History Beckons

The big day approaches as the Cell C Sharks host Munster in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 knock-outs at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Saturday in a historic first for the Durban team.

The Cell C Sharks’ first foray into the elite European competition has paid off immediate dividends and the honour of hosting a knock-out is just reward for the team’s outstanding performances in the pool stages.

Munster, currently fifth on the Vodacom United Rugby Championship log – to underline their status as a side to give healthy respect to – come to Durban for their first ever visit to Hollywoodbets Kings Park.

The Irish side won two of their four pool games in the Heineken Champions Cup, going down twice to Toulouse, but earned enough points to finish in sixth place on the Pool B log, while the Cell C Sharks, with their three wins, finished Pool A in third spot which afforded them the honour of a home fixture in the knock-outs.

“We weren’t good in our last game, but we’ve worked hard to rectify that.” Captain Siya Kolisi said in the build-up to the game. “This is a play-off match, everything in the past no longer matters, but I think we will be much better, we don’t want a loss to define us.

“And Munster’s loss last week also doesn’t define them.”

With Sharksfest taking place on Saturday and warm weather predicted, everything points to a day of excitement both on and off the field.

“The European Cup has a vibe different to everything else, and Munster will experience that, as well as the heat of Durban.”

Cell C Sharks
1. Ox Nche
2. Bongi Mbonambi
3. Thomas du Toit
4. Eben Etzebeth
5. Gerbrandt Grobler
6. Siya Kolisi (C)
7. Vincent Tshituka
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
9. Jaden Hendrikse
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Werner Kok
15. Boeta Chamberlain

16. Kerron van Vuurren
17. Ntuthuko Mchunu
18. Carlu Sadie
19. Emile van Heerden
20. Phepsi Buthelezi
21. Grant Williams
22. Ben Tapuai
23. Thaakir Abrahams