Powerful Motivation – Featured Durban Blog

Powerful Motivation:

The Cell C Sharks got our campaign back on track with a hard-fought but well-deserved Vodacom Super Rugby victory over the Waratahs in Sydney, Australia on Saturday.

The Cell C Sharks can look back on their outstanding and praiseworthy effort over the Waratahs in a combative clash with immense pride.

While the team would have loved to leave Durban with a win under the belt, this result against the Waratahs set the tone for a successful, albeit very tough, tour.

Coming into this match the team had faced a barrage of criticism, but to a man, took it in their stride, acknowledged their shortfalls and answered their critics in the best way possible.

“This was fantastic for us,” a pleased Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez said after the match. “It was really good to win our first game on tour.”

There was high drama during the match with Thomas du Toit receiving a yellow card, while the Waratahs were reduced to 13 men with a yellow and red card of their own which would have been a blow for the home side.

“The TMO and referee reviewed it a couple of times, I think they made the right decision,” said du Preez.

Although there was an advantage for the Cell C Sharks, even without the cards, this was a performance that was full value for money regardless.

“I thought the boys were outstanding, the forwards magnificent.”

He explained that it was all about physically dominating their opponents, something they achieved with aplomb and which set the platform for the victory, the last time the feat was achieved was back in 2000.

“The Waratahs are a very good team. We saw what happened last week against the Rebels; they’re very dangerous. It was our intention to be physical, we knew we had to get the upper hand upfront if we wanted to win.”

He pointed out that the motivation for this match came from losing the previous week and looking to right the ship.

“The game against the Reds was one we could have won had we closed out some of the try-scoring opportunities we created. But that’s been the story of our season to some degree: creating opportunities but not converting them.

“We had a very good week in the build-up to this game and the boys were keen to come away with a win against the Waratahs.”

With the vagaries of the competition this year, the results are not proving to be foregone conclusions. As things stand, both the overall log and the South African Conference are being tightly contested.

The Cell C Sharks win, coupled with losses for the Vodacom Bulls and Emirates Lions, allowed us to leap-frog the pair into top spot in our conference and jump into second position overall, behind this weekend’s opponents the Crusaders.

“The log is quite congested, so it’s really a tough contest,” du Preez concluded.

The post Powerful Motivation appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

Top of the Table Clash:

The Crusaders host the Cell C Sharks in a top two Vodacom Super Rugby match on Friday morning in the team’s second tour match, looking to build on the effort against the Waratahs.

The Crusaders have been the most successful team in the competition’s history and they’re enjoying the momentum of recent successes. The fact that they’re leading the way in this year’s edition is no surprise.

They are up against a fired-up Cell C Sharks side who leapt into second spot on the table off the back of a powerful physical effort against the Waratahs and head coach Robert du Preez will be asking his team to deliver more of the same against the Crusaders.

The Cell C Sharks coach has not tinkered too much with last week’s successful side, making just a couple of changes for the team to meet the Crusaders.

Thomas du Toit will revert to the loosehead side of the scrum in place of Beast Mtawarira, who has returned home with an MCL injury to his left knee.  Coenie Oosthuizen starts at tighthead while Ruan Botha, after making his comeback from injury last week off the bench will start this match with Hyron Andrews given respite after a sustained period of rugby, although he has been named amongst the reserves.

There is just one change in the backline, Louis Schreuder returning to the starting line-up and taking back the captaincy armband worn by Beast Mtawarira against the Waratahs.

Like last week, it’s all about pressuring the opposition and focusing for 80 minutes.

“We played really well and were in control of the game, dominating them,” said du Preez in the lead-up to this match.

Ball handling might have let the side down previously, but in the match against the Waratahs there was a much-improved performance and this week, against the Crusaders, the coach will be looking for more of the same.

“The conditions are a lot better here and not as humid as in Durban, but we have been working on handling and our basics and the message this week is ‘back to basics’”.


Cell C Sharks

1 Thomas du Toit
2 Kerron van Vuuren
3 Coenie Oosthuizen
4 Ruben van Heerden
5 Ruan Botha
6 Philip van der Walt
7 Jean-Luc du Preez
8 Daniel du Preez
9 Louis Schreuder (C)
10 Curwin Bosch
11 Makazole Mapimpi
12 Andre Esterhuizen
13 Lukhanyo Am
14 Sbusiso Nkosi
15 Aphelele Fassi

16. Akker van der Merwe
17. Mzamo Majola
18. John-Hubert Meyer
19. Hyron Andrews
20. Jacques Vermeulen
21. Cameron Wright
22. Robert du Preez
23. Marius Louw

The post Top of the Table Clash appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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