Tough Battle Lies Ahead – Featured Durban Blog

Tough Battle Lies Ahead:

The Cell C Sharks Under 19 and Under 21 teams will be looking for a strong showing in their respective SA Rugby junior Championship matches against their Western Province counterparts in Cape Town on Saturday.

The Under 19s will look to continue their winning form that has seen them remain unbeaten in their nine matches to date. One more win from their final three games will secure top of the log status and a home semi-final.

Head coach Sean Everitt has made just one positional change this week, Murray Koster has shifted to inside centre, giving Henry Chamberlain an opportunity to come off the bench and start at flyhalf with DJ Falconer taking Koster’s place on the bench.

Meanwhile head coach of the Under 21s, Ricardo Loubscher, has made a handful of changes to his team, Matt Wiseman coming in for Franco Botha at hooker and Jean-Pierre Smith making way for Khutha Mchunu at tighthead prop. There are further changes amongst the pack of forwards, but it’s a straight positional switch with Marco Palvie and Jacques Ackerman trading jerseys.

In the backline, Xavier Swartbooi has come in for Gareth Simpson at scrumhalf while

James Tedder shifts from outside to inside centre, and Khail Kotzenberg moving to the bench opening the door for Sicelo Tole to get a start in the number 13 jersey.

The Under 21s will look to take the positives out of their narrow loss to the Blue Bulls last week into a game that brings great excitement.

“We played well against the Bulls at times and we can talk a lot of positives out of the game,” said coach Ricardo Loubscher.

“Chiefly amongst those are the four tries we scored and the losing bonus point.”

In saying that he did feel that at times his side were their own enemies. “We played against ourselves, but overall I’m happy with the commitment and hoping to see the same against Province this weekend.

“The way the Bulls celebrated their win over us suggests that they were extremely relieved to have won and that’s a big positive against a side filled with top class players. We can take a lot of heart out of that.

“We can’t wait, every team wants to play at Newlands, they want to play against Western Province; we certainly do. It will be tough but we’re really excited about it.”

The Under 19s kick off their match at 2pm at Brookside Villagers with the Under 21s playing at Newlands Stadium at 5pm.

Cell C Sharks Under 19s

  1. James Scott
  2. Fez Mbatha
  3. Francois Klopper
  4. Lappies Labuschagne
  5. JJ van der Mescht
  6. Vian Fourie
  7. Dylan Richardson
  8. Phepsi Buthelezi (Capt)
  9. Sanele Nohamba
  10. Henry Chamberlain
  11. Asanda Kunene
  12. Murray Koster
  13. Muller du Plessis
  14. Caleb Dingaan
  15. Thaakir Abrahams


  1. Cole Haggard
  2. Charles Staples
  3. Sean Barnes
  4. Ignacio Vidal
  5. Adam Mountford
  6. Matthew Doyle
  7. DJ Falconer
  8. Onke Jiba

The Cell C Sharks Under 21s

  1. Jordan Els
  2. Matt Wiseman
  3. Khutha Mchunu
  4. Dylan Weideman
  5. Andrew Evans
  6. Austin Brummer
  7. Marco Palvie
  8. Jacques Ackerman
  9. Xavier Swartbooi
  10. Courtney Winnaar
  11. Ilunga Mukendi
  12. James Tedder
  13. Sicelo Tole
  14. Mfundo Ndhlovu
  15. Shane van Rooyen


  1. Ntuthuko Mthembu
  2. Christiaan de Jager
  3. Jean-Pierre Smith
  4. Heinrich Bredel
  5. William Squires
  6. Gareth Simpson
  7. Khail Kotzenberg

The post Tough Battle Lies Ahead appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

Constantly Learning:

Aphelele Fassi might still be new to many Cell C Sharks rugby fans, but if his early form in the Currie Cup (and the warm-up match against Bordeaux Begles) is anything to go by, he’s destined to become a household name.

“It’s been a great year for me so far, but one thing I keep telling myself is that I need to keep learning,” he explains of his desire to become a stalwart in a side brimming with talent.

“With the likes of Sbu Nkosi being there, he’s someone I can learn a lot from. That’s the big thing, it’s all about learning and the position I’m in now is thanks to what I’ve learnt and I will be applying myself to learning even more.”

The Cell C Sharks coaching staff haven’t been scared to throw the 20 year old into action and he’s been given numerous opportunities to prove himself capable. He hasn’t failed in that respect.

“I’ve been given all the support I need, the coaches have backed me and I am very grateful for all the opportunities they’ve given me,” he says.

Having a player like Lwazi Mvovo, like Fassi, equally happy and adept on the wing or at fullback, has been something of a gift for the young player, having an experienced mentor to gain knowledge from.

“Players like Lwazi, as seniors, have guided me and I take every opportunity to learn from them and then applying that knowledge into my game.”

Although we’ve seen him predominantly playing at wing, he has played lots of his junior rugby in the number 15 jersey.

“It’s all about where the coach selects you and I’m happy to play whatever role I can to contribute, but I am happiest at fullback.”

He was also a more decent cricketer at schoolboy level, representing his province as a medium paced bowler, batting at number three, but fortunately for the Cell C Sharks, he stuck with the oval ball instead.

“I chose rugby because it’s my first passion and the offers I received were better,” he admits with honesty. “And to be honest I think I’m better at rugby than cricket.”

The transition from schoolboy rugby to Curie Cup has been somewhat meteoric but he’s had plenty of opportunity this year to develop his game.

“As a player, you want to improve every time you run onto the pitch and although I started off in the SuperSport Challenge earlier this year, Currie Cup isn’t too dissimilar and I’m happy with things. The physicality and speed of the two tournaments is pretty much the same.”

Although he looks to be completely comfortable in a provincial Currie Cup jersey, he admits that there are areas that he is looking to improve on.

“My tackling and kicking out of hand – as a fullback, those are the things I believe one should work on.”

The Cell C Sharks will host the Golden Lions this Saturday at JONSSON KINGS PARK and there have been some insights to gain out of the Lions loss to Western Province.

“Looking at the Lions, they have experienced players, a number of Springboks in their squad which is similar to our side, but if, like Western Province who capitalised on the Lions mistakes last weekend, we do the same, then we should have a good game.”

The post Constantly Learning appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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