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Cell C Sharks look to continue impressive start

Thursday 12th January 2023

11:00 am (GMT)

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Cell C Sharks look to continue impressive start

Cell C Sharks captain Siya Kolisi is tackled at Bordeaux in Round 2 of the Heineken Champions Cup

Cell C Sharks are seeking third successive win in their debut Heineken Champions Cup campaign when they welcome Union Bordeaux-Bègles to Durban on Saturday.

The South African side have already treated their home support to a win in Round 1, edging a thriller with Harlequins 39-31 in their maiden game in the competition.

They then clinched a first victory on French soil as they held on for an impressive 19-16 success at Bordeaux in Round 2, leaving them fourth in Pool A.

Bordeaux, meanwhile, are ninth, having endured a difficult campaign so far – a 22-17 loss at Gloucester Rugby being followed by that home defeat to Cell C Sharks.

Since Round 2, Cell C Sharks have won twice in three United Rugby Championship three games, while Bordeaux have recorded three straight victories in the TOP 14.

The game gets underway at 15:15 (UK & Irish time) and is available on SuperSport, beIN SPORTS, France TV, BT Sport and FloRugby.

Cell C Sharks

  • Vincent Tshituka has the most turnovers in the tournament this season (5), with three coming from jackals which resulted in turnovers.
  • Jaden Hendrikse has had more kicks retained than any other player (6) and forced the most pressure errors with his kicks (4).
  • Cell C Sharks have the lowest rate of tackle completion in the competition (82%) and have been awarded the most maul penalties (6).

Union Bordeaux-Bègles

  • Union Bordeaux-Bègles are one of just two sides who have yet to score a first-phase try in this season’s competition.
  • All of UBB’s try-scorers so far have been forwards – Renato Giammarioli, Sipili Falatea and Tom Willis.

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Cell C Sharks crush Bordeaux to seal qualification

Saturday 14th January 2023

5:29 pm (GMT)

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Cell C Sharks crush Bordeaux to seal qualification

Cell C Sharks scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse

Cell C Sharks booked their place in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 with a commanding 32-3 victory over Union Bordeaux-Bègles Bordeaux in Durban on Saturday.

The South African side’s Jaden Hendrikse and Marnus Potgieter both crossed for try braces, with Gerbrandt Grobler also going over as they secured their progress from Pool A with a game to spare.

Bordeaux endured a torrid afternoon as they received four yellow cards and their only points came through a Maxime Lucu penalty.

Cell C Sharks looked the stronger side from the outset and scored first through a Lionel Cronjé penalty on six minutes, with scrum-half Lucu striking the upright with an effort of his own as Bordeaux sought an instant response.

Cell C Sharks’ dominant scrum provided the platform for their opening try, as a penalty won against the head was taken quickly by scrum-half Hendrikse, who squirmed over from close range.

Hendrikse dotted down for his second on 22 minutes after a powerful driving maul, before Cell C Sharks’ scrum overpowered Bordeaux again and saw prop Christopher Vaotoa sent to the sin bin.

Cell C Sharks immediately punished the visitors, as lock Grobler smashed his way over the whitewash on the half hour, with things going from bad to worse for the TOP 14 outfit when hooker Clément Maynadier was yellow-carded for a cynical attempt to prevent the score.

Bordeaux weathered the storm with 13 men and ended the half with another penalty attempt from Lucu, but the captain was unable to hit the target from just shy of 50 metres.

Once back up to their full complement following the restart, Bordeaux looked to gain a foothold in the game, with Lucu notching their first points via a penalty on 43 minutes before slicing another effort wide.

However, the visitors suffered further setbacks before the hour, as fly-half Mateo Garcia and replacement lock Cyril Cazeaux were sent to the sin bin, with wing Potgieter finally grabbing the bonus-point score after good work from flanker Siya Kolisi.

Kolisi was involved again when Cell C Sharks notched a fifth try moments later, teeing up Potgieter, who cruised over out wide for his second of the afternoon.

The contest fizzled out over the closing stages, with both sides making several handling errors as injuries and personnel changes interrupted proceedings.

In the final round of pool stage games next weekend, Cell C Sharks travel to Harlequins, while Bordeaux host Gloucester Rugby, both on Saturday.

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