Sharks looking forward to massive battle up front against Griquas, says Ntuthuko Mchunu
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DURBAN – The Sharks host Griquas on Saturday (2.30pm) in a curtain-raiser of sorts to the big second Test between the Boks and the Lions, and they will be hoping they can repeat their efforts of last weekend when they beat the Cheetahs in a similar Currie Cup fixture.
Griquas are currently in third spot on the log and after seeing off the likes of the Sigma Lions and Western Province — the latter in an historic victory in Cape Town — and will come to Durban high on confidence, knowing that they are doing a lot right in this year’s tournament.
Sharks prop Ntuthuko Mchunu warns that their opponents are going to be tough, but that his team haven’t been idly watching things unfold in their efforts that have taken them to the top of the log.
“It’s been a good week’s preparation,” the youngster explained. “We took a lot of confidence out of the win over the Cheetahs, although we are brushing up for this weekend’s game and cleaning up a few things.”
Of the opposition, he acknowledged that they will have a real fight on their hands if they want to do the double against the side from Kimberley after their first-round (30-16) win in June.
“They’re a difficult bunch, they play with a lot of pride and they have a lot of experience in their squad. We’re looking forward to a massive battle upfront, we know they’re going to take us on, especially at scrum time and the lineout maul.
“They’ve had a very good campaign so far, they’re in the top three and currently on a roll after putting down two of the big teams which will be a big, big confidence booster for them.”
Sharks coach Sean Everitt has largely stuck with the same team that performed so well last week against the Cheetahs, naming Lourens Adriaanse at tighthead in place of Khutha Mchunu while Mpilo Gumede comes in for injured Dylan Richardson at flank.
There are three changes in the backline, Sanele Nohamba replacing Grant Williams, Murray Koster coming in for an injured Marius Louw and Yaw Penxe replacing Marnus Potgieter on the wing.
Sharks: 15 Anthony Volmink 14 Yaw Penxe 13 Werner Kok 12 Murray Koster 11 Thaakir Abrahams 10 Curwin Bosch 9 Sanele Nohamba 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (capt) 7 Mpilo Gumede 6 James Venter 5 Reniel Hugo 4 Leroux Roets 3 Lourend Adriaanse 2 Kerron van Vuuren 1 Nuthuko Mchuu.
Subs: Dan Jooste, Mzamo Majola, Wiehahn Herbst, Thembelani Bholi, Henco Venter, Jaden Hendrikse, Lionel Cronje, Jeremy Ward