Out of the last five matches between the Sharks and the Highlanders the Sharks have won four and the Highlanders have won one.
The Sharks and the Highlanders have played each other 15 times since 1998 in Super Rugby and the Sharks have won 9 times and lost six times.
That gives the Sharks a record of winning 60% of their matches against the Highlanders across all venues.
The average score when the Sharks play the Highlanders across all venues is : Sharks 24 Highlanders 24.
This week's match will be played in Durban which is home for the Sharks and where the teams have met 7 times in Super Rugby.
In those 7 Super Rugby matches between the teams the Sharks have won 5 times and lost twice.
That gives the Sharks a home record of winning 71% of their matches against the Highlanders.
The average score when the Sharks play the Highlanders in Durban is : Sharks 23 Highlanders 21.
The Highlanders have not won in Durban since 2005.
The Sharks have played more matches so far at home than any other team. They have played 8 matches so far and won 7. Six of those matches have been at home and they are unbeaten in Durban this year.
The Highlanders have played seven matches to date and they have won four and lost three matches. They have played two matches away from home and have yet to win away in 2014.
The Dunedin based Highlanders had a bye last week and beat the Bulls before the bye. They have made three changes to the side that beat the Bulls with Jarrad Hoeata replacing Brad Thorn.
Nasi Manu returns from the reserves back to his starting position at 8 seeing Elliot Dixon move to the blindside flank with Gareth Evans heading to the reserves while the backline is unchanged.
The Sharks too have made three changes for this match. They are injury enforced changes and Odwa Ndungane's shoulder injury keeps him out for another week.
S'bura Sithole moves to wing and Paul Jordaan makes a return to his position at outside centre. JP Pietersen has recovered after missing out last week after pulling up in training and he will play on the other wing.
Tim Swiel retains his place at number 10 with Frans Steyn staying at 12. Director of Rugby Jake White has only made changes when a player has been injured or is in need of rest so that Sharks have enjoyed consistency all season.
The Bookies have given the Highlanders a 12 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $250.00 Bet. The Bookies have heavily favoured the Sharks this week and it's hard to disagree against the top team playing at home against a travelling team coming off a bye. The Sharks should win comfortably by 9 or more.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD on the Red Button.
Average score: Sharks 24 Highlanders 24
Last five results
04 May 2013 Sharks v Highlanders 22-25 Dunedin
05 May 2012 Sharks v Highlanders 28-16 Durban
20 Mar 2010 Sharks v Highlanders 30-16 Dunedin
02 May 2009 Sharks v Highlanders 23-15 Durban
11 Apr 2008 Sharks v Highlanders 19-17 Dunedin
Sharks overall record against the Highlanders
Played 15 , Wins 9, Losses 6 , Draws 0
Match No. 64: Sharks v Highlanders
Date :Friday 25 April
Venue : Kings Park Stadium
Kick Off local: 19:10
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Quinton Immelman
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
15. Lwazi Mvovo , 14. JP Pietersen , 13. Paul Jordaan , 12. Frans Steyn , 11. S'bura Sithole , 10. Tim Swiel , 9. Charl McLeod , 8. Keegan Daniel , 7. Jean Deysel , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Willem Alberts , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (C) , 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements : 16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Etienne Oosthuizen , 20. Ryan Kankowski , 21. Stefan Ungerer , 22. Heimar Williams , 23. SP Marais
1. Kane Hames 2. Liam Coltman 3. Chris King 4. Jarrad Hoeata 5. Joe Wheeler 6. Elliot Dixon 7. Shane Christie 8. Nasi Manu (co-captain) 9. Aaron Smith 10. Lima Sopoaga 11. Patrick Osborne 12. Shaun Treeby 13. Malakai Fekitoa 14. Richard Buckman 15. Ben Smith (co-captain)
Replacements : 16. Ged Robinson 17. Craig Millar 18. Ma'afu Fia 19. Jarrad Hoeata 20. Gareth Evans 21. Fumiaki Tanaka 22. Trent Renata 23. John Hardie