Heading for the Top – Featured Durban Blog

Heading for the Top:

The curtain-raiser to Friday’s Durban Challenge match between the Cell C Sharks and Union Bordeaux Begles at Moses Mabhida Stadium features the Cell C Sharks Under 19s hosting the Golden Lions Under 19s in their SA Rugby Under 19 Championship clash.

This is the final match of the first round before the team enjoys a well-deserved bye ahead of the second round of matches, but will be looking for one last big effort before the break.

Last week’s 32-21 victory over Free State ensured that the Cell C Sharks Under 19s remained unbeaten in the tournament, the only side with a 100% success rate.

The five try to three victory saw fullback Muller Du Plessis scoring a hat-trick and wing Thaakir Abrahams scoring the other two. The Cell C Sharks Under 19s led 15-7 at half-time but, as coach Sean Everitt explains, had to dig deep against a spirited Free State fight back.

“It wasn’t easy going up to Bloemfontein, it was always going to be tough against a good rugby team. But we took our chances and had a good start, scoring two quick tries.

“We were under the pump for the remainder of the first half and then had a few opportunities in the second half but didn’t use them. In the last eight minutes we trailed 21-15 but managed to score three quick tries which gave us the bonus point.”

Taking on the Golden Lions this week means things don’t get any easier for Everitt’s team.

“The Lions have been very strong over the last three years, they’ve both retained their local talent and brought in more from outside the province, which is a consequence of the senior team doing so well,” he explains.

The Lions are the reigning champions and one of the stronger teams in the competition and the coach has no illusions about the battle his team faces.

“We’ll have to play really well if we want to beat them.”

The team shows just one rotational change, with locks Dre Engelbrecht and JJ van der Mescht swapping jerseys, although with rolling subs allowed at this level, both players will have game time.

Going into this week, the Blue Bulls juniors are top of the log on points difference, but the Cell C Sharks Under 19s, also with 23 log points, can go clear at the top this weekend when the Bulls have a bye which adds further spice to the match which kicks off at 4.30pm.

The Cell C Sharks U19s
1. James Scott
16. Cole Haggard
2. Fez Mbatha
17. Charles Staples
3. Francois Klopper
18. JJ van der Mescht
4. Jeandre Labuschagne
19. Armand Conradie
5. Dre Engelbrecht
20. Adam Mountford
6. Vian Fourie
21. Matt Doyle
7. Dylan Richardson
22. Onke Jiba
8. Phepsi Buthelezi (C)
23. Asanda Kunene
9. Sanele Nohamba
10. Henry Chamberlain
11. Thaakir Abrahams
12. Murray Koster
13. DJ Falconer
14. Caleb Dingaan
15. Muller du Plessis

The post Heading for the Top appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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