The Cell C Sharks will be hosting a perennial Australian favourite, the Waratahs who hail from Sydney, in Saturday’s round three Vodacom Super Rugby clash at Growthpoint KINGS PARK.
Our players love being at home and after two weeks out of the country after tough clashes with the Reds and Brumbies, they are back to give the fans something to cheer about as they prepare for the visiting Waratahs.
Head coach Robert du Preez admits that “The boys have taken a lot of confidence out of the Brumbies game and this weekend, we’re hoping to build on the last performance.”
He has had plenty to smile about this week, not least of all zero selection disruptions to worry about and on Thursday was able to name an unchanged line-up for Saturday evening’s game.
“It’s nice to have that type of continuity. In saying that, there are a lot of guys in the squad who are keen to play.” They will have an opportunity to impress in the curtain-raiser when they take on the Bulls.
Following the Waratahs’ loss to the Lions, du Preez feels that it is important to acknowledge what they’re up against. Particularly what the Waratahs will hope to achieve in their final game on South African soil.
“I think the Lions were really good in that game against the Waratahs last weekend, I’m not too sure how a 3 pm match in the Highveld might have affected them, they will certainly be targeting this game as a must-win.”
The coach admits that their preparations for playing the third Australian opposition in a row have been a mix of working on their own game as well as countering what they expect from a team from Australia.
“It’s a bit of both really, we certainly will be focusing on the stuff we want to get better at. The first two games were very physical, I think it probably surprised us a bit; we expect the same from the Waratahs.
Du Preez admits that there is no underestimating their opponents, having analysed them after the first two rounds of action.
“They have a good pack, they’re going to be tough at the breakdown with Hooper there. They have some very special players; they’re a bit of an unknown quantity because it’s hard to say how they are going to play on Saturday.
Like us, the Waratahs have a 50-50 success rate and having lost last week in their first of two tour matches, will look to gain at least one win. The exact same scenario we faced after going down to the Reds in our first match overseas, followed up by that dramatic win over the Brumbies, secured after the final hooter.
Captain Pat Lambie, while very happy with the win, hopes there will be a little less tension that late in the games to come.
“Hopefully there will be lots more wins, but our fans don’t want us to be wrapping up the game in the 81st minute.
“A win like that is huge for a group with a lot of young faces. To come out on top in those tight games gives us confidence for the rest of the season.”
The match kicks off at 7.30pm with a buy-one-get-one-free offer for this, our first game at home in the competition.
Gus Brown performing at Shark Tank (16h30 – 18h30)
Player interaction at the bandstand (17h15)
Kiddies Play Zone on the outer-field
Weber braai facilities
Music at Jawlers
Be a Fan Competition on the main field
Sun Sibaya Chill Zone in the South dugout
Sharkie Zone on the north stand
Signing session on the main field after the match
- The last five meetings between these two teams have been won by the home side;
- The Cell C Sharks have won their last four home games, not since a run of eight wins on the bounce in Durban from 2013 to 2014, have they won more consecutive matches at home;
- The Cell C Sharks have slotted nine penalty goals so far this season, more than any other team in the competition;
- The last time that these two teams played at Growthpoint KINGS PARK (2014) the Cell C Sharks won 32 -10;
After the completion of round 2, Ruan Botha leads the pack for the most lineouts won (16). This stat includes steals.