Coastal sides collide in postponed URC match
The Sharks and Stormers will take centre stage in the United Rugby Championship this weekend as they battle it out in the only match on Saturday in a postponed fixture from the opening round of the competition.
The coastal derby, which kicks off 14h00 at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in Durban, will be important for both teams to solidify their places in the top eight on the log with an eye on quarter-final spots in the next few weeks.
The Stormers are currently in second place on the standings after 12 matches and find themselves 16 points behind log-leading Leinster, while the Cell C Sharks played their way into the top eight last weekend with a 22-19 victory against Edinburgh in Scotland, with the KZN side now on 33 points after 11 matches.
A victory for the Durbanites, in particular, could catapult them into the top six on the table, with five rounds of matches remaining in the regular round-robin stages.
The teams have been fairly closely matched in terms of victories, but the but the KwaZulu-Natalians will be wary of the fact that the Capetonians have a better record on attack and defence this season.
However, th Sharks have won four of their five home games so far in the competition, which will give them confidence going into the clash, but given the intense rivalry between the teams, the match is sure to be a humdinger.
Last season, the corresponding fixture ended in an unlikely 22-22 draw after the Stormers launched a strong second-half surge and were awarded two penalty tries – one of them after the hooter had sounded – to salvage some points in Durban.
A week later though, playing at home, the Capetonians won by 20-10 and they will be looking to replicate that victory this weekend in the only match in the competition.
Match information: Sharks v Stormers
Date: Saturday, 4 February
Venue: Hollywoodbets Kings Park
SA Time: 14h00
Referee: Jaco Peyper