Preview: Cell C Sharks vs DHL Stormers – Featured Durban Blog

Preview: Cell C Sharks vs DHL Stormers:

The Cell C Sharks host the DHL Stormers in back-to-back Vodacom Super Rugby home games at JONSSON KINGS PARK on Saturday looking to make it three from three after a successful start to the season.

There is tons of history between the two sides, the most recent being the Cell C Sharks 17-12 Currie Cup victory at Newlands last year. Before that, there have been massive clashes and even more finals.

There is no doubt that the two teams will take each other on up front. The Sharks have won all 21 of their scrums this season, the most of any side and one of six teams to still have a 100% scrum success rate after the opening two rounds of action.

“I think this will be our toughest challenge so far, it’s always like that when you go up against guys you know,” explains Cell C Sharks prop Beast Mtawarira.  “You’re team-mates part of the year and now we get to go head-to-head with them.

“The scrumming is something we pride ourselves in and a place we’ve worked very hard at all preseason.  We’re relishing the challenge up front.”

What They Said:

“We know it’s going to be a very tough one. We expect the Stormers to bring what they always bring and that’s physicality, that’s where we’re going to have to be on top of our game.

“Home games are massive. If you want to be in contention for the play-offs, you need to win all your home games.”

  • Cell C Sharks Head coach Robert du Preez

“It’s fantastic to have so many talented youngsters to come through the Sharks setup who are now playing Super Rugby. The future is very bright and it’s been a privilege to be a mentor, showing them the ropes, inspiring them and correcting them.”

  • Cell C Sharks prop Beast Mtawarira

The Teams:

Head coach Robert du Preez is in the fortunate position of being able to retain the same match 23 as last week, Sbu Nkosi having recovered from the knock he took against the Blues last week.

“We’ve been blessed with being able to select the same squad,” said du Preez. “Having said that, we will be rotating players at some time, but there has been good continuity over the last two games and we wanted to build on that.”

The Stormers meanwhile have made three changes to the team that beat the Lions last week, lock Eben Etzebeth, scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies and centre Dan du Plessis all making their first starts of the season.

Some History

 The Cell C Sharks have won four of their last five games against the Stormers although their one defeat in that run came in their most recent meeting, in Round 18 last season.

The Cell C Sharks have won their first two games of the season and will be aiming to win three consecutive matches for the first time since the beginning of 2017 when they won four on the bounce.

Of the 29 times the two teams have met, the Cell C Sharks shade the Stormers with 16 wins to 13 with an average match score narrowly favouring the Sharks 38-36.  In Durban, our tally of wins grows to 10 wins out of 15 showing the importance of home ground advantage.

A Few Stats:

 

Kicking Success Rate:

Cell C Sharks: 91% Stormers: 86%

 

Clean Breaks:

Cell C Sharks: 11 Stormers: 2

 

Tackle Percentage:

Cell C Sharks: 86% Stormers: 87%

 

Lineout Success:

Cell C Sharks: 87% Stormers: 82%

 

Scrum Success:

Cell C Sharks: 100% Stormers: 88%

 

Head to Head:

2015: Sharks 34-12 Stormers

2016: Stormers 13 – 18 Sharks

2017: Sharks 22-10 Stormers

2018: Sharks 24-17 Stormers

2018: Stormers 27 – 16 Sharks

 Match Info:

Referee:  Jaco Peyper

Kick-off: Saturday 2 March

Time: 5:15pm

Venue: JONSSON KINGS PARK

The post Preview: Cell C Sharks vs DHL Stormers appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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