Planet Rugby

Sharks duo nearing centuries

14th May 2014 13:54

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Milestone: Jannie du Plessis

Sharks props Jannie du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira could both win their 100th caps against the Crusaders this weekend.

Having played the majority of those games alongside his brother Bismarck, Jannie du Plessis expressed his pride at reaching such a milestone with the Sharks.

"I'm immensely proud to be playing my 100th game for the Cell C Sharks on the weekend," du Plessis told the Sharks' website.

"Accumulating these caps means having shared my life with very good rugby players and this achievement is probably one of the things I am proudest of in my rugby career.

"Thinking of guys like Jacques Botes, Johann Muller, BJ Botha and Stefan Terblanche, these are people who have had a massive impact on my life and the memories I have shared with them are incredible.

"Playing together with my brother is like winning the lottery.

"We've had some great family times because when we've played together, the whole family has been able to come down and enjoy the games.

"When we won the 2008 Absa Currie Cup in Durban, my dad was in the stands when he was still healthy. I can't explain in words what that means to me. That will probably endure as the standout memory of my time with The Sharks."

Facing the Crusaders away in Christchurch will be the Sharks first visit since 2010, before the earthquake that caused major damage to the city.

Having won their last five matches the Crusaders are now one of the form sides in the competition, making du Plessis wary.

"The last time we were here was in 2010, [the teams met in Twickenham to play in the 2011 pool game following the earthquake, and met again during the play-offs, with that match taking place in Nelson], so this is the first time we are playing in Christchurch since the earthquake," added du Plessis.

"The Crusaders are a very efficient machine and they've won the competition so many times because they're a brilliant side. Over the past few weeks, they have shown they're on the up, but we did things right against the Brumbies last week and we earned enough opportunities to win the game.

"The big challenge for us is to do the same on the weekend and play well enough to win the game. At the end of the day, it's four lines, a grass pitch, 15 guys on either side playing to the same set of rules and we if we want to compete against them, we're going to have to play well, tackle well, run hard and get our set-piece right.

"It's a massive challenge, but one we're really looking forward to."

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