The Cell C Sharks face an important challenge on Friday when we host the visiting Reds at JONSSON KINGS PARK in a vital Vodacom Super Rugby clash, looking to put recent disappointment behind us.
With the upcoming tour and three matches in Australia and New Zealand, it is imperative that the Cell C Shark take momentum and morale on the plane to Sydney ahead of next week’s game against the Waratahs.
The Reds have not had the best of the Cell C Sharks over the past few years, although they did win the last clash between the sides, in Brisbane. They went down 32-17 to the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus last week and will not want to depart South African shores without a win.
The Cell C Sharks need no reminder of the potential in this side. The victory over the Lions two weeks ago was some of the best rugby seen by the team in Black and White in recent years and a return to that form should see them hopping on a plane this weekend full of smiles and confidence.
What They Said:
“We didn’t pitch up against the Jaguares last week, it was a bit of a mental mount down for us so the boys need to make sure they arrive against the Reds. They need to be mentally prepared for this game because the Reds are a good side and we need to put them under extreme pressure and we’ll get rewards out of that. It won’t be an easy game and we need to make sure we play in the right areas of the field but also make sure we keep the ball through phases and pressure their defence.”
- Cell C Sharks assistant coach Braam van Straaten
“We have taken ownership of our poor performance against the Jaguares and now the only thing we can do is rectify it. We’ve shifted our focus to this match but what’s important is that we learn from these inconsistencies. We k now we’ve let ourselves and the supporters down and it weighs heavily on our hearts. If we manage to play as a team – as we did against the Lions – that togetherness as a team lays the platform for individuals to be able to play well.”
- Cell C Sharks loose forward Philip van der Walt
“Like all Australian teams they look to outsmart you but it’s very important that we stick to our game plan. We will need to look after what they bring, but the focus is really on us and rectifying the mistakes we made last week.”
- Cell C Sharks wing Lwazi Mvovo
Head coach Robert du Preez has brought his Springbok front rowers, Beast Mtawarira and Coenie Oosthuizen, back into the starting line-up after they were rested last week. Jacques Vermeulen and Sbu Nkosi also return to action while there is a start in the midfield for Kobus van Wyk. Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am have been given the week off according to Springbok resting protocols.
The Cell C Sharks have won eight of the last 11 encounters between the two sides, the last loss in Durban was in 2004. We also haven’t lost to an Australian side in the last 10 matches at Jonsson KINGS PARK, winning 21 of the last 26 games.
The Reds have not won in South Africa since beating the Cheetahs in 2015 but defeated the Cell C Sharks in the last outing – in Brisbane in 2017 – 28-26. The last time the teams met in Durban, in 2014, was a 35-20 victory for the home side.
A Few Stats:
Cell C Sharks: 10.5 Reds: 10.2
Cell C Sharks: 9.5 Reds: 6.4
Cell C Sharks: 8.5 Reds: 8.4
Cell C Sharks: 85% Reds: 86%
Cell C Sharks: 85% Reds: 89%
Cell C Sharks: 94% Reds: 89%
*Ave per game
Head to Head:
2012: Reds 17-30 Cell C Sharks
2013: Reds 32-17 Cell C Sharks
2014: Cell C Sharks 35-20 Reds
2015: Reds 14-21 Cell C Sharks
2017: Reds 28-26 Cell C Sharks
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Kick-off: Friday 19 April
Venue: Jonsson KINGS PARK