With log points and bonus points of no concern in knock-out matches, the focus is primarily on winning and nothing else, and for the Cell C Sharks, Saturday’s Carling Currie Cup semi-final victory over Tafel Lager Griquas afforded them a wonderful opportunity to contest this weekend’s final.
While Griquas were game for the match and came to Durban with plenty of courage, conviction and confidence, they could not match the Cell C Sharks and while brave all season, can reflect on a campaign that delivered a semi-final. For the Cell C Sharks, the tournament continues.
Following his team’s 28-24 victory at Jonsson Kings Park on Saturday, Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt confirmed himself satisfied with the outcome.
“We’re happy with the win, any win in a semi-final is great, although at times we did put ourselves under pressure by conceding too many penalties and then the yellow card in the last 10 minutes which didn’t help matters either.
“At the end of the day I thought we did enough to win the game,” he said, “but we’ll work hard this week and make improvements where we need to, then go up to Loftus confident that we can turn the Bulls over.”
Although there are always going to be areas of concern identified after a match that will form part of the focus in training for the next match, there was enough play evident to suggest that the Cell C Sharks are doing a lot right.
“Our scrums are generally improved, we earned a good scrum penalty earn on in the second half and I also thought our lineout mauling was very good, so there are a lot of positives to take out of the game.
“Our continuity on attack wasn’t always there and perhaps we lacked a bit of patience in the outside channels where we could have just held on to the ball rather than put the kick through, but I thought we had them on the racks, especially early in the game.
“So a lot of positives from our side and we mustn’t forget that Griquas have beaten a number of the top franchises this year. They had the double over Western Province, they beat us at Jonsson Kings Park, so they re a tough team and playing any team in a semi-final is going to be tough.
“All credit to Griquas for a great season, I’m just happy that we got the win and can contest a final for the second time in seven months.” “There is definitely areas of our game we need to address before the trip to Pretoria, but the team is in a good space and we are excited about the week ahead.”