormers, with a won-one-lost-one record, will be hoping to build on a courageous performance against the Lions last week, managing to pip the Joburg side at the death.

They’re a quality side, always competitive, and with the Cell C Sharks’ desire to maintain the form that has seen us gaining maximum points from our opening two fixtures, this makes for a worthy tussle between the old foes.

The action kicks off at 5.15pm on Saturday afternoon.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch.

Date: Saturday, March 2
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.15
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Divan Uys (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

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