Log pressure does not worry Sharks captain Louis Schreuder
Sharks captain Louis Schreuder is not worried about log pressure even though they have a quartet of must-win matches.
The first of those games is against the Lions at King's Park on Saturday and with the Johannesburg side finding a way to win despite the transition they are going through‚ the Sharks understand the task that lies ahead of them.
With 29 points‚ the fourth-placed Sharks are three points behind the log-leading Bulls and second-placed Jaguares‚ with the Bulls on top due to points difference.
Those sides have early games against the Brumbies (Bulls on Friday) and the Waratahs (Jaguares on Saturday) that may significantly alter the task the Sharks and the Lions have.
The Lions are only a point ahead of the Sharks in third place‚ with Schreuder saying the Lions may have a point to prove.
“We haven't even spoken about pressure. We know what the log looks like.
"Anyone can still or up or down and anything can still happen.
"This is our important game and anything can still happen but we need to focus on this game that we need to win‚” Schreuder said.
“The Lions are confident after their two or three wins against good opposition.
"They'll come here with a lot of confidence and they've got a few key guys back.”
Sharks coach Robert du Preez has made four changes to the side that lost 29-23 to the Chiefs two weeks ago.
Mzamo Majola and Rubin van Heerden will be starting at prop and lock respectively in place of Thomas du Toit and Hyron Andrews.
Daniel du Preez gets a start at number eight with Philip van der Walt moving to flank while Andre Esterhuizen starts at 12 ahead of Marius Louw.
Young hooker Dylan Richardson is in line for a debut off the bench with Akker van der Merwe and Craig Burden both injured.
More importantly‚ Du Preez has given Curwin Bosch another start at flyhalf ahead of his son Robert du Preez‚ with the coach praising Bosch's contributions during the Australasian tour.
“Curwin has played really well. We know what he can bring and he's a fantastic rugby player.
"The team has also really performed well on tour. We really got together on tour and we had some good results apart from the last one‚” Du Preez said.
“That's in the past now and we've got a big challenge at home on Saturday. We are going to have to be at our best to beat the Lions.”
15 Aphelele Fassi‚ 14 Sbu Nkosi‚ 13 Lukhanyo Am‚ 12 Andre Esterhuizen‚ 11 Makazole Mapimpi‚ 10 Curwin Bosch‚ 9 Louis Schreuder (c)‚ 8 Dan du Preez‚ 7 Jean-Luc du Preez‚ 6 Philip van der Walt‚ 5 Ruan Botha‚ 4 Ruben van Heerden‚ 3 Coenie Oosthuizen‚ 2 Kerron van Vuuren‚ 1 Mzamo Majola.
16 Dylan Richardson‚ 17 Juan Schoeman‚ 18 John-Hubert Meyer‚ 19 Hyron Andrews‚ 20 Jacques Vermeulen‚ 21 Cameron Wright‚ 22 Robert du Preez‚ 23 Kobus van Wyk.
15 Andries Coetzee‚ 14 Courtnall Skosan‚ 13 Lionel Mapoe‚ 12 Harold Vorster‚ 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi‚ 10 Elton Jantjies‚ 9 Nic Groom‚ 8 Kwagga Smith (c)‚ 7 Cyle Brink‚ 6 Marnus Schoeman‚ 5 Marvin Orie‚ 4 Stephan Lewies‚ 3 Johannes Jonker‚ 2 Jan-Henning Campher‚ 1 Dylan Smith.
16 Piet Jansen‚ 17 Sti Sithole‚ 18 Carlü Sadie‚ 19 Reinhard Nothnagel‚ 20 Vincent Tshituka‚ 21 Hacjivah Dayimani‚ 22 Shaun Reynolds‚ 23 Tyrone Green.