Raring to Go – Featured Durban Blog

Raring to Go:

He missed parts of 2017 and 2018 due to a long term injury, but for Cell C Sharks prop Coenie Oosthuizen, starting the season injury-free motivates him to contribute to the team’s cause in a big way.

The pre-season is out of the way, the Cell C Sharks have played two warm-up matches and this weekend face the Sunwolves in the opening weekend’s action of Vodacom Super Rugby.

The pre-season match against the Vodacom Bulls in Ballito on the weekend presented the perfect conditions for preparing for Saturday’s match in Singapore, not only good quality opposition but similar weather to what they can expect against the Sunwolves.

“It wasn’t easy, it was extremely hot and we know Singapore will be exactly the same,” Oosthuizen explains. “We’re also fortunate to train in this kind of weather so we won’t need much adapting.”

The last two weeks have seen the Cell C Sharks take on the Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls in the culmination of more than two month solid, hard work preparing for Vodacom Super Rugby.

Now it is here.

“We ticked all the boxes and mentally, we are prepared for what is about to come,” he says. “It’s exciting now to be focusing on Super Rugby, now is the time to execute.”

Not only has, what he calls “the nitty-gritty” been a major point of focus, but the team itself is in great shape.

“As a pack of forwards, we have a lot of depth, the kind that other teams strive for. The amount of talent we sit with, including the backline, is phenomenal. I believe that the depth of our squad will contribute to our success in Super Rugby.

“We have young players who can bring a smile to your face just watching them and our bench will be a strong point for us. If we all contribute to the team, this will be a successful franchise.”

Casting his eye to the Sunwolves, he is vociferous in his view that this game is an important one for the team, not only as far as results go, but also respecting the opposition.

“From a Sharks perspective, each and every one of us has done his preparation for the season and we’re still doing his preparation for the Sunwolves and we aren’t taking this game lightly.”

He explains that getting the season off on a winning note is their paramount duty. Particularly as no team likes to play catch-up with the successful teams when they don’t start well.

“Starting the tournament on a high is very important, we don’t want to play catch-up rugby. It’s going to be interesting, we’re not underestimating them.”

The toughest challenge is most likely to come from the lack of analysis as to how the Sunwolves will play, given that this is the first game of the season.

“If this was, say, the third or fourth game of the season, we’d be able to do analysis and preparation according to what they do. Being the first game, neither team has a lot to go on, so you look at past history. But you don’t really know what’s changed since last season.

“For us, we’ve worked on what we want to do and how we’d like to play. Our goal is to go out there and perform to the best of our abilities and executing what we’ve trained for. That’s important.

“Getting the basics right is fundamental.”

On a personal note, he admits to being in a great mental space.

“I’ve had my ups and downs as far as injuries go, last year was a tough season if I must speak honestly, but it ended on a high. Winning the Currie Cup showed what this Sharks team can do.

“So, starting this season, without any injuries, is phenomenal. We’ve had a long pre-season and worked extremely hard and now looking forward to Saturday and getting some miles on the feet.

“My goal in life is to enjoy myself, to play for something bigger than myself and just to have fun. So my plan is to go out there and enjoy each game. I’ve been out for a year so I know what it feels like to not be a part of it. I’m looking forward to getting on the park on Saturday.”

The post Raring to Go appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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