Knock-out Time

The Cell C Sharks Under 21 have named their team to play the Blue Bulls Under 21s ahead of Saturday’s SA Rugby Under 21 Championship semi-final in Pretoria on Friday afternoon.

Head coach Mike Vowles has had the distinct pleasure of being able to name a completely unchanged match 22 for this semi-final encounter which helps greatly with continuity.

“We’re very fortunate, a couple of guys are being held together by strapping, but that’s the nature of a long season,” the coach admits. “The same team, with the confidence from last week’s victory, is a positive for us.”

His team narrowly pipped the Golden Lions on the log after beating Free State last weekend in an emphatic 59-42 victory. Thanks to a superior points difference, it was enough to secure fourth spot over the Lions despite them beating Western Province 33-32.

“We went into the Cheetahs game under pressure, knowing what was expected of us to secure a semi-final place and the players really responded nicely,” explains Vowles.

“To score over 50 points was a real confidence boost for us and I think the guys have taken a lot out of that game in terms of knowing how good they can be.”

The coach expects the challenge this weekend will be immense against perennial age group achievers.

“We know what the Bulls bring, they come with massive physicality, we expect that and it’s going to be a game won in the physical exchanges. We’ve played them three times already this year so we are well aware of what they bring and every time we’ve met, we’ve had a chance. Unfortunately, a couple of silly errors have cost us but we know that if we can cut out the mistakes and play as we have, we stand a good chance.

“We’re very excited for this match.” 

1. James Scott
2. Cullen van der Merwe
3. Hanru Jacobs
4. JJ van der Mescht
5. Emile van Heerden
6. Adam Mountford
7. Jeandre Labuschagne
8. Evan Roos
9. Jaden Hendrikse
10. Rynhardt Jonker
11. Caleb Dingaan
12. Murray Koster
13. Donald Falconer
14. Asanda Kunene
15. Thaakir Abrahams

16. Mark Venter
17. Sean Barnes
18. Cleopas Kuniana
19. Dylan Weideman
20. Jacques Ackerman
21. Xavier Swartbooi
22. Le Roux Malan
23. Onke Jiba