Cell C Sharks vs Airlink Pumas Match Preview

Tonight’s Carling Currie Cup clash between the Cell C Sharks and Airlink Pumas is all about stepping up to the plate and delivering a strong performance at Hollywoodbets Kings Park.

It’s been a month since the team’s last game in South Africa’s premier domestic rugby competition,

but Cell C Sharks Currie Cup head coach Etienne Fynn believes his side’s match readiness is where it needs to be.

“It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, you don’t want to lose the necessary match sharpness, but we have been training together as a group with the URC squad and the intensity and quality of the training sessions has been right up there,” he explained in the lead-up to the clash.

“From a match preparation point of view, I think we’re more or less on the money, although we would have liked to have been playing matches. But that’s the situation and you just get on with it.”

The Pumas come to Durban with self-belief and a desire to upset the apple cart and Fynn admitted that his team won’t be taking them lightly.

“We all play for maximum log points and I expect them to come out guns blazing from the outset. The Currie Cup is characterised by real South African derbies where the guys get stuck into each other and we expect a physical component.”

He added that the Pumas aren’t a one dimensional side that focus only on physical confrontation and dominance, but have a strong attacking game as well.

“The Pumas have also shown some inventive play and target all areas of the field on attack, they have massive threats all over so we have to prepare and react to what unfolds.

“They have big kickers too so we have to ensure that our back field is covered.”

The Cell C Sharks team to play the Pumas has a liberal sprinkling of URC players, particularly amongst the forward pack, and Fynn explained that they will have a big task on their hands.

“Nothing has changed since I was first taught the game – and long may it continue – and that’s that the forwards lay the foundation both offensively and defensively. So the aim is to go out and put maximum pressure on them. We have some proper campaigners which has added to a forward pack that has done really well this Currie Cup.

“We’re looking forward to a great forward, and overall display as well.”

Newly-announced signing, the explosive Nevaldo Fleurs has been named in the starting line-up as he looks to get his tenure at the Cell C Sharks off to a roaring start. Although it wasn’t part of the original plan, Fynn admitted that there is excitement to see the latest recruit in action.

“He is a good player, certainly proved himself over the last year or two in the Varsity Cup, and although he wasn’t originally scheduled to play in this game, unfortunately Yaw Penxe was injured on practice on Wednesday and Nevaldo was fast-tracked into selection for the game.

“In saying that, he has all the ammo and we look forward to seeing what he delivers.”