The Sharks will target revenge against the Lions when the teams meet for a Round 17 showdown in the 2018 Super Rugby season. The match is set for Saturday, June 30, at the King’s Park Stadium in Durban, kick-off at 17h15 CAT.
The hosts come into the game on the back of a 29-13 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Jaguares back in late May, though they had won three of their four matches prior to that, overcoming the Chiefs, Highlanders and Stormers.
So far this season, the Durban-based franchise has recorded five wins, seven defeats and one draw from their 13 matches, leaving them in third place on the South African Conference and ninth on the overall standings with 28 points.
The Lions, meanwhile, secured back-to-back wins prior to the international break, as they beat the Brumbies 42-24 at home and the Stormers 26-23 in Cape Town on May 19 and 26 respectively. The victories followed a run of three straight losses away to the Reds, Hurricanes and Highlanders through April and early May.
The Johannesburg-based franchise has recorded eight wins and six defeats from their 14 outings, for a total of 40 points. They are top of the South African Conference and second on the overall standings behind the Crusaders.
In head-to-head stats, the Sharks and Lions have met in 24 Super Rugby matches. The coastal side has claimed 17 wins compared to five for the Johannesburgers, while two games have been drawn.
The teams last met in a Round 1 clash at Ellis Park in February, where tries by Lionel Mapoe (two), Aphiew Dyantyi and Kwagga Smith took the Lions to a 26-19 victory.
The Lions will be boosted by the return of key players such as Malcolm Marx, Warren Whiteley and Ross Cronje, adding impetus to their final stretch of the season, though Jaco Kriel and Rohan Janse Van Rensburg remain sidelined with long-term injuries.
For the Sharks, they will look to the likes of Dan du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Beast Mtawarira, Chiliboy Rappelle and Curwin Bosch to shine after helping the Springboks record a series victory over England through June.
South African referee Jaco Peyper will take charge of the match in Durban on Saturday.
Sharks v Lions – head-to-head
Matches played 24
Sharks wins 17
Lions wins 5
Sharks points 705
Lions points 459