Prop Ox Nche says the Sharks’ forwards on upward curve. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)
Prop Ox Nche says the Sharks’ forwards on upward curve. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Sharks ’desperately want the five points’ against the Pumas

By Mike Greenaway Time of article published Nov 27, 2020

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DURBAN - The Sharks kick off the 2020 Currie Cup when they host the Pumas tonight and they are under no illusions that they need a full house of five points if they are to haul in the Bulls, who start the new competition with a four-point buffer.

The Sharks and the Stormers are tied on 19 points, four behind the Bulls following their Super Rugby Unlocked victory, and the Sharks cannot afford to drop points tonight.

Loosehead prop Ox Nche says the Durbanites will hit the ground running.

“The Currie Cup is the premier South African trophy and everybody wants to win it, and although we are process-driven as we face the Pumas, it is in the back of our minds that we want maximum points from this game,” the former Cheetah said.

“We desperately want points … we have already lost out on a lot of rugby and this is a home game and a great opportunity to make ground on the Bulls,” the 25-year-old said.

Nche has been part of a Sharks set scrum that struggled in Super Rugby Unlocked without ever being fully vanquished.

“We have had our challenges,”

Nche admitted. “But we are growing gradually as a forward pack, and that is a good sign – it is not easy when you have had front row forwards getting injured or unavailable because of Covid-19, it messes up the rhythm, but Thomas du Toit is back this week and we have our old Super Rugby front row now.”

Nche said that Du Toit’s Rugby World Cup experience is inspirational.

“Thomas was part of the squad that won the World Cup, and his presence settles everyone down. Thomas brings in that experience that makes you want to do the basics right,” Nche said.

“We know that the forwards have to pick up their game so that the backs can have decent ball, and we are up for that,” Nche promised

Sharks team

15 Manie Libbok 14 Yaw Penxe 13 Jeremy Ward 12 Marius Louw 11 Madosh Tambwe 10 Curwin Bosch 9 Sanele Nohamba 8 Thembelani Boli 7 JJ van der Mescht 6 Dylan Richardson 5 Hyron Andrews 4 Ruben van Heerden 3 Thomas du Toit 2 Kerron van Vuuren 1 Ox Nche.

Bench: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Zain Davids, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Sbu Nkosi.

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