Although a busy schedule suggests rotation to keep the players fresh, Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez hasn’t tinkered much with the team that defeated Griquas in their next match against the Blue Bulls on Wednesday.
The trio of Chiliboy Ralepelle, Daniel du Preez, and Curwin Bosch are all unavailable for the clash as they will be at a Springbok training camp this week, and their starting places are taken by Franco Marais, Tera Mtembu and Inny Radebe respectively. Jean-Luc du Preez who was rested last week has also been included in the Springbok squad.
There are no other changes to the starting line-up. With two matches being played in the space of a few days, the Cell C Sharks will be taking 26 players on their trip to Johannesburg. The bench for the match has not yet been confirmed.
The Cell C Sharks players have their work cut out for them as they head into a tough week that starts with a meeting against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Wednesday in a rare midweek fixture to Saturday’s showdown with the Golden Lions at Emirates Airline Park.
“I haven’t played three games in eight days since Craven Week, nor a midweek game,” says Keegan Daniel on our busy schedule.
“It’s different, but a nice change.”
Given the Blue Bulls tradition of big, heavy packs, the Cell C Sharks will look to match them with a forward pack of their own that Daniel rates highly.
“You wouldn’t look at our pack and say we’re a bit light or inexperienced; we do have experience,” he explains. We will be tested more than we have been so far in our campaign, but in the last two weeks we’ve shown what we are capable of and, if anything, we’ve left a few tries out there.”
The expectation is that the Blue Bulls are evolving the style of rugby they play and adding a few arrows to their quiver.
“I think they’re trying to change the way they play a bit, they’re trying to be a bit more dynamic and I think playing a different brand of rugby will be down to John Mitchell’s influence.
“Our test will be on defence because we haven’t really been tested for long periods of time during a game. There have been moments but there hasn’t been continuous pressure.”
Taking momentum into this game is crucial, and certainly something to give us a strong sense of belief.
“When you’re winning, you are confident and moral and spirits are high. But there is pressure on us to improve each week and we do want to keep our standards high in the Currie Cup.”
|The Cell C Sharks
||Replacements (Not yet confirmed)
|1||Thomas du Toit||–||Akker van der Merwe|
|2||Franco Marais||–||Benhard Janse van Rensburg|
|3||Ross Geldenhuys||–||Cameron Wright|
|4||Tyler Paul||–||Jean Droste|
|5||Ruan Botha (Captain)||–||John-Hubert Meyer|
|6||Keegan Daniel||–||Juan Schoeman|
|7||Jacques Vermeulen||–||Louis Schreuder|
|8||Tera Mtembu||Marius Louw|
|9||Michael Claassens||Mzamo Majola|
|10||Inny Radebe||Odwa Ndungane|
|11||S’bu Nkosi||Wian Vosloo|
|14||Kobus van Wyk|