Lions vs Sharks: The PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA action resumes in Gauteng this weekend after a bye week. The Lions and the Sharks have only pride and position to play for as the Bulls have clinched the final berth.
The Lions will take the field with an unchanged starting team in their match against the Sharks in Johannesburg on Saturday, with the only change on the bench, where Dan Kriel comes in for Manny Rass.
Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has named a much-changed side for Saturday’s visit to Johannesburg, with Springbok wing Makazole Mapimpi making a return to the team after spending some time in Japan.
PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA: Lions vs Sharks LIVE scores
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Last time out
The Lions snapped a four-game losing run when they edged the Bulls in Round 4 while the Sharks went down to the Stormers. The Lions also have a decent home record, having lost just once since November, while the Sharks have won there just once since 2014.
The Durbanites are looking to avoid three consecutive defeats in the same season for the first time in four years. However, they have won just one of their last four away games, although they have only been beaten once in six meetings with the Lions.
What they said
Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen knows the Sharks want his team to play under pressure.
“The way they play and their philosophy is a pressure game‚” said van Rooyen about the Sharks. “If you give them time and space they can squeeze you in your half‚ and if you then make errors they have exciting players that can capitalise.
“It is clear they want to play a territory game‚ force you into errors and also counter attack. You have to counter their pressure. You have to dictate terms to them.”
The Sharks know that winning this competition hinges on them taking the result in their final two games.
“Obviously it wasn’t nice getting two losses behind our name, but this weekend is a chance for us to rectify the mistakes that we made,” explains Sharks lock Reniel Hugo.
“We were quite unlucky against the Stormers and had the bounce of the ball gone our way, we could have gotten away with a win there, but we’ve put that behind us, learned from our mistakes and we’re really excited for the Lions this weekend.
“We see is as an opportunity to showcase our talent and build on what we have here.”
PRO14 RAINBOW CUP SA ROUND 5 PREVIEW – LIONS VS SHARKS TEAMS
Lions: EW Viljoen; Rabz Maxwane, Wandisile Simelane, Burger Odendaal (capt), Courtnall Skosan; Jordan Hendrikse, André Warner; Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, MJ Pelser; Reinhard Nothnagel, Ruben Schoeman, Carlu Sadie, Jaco Visagie, Sti Sithole. Replacements: PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Willem Alberts, Emmanuel Tshituka, Morné van den Berg, Fred Zeilinga, Dan Kriel.
Sharks: 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter (captain), 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu. Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Match Information – Lions vs Sharks
Lions vs Sharks
Date: Saturday, 5 June
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Aimee Barrett-Theron
Television Match Official: AJ Jacobs
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand