Forging Ahead

Beating the Vodacom Bulls at Jonsson Kings Park ticked a number of important boxes for a Cell C Sharks side that is growing in confidence and building momentum as the Carling Currie Cup approaches the business end.

The log points gained in the 32-29 victory over the Bulls were invaluable in the title race, while denying the log leaders the win allowed the Cell C Sharks to cut the gap to five points with a game in hand over their Pretoria counterparts.

Returning captain Lukhanyo Am said that the win was a big step towards building confidence, morale and momentum for a tough month ahead.

“It was a huge win for us, the Bulls have been top of the log since lockdown and facing them is always a challenge; we’re really happy with the result,” he admitted.

“It was definitely important for us to win, coming back from a bye the boys were nice and refreshed and getting the result was a massive confidence-booster for us going forward.”

Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt had remarked in the lead-up to the match that he wanted an 80 minute performance from his team and that was exactly what he got.

“We’ve been together for a while now and credit to the impact players who came off the bench and closed off the game for us. Playing for the full 80 remains a work-on for us, against the Bulls we managed to do that even though there was a dip early in the second half, but the boys managed to pull it off in the end.”

In recent weeks the Cell C Sharks have demonstrated good form and the most recent, a win over the Bulls, suggests that they’re rediscovering the Vodacom Super Rugby form that saw them top the overall table when the competition was prematurely interrupted back in March.

“We’re starting to do the small things right,” Am acknowledged. “We’re also trying to build momentum and taking it week by week. But we are definitely getting to where we want to be.”

The Cell C Sharks travel to Johannesburg this Saturday to take on the Xerox Lions who have won all three of their Currie Cup matches to date, securing important wins against Free State and Western Province in the last two weeks and no doubt will be brimming with confidence.

“They’re definitely a team on the up,” said Am. “Coming back from a good win against the Cheetahs they’ll have a lot of confidence and we know they’re going to be a very tough side to face.

“I expect another exciting game, we know the Lions are a good side that likes to maintain possession and keep the ball moving. It’s going to be a challenge for us.

“Going up to Ellis Park, we know we definitely need to bring our A game.”