A 47-25 home soil victory over the Chiefs last weekend enabled them to achieve their goal of winning by more than 18 points to secure a last four berth. That victory ensured they finished third in the table, earning them a trip to Sydney to meet the Waratahs on Saturday. Two stunning tries by No 8 Ryan kankowski were the pick of the seven scored by the Sharks.
None of the Sharks players were included in new Springbok coach Pieter de Villiers' 42-man training squad this week because of their on-going Super 14 commitments. That is likely to change once their season is over, with players of the calibre of Bryan Habana coming into the reckoning.
The Lions have a good record against non-Test sides in Durban. The Sharks were born out of the old Natal province, a team which the Lions have met 10 times on nine previous tours and never lost.
Next year's tour will, of course, be the first on which a Lions party has met South African Super 14 teams in their current form.
The full list of Lions results against non-Test teams from Durban is as follows:
1903: Beat Durban 22-0; 1910: Beat Natal 18-16 and 19-13; 1924: Drew with Natal 3-3; 1938: Beat Natal 15-11; 1955: Beat Natal 11-8; 1962: Beat Natal 13-3; 1968: Beat Natal 17-5; 1974: Beat Natal 34-6; 1980: Beat Natal 21-15; 1997: Beat Natal 42-12.