NovaVit Griffons In For A Rude Awakening Against Cell C Sharks In Durban


The Cell C Sharks host the newly promoted NovaVit Griffons in their first match back in the Premier Division at 13:30 (SA Time) at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in Durban.

The ambitious team from Welkom won last year’s Currie Cup First Division and with that promotion to the top tier. Jacques Juries and his NovaVit Griffons team are in for a baptism of fire in Durban against Joey Mongalo’s Cell C Sharks, but the Welkom outfit will be determined to show from the offset that they belong in the big company.

Although the Griffons are one of the smaller unions, as last year’s tournament showed, with the final contested between the Pumas and Griquas, the gap is closing and the traditionally ‘bigger unions’ are being thoroughly tested on this stage.

Cell C Sharks head coach Joey Mongalo said that “The biggest challenge for us is to see how quickly the group finds cohesion and connection. We’ve been working hard off the field to connect because we haven’t had the opportunity on the field and hopefully that’s an outcome that comes sooner rather than later."

“We have a few experienced guys in the backline and we will rely on them to give us direction and structure.”

“The Griffons have played a number of friendly matches in preparation for the Currie Cup so they will be well-prepared for this match,” Mongalo warns. “They’ve been together for four months preparing so they will be a well-oiled unit.

“We expect them to be strong defensively, with a strong set-piece and that translates into an organised team, one we cannot even think about underestimating.”


Cell C Sharks: 15. Nevaldo Fleurs, 14. Yaw Penxe, 13. Marnus Potgieter, 12. Murray Koster (c), 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Zee Mkhabela, 8. Celimpilo Gumede, 7. Siyambuku Ningiza, 6. Tino Mavesere, 5. Ockie Barnard, 4. Thembelani Bholi, 3. Carlu Sadie, 2. Fez Mbatha, 1. Khwezi Mona. Replacements: 16. Masikane Mazwi, 17. Dian Bleuler, 18. Khutha Mchunu, 19. Athenkosi Khetahani, 20. Marco de Wit, 21. Damien Royal, 22. Bradley Davids, 23. Alwayno Visagie.

NovaVit Griffons: 15. Dommenic Smit, 14. Duren Hoffman, 13. Carel-Jan Coetzee, 12. Marquit September, 11. Granwill Matthys, 10. Duan Pretorius (c), 9. Jaywinn Juries, 8. Soso Xakalashe, 7. Jean-Jacques Pretoruis, 6. Thato Mavundla, 5. Michael Benadie, 4. Jaco Willemse, 3. Doctor Booysen, 2. Dandre Delport, 1. Stephan De Jager. Replacements: 16. HP Van Schoor, 17. Neo Mohapi, 18. Xolani Jacobs, 19. Ludio Williams, 20. Wikus Nieuwenhuis, 21. Ethan Williams, 22. Robbie Petzer, 23. Keanu Vers.