“We Will Probably Go Back To A Settled Squad” – Neil Powell


Neil Powell, Director of Rugby of the Hollywoodbets Sharks said they have taken a step in the right direction by getting back on the winning road with a 38-07 win against Oyonnax Rugby in the Challenge Cup after a poor start to the season. 

Standing in for coach John Plumtree, Powell admitted that it was by no stretch was it a perfect performance against Oyonnax Rugby.

“It is a foundation for us to build on for the next game,” he said. “The biggest positive was the win,”

“It was by far not a perfect performance, but it was definitely a foundation for us to build on in the next game. We knew that the team we played out there was not the best Oyonnax team, they probably could have sent a better team to play us. So, we’re not fooling ourselves that this was their best team."

“But like I said, it was a much-needed win for us and a foundation."

“We will probably go back to a settled squad. We must pick our best available team because it will not be easy," against the Dragons Powell said.

“We will ensure we prepare well for that game, to be successful, finishing top of the pool and as high up as possible on the overall standings is also vital. It will ensure we play most of our play-offs at home,” he said.

“You need home games if you want to go through to the Final and that is what we will be fighting for," Powell said when asked why the South African teams can not host playoff games but must choose European venues as their home venues for the semi-finals and final. The 2024 final will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London on Saturday 25 May.

Powell also said that the Hollywoodbets Sharks had righted some of the errors in last week’s defeat to the Lions.

“We wanted to rectify our mistakes from last weekend, a soft half and soft moments in that game cost us. For us the focus this week was almost to get the season back on track, to almost close the door on what’s happened in the past and say this is a new start for us."

“Defensively, I thought we were good. Kicking game-wise I think at times we could have been more clinical in our decision-making in terms of when to kick and when to run. In attack, the handling errors and maybe the discipline is something we need to work on for next weekend.