Keeping the Momentum

The Cell C Sharks go into Friday evening’s vital Currie Cup clash with the Airlink Pumas knowing that a strong and accurate performance will help to continue the side’s momentum in the competition.

Likening the big games in this tournament to the demands and intensity of test matches, Cell C Sharks Currie Cup head coach Joey Mongalo admits that, “This is our third test match, the first was Free State away, the second was last week against the Bulls, also away, and fortunately we passed those two tests. But this one is going to be just as tough, if not tougher than the others.

“The Pumas are a very good side that led the log for a long time, they’re one of the top teams in the tournament and we mustn’t forget that they’re the reigning champions. They’ve had a lot of good victories in the Currie Cup so they’re a force to be reckoned with, one that we have to take as seriously as every other test match game we’ve played.

“It’s going to be physical, the dew factor and humidity will definitely play a role in how we play and how the game unfolds. I have a lot of respect for Jimmy Stonehouse who coached me at Craven Week level in 2002, for the career he has built and the important figure he is in South African rugby.”

Casting his eye over what he is looking for from his team, he points out that, “For us, it’s about more of the same. More cohesion, more connection, and it feels like we’re getting that and building momentum.

“We’ve said to the players that pride comes before a fall and our biggest enemy this week is dropping standards because we’re getting the results. We need to stay humble, keep ticking the boxes and don’t allow any complacency to slip in to anything we do this weekend.

“But we’re looking forward to the trip and to maintaining the momentum we’ve built up over the last few weeks.”

Friday evening’s match kicks off at 5pm.

Cell C Sharks

1. Khwezi Mona
2. Fez Mbatha
3. Khutha Mchunu
4. Corne Rahl
5. Reniel Hugo (c)
6. James Venter
7. Jeandre Labuschagne
8. Henco Venter
9. Tiaan Fourie
10. Lionel Cronje
11. Aphelele Fassi
12. Murray Koster
13. Josh Jonas
14. Yaw Penxe
15. Nevaldo Fleurs

16. Dan Jooste
17. Dian Bleuler
18. Hanro Jacobs
19. Marco de Witt
20. Dylan Richardson
21. Celimphilo Gumede
22. Bradley Davids
23. Marnus Potgieter