Cell C Sharks u/20 Need To Finish Off On A High In Potchefstroom


The Cell C Sharks u/20s travel to Olen Park in Potchefstroom to take on their Leopards counterparts in the final pool match of the SA Rugby u/20 Championship this weekend looking to finish off on a high ahead of the knock-outs.

The u/20s are in third place on the log following a productive, if not inspired run of recent form that includes a massive 102-6 victory over the Eastern Province Elephants last weekend when the Durban side ran in an incredible 16 tries, including four from replacement hooker Jacques Marais.

The Leopards are four points from a top four finish – they currently occupy fifth spot on the log – and will treat this game as a final.

“The Leopards are a totally different prospect to EP,” admits head coach Mike Vowles.

“Traveling to Potch is never easy, the Leopards are quite a force to be reckoned with when they play at home, they seem to up their game there, so we’re expecting a huge physical challenge.

“I think they will really look to get stuck into us, they’re a team that backs their line-out maul when they scrum for penalties and it will certainly be a tougher challenge [than last week] but we’re obviously taking a lot of confidence out of our performances and we will stick to our plan and try play our style of rugby rather than adapting to what they bring.

“The bottom line is that we have to front up to the physicality and intensity they are going to bring and instil our game on them. We have to start well in order to lay a platform and then build on that, and build on the confidence and accuracy that we’ve shown in the last few weeks.”

With four u/20s featuring for the Cell C Sharks in their Carling Currie Cup triumph over Griquas, it’s been a balancing act for the coaches but they have every faith in their squad.

“It’s a challenging week with a couple of guys up with the Currie Cup side, but our larger squad is strong and we back the players on the fringes so they get an opportunity this week, which is great.”

Cell C Sharks u/20s: 1. Phatu Ganyane, 2. Marnus Winter, 3. Nash Mhere, 4. Andrew Beyrooti, 5. Corne Rahl (c), 6. Damon Royle, 7. Enos Ndiao, 8. Nick Hatton, 9. Bradley Davids, 10. Jean Smith, 11. Siviwe Zondani, 12. Ethan Hooker, 13. Brandon Wilkie, 14. Beanie Britz, 15. H Kunene. Replacements: 16. Jacques Marais, 17. Braam Reyneke, 18. Dian Heunis, 19. Coetzee Le Roux, 20. Luca Ribbens, 21. Josh Miller, 22. Ryan Manuel, 23. Matthew Jacobs.