Changes for Cell C Sharks

The Cell C Sharks will be looking to close out the first phase of the 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby competition this Saturday on a high before embarking on a tough tour to Australia and New Zealand.

After last week’s draw with the Waratahs, the team will be hoping to go one better when we entertain the Sunwolves on Saturday. Then it’s a four match overseas tour and what better way to board a plane full of excitement and confidence than off the back of a solid performance that heralds success.

Head coach Robert du Preez has made a few changes to his side for this week’s showdown with the Japanese side although the team still has a settled look about it.

Curwin Bosch gets a start at fullback with Lwazi Mvovo shifting to the bench after two starts. In a campaign as long as the Vodacom Super Rugby competition, keeping players fresh and managing injuries is crucial to be able to field strong combinations week after week.

“While we can’t change what’s in the past, our attitude going forward is very important,” explains Mvovo of the mood in the camp.

“The guys are excited and they realise that they didn’t play well last weekend, we just need to rectify the mistakes and move on. The main topic of talk this week has been about patience. When we create opportunities, we need to be patient and trust our ball skills and the game plan. It seemed that every time we got in the strike zone, we were very eager to score and that’s where we’re making a lot of mistakes. But we’ve identified that and we’re working on the patience.”

He admits that the players have looked deep within and acknowledge that they must put their hands up. “Sometimes it’s down to the bounce of the ball, but ultimately we need to also take responsibility. If we show patience and keep working hard, the results will come.”

In this competition there is always pressure and there are no easy games, but the players do put pressure on themselves to perform. “With this being the last game before touring, playing in front of our fans, it’s important that we show what we can do,” he adds.

Looking ahead to Saturday and the opposition, he explains that there is no underestimating the Sunwolves.

“They play a pretty expansive game and last year we had to dig in and play right to the end when we scored a few points in the last 15 minutes. They’re a very good side, especially with the New Zealand influence in their coaching team.

“They’re going to play and we’re not underestimating their ability.”

The Cell C Sharks Replacements
1. Beast Mtawarira 16. Akker van der Merwe / Chiliboy Ralepelle
2. Akker van der Merwe / Chiliboy Ralepelle 17. Juan Schoeman
3. John-Hubert Meyer 18. Ross Geldenhuys
4. Ruan Botha (c ) 19. Gideon Koegelenberg (debut)
5. Stephan Lewies 20. Keegan Daniel
6. Wian Vosloo (debut) 21. Cameron Wright
7. Jacques Vermeulen 22. Marius Louw
8. Tera Mtembu 23. Lwazi Mvovo
9. Louis Schreuder
10. Robert du Preez
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Andre Esterhuizen
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Sbu Nkosi
15. Curwin Bosch