Continuity for Quarters – Featured Durban Blog

Continuity for Quarters:

The Cell C Sharks side named to play the Brumbies in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-final shows just one change to the team that defeated the Stormers in Cape Town last weekend.

Aphelele Fassi has been ruled out of the match with a rotator cuff sprain on his right shoulder and in his place sees the welcome return of a fit again Curwin Bosch who will operate at fullback. Selection continuity, particularly after a successful outing the previous week, always stands a team in good stead.

Add to that this year’s away record that has shown the Cell C Sharks to be effective and triumphant away from home and the signs bode well for a positive outing against the Australian Conference winners who have enjoyed a very good 2019 campaign.

Cell C Sharks captain Louis Schreuder, speaking from the team’s base in Coogee in Sydney ahead of a three-hour bus ride to Canberra, said that the team is focused and ready for the clash against the Brumbies.

“The game against the Stormers is behind us and our focus is on the Brumbies. Everyone is excited and looking forward to the challenge.”

“We haven’t faced them this year, they’re one of the teams we missed, they’re the log leaders in the Australian Conference so they’re not in the quarter-finals by chance,” he pointed out.

“They’re a physical, well-organised team with a good set-piece and kicking game so we’re going to have to be well-prepared for that.”

Cell C Sharks

1. Mzamo Majola
2. Kerron van Vuuren
3. Coenie Oosthuizen
4. Ruben van Heerden
5. Hyron Andrews
6. Jacques Vermeulen
7. Tyler Paul
8. Daniel du Preez
9. Louis Schreuder (C)
10. Robert du Preez
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Andre Esterhuizen
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Sbu Nkosi
15. Curwin Bosch

Replacements

16. Cullen Collopy
17. Juan Schoeman
18. Thomas du Toit
19. Gideon Koegelenberg
20. Luke Stringer
21. Cameron Wright
22. Jeremy Ward
23. Rhyno Smith

The post Continuity for Quarters appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

A Dream Season:

Mzamo Majola might be relative newcomer to the Cell C Sharks senior team, but he’s proven beyond a measure of doubt that he has the temperament, ability and desire to feature prominently for the team he’s supported all his life.

He’s featured in seven Vodacom Super Rugby matches for the Cell C Sharks this season, of which four were starting berths with a further three appearances off the bench for a total of nearly five-and-a-half hours of rugby action during the course of this season’s tournament.

What a break-through season for the Westville High old boy.

“It’s been a dream season, absolutely special and if I had been asked at the beginning of the season how I wanted things to turn out, it wouldn’t have even been this; it’s been super, super cool,” he explains as the team ready themselves for a Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-final showdown with the Brumbies in Canberra, Australia this Saturday.

“I was born and bred in Durban and grew up watching The Sharks, so when I was given the opportunity to run out in front of my home crowd it was really special, a highlight of the year for me.”

With a scrum success rate at a healthy 93%, the Cell C Sharks’ set-piece has been performing very well and he’s clearly been playing his part at loosehead prop in the injury-enforced absence of a South African legend, Beast Mtawarira.

“It’s been a really awesome thing,” he admits. “Beast is such a big name in the game and a legend of the sport and for the Cell C Sharks, so it’s been awesome having someone like him around. To be around the squad and now having someone constantly pushing me at training is something you just can’t buy.

“But I must also mention the other front rowers in the team, having conversations with guys like Akker van der Merwe has been a great help, Craig Burden since he came back has been massive for me.

“I’ve been constantly getting good information, helping me to stay positive and telling me to work hard and the opportunities will come.”

The 24 year old is pretty youthful given the fact that props are generally considered to reach their prime in their latter twenties and early thirties. But he’s proven that age is just a number and ‘if he’s good enough, he’s old enough’, he may well prove to be an inspiration to other young props, just as Beast has been for him.

“I don’t want to suggest that I’m an inspiration to others, I still see myself as a kid, but perhaps one day I will look back and hopefully my story has inspired someone. But I don’t want to look ahead, I’m living in the moment, really grateful for the opportunity I have been given and I just want to focus on playing right now.”

The Cell C Sharks have not played the Brumbies this year (the competition format is designed such that each team plays four of the five teams in the Australian and New Zealand Conferences on a rotational basis each year) although that doesn’t change how much respect the team has for the Australian Conference winners.

“Having watched videos of their games, we know their pack is something special to them, they have a really good driving maul, a strong set-piece, the scrum functions very well and they are number one in the competition for scrum penalties, so it’s going to be a huge challenge, but one we’re really up for.”

The post A Dream Season appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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