|Date||Saturday, 19 May 2018|
|Venue||JONSSON KINGS PARK, Durban|
|Assistant Referee||Marius van der Westhuizen, Archie Sehlako|
|Television Match Official||Willie Vos|
The Cell C Sharks host the Chiefs at JONSSON KINGS PARK this Saturday in search of fulfilling potential and promise as we look to build on recent performances and continue the fight.
With the South African Vodacom Super Rugby Conference nice and congested, it makes for an interesting run towards the knock-out rounds, but it also means all five teams are under pressure to not let things slip. Last week’s loss to the Vodacom Bulls hurt, but Saturday offers an opportunity for redemption and who better to play than a New Zealand side, something that has been a shining star for the Cell C Sharks this season.
“We’ve had some success this season against new Zealand teams, we lift ourselves and maybe that’s part of the problem when we play home unions, the boys aren’t as mentally there as against the Kiwi sides which obviously isn’t right,” explains Cell C Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez .
“But the Chiefs will know that we’ve done well against their fellow New Zealand sides and will prepare for that.
“The log is wide open, the Bulls, Jaguares and us are all on the same points with the Stormers one point behind, so there is a lot to play for and it’s still in our hands,” he says. “We aren’t in the situation where we have to depend on other teams winning or losing, we just need to win all our games, then we’ll be home and dry. We’re positive.
“We know we messed up against the Bulls, but this weekend is another chance to fix our mistakes and we’re looking forward to the game.”
The Cell C Sharks’ preparations for the match don’t change much, despite the prospect of a new-look Chiefs side that won’t resemble much what we’ve seen from them this season. Without many of their frontline players, the Chief will still come to Durban fresh off a win over the Stormers and, like us, plenty to play for.
“I don’t think their structures will change much, although they will have some new personnel, I can’t see them changing the way they play in one week. But you never know with New Zealand teams… We’ve done our studies and analysis and we kind of know what to expect,” du Preez concludes.
The Cell C Sharks team announced on Thursday shows little change from last week, with continuity the key word here.
Philip van der Walt is over the knock to the face he took against the Highlanders and after missing the Bulls match, returns to action, with Jacques Vermeulen shifting to the bench.
Amongst the backs, there is rotation at scrumhalf for Louis Schreuder and Cameron Wright, likewise Lwazi Mvovo who swops jerseys with Makazole Mapimpi on the wing.
Cell C Sharks
15. Curwin Bosch
14. Sbu Nkosi
13. Lukhanyo Am
12. Andre Esterhuizen
11. Lwazi Mvovo
10. Robert du Preez
9. Louis Schreuder
8. Daniel du Preez
7. Jean-Luc du Preez
6. Philip van der Walt
5. Ruan Botha (c)
4. Tyler Paul
3. Thomas du Toit
2. Akker van der Merwe
1. Tendai Mtawarira
16. Franco Marais
17. Juan Schoeman
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Stephan Lewies
20. Jacques Vermeulen
21. Cameron Wright
22. Marius Louw
23. Makazole Mapimpi