Friday, 1st March 2024

The Sharks Media Release
VODACOM UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

Emirate Lions vs. Hollywoodbets Sharks

Date: Saturday, 2nd March 2024
Time: 15h00
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Christopher Allison
TMO: Ben Crous

Vodacom United Rugby Championship action resumes this weekend with the Hollywoodbets Sharks travelling to Joburg to take on the Emirates Lions in their second-round clash on Saturday afternoon.

This is an important game for the Durban side as they look to show their potential against their old foes.

“This is a proud place, a proud rugby province and we go into every game looking to represent this badge to the best of our abilities,” explained Hollywoodbets Sharks defence coach Joey Mongalo in the build-up to the game.

“We want to see how far up [the table] we can finish, we want to challenge ourselves to climb from where we are at the moment and the way we do that is to continue to fight, to put in performances we can be proud of, that are the result of the efforts we put in during the week.”

Although there have been some tough times for the Hollywoodbets Sharks in this season’s VURC tournament, the players have come together to change that.

“We’re in a space where the players are so connected to one another, we know that they can look each other in the eye and say, ‘we stuck together.’ We’re in a tough stage, a transition period and this is a time for us to show our courage and commitment. We want people to see that there is hope and ambition in this team, we want to be sure we represent ourselves well and to acknowledge our supporters.

“There’s enough evidence to show that this group is going somewhere and we take encouragement from that. Hopefully we will take steps forward and the close losses we’ve suffered this season will become wins. That will help to build confidence and take us towards where we want to be.”

Rugby World Cup winner Bongi Mbonambi captains the side in the absence of Lukhanyo Am, with the highly rated young Ethan Hooker taking Am’s place at outside centre, with George Cronje back in the side, Grant Williams and Siya Masuku partnering at half-back and Eduan Keyter also named amongst an exciting back three that features Aphiwe Dyanti and Aphelele Fassi.

Hollywoodbets Sharks
1. Ntuthuko Mchunu                   (Martizburg College)
2. Bongi Mbonambi (c)               (St Albans)
3. Coenie Oosthuizen                (Grey College)
4. Corne Rahl                            (Hoer Landbouskool Oakdale)
5. Gerbrandt Grobler                 (Affies)
6. James Venter                        (Glenwood)
7. Vincent Tshituka                    (Northcliff)

8.George Cronje                       (Grey College)
9. Grant Williams                       (Paarl Gym)
10. Siya Masuka                        (Piet Retief High School)
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi                     (Dale College
12. Francois Venter                    (Grey College)
13. Ethan Hooker                       (Westville Boys High)
14. Eduan Keyter                       (Affies)
15. Aphelele Fassi                     (Dale College)

Replacements
16. Fez Mbatha
17. Dian Bleuler
18. Khwezi Mona
19. Jeandre Labuschagne
20. Tino Mavesere
21. Phepsi Buthelezi
22. Tiaan Fourie
23. Curwin Bosch

Players not available for selection due to injury 
•    Cameron Wright
•    Dylan Richardson
•    Emile van Heerden
•    Nevaldo Fleurs
•    Vincent Koch

Our Official Sharks Channels
•    Web              www.sharksrugby.co.za
•    X                   @sharksrugby
•    Facebook      @sharksrugby
•    Instagram      @sharksrugby
•    Hashtags       #FeartheFin #VURC #LIOvsSHA

ENDS.

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