Cell C Sharks vs Blues – Featured Durban Blog

Cell C Sharks vs Blues:

The Cell C Sharks will be looking to find that elusive spark that they know will propel the team into a performance they have been looking for, one they know they’re very capable of delivering.

Saturday morning’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Blues may seem daunting, but it’s also an opportunity for the team to prove their worth.

Head coach Robert du Preez admitted as much in the lead-up to the first on New Zealand soil, saying, “If you look at the team, this is a good team, a talented one, but sometimes, you just need one or two or three lucky breaks which puts the team in a good space and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Intense scrutiny and introspection has taken place in the last fortnight to identify the cause of what seems to be preventing the team from really finding their straps, and whatever it is, it isn’t a lack of desire.

“We’ve turned over every stone and looked at everything critically,” he admitted, “but we can say that there’s a great spirit in the camp and we’ve had good practices.”

Looking to the Blues, he explained that, “They’re a dangerous team if you allow them to play, we’re very aware of that. But we have to fix our own matters, we never got going against the Rebels, we’re battling to get going and that’s something we’ve been working on.

“We won’t be changing the way we play because we’re playing a New Zealand side now, but we need to fix our execution and our attack. And we need to get more possession; we had some opportunities against the Rebels, albeit in the second half. So territory and possession, particularly at the start of the game, are vital. We need to get our hands on the ball in the first half.”

Captain Ruan Botha was honest in his appraisal of how the team has fared of late, saying, “We haven’t performed to the standards we set ourselves and that’s something we’re really focused on changing.”

This is the first time the Cell C Sharks are playing a New Zealand team this year and while it doesn’t get any easier, the team welcomes the opportunity to get back to winning ways.

“We all know that everything is going to get more difficult now, so we have to arrive and start playing as a team, as a unit, as we want to. It’s not getting any easier now. We’ve failed in the last two weeks but as a team we’ve grown closer and we’re looking forward to what we can bring this weekend.”

When times are tough, it’s easy to panic, point fingers or simply bury heads in the sand and hope all the pain will go away. But there’s no hiding and fortunately this is a resolute team, intent on showing their potential.

“There’s a great spirit in the camp, it has been difficult because it hasn’t been a successful tour, but the guys are training well.

“We’re very disappointed in ourselves, we feel we’ve dropped our standards in the last couple of weeks, we’re looking to maintain the focus we’ve had this week and harness the energy in the camp.”

The post Cell C Sharks vs Blues appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

Minimal Changes for Blues:

The Cell C Sharks team to play the Blues in Auckland in our third tour match of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition shows just two changes to the starting line-up with continuity keeping the side mostly intact.

While coach Robert du Preez cited execution as a problem area against the Rebels last week, he felt that there was no lack of effort from the players and has stuck with the team, making just one change amongst the forwards and one in the backline.

Philip van der Walt who flew over to replace the injured Wian Vosloo, has come in for the suspended Jacques Vermeulen, while Andre Esterhuizen returns after missing last week’s match, displacing Marius Louw to the bench. Tyler Paul replacing Wian Vosloo amongst the replacements is the final change to the matchday 23.

“We’re fortunate to have a guy like Philip back and ready to play, he brings a lot of experience and leadership,” said coach Robert du Preez.

Although the results haven’t gone our way on tour, the coach explained from the team’s camp in Auckland that there was nothing negative within the team environment to negatively influence them.

“There are no issues in the team, nothing sinister; we’ve lost two games and this happens and it’s not the first time a touring team has lost two games,” he pointed out. “In saying that, it’s obviously very disappointing for us, we’ve worked incredibly hard, the team and the coaches.

“There was no faulting the effort against the Rebels, although the accuracy and the execution was there and it’s something we’ve been working on. The Rebels played good rugby, it must be admitted.

“The boys are very disappointed and frustrated because they know they’re letting the fans and themselves down. But we have to keep on working harder, that starts with us coaches because we’re all in this together.

“We’re not pointing fingers, we have to fix this, together; I know we will.”

Cell C Sharks Replacements
1. Tendai Mtawarira 16. Franco Marais
2. Akker van der Merwe 17. Juan Schoeman
3. Thomas du Toit 18. John-Hubert Meyer
4. Ruan Botha (Captain) 19. Hyron Andrews
5. Stephan Lewies 20. Tyler Paul
6. Philip van der Walt
21. Cameron Wright
7. Jean-Luc du Preez 22. Marius Louw
8. Tera Mtembu 23. Kobus van Wyk
9. Louis Schreuder
10. Robert du Preez
11. Lwazi Mvovo
12. Andre Esterhuizen
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Sbu Nkosi
15. Curwin Bosch

The post Minimal Changes for Blues appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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