Continuity is Key

The Cell C Sharks get our home campaign of the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby competition off to a challenging start when we host the Blues at JONSSON KINGS PARK this Saturday.

The starting line-up to take on the New Zealand side remains unchanged from last week’s team selected to play the Sunwolves in a piece of good fortune for the Cell C Sharks – after all, continuity in playing personnel is the key to success – while this match sees the return of Thomas du Toit, in for Khutha Mchunu and Curwin Bosch for Rhyno Smith, both changes effected on the bench.

“We were very happy with last week’s win against a quality side that will upset a few teams this year, but now we’re looking ahead to the Blues,” explains Cell C Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez.

“We played some exciting rugby and some brutal rugby, especially the front row that laid the platform for the rest of the team and we were able to score some lovely tries thanks to the hard work from the forwards.”

Looking back at recent history, the Cell C Sharks had a very successful run against Kiwi teams last year and while that suggests that we won’t ever underestimate New Zealand opposition for obvious reasons, it’s important that the headspace of the team remains like that against all teams. It was clear that last week against the Sunwolves, there was no shortage of intent or focus.

“The opposition brings the best out of you, we knew these would be really big games, but we have to change our mindset around this – we can’t be up for a Kiwi game and not get up for an Aussie game.

“We will look to build on what we did last year, but this is a new year, they’re a new team and we expect a good battle out there on Saturday.”

Coming back to the term ‘continuity’, while the Blues offer a completely different challenge to what the Cell C Sharks had against the Sunwolves, this week it’s a case of ‘more of the same’ as far as the intensity and physicality the team delivered last week.

And they will acknowledge how close the Blues came to beating the Crusaders last week. Which all makes for a mouth-watering clash between the two sides.

The Cell C Sharks

1. Tendai Mtawarira
2. Akker van der Merwe
3. Coenie Oosthuizen
4. Hyron Andrews
5. Ruan Botha
6. Jacques Vermeulen
7. Tyler Paul
8. Daniel du Preez
9. Louis Schreuder (C)
10. Robert du Preez
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Andre Esterhuizen
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Sbu Nkosi
15. Aphelele Fassi

Replacements

16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Juan Schoeman
18. Thomas du Toit
19. Gideon Koegelenberg
20. Phepsi Buthelezi
21. Cameron Wright
22. Jeremy Ward
23. Curwin Bosch