The football doesn't stop!

The 2014 SWC might be over, but the PSL and English Premiership are around the corner! Have your say on our Forum!

LIVE

    Sharks' Odwa set for century

    2014-04-09 16:30
    Durban - Wing Odwa Ndungane will become the fourth player in the current Cell C Sharks squad to gain his 100th cap for the franchise should he play against the Lions on Saturday, reports Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

    He will be joining an elite group from the current squad that includes captain Bismarck du Plessis (currently on 109 Sharks caps), Jacques Botes with 114 and JP Pietersen on 101.

    “He’s been a fantastic campaigner for the Cell C Sharks,” said Director of Rugby Jake White.

    “He’s a Springbok, he’s been around the block and he’s a great role-model to the young guys here.”

    Like any player, he’s faced battles and overcome them, he’s tasted glory and defeat. And now is the time to celebrate his achievements and dedicated contribution to Sharks rugby.

    “I’m very proud, I’ve been here for 10 years and a lot of guys don’t get to play for one union for that long, so I feel fortunate,” said Ndungane. “Playing my 100th game this weekend is something very special and I’m very excited.

    “My brother (Akona) is also in his 10th year - playing for the Bulls - so it’s not only an honour for us individually but for the whole family and I’m dedicating this game to my father.”

    The brothers' father recently passed away.

    In the professional era, staying with one team for a decade is relatively rare these days which makes his lengthy stay in Durban all that more special.

    “First things first, you have to be well looked after at your union, and then outside of rugby, you have to be happy,” he said. “Not only the players, but the backroom staff, the medical team, the management, stadium staff. There is a very happy environment at The Sharks. Durban’s a nice, easy-going place.

    “Bismarck du Plessis, Jacques Botes and I have been here the longest, we’ve been very happy here and I think that’s why players like to come to the Sharks. I’ve spoken to players who have come here on loan and that wanted to stay, they enjoy it here; that just shows you what kind of place Durban and The Sharks are.”

    Every player goes through ups and downs throughout his career, and doubt and hardship can be tough battles to overcome. Fortunately, Ndungane stuck to his ambitions and worked through them.

    “Things were quite tough for me when I first got here, but that’s part of life, you will go through challenges but what’s important is your support structure to help you through these challenges. But I stuck with it, fought through it and now I sit here, talking about playing my 100th game. In 2005 I thought I might be around for another season or so, but here I am, through perseverance and God’s grace, I’m playing my 100th game.”

    The Currie Cup victories count amongst his career highlights with the Sharks (although some will remember his injury time sprint down the line to score a famous try against the Crusaders, with Ruan Pienaar converting from the touchline to win an incredible game).

    “Winning the Currie Cups are definitely amongst my favourite memories, they were all special in their own different ways, but this previous one when we beat Western Province in Cape Town is the one I will probably look back on with the most fondness. Considering everything that had happened, starting off well in the Super Rugby competition but finishing off badly, losing our coach and a new coach coming in, a new CEO. Most teams would have fallen apart, but Brendan Venter came in and made things so easy for us. He created an environment where everyone came together and worked towards one goal. One thing that sticks out for me is how optimistic he was.

    “Despite losing to Western Province here in the rain in a pool match, he came to us in the change-room afterwards and said to us: ‘You know what, we’ll get them in the final in Cape Town.’ Remember that was the decider to determine who would host the final. And how right he was. It’s not that it was nice revenge - even though revenge is sweet - but it was hugely rewarding.”

    The Sharks' clash against the Lions at Ellis Park kicks off at 19:10 on Saturday.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    43 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • SS3
      Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
      04:00
    • SS4
      Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
      05:00
    • SS5
      Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
      05:59
    • SS7
      Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
      06:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Fixtures

    02 August 2014
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney 11:40

    Results

    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    EXPERT OPINION

    “Advantage is a great part of rugby, says Tank Lanning, but it allows for lots of personal interpretation, hence Victor Matfield’s tirade. ”

    Opinion Poll

    The 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby final will be contested between the Waratahs and Crusaders. Who is your money on?

    Soccer World Cup quiz!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.