Cell C Sharks Should Take Nothing For Granted Against Windhoek Draught Griquas


The Cell C Sharks will be buzzing after securing a valuable win in Bloemfontein last week. They should take nothing for granted this Saturday, though, when they host Windhoek Draught Griquas in Durban at 13:30 (SA Time).

The men from Kimberley won the previous encounter between the teams (48-40) and have since claimed notable wins against DHL WP and the Fidelity ADT Lions. Both sides have accumulated 19 log points to date, and the winner of the upcoming clash will strengthen their bid for a playoff place.

Reflecting on last week’s 24-17 victory over Toyota Free State, Cell C Sharks Currie Cup head coach Joey Mongalo explained that, “Last week, the team tactically was good and also they showed a lot of character to defend the way they did at the back-end. But defending leads should not be our mindset, it should be to continue to score, that’s the next level: when we’ve played tactically well and the other team defends well, we find a way to score points in the midst of that pressure.

“So that’s probably our biggest take away from that game.”

Looking ahead to the Griquas game, he pointed out that, “They’re coming off a good win over the Griffons at home, scoring six tries and obviously they’ll be on a high. They’ve done well in Durban in the past so they will have a lot of confidence and belief that they can do well again.”

Mongalo has made three personnel and one rotational change to his side this week, explaining that, “They speak about the price of success and this week we lose a couple of our core players to the senior team for the URC, but we’re here to serve the flagship team.”

In the pack, Kerron van Vuuren replaces Fez Mbatha at hooker, while Ockie Barnard moves into Corne Rahl’s position, with Reniel Hugo partnering him at lock and Thembelani Bholi in for James Venter on the flank.

The backline remains intact aside from a change at fullback where Thaakir Abrahams comes in for Nevaldo Fleurs.

“Losing four of your starting 15 naturally results in a number of changes to the team and we start from ground zero again, but hopefully the positive energy from the win against Free State will help us through those changes and that we do more of the same this week.

“We have a pretty decent record at home and we hope to continue that. We love the people of Durban, they’re good to us, they support us passionately and we want to play in a way that those coming to watch us feel that they’re seeing effort, attitude and an organised, well-coached team of players, willing to put in the kind of effort that honours the jersey.”

Windhoek Draught Griquas head coach Pieter Bergh made several changes to his starting line-up.

At the back, Jay-Cee Nel moves to fullback, while injured winger Rosko Specman is replaced by Sako Makato. Sango Xamlashe is promoted from the bench to the outside centre to fill in for Jay-Cee Nel.

At lock, Derick Pretorius is replaced by Albert Liebenberg while Cebo Dlamini replaces Kudzwai Dube, who had his hearing on Thursday after an ugly spitting incident.


Cell C Sharks: 15 Thaakir Abrahams, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Joshua Jonas, 12 Alwayno Visagie, 11 Marnus Potgieter, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Bradley Davids, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Tinotenda Mavesere, 5 Reniel Hugo (captain), 4 Ockie Barnard, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona. Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Marco de Witt, 20 Damon Royle, 21 Tiaan Fourie, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Murray Koster.

Windhoek Draught Griquas:15 Jay-Cee Nel, 14 Sako Makato, 13 Sango Xamlashe, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Johan Mulder, 8 Carl Els, 7 Harnu Sirgel (captain), 6 Stephan Smit, 5 Albert Liebenberg, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Janu Botha, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Cebo Dlamini. Replacements: 16 Sean Swart, 17 Eddie Davids, 18 Junior Banda, 19 Dylan Sjoblom, 20 Niel Otto, 21 Reagan Orange, 22 George Whitehead, 23 Ashlon Davids.