|Date||Saturday, 25 August 2018|
|Venue||JONSSON KINGS PARK|
|Referee||Marius van der Westhuizen|
|Assistant Referees||Archie Sehlako, Vusi Msibi|
|Television Match Official||Christie du Preez|
The Cell C Sharks side to take on the Vodacom Blue Bulls in our opening Currie Cup fixture at JONSSON KINGS PARK this Saturday at 3pm shows a strong mix of experience and youth to provide an exciting combination.
The Bulls opened their account last weekend with a victory over Free State and Cell C Sharks scrumhalf Louis Schreuder believes that the importance of starting the Currie Cup well cannot be overstressed.
“It’s just one round with six games and the first is at home which we’re looking forward to, but we know we can’t afford not to win our home games,” he explains. “We want to start well and after the warm-up game against Bordeaux, we are in a good place but know there is a massive challenge ahead of us this week against the Blue Bulls.
“The Bulls are a very good team, I think they’re going to be very competitive in the Currie Cup. We watched their game against the Cheetahs last week when they did very well in Bloemfontein against a strong outfit, a Pro 14 team.”
Schreuder is one of several players with Vodacom Super Rugby experience behind them and there is no shortage of Test match experience either. Those players will provide calm heads for the younger players who will bring youthful exuberance too the team.
With the Cell Sharks having reached the final last year, there is only one way to improve and that’s winning the tournament. But the team isn’t feeling the pressure of expectation based on previous history.
“We’re not really focusing on last season,” he explains. “We have our own expectations and goals, but right now we can’t think semi-finals or finals, we have to get through the pool stages and win as many games as possible. We’ll be looking to get as many points as possible to get ourselves into a good position for the knock-out rounds. But that’s in the back of our minds.”
He admits that the Cell C Sharks are ready for the campaign ahead.
“We had a good break after Super Rugby, a time to refresh, rest the body and importantly, get the mental break after a long tournament. We’ve come back and been training hard, but not overtraining, more functional stuff.
“It was good to get a warm-up match under our belts and build a bit of momentum going into this weekend.”
15. Curwin Bosch
14. Kobus van Wyk
13. Jeremy Ward
12. Marius Louw
11. Lwazi Mvovo
10. Robert du Preez
9. Louis Schreuder
8. Daniel du Preez
7. Tyler Paul
6. Wian Vosloo
5. Hyron Andrews
4. Gideon Koegelenberg
3. John-Hubert Meyer
2. Chiliboy Ralepelle (c)
1. Juan Schoeman
16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Khutha Mchunu
18. Andrew Evans
19. Tera Mtembu
20. Cameron Wright
21. Johan Deysel
22. Aphelele Fassi