In the fourth match on Saturday Super Rugby moves to South Africa where the Sharks host the Hurricanes in Durban.
The Hurricanes will head into this match brimming with confidence after they convincingly beat the Lions last week in Johannesburg.
The match will be the Sharks first since they returned from New Zealand. On tour the Sharks beat the Highlanders and were edged 24-22 in New Zealand last week so they will be fairly confident given that they have home advantage.
The Sharks have played the Hurricanes 17 times in Super Rugby and they have won 8 matches drawn one and lost 8. This means that overall the teams are level on wins, losses and draws.
In Durban the teams have played 8 times and the Sharks have won 5 matches and lost three matches. This gives them a record of winning 63% of their home matches against the Wellington side.
The average score when the Sharks play the Hurricanes in Durban is Sharks 28 Hurricanes 23.
The Sharks have been given a boost for this week as Patrick Lambie is fit and has been selected in the replacements. He was injured in the pre-season and has not featured for the Sharks yet this year in Super Rugby.
Sharks captain Beast Mtawarira was rested last week and he returns to the starting side. Also in the front row Franco Marais comes in at hooker with Chiliboy Ralepelle as back up on the replacements bench.
The back line is unchanged so Garth April gets a third consecutive start and Michael Claasens retains his starting place.
The Hurricanes have kept their team as close as possible to last week’s combinations as they have only made one change at fullback with James Marshall returning to the side.
Marshall missed the last three Hurricanes matches due to concussion but made a successful return to Super Rugby via the bench last week.
The 27-year-old utility back had been the Hurricanes preferred No 15 against the Highlanders, Blues, Force and Kings before Jason Woodward took over at fullback against the Jaguares, Rebels, Chiefs and Lions.
The Sharks have won the last four matches between the sides in Durban as the Hurricanes last won in the city in 2005.
There is a particularly interesting dynamic in this match as Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd was part of the Sharks coaching staff along with Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree from 2006 to 2008.
Plumtree stayed on until 2012 when he was let go despite having a lengthy period left on his contract.
The Bookies have given the a Sharks a 4 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Hurricanes were rampant last week against the Lions if they can perform like that again the Sharks will have their hands full. The Hurricanes should win this by three.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 4 on the Red Button.
Average score: Sharks 25 Hurricanes 26
Last five results
09 May 2015 Sharks v Hurricanes 24-32 Wellington
22 Feb 2014 Sharks v Hurricanes 27-9 Durban
06 Apr 2012 Sharks v Hurricanes 18-42 Wellington
23 Apr 2011 Sharks v Hurricanes 40-24 Durban
27 Mar 2010 Sharks v Hurricanes 29-26 Wellington
Sharks overall record against the Hurricanes
Played 17 , Wins 8, Losses 8, Draws 1
Match No.84:Sharks v Hurricanes
Date : Kings Park, Durban
Venue : Saturday 7 May 2016
Kick Off local: 15:00 local
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1:Quinton Immelman
Assistant Ref 2:Rodney Bonaparte
TMO :Marius Jonker
15. Willie le Roux, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Garth April, 9. Michael Claasens, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Tendai Mtawarira (C)
Replacements: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Thomas du Toit, 19. Hyron Andrews, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Patrick Lambie, 23. Odwa Ndungane
15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (vc), 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Reggie Goodes
Replacements : Motu Matu’u, Chris Eves, Ben May, Mark Abbott, Blade Thomson, Jamison Gibson-Park, Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward.,