Cell C Sharks u/19s Hunting Successive Age Group Titles


The Cell C Sharks Under 19s are a step closer to successive age group titles when they meet Western Province in the semi-finals of the SA Rugby Under 19 Cup in Cape Town on Saturday at the Hamiltons Rugby Club at 13h00.

Following the single-round tournament featuring six provincial unions, the knock-out rounds have arrived, with the Blue Bulls and Free State meeting in the other semi-final.

Commenting on last week’s loss to the Bulls, Cell C Sharks Under 20 coach Mike Vowles admits that despite the result, it was a game in which the team actually performed well.

“We’re obviously very disappointed with the result, although funny enough, we thought it was one of our best performances. I thought that we were really well organised and asked a lot of questions of the Bulls. We created a number of opportunities that we just couldn’t convert, but I was really impressed with the intensity and physicality that we brought to the game.

“So although we lost, I thought there were some massive positives to take out of the game and we were probably unlucky to not have scored a few tries. As probably one of our best performances, we’ve taken a huge amount of confidence out of that and we’ve prepared really well.”

Being in the right frame of mind for any match is important, but going into a knock-out game, knowing there is enough evidence that this team can go all the way is golden. Although it was tight, the 32-31 pool victory over their Cape Town rivals in early May is a huge boost for team morale as they go into this semi-final clash.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to go to Cape Town for this semi-final. We’ve done it already this season and we beat Western Province there, so we’re confident after our performance against the Bulls that we will deliver something special.

“We’re confident and while we respect what Province brings, we have a plan we hope will get us across the line.”

Cell C Sharks u/19: 1. Bradley Stanfliet, 2. Ethan Bester, 3. Nicholas Snyman, 4. Garren Muller, 5. Sphephelo Mbonambi, 6. Matthew Ficks, 7. Connor Carson, 8. Thomas Dyer (c), 9. AJ Knoetze, 10. Stehan Heymans, 11. Spha Ngcobo, 12. Drico Marx, 13. Tholithemba Sibisi 14. Somanga Jho, 15. Hendrik Pienaar. Replacements: 16. Andrew Davis, 17. Faasen Laubscher, 18. Siyabonga Dube, 19. Darren Ruth, 20. Hugo-Ben Horn, 21. Dallyn Beukes, 22. Minenhle Ngcamu, 23. Risima Sambo.