Vodacom Bulls vs Cell C Sharks – Featured Durban Blog

Vodacom Bulls vs Cell C Sharks:

The Cell C Sharks head into the Vodacom Super Rugby derby clash with the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus on Saturday with equal measures of confidence and determination for this second round match.

Confidence because of recent results – victories over the DHL Stormers then Highlanders – but also great determination, not only to win, but to maintain a healthy fight in the final stages of the regular season before the knock-out rounds.

Head coach Robert du Preez admitted as much this week when looking at the congestion on the log table, certainly within the South African Conference.

“If we have a performance like we had last week, that will help our ambitions, but in general, we want to play good rugby, but we don’t care how we win, that’s the crucial thing,” he said. “Every game from now on is just as important as every other going forward.”Holding our nerve in this closing period of the pool stages, when any team in our conference can finish top, is going to be vital.

“It’s game by game, every match has to be treated as a final, every game is important and we want to win every game now, That will help us to get into a good position [on the log] and into the finals.”

Playing teams within the South African Conference takes on added pressure – and reward for the victory – because of the immense value a win will give. It’s almost like double points to get four or five for the victory and then restrict the opposition where possible.

“That pressure is massive, the quality of the competition is so much better than last year and there are no easy games. Who would have expected the Jaguares to win every game on tour in Australasia?

“Anything can happen on the day and you have to be on top of your game, every game.” As far as the complexion of the team goes, du Preez made just one enforced change to the team that performed so admirably against the Highlanders last week.

“It’s great to have that continuity, although to lose a guy like Philip van der Walt with the way he plays and his leadership is a big loss. But we have a great guy in Jacques Vermeulen and we know he will give everything.”

As far as taking lessons from the previous , first round clash between the two sides at JONSSON KINGS PARK, the coach admitted that it was all in the past, with a new focus ahead.

“That’s been a few weeks and we’ve moved on from that. In Super Rugby you can’t linger too long on from a bad performance, or a good performance for that matter. You have to take the best from both and move on.”

With the Vodacom Bulls looking to bounce back from their loss to the DHL Stormers on the weekend, this game is expected to be physical and hard-fought which means keeping cool heads at all times – or face the consequences.

“Discipline is probably one of the biggest things in these derbies, you can’t concede silly penalties and especially cards; you just put pressure on the team when you concede yellow cards,” the coach admitted. “Discipline is going to be a massive aspect of this game.

“The other important focus will be the scrums. The scrum performance last week between the Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers was a real mess, the scrums were unstable and hopefully that will be sorted out on Saturday. We want to make sure we are within the rules of the set-pieces – scrums and lineouts.”

For scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, there is no talk of revenge at the first round loss, but certainly motivation enough to avoid a reoccurrence.

“Last time around was very disappointing getting 40 on our home ground, but we know what went wrong and what we had to work on,” he admitted. “But this match is not about redemption, we need to win every game, none are personal and every game is just as important as the next one.”

As the link man between backs and forwards, he is ideally placed to observe how the two sectors of the team have performed this season.

“That old saying remains true: if the forwards are going well then the backline flows as well. Some of our games haven’t been the best, others have been better and then we did well the last two games. With the team and players we have, if we stick with what we want to do, we’ll do well.”

The post Vodacom Bulls vs Cell C Sharks appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

The Cell C Sharks XV head to Rustenburg:

The Cell C Sharks XV travel to the Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg to take on the Leopards for their round three SuperSport Rugby Challenge match on Sunday.

After defeating the Down Touch Griffons 33-22 at JONSSON KINGS PARK last Saturday, the team will look to record a second (and consecutive) victory over a Leopards side that lost 40-20 to the Toyota Free State XV last week and Griquas 80-14 the week before.

Having lost all three of their matches in this year’s competition, the hosts will be looking to bounce back and record a first victory of the tournament, while Ricardo Loubscher’s charges will hope to continue the good form they showed last week.

The five try to two victory over the Griffons would have given the Cell C Sharks XV confidence, with tries from Jeremy Ward, Hyron Andrews, Leoline Zas (on debut), Garth April and Grant Williams in a fairly comprehensive effort.

Loubscher has made minimal changes to last week’s side, having rotated his hookers with Andrew du Plessis and Kerron van Vuuren swapping jerseys.

With Wian Vosloo having been elevated to the Super Rugby matchday 23, Cornelius Otto shifts from the bench last week into a starting berth at flank in the second change amongst the forwards while the backline shows just one change, Grant Williams coming in for Michael Claassens.

There should be great interest shown for the arrival of JJ van der Mescht on the scene. The local schoolboy sensation representing Glenwood High in 2017 gets an opportunity off the bench in his first outing for the Cell C Sharks XV, having shown great ability and athleticism at Craven Week for someone 2.00m tall weighing 130kg.

The Cell C Sharks XV
1. Mzamo Majola
16. Kerron van Vuuren
2. Andrew du Plessis
17. Jordan Els
3. Khutha Mchunu
18. Andrew Evans
4. Gideon Koegelenberg
19. JJ van der Mescht
5. Hyron Andrews
20. Francois de Villiers
6. Cornelius Otto
21. Danrich Visagie
7. Kwanda Dimaza
22. Tristan Blewett
8. Tera Mtembu

9. Grant Williams
10. Garth April
11. Leolin Zas
12. Johan Deysel (C)
13. Jeremy Ward
14. Aphelele Fassi
15. Courtney Winnaar

The post The Cell C Sharks XV head to Rustenburg appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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