Sharks v Lions Round two

Sharks v Lions Round two

In what has been an unprecedented week for the British and Irish Lions tour, the Cell C Sharks have named their side for their second clash against the tourists on Saturday.

Sharks v Lions Round two 1
SA Rugby

The evergreen Lionel Cronje has been named at flyhalf in a side that boasts eleven changes from their side that fell to a fairly bruising 54-7 defeat at the hands of the home nations' finest mid-week.

The Lions were supposed to be playing the Bulls on Saturday however they have returned a number of positive covid-19 cases which forced both SA Rugby and the Lions to find an alternative.

With the Sharks already being up in Johannesburg and a 35-player squad available for selection, they made themselves available for a re-match.

Wednesday's game was an eye-opener for the Sharks given the intensity and accuracy with which the Lions play with, and coach Sean Everitt knows his side need to improve drastically in their execution.

“Respect for the ball is really important,” Everitt said. "We do create opportunities, but we need to show patience, we can’t force the passes or put kicks through, we need to hold on to the ball for an extra phase because somewhere along the line, the wall can break.

"We didn’t show enough patience with the ball on attack against the Lions and we need to back ourselves to hold it through several phases, even more.

“When we get that right we’ll be a really good, dangerous side and a difficult one to beat.”

The gulf in experience was plain to see on Wednesday as the Lions pounced on any mistake from the Sharks, but Everitt believes that his side have learnt important lessons from that.

“Sometimes it’s the make-up of the individuals and the enthusiasm and energy we have in the team, we tend to force things and hope that something happens from that.

"What you might get away with at Carling Currie Cup level won’t work against internationals.

“It’s really about getting the balance right. When to have a go and when not to; when to force it and when not to. Against a quality team like the Lions, you have to be patient.”

Captain Phepsi Buthelezi, Jaden Hendrickse, Werner Kok and Thaakir Abrahams are the only surviving players from Wednesday night's defeat.

Cell C Sharks: 15. Anthony Volmink, 14. Marnus Potgieter, 13. Werner Kok, 12. Murray Koster, 11. Thaakir Abrahams, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Jaden Hendrikse, 8. Phepsi Buthelezi (c), 7. Mpilo Gumede, 6. Dylan Richardson, 5. Reniel Hugo, 4. Le Roux Roets, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Kerron van Vuuren, 1. Nthuthuko Mchunu.

Replacements: 16. Dan Jooste, 17. MJ Majola, 18. Khutha Mchunu, 19. Thembelani Bholi, 20. Jeandre Labuschagne, 21. Cameron Wright, 22. Boeta Chamberlain, 23. Jeremy Ward, 24. Lourens Adriaanse, 25. Rynhardt Jonker, 26. Curwin Bosch


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