Super Rugby

Three Sharks changes for Stormers

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Sharks Super Rugby head coach Robert du Preez has named a team with three changes for this weekend’s match against the Stormers at Kings Park on Saturday.

Du Preez has selected Makazole Mapimpi in for Lwazi Mvovo on the wing while Cameron Wright replaces Louis Schreuder at scrumhalf in the two changes to the backline.

Daniel du Preez joins his twin Jean-Luc in the loose trio, taking over from Tera Mtembu at eighthman in the only change amongst the forwards.

Centre Lukhanyo Am admits that the Sharks team will look to turn matters around against the Stormers, following the loss to the Vodacom Bulls last week.

“We’re looking to put a disappointing loss behind us, we tried to be positive this week and focussed on what we need to do for the game against the Stormers.

Bouncing back, as the team showed after the Australian leg, will be the primary aim, to show what this team is capable of.

“This game could be our season-changer, we’re looking to regain our confidence and consistency in this match. But there are no easy games and we’ll need to bring our A-game on Saturday.”

Although one might expect there to be added pressure with derby matches, Am explains that this isn’t necessarily the case. “Not really, we take it game for game, whether it’s home or away but it is always special playing at home.

Knowing what this team is capable of producing, as evidenced in the matches against the Blues and Hurricanes, gives confidence to the players, but replicating it is something that shouldn’t provide pressure; rather, motivation.

“We don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves,” said Am on the Sharks website.

“We know our standards and what we can do. But we do be hard on ourselves when we don’t reach those standards.”

“The first 20 minutes of the game is going to be vital, that’s what let us down against the Bulls and when they scored those early tries, we were left chasing the game. Our focus this week is on having a good start.”

Sharks

15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (captain), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Juan Schoeman

Replacements :16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Screuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

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