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Where: Kings Park, Durban
When: 15.05 (GMT)
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The Sharks will go into this match as heavy favourites to win in Durban as they will be playing at home and have the benefit of having played a match already.
Last week the Sharks beat the Bulls 31-16 and picked up a bonus point at Kings Park and a day earlier the Hurricanes played a warm up match against the Crusaders and lost 41-15.
In fairness the Hurricanes also managed to edge the Blues in another of their warm ups but having played a proper Super Rugby match is a big advantage for the Sharks.
The Sharks and the Hurricanes missed out on playing each other in 2013 and the last time they faced each other was almost two years ago in April 2012.
Overall the Sharks have played the Sharks 15 times since 1998 and the teams are level on 7 wins, 7 losses and one draw.
The average score when the Sharks play the Hurricanes is : Sharks 25 Hurricanes 27
This weekend’s match will be played in Durban where the teams have met 7 times since 1999. In those 7 matches the Sharks have won four matches and lost three matches.
When the teams meet in Durban the average score is Sharks 29 Hurricanes 25.
Importantly in those 7 matches that have been played in Durban the Sharks have won the last three matches in a row. This means that the Hurricanes have not won in Durban since 2005 – nine years ago.
It should be noted though that the Hurricanes last visited Durban in April 2011 which is almost three years ago.
While the odds appear to be stacked against the Hurricanes they have a good record when they tour to South Africa early in the season as they have a 70% win record in SA when their matches take place in the first three rounds.
In terms of selection Sharks coach Jake White has named an unchanged starting team to play this weekend repaying the players for their performance against the Bulls.
The Hurricanes on the other hand have named four new caps in their starting team and there are two more players on the replacements bench that could make their debuts.
New recruits Hadleigh Parkes (joined from the Southern Kings) ,Mark Abbott and Marty Banks (Crusaders development team) have been named in the Hurricanes’ starting XV, while Blade Thomson, who already has one Super Rugby cap, will be given his first start.
Given time the Hurricanes look like they can cause some upsets but this week is a little early for them.We
15. SP Marais , 14.Odwa Ndungane , 13. Paul Jordaan , 12. Frans Steyn , 11.Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 4. Anton Bresler , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (C) , 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements :16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Stephan Lewies , 20. Jean Deysel , 21. Charl McLeod , 22. Heimar Williams , 23. S’bura Sithole
1. Ben Franks,2. Dane Coles,3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen,4. Jeremy Thrush,5. Mark Abbott,6. Faifili Levave,7. Jack Lam,8. Blade Thomson,9. TJ Perenara,10. Beauden Barrett,11. Julian Savea,12. Hadleigh Parkes,13. Conrad Smith (c),14. Cory Jane,15. Marty Banks
Replacements : 16. Motu Matu’u,17. Chris Eves,18. John Schwalger,19. Mark Reddish,20. Adam Hill,21. Chris Smylie,22. Alapati Leiua,23. James Marshall