‘Beast’ Mtawarira returns for Sharks against Reds

Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold has made one change to the starting team that lost to the Waratahs for this week’s Super Rugby clash against the Reds Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Gold has maintained his faith in the players that pushed the Waratahs last week with the exception of Dale Chadwick who makes way for Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira.

Chadwick remains in the match day squad but drops to the replacements and pushed Matt Stevens out of the 23.

Fred Zeilinga will make his return through the replacements bench and he replaces Waylon Murray and Mouritz Botha comes in for Giant Mtyanda.

This weekend’s match is the Sharks final Super Rugby match on tour and Gold is wary of a Reds team who delivered their best performance of the season last week.

“They turned the corner last weekend against a good Rebels team and we know we’re going to have our hands full this weekend,” said Gold.

“You look at the players in their team – Slipper, Horwell, Genia, Turner, O’Connor – these are really good rugby players, highly experienced internationals and this is a team going through a similar season to us,” explained Gold.

“With a couple of injuries and a couple of poor performances, they’ve found themselves on the end of a couple of bad results.”

Gold feels that the Sharks have been improving but he says they need to work on their defence and finishing off the breaks they make.

“We crossed the tryline five times against the Hurricanes, although two of them weren’t awarded, and we crossed the tryline a few times this weekend and one wasn’t awarded,” said Gold on the Sharks site.

“So we’re creating opportunities and very nearly finishing them. I’m excited about that, I’m excited about our counter-attack and I’m excited about how we look with ball in hand.

“But we’re not fooling ourselves, we realise that we need a vast improvement in our defence. But we have some young guys on the park who are learning a huge amount. Coupled with the fact that we look quite good with ball in hand and I have no doubt we can only improve. I’m reasonably encouraged by the fact that the issues we’re getting wrong are very fixable.”

“A really good performance and a win this weekend against the Reds is critically important for our campaign, and confidence.”

Sharks

15. Lwazi Mvovo , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. JP Pietersen , 12. Frans Steyn , 11. S’bura Sithole , 10. Lionel Cronje , 9. Stefan Ungerer , 8. Renaldo Bothma , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Mar oetzee , 5. Marco Wentzel (Captain) , 4. Stephan Lewies , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements :16. Franco Marais , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Mouritz Botha , 20. Etienne Oosthuizen , 21. Conrad Hoffmann , 22. Fred Zeilinga , 23. Andre Esterhuizen

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