Chiefs Test at Home

The Cell C Sharks host the Chiefs at JONSSON KINGS PARK this Saturday in search of fulfilling potential and promise as we look to build on recent performances and continue the fight.

With the South African Vodacom Super Rugby Conference nice and congested, it makes for an interesting run towards the knock-out rounds, but it also means all five teams are under pressure to not let things slip. Last week’s loss to the Vodacom Bulls hurt, but Saturday offers an opportunity for redemption and who better to play than a New Zealand side, something that has been a shining star for the Cell C Sharks this season.

“We’ve had some success this season against new Zealand teams, we lift ourselves and maybe that’s part of the problem when we play home unions, the boys aren’t as mentally there as against the Kiwi sides which obviously isn’t right,” explains Cell C Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez .

“But the Chiefs will know that we’ve done well against their fellow New Zealand sides and will prepare for that.

“The log is wide open, the Vodacom Bulls, Jaguares and us are all on the same points with the DHL Stormers one point behind, so there is a lot to play for and it’s still in our hands,” he says. “We aren’t in the situation where we have to depend on other teams winning or losing, we just need to win all our games, then we’ll be home and dry. We’re positive.

“We know we messed up against the Bulls, but this weekend is another chance to fix our mistakes and we’re looking forward to the game.”

The Cell C Sharks’ preparations for the match don’t change much, despite the prospect of a new-look Chiefs side that won’t resemble much what we’ve seen from them this season. Without many of their frontline players, the Chief will still come to Durban fresh off a win over the DHL Stormers and, like us, plenty to play for.

“I don’t think their structures will change much, although they will have some new personnel, I can’t see them changing the way they play in one week. But you never know with New Zealand teams… We’ve done our studies and analysis and we kind of know what to expect,” du Preez concludes.

The Cell C Sharks team announced on Thursday shows little change from last week, with continuity the key word here.

Philip van der Walt is over the knock to the face he took against the Highlanders and after missing the Bulls match, returns to action, with Jacques Vermeulen shifting to the bench

Amongst the backs, there is rotation at scrumhalf for Louis Schreuder and Cameron Wright, likewise Lwazi Mvovo who swops jerseys with Makazole Mapimpi on the wing.

The Cell C Sharks
1. Tendai Mtawarira
16. Franco Marais
2. Akker van der Merwe
17. Juan Schoeman
3. Thomas du Toit
18. Ross Geldenhuys
4. Tyler Paul
19. Stephan Lewies
5. Ruan Botha (C)
20. Jacques Vermeulen
6. Philip van der Walt
21. Cameron Wright
7. Jean-Luc du Preez
22. Marius Louw
8. Daniel du Preez
23. Makazole Mapimpi
9. Louis Schreuder
10. Robert du Preez
11. Lwazi Mvovo
12. Andre Esterhuizen
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Sbu Nkosi
15. Curwin Bosch