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Sharks out to pick up where they left off when they face Griquas


The Sharks have made a few changes to the team that beat the Cheetahs last week for Saturday’s Currie Cup clash against Griquas.

Reniel Hugo will once again captain the Sharks from the second row this weekend
FILE – Reniel Hugo will once again captain the Sharks from the second row this weekend. Picture: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

Durban — The Sharks kick off the second half of the Currie Cup when they host Griquas at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Saturday afternoon, 1.30pm.

Joey Mongalo’s men enjoyed a thrilling victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last week and three players have been rewarded with call-ups to the United Rugby Championship squad that is preparing for next week’s visit to Leinster.

Promising lock Corne Rahl, hooker Fez Mbatha and flank James Venter will travel to Dublin for the quarter-final.

Kerron van Vuuren replaces Mbatha, Ockie Barnard moves into Rahl’s position, with Reniel Hugo partnering him at lock and Thembelani Bholi is in for James Venter.

The backline remains intact aside from fullback where Thaakir Abrahams comes in for Nevaldo Fleurs.

Both sides come off important wins last weekend and in the fight for log positions — the Sharks are currently third and Griquas are fourth, so the result of this game has a big implication on both sides’ campaigns.

Reflecting on last week’s 24-17 victory over Free State, Mongalo said: “Tactically the team was good and they showed a lot of character to defend the way they did at the back end. But defending leads should not be our mindset, it should be to continue to score.

“That’s the next level — when we’ve played tactically well and the other team defends well, we find a way to score points amid that pressure.”

Looking ahead to the Griquas game, he pointed out that, “They’re coming off a good win over the Griffons at home, scoring six tries and obviously they’ll be on a high. They’ve done well in Durban in the past so they will have a lot of confidence and belief that they can do well again.

“We have a pretty decent record at home. We love the people of Durban, they’re good to us, they support us passionately and we want to play in a way that those watching us feel that they’re seeing effort, attitude and an organised, well-coached team of players, willing to put in the effort that honours the jersey.”

Sharks team to play Griquas: 15 Thaakir Abrahams, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Josh Jonas, 12 Alwayno Visagie, 11 Marnus Potgieter, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Bradley Davids, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Thembelani Bholi 6 Tinotenda Mavesere, 5 Ockie Barnard 4 Reniel Hugo (capt), 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren 1 Khwezi Mona.

Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Marco de Witt, 20 Damon Royle, 21 Tiaan Fourie, 22 Murray Koster, 23 Fred Zeilinga.


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