The Sharks may have produced a below par performance in their season opener against the Bulls last week, but the Stormers expect them to be back to their best this week.
Having suffered a 13-18 loss to a the new-look Bulls in Pretoria last week, the Sharks will arrive in Cape Town on Saturday to face a Stormers team buoyed by their 39-26 triumph over the Hurricanes in Week One.
Despite injuries to key players like Schalk Burger and Deon Fourie, the men from Cape Town will field a strong team - including six Springboks.
Following their impressive display against the New Zealand franchise, the Hurricanes, the Stormers are confident that their pack can also dominate against the Sharks.
But they admit it will take an enormous effort
Asked if his team will again make liberal use of the rolling maul, which was a main strike weapon against the Hurricanes, and was also used to great affect by the Bulls against the Sharks, Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said not too much should be read into last week's results.
"After our performance [in the rolling mauls] last week we won't use it," Coetzee quipped
Then, on a serious note, he added: "The Sharks are a quality outfit - don't read too much into the game against the Bulls.
"We know how they contested and stopped our rolling mauls in the past. They are not going to come here and just roll over.
"I can recall last year [coach John] Plumtree was very disappointed in their effort. Similarly the Bulls played very well against them in that department and they will come out here very well prepared."
Coetzee said the Sharks have a very good pack.
"Even without Willem Alberts and Kankowski they still have Keegan Daniel, Jacques Botes and Marcell Coetzee," he said of their loose trio.
Asked about the high injury count after Week One of the tournament, Coetzee said it is the nature of the beast.
"It is the nature of the competition," he said, adding: "We are without Scalla [Schalk Burger] and Deon Fourie, the Brumbies are without Robbie Coleman, the Bulls are without [Johann] Sadie, the Sharks without Beast [Tendai Mtawarira] and Ryan Kankowski.
"In this competition you will have your injuries. That is why it is important to have enough depth.
"Whoever pitches up here [at Newlands, from the Sharks] it will be a tough game, a physical derby and it will probably be close as well."
The Stormers mentor said he was "very pleased" with the way his team conducted themselves and the composure they showed against the Hurricanes last week.
"The thing you don't want to take away is the aggression of the players, as long as they channel that aggression in the right direction and not lose focus, keep their focus on the ball.
"I'm pleased to say we [only] conceded nine penalties last week - four on defence and five on attack. I would like us to still improve on that."
By Jan de Koning
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