Cooper returns for Sharks in Currie Cup Semi-final

Currie Cup champions the Sharks have named their team to play in the Currie Cup Semi-final against the Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday with Kyle Cooper returning to the starting line up.

Cooper is the only change to the starting side after he missed last week’s
20-28 win over Western Province in Cape Town due to an ankle injury and comes
in for Monde Hadebe in the front row.

Lionel Cronje was again preferred at flyhalf ahead of Fred Zeilinga, while
veteran England prop Matt Stevens kept his place ahead of Lourens Adriaanse.

Winger Lwazi Mvovo and scrumhalf Cobus Reinach will again feature and were
the only members of the Springbok squad that did duty in the Rugby Championship
that will play.

The Sharks beat the Lions in their only other meeting during the season —
a 26-23 victory at Kings Park in Durban — a fortnight ago.

Sharks head coach Brad Macleod-Henderson says that even though they beat Western Province last week in Newlands they were not happy with their performance.

“We weren’t happy with our first half performance against Western Province but it was great to see us come out in the second half and play some nice rugby and get quite a few points on the board.”

“Hopefully the continuity continues against the Golden Lions. It’s going to be a huge task going up to Ellis Park, but a challenge we’re looking forward to. We will have to play for the full 80 minutes, defensively we need to be strong and our set-piece needs to function well.

“The Lions do have a big strong pack but your set-piece needs to function well every week and the Lions have a good set-piece, so we know it’s going to be a big challenge.

“We played nicely when we beat them in Durban, but that counts for nothing now. It’s a new game, a new challenge, a new week and we are preparing accordingly.”

Sharks

15. SP Marais , 14. Tonderai Chavhanga , 13. S’bura Sithole , 12. Andre Esterhuizen , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Lionel Cronje , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Tera Mtembu (C) , 7. Etienne Oosthuizen , 6. Jacques Botes , 5. Marco Wentzel , 4. Stephan Lewies , 3. Matt Stevens , 2. Kyle Cooper , 1. Thomas du Toit

Replacements , 16. Monde Hadebe , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. JC Astle , 20. Khaya Majola , 21. Conrad Hoffmann , 22. Fred Zeilinga

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