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Ken Borland

Retribution v Ulster not on the Sharks’ minds – Janse van Rensburg 0

Posted on February 21, 2023 by Ken

Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Retribution for their defeat at the hands of Ulster last season that condemned them to an away quarterfinal will not be on the Sharks’ minds, according to centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, when they take on the Irish powerhouses in their United Rugby Championship clash at Kings Park on Saturday.

Ulster beat the Sharks 24-21 at the Kingspan Stadium last May, which meant they pushed the Sharks down to fifth in the standings and forced them into playing their quarterfinal against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, where they went down 30-27, beaten by an 83rd minute drop goal by Chris Smith.

But instead of reflecting on that pain, Janse van Rensburg says the Sharks are instead focusing on the positive benefits that could come from beating Ulster in Durban this weekend: a bonus point win and other results going their way could see them climb into the top five on the log.

“We haven’t spoken about what happened last season at all,” Janse van Rensburg said on Tuesday. “Our conversations have purely been based on what we can do to beat Ulster.

“It’s a massive game for us, especially with the current log positions being a great motivation for us. Every point matters at this stage of the season as we try and get closer to the top five. We have the potential to get there already this weekend, so we just want to take our next steps forward.

“We have to use the climate and the heat to our advantage, it’s huge to be able to capitalise on those at home. But most importantly, we need to make sure we pitch up.

“Ulster are always a strong team to face, regardless of them losing a few players to Ireland, so it’s important for us to be really on it from the start,” Janse van Rensburg said.

Playing 81 times for the Sale Sharks between 2017 and 2022 furnished Janse van Rensburg with the ability to adapt to different conditions and match situations, and the 28-year-old sees himself as a senior player with the Natal Sharks, lending his experience to the rest of the team.

“It was definitely a great experience being there overseas for five years, especially playing in the wet conditions, you have to adapt. Sometimes it would be snowing and then it gets really hard.

“But having to adapt to whatever the conditions are on match-day definitely helped me in my game-management. With that experience I just try and help the other boys in the midst of a tough game, but it also helps me in terms of how I think about the game.

“Ulster are coming from their winter so it’s going to be a massive adjustment for them, especially with how hot the weather gets this time of year around 2pm.

“But it’s a really, really big game for us. Confidence is everything and we have quality players who want to perform and achieve higher honours. There’s a big onus on us, even though we are missing a lot of players, to take responsibility for every game now,” Janse van Rensburg said.

Janse van Rensburg & Richardson tasked with laying down the law for Sharks 0

Posted on November 04, 2022 by Ken

Springbok centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Scottish international Dylan Richardson will be the two main ball-carriers tasked with laying down the law for the Sharks in their opening United Rugby Championship match against Zebre in Parma on Friday night.

Sharks coach Sean Everitt named his first URC team of the season on Wednesday, following their first-round bye, and rushed Janse van Rensburg, one of his major signings in the off-season, straight into the No.12 jersey. Capped for the Springboks in 2016, Janse van Rensburg made his name with the Lions as a fan-favourite who was explosive on the crash-ball but also slick in terms of his all-round game-management. The 28-year-old moved to Durban after four successful years with the Sale Sharks in Manchester.

Richardson, who often plays hooker, made his debut for Scotland last year and will play blindside flank in a mobile, pacey loose trio against Zebre. The 23-year-old is more accustomed to being openside flank whenever he has played loose forward.

“Rohan has been a revelation and he brings lot of experience, being an international,” Everitt said. “With Ben Tapuai, we have two very experienced centres to guide Boeta Chamberlain at flyhalf.

“Rohan has settled in very well, he brings leadership and has been a strong voice in team meetings. His knowledge and assistance in developing the youngsters will be vitally important.

“Dylan normally plays at No.6, but he is also known for his very strong ball-carrying. We’ve played him and James Venter together in the Currie Cup with a lot of success.

“Together with Phepsi Buthelezi, they will get through a lot of work and they have been the form loose forwards in training,” Everitt said.

The northern city of Parma is one of the prime gastronomical districts of Italy, and a long injury list has given Everitt plenty of food for thought. Especially in the pivotal flyhalf position.

“We have a long list of injuries so this is a young team,” Everitt said. “It is getting shorter though and we expect a full complement of players soon, and then it will be great to have more selection headaches.

“Except for the flyhalves, who we only expect back at the end of October. Lionel Cronje has a fractured arm and Curwin Bosch underwent surgery on a fractured thumb. You would never bet on two flyhalves getting injured, but that’s the nature of rugby.

“We’re fortunate to have Boeta step in, he really took his opportunity this time last year and performed admirably overseas. He is full of confidence at the moment,” Everitt said.

Sharks team: Aphelele Fassi, Werner Kok, Ben Tapuai, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Thaakir Abrahams, Boeta Chamberlain, Grant Williams, Phepsi Buthelezi, Dylan Richardson, James Venter, Reniel Hugo, Gerbrandt Grobler, Thomas du Toit (c), Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu. Replacements – Dan Jooste, Dian Bleuler, Carlu Sadie, Justin Basson, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Cameron Wright, Fred Zeilinga, Marnus Potgieter.

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