Our Cell C Sharks coach Robert du Preez has the good fortune to be able to largely retain the same side that took on – and defeated – the Jaguares two weeks ago for this Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Rebels.
A fortnight ago, the Growthpoint KINGS PARK faithful were treated to a match resembling the intensity and physicality of a test clash, with the Jaguares, the Argentina national side in all but name.
This week, the Rebels visit from the Australian city of Melbourne, hoping to emulate the form that saw them defeat their top performing compatriots, the Brumbies, 19-17 in a tight encounter.
The Rebels have had something of an up and down season this year, suffering some big losses, mixed with some quality rugby, as their victory over the two-time champions from their nation’s capital will attest to.
They will be a completely different prospect for our team, offering a very different challenge.
Continuity is like gold in a physically combatant sport like rugby. So often, the most successful teams have minimal disruptions during the course of the tournament and this week, Robert du Preez has named an almost unchanged line-up to tackle the Rebels.
Upfront, there is one change to our performing pack with Jean-Luc du Preez missing this match due to a niggle. His place in the starting XV will be taken by Philip van der Walt with Jacques Vermeulen providing loose-forward cover on the bench. Our pack has developed and grown into a tight unit and are reaping the rewards for their hard work. Amongst the backs, there are two positional and just one personnel change.
Curwin Bosch returns to flyhalf after an enforced late change that saw him shifting to fullback. This week, he plays in the number 10 jersey, with Rhyno Smith taking over the vacated fullback position.
The match kicks off at 19h30 with a host of rugby action, including the Cell C Sharks XV opening their Supersport Rugby Challenge campaign against Griquas in the earlier match scheduled at 17h00.
Full article here: Sharks Rugby – sbuki1030
The Cell C Sharks XV get their Supersport Rugby Challenge campaign started this weekend when they host Griquas at Growthpoint KINGS PARK in the curtain-raiser to the Vodacom Super Rugby clash between the senior side and the Rebels.
Veteran wing Odwa Ndungane will lead our young side coached by Paul Anthony and Ricardo Loubscher in this first match of a brand new tournament.
The side isn’t completely inexperienced though and joining the captain who has amassed over 200 caps for the province, are props Juan Schoeman, John-Hubert Meyer, lock Hyron Andrews, loose forwards Jacques Vermeulen and Khaya Majola, outside centre S’bura Sithole and reserve prop Gerhard Engelbrecht, all of who have tasted either Super Rugby or Currie Cup rugby with the Cell C Sharks, or featured in both competitions.
“We’ve had some good pre-season hit-outs,” explains Paul Anthony, but we’re going to have to be on our toes on Saturday, they’re a really good side. Both sides are at full strength so we believe this is going to be an absolute classic.
“We have no illusions about how tough it’s going to be, they’re one of the better teams in the competition. But we have a good blend of senior and younger players, with Odwa playing in his 231st senior match for The Sharks. The boys have gelled really well and we’re looking forward to the competition.”
For Ricardo Loubscher, this is a challenge befitting the tournament’s name. “They’re a very strong team upfront with good backs, so they have all-round strengths,” he points out. “Both teams will be looking for a good start to the competition.
“We’re in a good space, there’s good energy in the side with a lot of youngsters making debuts, and it’s important that their first game is a good one. We see the seniors playing a massive role there.
“There is continuity within our structures and our brand of rugby will be exactly that of our senior team. The most important thing right now is to gel, and that’s what part of the focus of the pre-season games was all about.”
This year marks the inaugural SuperSport Rugby Challenge, replacing the Vodacom Cup and the Currie Cup qualifiers, which was South Africa’s second competition that ran parallel to Vodacom Super Rugby, featuring teams from all over the country, and beyond.
15 teams feature in three geographic groups (five teams per group) representing the Northern Section, the Central Section (in which the Cell C Sharks XV are playing, included together with Free State, the Griffons, Griquas and Leopards). The final conference is the Southern Section.
Teams play each other within their conference on a home and away basis (eight pool matches), before the quarter-finals (2 July), semi-finals (9 July) and the final on 16 July.
After Saturday’s opening fixture against Griquas, the Cell C Sharks XV will play the Griffons (away), Leopards, Free State and Griffons (all home), followed by three away matches against the Leopards, Griquas and Free State.
Cell C Sharks XV
1. Juan Schoeman
2. Stephan Coetzee
3. John-Hubert Meyer
4. Rikus Zwarts
5. Hyron Andrews
6. Khaya Majola V/C
7. Wian Vosloo
8. Jean Droste
9. Damian Stevens
10. Danrich Visagie
11. Sbu Nkosi
12. Johan Deysel
13. S’bura Sithole
14. Odwa Ndungane (Captain)
15. Courtney Winnaar
16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Mzamo Majola
18. Gerhard Engelbrecht
19. Bandisa Ndlovu
20. Graham Geldenhuys
21. Rowan Gouws
22. Marius Louw
Full article here: Sharks Rugby – sbuki1030
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