Reds Play In Shark Tank

Image courtesy of news.com.au
The Reds plan to come away from the Shark Tank with victory. Image courtesy of news.com.au

Sharks v Reds 

Sunday March 14 – 1.05am (AEST)

Where: Kings Park, Durban

What did they do last week? The Sharks stayed undefeated after three matches with a 37-23 win over the Lions in Durban. The Reds bounced back from their hammering at the hands of the Waratahs with a 43-33 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Things you need to know: The Sharks are one of three teams still undefeated alongside defending champs the Chiefs and the Waratahs. They are currently in top spot in the South African conference and on the overall ladder. Paul Jordaan is expected to miss a month with a knee injury while Odwa Ndungane won't play following the death of his father. Playmaker Pat Lambie is expected to return after overcoming a virus and veteran Springbok JP Pietersen is back in Durban after a stint in Japan. The Reds have made three changes with front rowers James Slipper and Saia Fainga'a promoted to the starting side while Lachie Turner returns from a knee injury to start on the left wing. Richard Graham's men have won two of their three games this season and sit third in the Aussie conference and fifth overall.

Reason to watch: The intrigue of Jake White coaching against an Australian team for the first time since he walked out on the Brumbies mid-contract adds further spice to what was already going to be a cracking contest.

Reason to turn away: The Sharks are capable of playing attractive rugby but Jake White is the master of winning ugly. Let's hope his tactics don't turn this into a slugfest.

Say what: "The Australian players ask different questions, they play a different kind of rugby. I know what makes (the Reds) tick having coached in Australia, and I'm looking forward to that." – Sharks coach Jake White.

Final instructions: There is very little between these two sides but very few teams taste success at the Shark Tank. The Reds haven't won in Durban since way back in 2004, although they got close in their previous two visits, losing by five and two points. It'll be close but we're tipping the hosts to grind out a narrow win. Sharks by five.

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