Cell C Sharks Out For Revenge Against Vodacom Bulls At Loftus


The recent loss in Cape Town has seen the Vodacom Bulls dropping to seventh place in the standings. They desperately need a win against the Cell C Sharks this Saturday at 17:30 (SA Time) in Pretoria to put themselves back into contention for the playoffs.

The Cell C Sharks have won their last two games. They shouldn’t want for motivation when they travel to Loftus Versfeld this Saturday, as they lost to the Vodacom Bulls in round six.

Having lost narrowly to the Bulls in their first-round meeting, there will certainly be plenty of motivation for this Cell C Sharks side looking to maintain their run in the competition.

A win in Pretoria will ensure that the KwaZulu-Natalians remain in touch with Toyota Cheetahs and Airlink Pumas at the top of the standings – and that they stay in the hunt for a home semi-final. A defeat this Saturday, however, may see them finishing the round outside of the top four if other results don’t go their way.

The Vodacom Bulls have welcomed back the services of Marcell Coetzee. 

The men in blue also welcome the return of speedster Sbu Nkosi and centre Marco Jansen van Vuren. Nkosi will start at left wing, paired up with Kabelo Mokoena on the right. Van Vuren (outside) will partner with Chris Barend Smit (inside) as the centre combination whilst Juan Mostert will start at full-back.

Zak Burger and Morne Steyn will link up as the half-back combination that will bridge the gap between the backline and the forwards. At the front row will be Jacques van Rooyen (loose-head prop), Jan-Hendrik Wessels(hooker) and Robert Hunt(tight-head prop), supported by Jacque du Plessis and Charlie Ewels who will start at lock. Marcell Coetzee (open-side flanker), Reinhardt Ludwig (blind-side flanker) and WJ Steenkamp Steenkamp (eight-man) will complete the forwards’ pack from the back row.

Lizo Gqoboka, Joe van Zyl, Sebastian Lombard, Merwe Olivier, Mihlali Mosi, Eugene Hare, Cornal Hendricks and Franco Knoetze will all form part of the impact should their services be required on the night.

The Cell C Sharks team shows 4 changes for this week’s outing, Dan Jooste getting a start at hooker, the only player movement amongst the pack, while Tiaan Fourie comes in for Bradley Davids at scrumhalf, Murray Koster takes over from Joshua Jonas at outside centre and Marnus Potgieter’s call-up to the URC team opens the door for the return of Phikolomzi Sobahle on the wing.

Last week’s 24-06 success over Windhoek Draught Griquas at Hollywoodbets Kings Park made it consecutive victories for the Cell C Sharks and Currie Cup head coach Joey Mongalo admitted that there were conflicting emotions around a game where the performance wasn’t quite up to standard, but still produced a pleasing result.

“We hadn’t had back-to-back victories before this, so we’re very thankful for that,” Mongalo said.

“But the guys acknowledged that we didn’t play to our standards – and we set quite high standards for ourselves – I almost didn’t recognise us in the first half because it was loose and that’s not us. So it was a bit frustrating because we are more structured, but there is character being shown in this group, and even though we didn’t play well, the scoreboard was still in our favour which means we’re doing something right.”

Having conceded only two penalties and keeping their tryline intact, the Cell C Sharks showed remarkable resilience and it is this kind of defence that the coach will be looking for again.


Vodacom Bulls: 15 Juan Mostert, 14 Kabelo Mokoena, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Chris Barend Smit, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Izak Burger, 8 WJ Steenkamp, 7 Reinhardt Ludwig (captain), 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 1 Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16 Lizo Gqoboka, 17 Joe van Zyl, 18 Sebastian Lombard, 19 Merwe Olivier, 20 Mihlali Mosi, 21 Eugene Hare, 22 Cornal Hendricks, 23 Franco Knoetze.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Thaakir Abrahams, 14 Phikolomzi Sobahle, 13 Murray Koster, 12 Alwayno Visagie, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Tiaan Fourie, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Tinotenda Mavesere, 5 Reniel Hugo (captain), 4 Ockie Barnard, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Khwezi Mona. Replacements: 16 Dameon Venter, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Marco de Witt, 20 Damon Royle, 21 Mpilo Gumede, 22 Zee Mkhabela, 23 Fred Zeilinga.