Top 8

The Cell C Sharks managed to move up the log courtesy of their 29-7, four-try-to-one bonus point victory over Benetton on Saturday, gaining an important away win in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.

With the Lions going down to Leinster (21-13) and the Stormers suffering a narrow 19-17 defeat to

Connacht, only the Bulls and Sharks enjoyed weekend victories.

Tries from Ruben van Heerden, Aphelele Fassi, Phepsi Buthelezi and Sbu Nkosi ensured the five pointer and nudged the Cell C Sharks into eighth position on the overall log, two points ahead of the Stormers in ninth position with the Bulls trailing by one point in 10th place.

Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt, speaking after his team’s bonus point victory over Benetton on Saturday admitted that an away win was hugely reassuring for the team and places them in a good position in the tournament.

“We’re very happy with the win, glad that we could get the five points on the road,” Everitt said afterwards.

“This win over Benetton does put us into the top 8 as well as top of the South African shield so we’re delighted with that.”

While it was a good win over the 2021 Rainbow Cup champions, he did feel that it wasn’t quite as accomplished a performance as they would have liked.

“Although we’re happy with the victory, it wasn’t the perfect performance and we still have work to do. But the boys stuck it out there and there were moments that were really brilliant when we played some outstanding rugby.”

He also felt that the home side deserved some credit for the way they managed to absorb some of the pressure constantly exerted on them by the Cell C Sharks who came to Treviso to play.

“Credit to Benetton for how they kept us out and how they defended. They put us under pressure at times and we didn’t have it all our own way in the set-piece, we’ll have a look at that.

“There is room for improvement, but at the end of the day, we look forward to getting back to Durban and playing a run of home games and hopefully make further progress on the URC log.”

The Cell C Sharks are back in URC action next Friday when they host Scarlets and wait a further two weeks before meeting Zebre at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Saturday 19 March.