Lineout key for Sharks
Sharks coach Sean Everitt is looking for his squad to regain their lineout supremacy after problems against Western Province.
The Sharks welcomed back Springbok forwards Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Marcell Coetzee for last weekend's top-of-the-table clash.
After losing 17-13 to the unbeaten Province, Everitt wants the Sharks to recover their perfect record at the lineout from the previous week's match against the Bulls.
"We have worked hard on our set piece throughout the campaign but we have been a bit inconsistent at times," said Everitt.
"We had 100% lineout success the previous game but unfortunately that went awry against Province and it cost us on the day.
"The guys will bounce back from that, it's something small that can be fixed.
"With the new combinations coming back it wasn't easy, but we will keep trying and hopefully improve on that.
"I thought each of the Boks was committed and played really well.
"They should be commended on that, particularly as the game was played just a week after the deciding game of the Rugby Championship against the All Blacks the previous weekend.
"Getting them in early and getting game time behind them will be beneficial moving into the next few games."
Everitt also reserved praise for influential Cheetahs star Adriaan Strauss, ahead of the face-off between South Africa's two best hookers when Strauss takes on Bismarck du Plessis this weekend.
"Adriaan is a fantastic leader and gets a lot out of the Free State team, as we saw in Super Rugby," added Everitt.
"Free State will be a big challenge for us as they're a much improved side now that both Adriaan and Coenie Oosthuizen are back.
"They had a good game against the Bulls at the weekend and they're certainly not the same team that we beat well in Durban earlier in the competition."