Sharks Leinster

The Sharks are hoping to claim another big win on Saturday. Photo: Steve Haag Sports/INPHO/Shutterstock via Backpagepix

Can Sharks continue resurgence against Edinburgh?

The Sharks, referred to this week as a ‘Ferrari without a gearbox’, will have another big point to prove when they face Edinburgh.

Sharks Leinster

The Sharks are hoping to claim another big win on Saturday. Photo: Steve Haag Sports/INPHO/Shutterstock via Backpagepix

It’s been a season to forget for the Sharks, who have dwelled at the bottom of the URC log for most of the season despite boasting a star-studded squad.

However, there were signs of a resurgence last weekend when they defeated top Irish side Ulster, and they will now face another big test against highly-regarded Edinburgh on Saturday.

This past week, the Durban-based side would not have been oblivious to the comments made by former captain and CEO John Smit when speaking on a media call for the United Rugby Championship.

“As much as it pains me to say, the Sharks are on the bottom end of it,” he commented. “They have a magnificent-looking team. It’s like walking through a parking lot and seeing a Ferrari, but as you peer through the window, it has no gearbox.

“That’s the reality.”

Sharks desperate to rediscover consistent spark

The Sharks now face another crucial encounter before tackling Zebre Parma in the Challenge Cupm, which is a tournament they are targeting for a shock victory that would secure them qualification for the Champions Cup next season.

“I’ve always said that these next two games were about us getting cohesion and creating some competition and then picking a side against Zebre that we think can do a job,” coach John told reporters in the build-up to the gameun this week.

“We know how tough this weekend’s game is going to be, there’s a lot of Scottish internationals coming back in – a lot of x-factor players who are household names.

“It’s going to be a real test for us building up to the Zebre game but that’s exactly what we want.

“We know who we’re playing this week and have prepared well and are excited about playing Edinburgh … but we’re possibly out of the URC and are still alive in the Challenge Cup.

“We’ve set some goals for the rest of the season and we’re excited because we’ve got the team back that we want – it’s the first time I’ve been able to pick a full-strength side.

“I really want to do well in the Challenge Cup and this game this weekend will help me prepare the team for that. Now I have some selection headaches for me if players take their opportunity this weekend and that’s how we create an edge in our team.”

Key match information to note

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Francois Venter, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 Jeandre Labuschagne, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Ethan Hooker.

Date: Saturday, March 30
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 UK & Ireland time; 13.00 GMT)
Referee: Eoghan Cross (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa) and Jonothan Lottering (South Africa)
TMO: Marc Patton (Ireland)