There are numerous factors that influence a team’s success, but for a Cell C Sharks team that face Cardiff Rugby in Saturday’s fourth round Vodacom United Rugby Championship, there are four main ones.
This week head coach Sean Everitt will be looking for more of the same from his charges as they look to end the tour on a high after their commanding victory over Ospreys last week.
“We’re obviously very happy with the result we got on Friday night, and not just the result but the way we performed,” he explained in the lead-up to the match.
“We believe there are four things you need to do to win rugby games, one of them is discipline and I thought we were outstanding in that department, only conceding four penalties in the last 60 minutes of the game which contributed a lot to us winning the territory battle.
“Our discipline has improved vastly since the first game when we gave away 17 penalties, but conceded 10 against Glasgow and this last week nine, which is below the tournament average of 12, so we are doing well in that department.”
Everitt also admitted that the team performed well in the other three areas: set-piece, territory and defence which all determine whether games are won and lost.
“From a defensive point of view we were outstanding, Ospreys had many attacking opportunities but we were able to keep them out through some really solid defence.
“We also won the territory battle which was due to some really good game management from Ruan Pienaar and Boeta Chamberlain, the latter deservedly Man of the Match.”
The work-ons for us this week were the execution on attack, “We left a couple of opportunities out there and perhaps a bonus point as well, but we’ll continue to improve and looking forward to the final game on tour.”
With 11 internationals in their starting line-up over the first three games, Cardiff will present an enormous challenge, but not one the Cell C Sharks will back down from.
“Cardiff have a very proud home record and we’re expecting a hostile crowd which is great because it fires us up, but it is good to be playing in front of fans again.”
Everitt has made just three changes to the starting XV, Dylan Richardson coming in for James Venter and Henco Venter shifting from eighthman to flank to accommodate the return of captain Phepsi Buthelezi with Gerbrandt Grobler playing off the bench.
The final change sees Anthony Volmink starting on the wing for an injured Thaakir Abrahams, who left the field injured last week, with Curwin Bosch wearing the fullback jersey.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 20.35pm (SA Time).
Cell C Sharks
- Ntuthuko Mchunu
- Kerron van Vuuren
- Thomas du Toit (v/c)
- Ruben van Heerden
- Hyron Andrews
- Dylan Richardson
- Henco Venter
- Phepsi Buthelezi (Capt)
- Ruan Pienaar
- Boeta Chamberlain
- Anthony Volmink
- Murray Koster
- Jeremy Ward
- Marnus Potgieter
- Curwin Bosch
- Dan Jooste
- Khwezi Mona
- Wiehahn Herbst
- Reniel Hugo
- Gerbrandt Grobler
- James Venter
- Tian Meyer
- Werner Kok