Sharks ready for EPCR qaurter-final

Sharks ready for EPCR qaurter-final

The Hollywoodbets Sharks take a strong, settled and successful side into Saturday’s EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh at Hollywoodbets Kings Park.

Continuity is the name of the game for this side riding a wave of confidence after a run of three straight victories.  They’ve come at home, which is where the two teams meet for this knock-out clash, a repeat of a few weeks ago when the Hollywoodbets Sharks downed the visiting Scottish side in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and this weekend is another opportunity to entrench themselves at Fortress Kings Park.

Head coach John Plumtree has an almost full squad to choose from but hasn’t veered away from the motto: ‘If it aren’t broke, don’t fix it,’ which is exactly the kind of non-headache a sports coach loves.

There are just two changes to last week’s victorious side [over Zebre Parma], with Eben Etzebeth back from injury, replacing Corne Rahl who moves to the bench, where he is joined by replacement hooker Dan Jooste, in for Kerron van Vuuren.

Hooker Bongi Mbonambi, analysing Edinburgh and the team they will put out for this match, expects a top, challenging encounter from the Scots.

“It’s a quarter-final, they will bring their best team, hoping to advance to the semi-finals,” he admits.

“We’re preparing for their best team.”

From his own team’s point of view, he explains that they are in a good place right now and motivated to be successful this weekend and beyond.

“The mood in the camp is good, there’s a lot of energy and the injured guys coming back, like Emile van Heerden, Eben Etzebeth and Vincent Koch, make a big difference to the forward pack.

“The road to the final won’t be easy, but for now our focus is on the quarter-final and getting over that and that’s how we move forward in this competition, how we get better.”

Hollywoodbets Sharks
1. Ox Nche
2. Bongi Mbonambi
3. Vincent Koch
4. Eben Etzebeth
5. Emile van Heerden
6. James Venter
7. Vincent Tshituka
8. Phepsi Buthelezi
9. Jaden Hendrikse
10. Siya Masuku
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Ethan Hooker 
13. Lukhanyo Am (c)
14. Werner Kok
15. Aphelele Fassi

16. Dan Jooste
17. Ntuthuko Mchunu
18. Hanro Jacobs
19. Corne Rahl
20. Jeandre Labuschagne
21. Grant Williams*
22. Curwin Bosch**
23. Francois Venter

* Grant Williams will earn his 50th international tournament cap if he runs on.
** Curwin Bosch will achieve his 100th international tournament cap if he runs on.

Players not considered for selection due to injury 
•    Boeta Chamberlain
•    Coenie Oosthuizen
•    Dylan Richardson 
•    Fez Mbatha
•    George Cronje
•    Marnus Potgieter
•    Muller du Plessis
•    Nevaldo Fleurs 
•    Zee Mkhabela

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