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Where: Kings Park
When: 15.05 (GMT)
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Along with the Waratahs the Sharks have scored the most tries in Super Rugby so far this season and they will be up against the team with the highest tackle success rate.
The Sharks have played three matches and the Waratahs have played two matches and both teams have scored 10 tries so far.
Against the Sharks their three opponents to date have missed an average of 17% of their tackles per match which is a competition-high.
However, the Reds, with a tackling success rate of 91%, the highest in the competition at this stage, will give the Sharks attack a stiff test.
The Sharks have played the Reds 16 times since 1998 and the Sharks have won 7 times and lost nine times.
That gives the Sharks a record of winning 44% of their matches against the Reds.
The score when the Sharks play the Reds across all venues is : Sharks 24 Reds 24. The match this weekend will be played in Durban which is home for the Sharks and the place that the teams have met on 8 occasions. In those eight matches that have been played in Durban the Sharks have won 5 times and lost three times.
This gives the Sharks a record of winning 63% of their matches at home against the Reds. The score on average when the Sharks play the Reds in Durban is : Sharks 24 Reds 21.
The Sharks have a dream squad, a dream draw and a coach that is looked upon as a South African legend and everything has been going perfectly to plan until this week.
Injuries have started creeping in which will begin to test the Sharks depth. Paul Jordaan has been one of their best backs and Pieter-Steph du Toit has been one of their best forwards and both players have been ruled out this week.
On the positive side the Sharks have been boosted by the return of JP Pietersen who only joined them earlier this week and is in the starting line up.
Time will tell if he should have been given some rest after playing a season in Japan. Last week the Sharks lost Patrick Lambie but Frans Steyn stood in and covered the number 10 duties.
This week Lambie is back and Steyn shifts back down the line to 12. S’bura Sithole comes in for Jordaan and Sithole’s place on the bench has been taken by Jaco van Tonder while Tera Mtembu comes in for Jean Deysel. Pieter-Steph du Toit has been replaced by Stephan Lewies in the forwards.
The Reds comfortably beat the Cheetahs last week in Brisbane and have made three changes for this weekend. Winger Lachie Turner returns to the starting team replacing Dom Shipperley who drops to the bench.
Front rowers James Slipper and Saia Fainga’a have been brought back into the starting side, after filling replacement roles against the Cheetahs.
Slipper replaces Ben Daley at loosehead prop, while Fainga’a comes in for James Hanson. The Reds have played three matches so far and have won two and lost one.
Their loss to the Waratahs was a fairly heavy loss as they were almost completely outplayed and Will Genia doesn’t look like his has hit form this season.
The Reds have had a couple of big wins but they don’t look to be the full package yet and they are up against one of the real form teams who will be playing at home.