Botes happy at the back
Jacques Botes (Gallo Images)
Durban - Jacques Botes
, currently the most capped Shark in the squad with 225 Super Rugby and Currie Cup appearances, had a memorable 111th Currie Cup game, for both right and wrong reasons.
According to Sharks website Editor, Michael Marenwick
he led from the front as captain, scored two tries and earned the coveted Man-of-the-Match award, but he had to walk away a loser in the match.
"I was really happy with the way it went at No. 8 for me and I played there at the beginning of my career, although it’s been a while since," he explains.
"Ultimately, though, it was like scoring a century in a Test match and then you don’t get the win.
"So you’re happy with your performance but you’d much rather have had the result."
Griquas haven’t had much success in Durban and this was a rare win for them, certainly something Botes hasn’t experienced.
"It was a very disappointing result and I think it was the first time since I’ve been at the Sharks that Griquas have beaten us at home.
"The message has been clear, it wasn’t the way we wanted to start a new era, but we know what’s expected of us and we want to get the win this weekend to get things back on track for the team and the new coaching staff.
"There are some things that we need to work on, but the one thing we can’t work on is the will to win, that’s got to come from within each of us."
After one loss, The Sharks are hoping they won’t have that disappointing feeling again and mindful of how important it is to win your home games.
"This is a vital match for both teams, but we’re playing at home and you don’t want to slip up in back-to-back games at home.
"They’ll come out firing as they always do, they like to play an attractive brand of rugby and it will demand a lot from us from a defensive point of view."
The log looks fairly congested, right now and no team lost by more than two points, and there is every expectation that the 2013 Currie Cup will be as fiercely contested each week.
"After our loss, we were quite happy to see a draw and no other team getting the full five log points.
"It’s going to be a tight competition, there is a new bunch of players coming through and I’m sure there will be some exciting rugby.
"As the tournament progresses, I’m sure we’ll all start settling down and getting used to some new systems."
The set-pieces possibly didn’t go exactly as planned and Botes explains that in a new competition, there are always going to be new personnel, especially with Springbok call-ups and an injury situation that includes two locks.
With a different tight-five from the one that operated in Super Rugby, there is bound to be a process towards ‘getting it right’.
"It’s a new-look forward pack from Super Rugby, but it’s still quite an experienced group.
"We just need to gel as a unit. We battled at times at the scrums, but there were also some good ones.
"We didn’t adapt as well as we’d like to with the new laws and Griquas caught us off guard at times, but we’ve learnt a lot from it."Teams:
15. Odwa Ndungane
, 14. SP Marais, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo
, 10. Butch James
, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Jacques Botes
(captain), 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Edwin Hewitt, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Rayno Gerber
, 18. Peet Marais, 19. Tera Mtembu, 20. Cobus Reinach
, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. Jaco van TonderGolden Lions:
15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Deon Helberg
, 13 Robert De Bruin, 12 Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies
, 9 Guy Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen.
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Lambert Groenewald, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Chrysander Botha