• Dillyn Leyds and Thomas du Toit to reach 50 caps in coastal derby
• Vodacom Bulls starting team unchanged for Jaguares visit
The Cell C Sharks will have it all to play for when they tackle the DHL Stormers in their penultimate Vodacom Super Rugby pool match in Cape Town on Saturday, when two Springboks, Dillyn Leyds (DHL Stormers) and Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), will make their 50thtournament appearances.
The Durbanites still have an outside chance to reach the playoffs, but the Capetonians are only playing for pride in their last fixture of the campaign. The derby kicks off at 17h15 at DHL Newlands, where the Cell C Sharks will be looking to continue with their good form of late – they have won four of their last six games.
The only other fixture featuring a local side sees the Vodacom Bulls hosting the in-form Jaguares from 15h05 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. John Mitchell’s outfit will be determined to bounce back from their disappointing loss to the Sunwolves in Singapore, while the Jaguares have the incentive of being crowned SA Conference winners should they succeed in winning their two remaining matches.
The Argentinians are only three points behind current conference leaders, the Emirates Lions, who are not in action this round and who conclude their regulation fixtures next week. A win for the visitors in Pretoria will see them stretch their impressive unbeaten run to eight wins, but the home team will be determined to snap a disappointing run of three losses in a row.
Elsewhere, Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett will make rugby history yet again this week, becoming the first player to record 200 Vodacom Super Rugby caps. He made his debut at this level in 2006 and has been named to play in the Crusaders’ home game against the Highlanders on Friday night.
The DHL Stormers made four changes for the coastal derby and will be led by Pieter-Steph du Toit in the absence of Siya Kolisi, who has been ruled out through illness, with Kobus van Dyk his replacement. There’s also recalls for props JC Janse van Rensburg and Frans Malherbe into the starting line-up.
Amongst the backs, EW Viljoen starts at outside centre, JJ Engelbrecht shifts to the wing and Herschel Jantjies (replacement scrumhalf) can make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut if he comes on.
Meanwhile, the match will also serve as a farewell for Nizaam Carr, Dewaldt Duvenage, JC Janse van Rensburg and Raymond Rhule, all of whom are leaving to play abroad.
Robert du Preez made four changes to his Cell C Sharks side that beat the Emirates Lions for Saturday’s visit to Cape Town. Injured flanker Jean-Luc du Preez is replaced by Jacques Vermeulen, while in a rotational switch, Juan Schoeman comes in for Tendai Mtawarira, who now plays off the bench.
Scrumhalves Louis Schreuder and Cameron Wright also rotate and winger Sbu Nkosi returns after his last minute injury withdrawal last weekend.
John Mitchell has kept faith in the Vodacom Bulls side that played in Singapore and named the same starting fifteen for their last home match of the campaign against the powerful Jaguares. There are however some changes on the bench, with Springbok Ivan van Zyl returning to the match 23.
What they said:
DHL Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said his team will be looking to end their campaign on a positive note: “This weekend gives us another chance to play in front of our fans at DHL Newlands, so we are determined to put together a good performance. South African derbies are always tough and this should be a great game to watch – we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Vodacom Bulls head coach John Mitchell explained his reason for his unchanged starting team: “We are very thin and that is what the reality is. I think we will definitely be better as a result of playing another game together but it has been a patch-up job.”
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima / Matthys Basson, 18 Mornay Smit, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Nick de Jager, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Dries Swanepoel.
Cell C Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen on the challenge awaiting them in Cape Town: “It’s their last game, a home game and because they haven’t had a great year, we know they will throw everything at us. They have nothing to lose and will want to finish the tournament off on a positive.”
DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensberg.Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Josh Stander, 23 Craig Barry.
Cell C Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman. Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Kobus van Wyk.