Tough Junior Action – Featured Durban Blog

Tough Junior Action:

Both the Cell C Sharks U19 and U21 teams will be in action against the Western Province age-group teams in their respective SA Rugby Championship fixtures to be played as the curtain raisers to the main match on Saturday at Growthpoint KINGS PARK.

The first match sees the Under 19s meet at 11h25 before the curtain-raiser between the Under 21 teams at 12h45.

Western Province Under 21s find themselves in the unusual position of fifth on the log, and although the Cell C Sharks team are now third, they know better than to underestimate the perennial performers.

“This weekend promises to be another very tough challenge, this time against Western Province a very competitive side despite losing to the Lions last weekend,” explains head coach Paul Anthony.

“We were disappointed last week after giving away 22 points too early, before enjoying a great second half and then losing the game in the last minute, 37-34.

“On the bright side, we brought home two valuable points out of the game.”

Along with the hard work on the training pitch, Anthony explains that a vital component in the players’ growth is on the mental side, getting the players to believe in themselves, their ability and the opportunity to win games no matter who they play.

“We’re trying to instil in the boys the belief that we can beat anybody and I think they’re slowly getting there. Hopefully we can step up mentally. We’ve worked really hard.

“We manned up against the Blue Bulls at scrum-time last weekend and we’ll have to do it again against Province. It will also take a big defensive effort from us, especially after making some poor defensive errors last weekend and hopefully we’ve sorted that out.”

Matching Western Province is going to be crucial if his team are to win their third match (from four starts), and he is comfortable that given the hard work, that is possible.

“We’re hoping to take the game to them, hoping to win at home which will put us in good stead for a place in the semi-finals. So, there’s everything to play for. The team is very much the same as last week, aside from [wing] Mfundu Ndhlovu who has gone to join the Baby Boks, with Matt Kriel replacing him with a couple of rotational changes.

“We’re looking forward to a strong performance, the boys are up for it and are ready to go for it. The spirit in the camp is high, they’re enjoying themselves and working really hard.”

The Cell C Sharks u/21s
1 Ngoni Chidoma 16 Ntuthuko Mthembu
2 Franco Botha 17 Jordan Els
3 Khutha Mchunu (c) 18 Ryan Carlson
4 Rikus Zwart 19 Cornelius Otto
5 Andrew Evans 20 Andre Coetzee
6 Michael Meyer 21 Khail Koetzenberg
7 Bandisa Ndlovu 22 Grant Williams
8 Kwanda Dimaza
9 Hendrik de Villiers
10 Cliven Loubser
11 Ilunga Mukendi
12 Alwayno Visagie
13 Taigh Schoor
14 Matthew Kriel
15 Courtney Winnaar


The Cell C Sharks u/19s
1 Gugu Nelani 16 Cornelius van der Vyver
2 Cornor Botha 17 Brendon Schwulst
3 Edward Davids 18 Calvin Zandamela
4 Jacques Ackerman 19 Ruan Botha
5 Stiaan Basson 20 Donavan Grant
6 Christoff Brendel (c) 21 Izak Burger
7 Dylan Richardson 22 Sibabalwe Mzanywa
8 Phendulani Buthelezi  23 Luyanda Mngadi
9 James Bruce
10 Xavier Swartbooi
11 Emilio Adonis
12 Marthinus Holtzhausen
13 Keegan Haman
14 Craig Hunt
15 Shane van Rooyen

The post Tough Junior Action appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

The Home Stretch:

The Cell C Sharks will host the Blue Bulls at Growthpoint KINGS PARK this Saturday at 3pm with a strong Springbok taste about it, thanks to the release of a couple of players from the Bok camp.

Flank Daniel du Preez returns to the side as does hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, with head coach Robert du Preez bolstering his side for what is expected to be a hugely physical, confrontational match against a Blue Bulls side currently languishing in second last spot on the log, but intent on changing that.

Sbu Nkosi will be looking to show the national selectors just why they have shown faith in him after being included in the Springbok squad for the two remaining home matches of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship. The 21-year-old former junior Springbok is currently the joint top try scorer in the Currie Cup competition and will no doubt play with a spring in his step following the good news.

There is just one change to the backline, Louis Schreuder has been granted leave to attend a family event with Michael Claassens replacing him at scrumhalf, while du Preez has made four personnel changes in the pack.

Daniel du Preez replaces Tera Mtembu at eighthman while Jacques Vermeulen returns to the side at flank, which means Tyler Paul moves to lock in place of Jean Droste. There are two changes in the front row, Thomas du Toit is back in the starting team after playing off the bench last week, swapping jerseys with Juan Schoeman, while Chiliboy Ralepelle comes in for Franco Marais at hooker.

Although the mood in the camp is good following eight successive victories, Marais admits that the team are keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

“It’s not too difficult to stay grounded,” he explains. “The Currie Cup is a tough competition, there are seven tough teams, there aren’t weaker sides like last year, so every game is a new challenge.

“It’s great to be back in Durban to be playing at Growthpoint KINGS PARK after sucking oxygen for 80 minutes in Kimberley last week.

“They have quite an expansive game-plan, they run from kick-offs, from everywhere, so it’s going to be a challenge, but the Bulls always rely on their strong, dominant forwards, so we as a forward pack know the match is going to be very physical.”

The Cell C Sharks
1 Thomas du Toit 16 Franco Marais
2 Chiliboy Ralepelle 17 Juan Schoeman
3 Ross Geldenhuys 18 Jean Droste
4 Tyler Paul 19 Tera Mtembu
5 Ruan Botha (Captain) 20 Cameron Wright
6 Keegan Daniel 21 Tristan Blewett
7 Jacques Vermeulen 22 Rhyno Smith
8 Daniel du Preez
9 Michael Classens
10 Curwin Bosch
11 S’bu Nkosi
12 Marius Louw
13 Jeremy Ward
14 Odwa Ndungane
15 Garth April

The post The Home Stretch appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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