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Coming off a draw against the competition’s best team, the Sharks will look to continue their good Trans-Tasman tour when they take on the Chiefs in Waikato. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 5:35pm AEST.
The visitors are coming fifth, but only eight points in differential splits them and the Bulls, who are top of the South African conference.
However they’ve got a tough run home, where they take a bye, before hosting the Lions and Hurricanes, then travelling to Argentina and Capetown.
They’ll see this game against the 14th ranked Chiefs as winnable, and a victory would be very useful, because unless the Bulls beat the Crusaders on Friday morning, or the Jaguares beat the Highlanders, the Durban locals will lead the SA group.
Despite coming second last, the Chiefs are just a bonus point win outside the top eight, and with the Stormers on a bye, should the Brumbies, Reds and Blues lose, and the Lions and Waratahs draw, they’d be in the last finals position by Sunday.
Realistically however, they’d be looking to get their first win since round nine, and string together another few victories, to lift themselves up a congested ladder.
Their run home is one of the easier ones: they play the Blues and Reds, before it toughens with matches against the Crusaders and Rebels.
In team news: the Chiefs lose both Michael Allardice and Lachlan Boshier, bringing Tyler Ardron to the second row and boosting Jesse Parete to blindside. Luke Jacobson takes Ardron’s place at the back of the scrum, while Parete will be partnered by Mitch Karpik.
For the visitors, Ruben van Heerdan sits this one out, as Hyron Andrews comes in for him, with Philip van der Walt heading to No.8 in place of Daniel du Preez. Jacques Vermuelen is at flanker, but the only backline change is Marius Louw in for Andre Esterhuizen.
The Chiefs are probably the toughest team to pick, but for a side ranked 14th, they’re pretty potent. Sharks should get the job done, on what has been a successful Trans-Tasman tour.
Make sure to join The Roar for scores and a blog, from 5:35pm AEST.
Venue: FMG Stadium.
Time: 5:35pm AEST.
Referee: Nic Berry.
Odds: Chiefs $1.62, Sharks $2.31.
Atu Moli, Nathan Harris, Nepo Laulala, Tyler Ardron, Mitchell Brown, Jesse parete, Mitchell Karpik, Luke Jacobson, Brad Weber, Marty McKenzie, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Tumua Manu, Sean Wainu, Solomon Alaimalo.
Reserves: Liam Polwart, Ryan Coxon, Angus Taavao, Taleni Seu, Pita Gus Sowakula, Te Toiroa Thauriorangi, Shaun Stevenson, Alex Nankivell.
Thomas du Toit, Kerron van Vuuren, Coenie Oosthuizen,Hyron Andrews, Ruan Botha, Jacques Vermeulen, Jean-Luc du Preez, Philip van der Walt, Louis Schreuder, Curwin Bosch, Makazole Mapimpi, Marius Louw, Lukhanyo Am, Sbusiso Nkosi, Aphelele Fassi.
Reserves: Fezokuhle Mbatha, Mzamo Majola, John-Hubert Meyer, Tyler Paul, Luke Stringer, Cameron Wright, Robert du Preez, Kobus van Wyk.