With two rounds remaining in this year’s shortened Currie Cup competition, it would be easy to look past the next two games to the play-offs, but not for the Cell C Sharks.
“We’re taking things one week at a time,” explains veteran wing Lwazi Mvovo.
Defeating Toyota Free State at JONSSON KINGS PARK was the perfect result for the Cell C Sharks in our bid to claim back-to-back titles after defeating Western Province in last year’s final in Cape Town.
But it’s still relatively early days in a competition truncated because of the Rugby World Cup and despite only two rounds remaining, anything can happen between now and the semi-finals.
Right now, the team is focusing more on the performances than the results, knowing that playing well will bring the reward.
“This is a growth period for us,” he adds. “There are so many youngsters in our team and one, Sanele Nohamba, was man of the match, so they’re putting their hands up. Knowing what’s at stake – the play-offs – they also want to play in a Currie Cup final. But it is taking things week by week and this was a great result against the Cheetahs.”
He and the team have moved on from Saturday’s 27-20 victory as they work at their preparations for the Golden Lions on Sunday.
“Our next assignment is in Joburg, the Lions are never easy and they’ll be desperate and won’t want to lose at home. We’ll have to bring our A game,” he explains.
“Every game in this competition is a must-win, all the way to the final. We can’t afford to lose any games from here, but it’s the growth that’s important, for the youngsters to learn and for the other guys to impart their knowledge.”
He admits that clashes with the Lions are always keenly-contested and he expects nothing different.
“It’s always special when we play each other, I think it goes back to when Louis Ludik and Willem Alberts came to The Sharks from the Lions. It’s always a tough game when we meet them, a real battle and there’s no love lost when we play. We love competing against the Lions and we enjoy playing up there. Earlier this year we came away with a win up there and they won’t want it to happen a second time this year.
“It’s a massive game for the Cell C Sharks. The growth and future of this team is important.”
Part of that growth of obviously blooding and developing the youth in the team.
“There are a lot of youngsters coming through and with Sean Everitt working with the Under 19 team that did so well last year, it’s exciting times. They also want to express themselves and then with the senior guys too, JP Pietersen is back to help the youngsters and they’re eager to learn.
“JP and I have come a long way together, starting with our Academy days and playing club rugby, although he ‘made it’ before me. We’ve been friends for a number of years and when he left, I spent time with Oddy (Odwa Ndungane) and then he retired, so I guess I’m the last man standing!
“Then he comes and shows up, it’s great to have him here bringing his experience – both on and off the field – passing on the knowledge that he has accumulated over the years from different rugby environments around the world.”