The Cell C Sharks welcome the Jaguares to JONSSON KINGS PARK on Saturday, hoping to put in a similarly comprehensive, emphatic performance that earned a valiant Vodacom Super Rugby win over the Lions last week.
Intra-conference games are hugely important and the Cell C Sharks will be looking to maintain prime position on the SA Conference against a side that hasn’t fired as well as they would like, but did show convincing signs of their prowess against the Vodacom Bulls last week.
Last week’s match against the Lions required little motivation for the Cell C Sharks outside of honouring Beast Mtawarira’s record-breaking feat, but this week there is no such event. However, the motivation remains high explained Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez.
“After all the emotions of last week when the boys really wanted to play for Beastie, it’s going to be a tough act to follow. One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to win all of our home games and we’ve lost two here, so that’s a big motivational factor: to win at home for our fans.”
Continuity is vital, especially in performances, but the coach warned that despite last weekend’s outstanding match effort, there can be no resting on laurels.
“The team really hit their straps against the Lions, but having said that, that game is in the past and there are still a lot of things to work on. We believe we have a good plan and will stick to it, there are such small margins between winning and losing and we’ve seen how tight the games are in Vodacom Super Rugby this year.
“This is now our eighth game of the competition and it’s important that we attach massive importance to it, we’re going all out, that’s for sure.”
What They Said:
“They have big ball-carriers and some exciting outside backs, steppers who can score from anywhere. They’re a team that plays for 80 minutes as they showed against the Vodacom Bulls when two tries in the final 10 minutes saw them overturn a 20-10 lead to win 22-20.
- Cell C Sharks assistant coach Jaco Pienaar
“We’ve reviewed their game against the Vodacom Bulls and we know the Jaguares are a quality outfit, they’re technically an international team and we’re definitely going to have to bring our A game this weekend. They beat the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus which is no easy feat and we’ll have to bring it this weekend.
- Cell C Sharks hooker Kerron van Vuuren
“It had been coming and everything worked out for us against the Lions. It was something we worked really hard to achieve, but that’s now in the past and our focus is on the Jaguares. Quality teams back up performances like that; that’s what we’re aiming for. We’re up against an international team, they have plenty of experience and it’s going to be a tough challenge against big, physical boys. We know what lies ahead, it’s all about doing our jobs.”
- Cell C Sharks captain Louis Schreuder
Head coach Robert du Preez has rested a few players but the replacements will be looking to give a strong showing, as did Kerron van Vuuren in his first run on start last week. Otherwise an unchanged backline bodes well for continuity and there is a welcome return to action for Jean-Luc du Preez after a few month out injured.
The Jaguares meanwhile will be buoyed by their come-from-behind victory over an ill-disciplined Bulls side who lost two players to yellow cards and allowed the Argentina side to score 12 unanswered points to wrestle a 22-10 win.
This will be the seventh Vodacom Super Rugby meeting between the Cell C Sharks and Jaguares, with the Durban squad picking up five wins from their previous six encounters. The Cell C Sharks have never lost to the Jaguares at JONSSON KINGS PARK, winning all three of the previous clashes.
A Few Stats:
Cell C Sharks: 10.4 Jaguares: 7.7
Cell C Sharks: 9.9 Jaguares: 7.1
Cell C Sharks: 8.1 Jaguares: 11.1
Cell C Sharks: 85% Jaguares: 87%
Cell C Sharks: 87% Jaguares: 92%
Cell C Sharks: 93% Jaguares: 80%
*Ave per game
Head to Head:
2017: Jaguares 22 – 25 Cell C Sharks
2017: Cell C Sharks 18 – 13 Jaguares
2017: Jaguares 25 – 33 Cell C Sharks
2018: Jaguares 29 – 13 Cell C Sharks
2018: Cell C Sharks 20 – 10 Jaguares
Referee: Nic Bryant
Kick-off: Saturday 13 April
Venue: JONSSON KINGS PARK