Knock-out Time

The six team SA Rugby Under 21 Cup reaches the semi-final stage this weekend, with the Hollywoodbets Sharks Under 21s in action against the Fidelity ADT Lions Under 21s in one semi-final, with Western Province and the Blue Bulls contesting the second knock-out.

Friday’s clash between the two teams is a repeat fixture of the final round, when the Lions also hosted the Hollywoodbets Sharks, although the Durban side will hope for a different outcome this time around.

Their only other defeat was in the first round, when they went down narrowly to Western Province, losing 20-17, but a three match streak ensured a third-placed finish in the tournament.

In week two, they hit the road running in emphatic fashion, a 31-13 victory over the visiting Free State Cheetahs at Hollywoodbets Kings Park kicked their campaign into gear, and the confidence and momentum they took out of that game delivered a 19-5 defeat over the Blue Bulls in Durban the following week.

A hat-trick of victories was secured in round four, another statement in the competition, when they beat the Leopards 45-14 to wrap up a top four finish and a place in the knock-outs.

Ethan Hooker continues to lead the side with aplomb and will look to exhort his charges onto great achievements.  

Coach JP Pietersen believes that his team is in a good place and set to impress in this match.

“It’s been a good season for us, after that close loss to Province, we built nice confidence at home,” he explains of the season so far.  “There’s good confidence for such a young group that includes 19 and 20 year olds.

“They took a lot of belief out of those wins, to not only compete but actually dominate in the Under 21 comp.

“Last week we played the Lions for a home or away semi, but unfortunately came up short, but a good learning curve for the boys to bounce back at the same venue, so no excuses from us.

“We’ve had a good week of prep, we have some players back from injury and that gives us a bit of a boost. But the belief is there that we can do the job up in Joburg and I believe the boys can do the job.”

Friday’s game at Wits University Stadium, Johannesburg, kicks off at 1pm.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks Under 21s:

  1. Abraham Reyneke
  2. Bryce Calvert
  3. Nicholas Snyman
  4. Coetzee Le Roux
  5. Marco de Witt
  6. Damon Royle
  7. Thomas Dyer
  8. Nicholas Hatton (V/Captain)
  9. Bradley Davids
  10. Stehan Heymans
  11. Litelihle Bester
  12. Ethan Hooker (Captain)
  13. Jurenzo Julius
  14. Singele Mkhize
  15. Banie Britz


  1. Jacques Marais
  2. Dylan Willis
  3. Munashe Mhere
  4. Sphephelo Mbonambi
  5. Matthew Fick
  6. Tiaan Fourie
  7. Drico Marx
  8. Larry Nkonki