Consistency will be key for the Cell C Sharks Under 19s in their SA Under 19 Championship Final against the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 19s at Newlands on Saturday morning.
The team that has won every game this season, home and away against all opposition, and then last week’s final against Western Province, will not be looking to change anything they’ve done. Why fix what ain’t broke?
Head coach Sean Everitt admits that despite the excitement over the opportunity to win silverware, his team will look to continue playing as they have every week – it’s still a rugby match when you get down to the nitty-gritty and they will be looking to do what they have every match this season.
“The guys have been calm this week, like any other week, there’s obviously a good mood and excitement as there would be for a final,” he explains. “They’re really looking forward to Saturday, they never know when they may play in another final so it’s hugely exciting for them.”
Injuries fortunately haven’t had much influence on team selection, although there was one for this final match.
Everitt has made just one enforced change to the side that defeated Province in the semi-final at JONSSON KINGS PARK last week, Le Roux Malan starts on to the wing in place of Asanda Kunene who suffered a concussion, with Onke Jiba coming on to the bench.
The Cell C Sharks Under 19s will meet their Vodacom Blue Bulls counterparts in the final, and Everitt is expecting a tough match.
“Although we’ve beaten them twice in the pool stages, we were fortunate to come away with a win in Pretoria and they came back at us at home. They’re a team that has improved as the season has gone on, but we’re confident that we can get the job done.”
Winning a final, or any match for that matter, takes a balance of mental application as well as physical effort, with calmness vital.
“The plan is to focus on the job at hand, not the occasion, we’re aware of that. Our goal at the start of the season was to perform every week and we’ve achieved that, this is another game for us to continue on that path.
“In saying that, it’s going to take a huge effort from us if we want to win. The Bulls pose a big attacking threat, they have big strong runners, very much in the tradition of Bulls’ style rugby, so we will have to defend really well.”
The Cell C Sharks all round style of rugby, encompassing ‘complete’ rugby where everything they do is well-executed. This week the motto will be: ‘More of the same,’ particularly after their 43-23 win over Western Province last weekend.
“Definitely, against Province we attacked exceptionally well at times, putting the ball through a number of phases and scoring some really good tries. Our defence was also good, so we’ll be looking to play like that again on Saturday.”
The match kicks off at 11am on a day of finals, with the Under 21s following them ahead of the Currie Cup Final, featuring the Cell C Sharks and Western Province at 4pm.
Cell C Sharks Under 19s
- James Scott
- Fezokuhle Mbatha
- Francois Klopper
- Lappies Labuschagne
- JJ van der Mescht
- Vian Fourie
- Dylan Richardson
- Phepsi Buthelezi (C)
- Sanele Nohamba
- Henry Chamberlain
- Le Roux Malan
- Murray Koster
- Muller du Plessis
- Caleb Dingaan
- Thaakir Abrahams
- Cole Haggard
- Charles Staples
- Dre Engelbrecht
- Ignacio Vidal
- Adam Mountford
- Matthew Doyle
- DJ Falconer
- Onke Jiba