Wednesday Column CLUB RUGBY – Featured Durban Blog

Wednesday Column CLUB RUGBY:

In the first big upset of the 2017 Gold Cup the 2016 National Club Champions Newrak Rustenburg Impala were given a rude awakening by the little known Pumas outfit Sasol Hydra Ark Secunda 32-29 last Saturday. Clearly not an easy venue to play in, Secunda will bring back nightmares to the two time champion club side, that is for certain.

The Puma champions are now top in their Pool ‘A’ after two rounds with Impala still in the mix having collected two valuable bonus points in the game. Willa Martin led the Sasol charge with two tries with Jannie van de Merwe, Pieter Streicher and Berty Visser collecting the others. Van de Merwe added the rest of the points with his trusty boot.

Impala replied with tries by Dumisana Matyeshana who crossed the chalk twice, Jaco Fourie and Leon du Plessis with Cecil Dumond adding the kicks. In the other Pool ‘A’ game Wesizwe Vereeniging opened their campaign with a 48-32 victory over Recall Security Bloemfontein.

Go Nutz College Rovers had a bye last weekend with last years runners up Direct Axis False Bay now leading their Pool ‘D’ after another good win last Saturday beating the Griquas champion club the iron men from IMT Sishen 35-25 away from home in Kathu while Roses United, the Boland champions who face Rovers this coming weekend, beat Western Suburbs from Windhoek 43-24.

If scores are anything to go on and you compare the winning scores of Roses United and Rovers against Western Suburbs, Roses cant be a shabby side so the KZNRU champions are in for quite a battle on Saturday with the game kicking off at 12.30pm at the home of Rovers on KP 3.

The results from Pool ‘B’ gave every indication that the newly formed club representing the Blue Bulls from Pretoria, Quins Bobbies RFC are going to be a side to watch after they thumped Speedy Car Sales Vaal Reefs 54-10 while in the other game Northam Platinum Rhinos accounted for Old Georgians from Harare 45-26.

In Pool C Progress George the South Western Districts champions edged out the Western Province Wild Cards Tygerberg 17-15 and the Border Wild Cards Swallows raised a few eyebrows picking up their second win squeaking home 27-26 against Progress Uitenhague.

This weekend’s fixtures are as follows:

Pool ‘A’: Vereeniging vs Sasol; Rustenburg Impala vs Welkom

Poo ‘B’: Old Georgians vs QBR; Raiders vs Northam Platinum Rhinos

Pool ‘C’: Swallows vs Progress George; Old Selbornians vs Progress Uitenhague

Pool ‘D’ College Rovers vs Roses United; Western Suburbs vs Sishen

Meanwhile locally the KZNRU are to be applauded for going ahead with the Sharks Clubs XV game after the National Provincial Club competition was unfortunately cancelled. The side will meet a Platteland XV on 14 October and if some of the players seen in action at Bennett Park in Winterton the home of the Drakensberg Rugby Club against the SA Rugby Legends last Saturday the Platteland XV will certainly be a useful combination.

When one considers that players like Brandon Bailing Carl Marks and Dylan Nel have all had exposure playing for the Sharks Club XV and haven been given the recognition at a higher level with Bailing having now been capped for the Sharks Nel for the Crusaders in New Zealand and Marks on a contract in Hong Kong it is important to keep the club players interest in the game at an all time high.

The team is made up of players from SA Home Loans Durban Collegians, Bidvest Insurance Crusaders, eThekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti, Varsity College and Jaguar Land Rover Durban Hillcrest Villagers with Jacques Deen from Durban Collegians as head coach and assisted by Dusty Noble from Crusaders and Kevin Van Rensburg from Amanzimtoti. The Manager is Sabela Nkosi with Biokineticest Mosipho Mkhwangazi and Physio Sumeshen Moodley all from UKZN Durban. Juno Fourie is the convener and organizer of the game which is so important in keeping the club game alive.

The post Wednesday Column CLUB RUGBY appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

Sticking to the Task:

Win eight victories in a row the Cell C Sharks maintain their lead at the top of the Currie Cup log. Despite this our players know that nothing has been won as yet and there is no room for complacency. The focus is on what we need to achieve this weekend and how we can counter the Blue Bulls.

The two teams meet in the return leg match at Growthpoint KINGS PARK this Saturday with the Blue Bulls chasing a top four finish, while the Cell C Sharks are intent on finishing the season top of the log in order to secure home ground advantage in the play-offs next month.

For fullback Garth April, this has been a happy season for him, particularly of late.

“I’ve enjoyed being here with the Cell C Sharks, I’ve enjoyed my time on the field and happy with the fact that the Currie Cup is going well for us,” he said.

With depth at fullback and flyhalf, and having played both positions during the course of Super Rugby as well as the Currie Cup, which is his first choice?

“I’ve answered this question many times,” he explained, having spent much of his career flitting between the two positions. “I prefer to play 10, but I am enjoying 15 a lot with all the space I get to attack. But at 10 you get the ball in your hands a lot more so that’s my favourite position.”

With the forward pack doing an outstanding job of preparing the foundation for the backline to attack, providing a dominant force against some very physical opposition packs, lots of tries are being scored which is manna from heaven for an attacking player like April.

The Cell C Sharks have the best attacking record in the competition, having scored 43 tries. The next highest is 38 (all scored by the Lions, Western Province and Blue Bulls) and it’s a record they hope to continue.

“All the work starts upfront and as backs, we get very excited when we get the ball and all credit must go to AB Zondagh who works on our skills. I think the skill levels are very high, but in saying that, we can still improve on our error rate. But we’re enjoying ourselves and with the exciting backs we have, we just want to score tries.”

The satisfying 40-22 victory over Griquas gave us the impetus to extend our unbeaten run to eight games now and it’s all about keeping up the good form.

“For us, it’s about building momentum, the emphasis is on improving each week. It’s very tough in Kimberley so it was a good win for us over Griquas.

“This coming weekend isn’t going to be any easier against the Blue Bulls. They’re a very physical side, but they’re trying to play a more expansive style, and we’re just looking forward to the challenge.

“The John Mitchell influence is there, they’re still a very direct team but they do throw the ball around a bit more.”

Although there is a target on the collective backs of the Cell C Sharks, April added that it’s not something they are feeling.

“We don’t feel the pressure, we just want to keep improving every match. We want to keep going, keep the momentum going and focus on ourselves.”

The post Sticking to the Task appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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