The Sharks will be looking for a return to the summit of the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA when they host the Stormers in Durban this weekend in the fourth round while the Lions will be intent to record their first win when they host log leaders Bulls in Johannesburg.
Sean Everitt’s Sharks were well beaten by a dominant Bulls side last weekend and they will be eager to return to winning ways against their coastal rivals in this early Saturday afternoon fixture at the Kings Park in Durban.
On the other hand, the Stormers arrive on the back of a dramatic late victory in their clash with the Lions last weekend, who were downed by a last-gasp penalty from Tim Swiel in a 10-try thriller in Johannesburg.
Sharks vs Stormers
Sharks coach Sean Everitt has made three personnel changes and one positional switch to last week’s team that lost to the Bulls in Pretoria with JJ van der Mescht earning a start and hard-working Ruben van Heerden playing off the bench.
After rupturing a patella tendon against the Bulls, Sikhumbuzo Notshe has unfortunately been ruled out of action for a few months, and his absence has necessitated a re-jig of the loose-forward trio with Henco Venter moving to eighthman and Thembelani Bholi on the side of the scrum.
The Stormers have been bolstered by the return of a number of key players with locks JD Schickerling and Marvin Orie, flank Pieter-Steph du Toit and centre Ruhan Nel all back in the starting line-up for the coastal clash.
Orie missed out last week due to concussion protocols while Schickerling has recovered from an ankle injury to take his place in the second row behind the unchanged all-Springbok front row of captain Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe.
Du Toit is back after being rested last week and forms a loose trio with Willie Engelbrecht and Evan Roos.
Pick: Sharks Wins at 0.65 at BetXChange
Lions v Bulls
Bulls coach Jake White has recalled flyhalf Chris Smith to the starting line-up for their short trip to Johannesburg to take on the Lions.
Apart from Smith’s return, James Verity-Amm gets a start on the wing with Stravino Jacobs dropping to the bench as he continues to rotate players and exploit depth as they look to make it four wins on the trot in the Pro14 Rainbow Cup SA campaign.
The forwards see several changes as Springbok props Lizo Gqoboka and Trevor Nyakane get into the starting trenches in a direct swap with Gerhard Steenekamp and Mornay Smith.
Elrigh Louw returns to the blindside at flank resuming his successful combination with Springbok loose forwards Marco van Staden and captain Duane Vermeulen.
Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen will be looking for consistency and experience in his team selection for this clash where they will be looking for their first win of the season.
Van Rooyen has been forced to make a change to the starting line-up with Len Massyn coming in for Francke Horn.
Pick: Bulls Wins at 0.35 at BetXChange