Winning matches is often about formulating the right game-plan, sticking to it and then executing and that’s exactly what the Cell C Sharks delivered in their week three Vodacom United Rugby Championship victory over Ospreys on Friday evening.
Head coach Sean Everitt was thrilled with his team’s effort and commitment to the cause in their 27-13 victory. Talking after the match he said, “We are very happy with our performance and the result, the guys stuck to the plan really well, we were up against 11 internationals and four British & Irish Lions players so it was always going to be a tough ask.
“I’m happy with how the guys have adjusted to the tempo of the game and the game management side of things.
“In sticking to the plan, I thought our kicking game was executed superbly, but the platform was laid by our forwards who played really well.”
Despite his relative inexperience at this level, Man of the Match Boeta Chamberlain controlled the game beautifully from flyhalf, mixing it up and constantly keeping his team on the front foot with excellent territorial gains.
“I’m really proud of young Boeta, in only his third URC game and fourth international rugby game he managed the game really well and put in a sterling performance to get the award, so we’re very happy with that.”
While the margin of victory was fairly comprehensive, it was denying Ospreys the opportunities to put points on the board that really underlined one aspect of the Cell C Sharks’ play.
“Our guys love defending and we enjoy playing with turnover ball which gives them energy,” Everitt explained. “That’s exactly what unfolded in the match.”
Given the new challenges faced by the South African teams and the difficulties faced in making the adaptation to how the game is played in the northern hemisphere, the opening round was a baptism of fire, week two better but still tough, with week three heralding some good results.
Over the past weekend, the Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks both got wins under the belt, the Stormers earned a draw and only the Emirates Lions went down, having achieved South Africa’s only win in the first two rounds.
“For us it’s about improving every week,” said Everitt. “We knew it was going to take time for us to adapt to the refereeing as well as the type of rugby that needs to be played here and I thought the boys did well.
“Our preparation for the game went well and the boys delivered on the field so it was a collective effort from the management, coaching staff as well as the players.
“I’m happy with how the guys stuck to the plan and it’s onwards and upwards from here, but there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us. Every week is a difficult week for us.
“We’ll be back at training on Monday, work really hard and build on this performance and see if we can turn Cardiff over on Saturday.”