Joey Mongalo setting high standard for Sharks youngsters against Cardiff

Adre Smith of the DHL Stormers tackled by Cell C Sharks players in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship game played at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town

FILE. Sharks defence coach Joey Mongalo wants to see a good showing from the young squad the franchise will likely field in their United Rugby Championship clash against Cardiff. Picture: Phando Jikelo/Independent Media

Published May 16, 2024

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Sharks defence coach Joey Mongalo wants to see a good showing from the young squad the franchise will likely field in their United Rugby Championship (URC) clash against Cardiff, in Durban, on Saturday.

Though the match is effectively a ‘dead-rubber’ for the 12th-placed Sharks and Cardiff at one spot below the SA outfit, Mongalo said he would like to see his young guns give it a go.

There are seven teams still vying for the last four spots in the URC play-offs, but the Sharks find themselves being the best-placed of the bottom five sides on the log.

In contrast, the Bulls are fourth, the Stormers fifth and the Lions are 10th on the log. In fact, even the Lions still have a slim chance of making the play-offs.

Still, the motivation will be high for the Sharks in their final two fixtures of the season.

‘The team we want to become’

“It represents another opportunity to put together a performance that reflects the team we want to become,” Mongalo said on Wednesday.

“A dead rubber is probably a reflection on the organisation, and if we take games based on what they mean to the competition, then we will be a very inconsistent group.

Putting a positive spin on the last two games, Mongalo said it would help the Sharks begin building for next season.

“But we are well aware of where we want to go, and this is another opportunity to lay a brick on the path we want to go.

“This match has an impact on us collectively. The guys playing on Saturday have been an integral part of the group, almost the unsung heroes, because every week they must act like the opposition in order to help the usual starting team prepare to give their best performance on a Saturday.

“These guys are now getting an opportunity to showcase what they have been doing in the shadows, out in the light.”

@Golfhackno1

IOL Sport