The Sharks host the Bulls in the biggest match of Currie Cup round three with the visitors atop the table and threatening to run away from the chasing pack.
That pack is headed by the Sharks who welcome back their skipper Lukhanyo Am from injury.
Sharks head coach Sean Everitt admitted that he was relieved to be able to assemble a team capable of testing the Bulls at Kings Park.
“That week off [the bye] gave us the opportunity to get some players back, and that is close to the best team that we can pick,” he said in the lead-up to the game. “We’re excited to get back into action, we have a few games ahead of us in what has been a bit of a stop-start season for us so it’s great to get some continuity.”
Everitt said that the Sharks had learned a lot from their Super Rugby Unlocked thrashing at Loftus.
“We were convincingly beaten at Loftus in that first round game of Super Rugby Unlocked, but I believe we’re certainly a lot better at the moment,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot from that outing and we’ve been winning week in and week out since then. We’ve found a way with some of the adversity we’ve been through from Covid and injuries and that’s just made our squad stronger.”
Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White, acknowledged the progress the Sharks have made but was confident of achieving a result in Durban.
“The Sharks have developed a lot [since the last game against the Bulls]. I don’t think they’ve changed what they’re doing, they’re just doing it a lot better,” White said. “Having scored 90 points in the last two games, though, we take a lot of confidence from that. From experience, the Bulls like going to Durban and playing at Kings Park, so we’re looking forward to being measured against a good team.”
Sharks vs Bulls – Currie Cup live scores here
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Cell C Sharks – 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Daniel Jooste, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Phepsi Buthelezi, 22 Jaden Hendrikse, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Vodacom Bulls – 15 David Kriel, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Match information – Sharks vs Bulls
Date: Saturday, 12 December 2020
Venue: Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Stuart Berry and Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: Marius Jonker
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand