Wed 14 May 2014 | 10:39
Double Sharks centurions
Wed 14 May 2014 | 10:39
Double Sharks centurionsSHARE
Should they both play on Saturday against the Crusaders, Jannie du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira will both reach 100 Super Rugby caps for the Sharks.
With hooker Bismarck du Plessis having already achieved the feat, the Sharks front row is one of the most experienced of all time in the competition.
For Jannie du Plessis, it is a dream come true, having grown up supporting the Sharks.
“I’m immensely proud to be playing my 100th game for the Sharks on the weekend,” he admits.
“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.”
Jannie played in 26 games for the Cheetahs over two seasons before being lured to Durban (he actually has a current total of 125 Super Rugby appearances to his name), and the opportunity to play with his brother Bismarck would have been a big motivating factor.
“Playing together with my brother is like winning the lottery,” he admits.
“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 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."
Saturday’s clash with the Crusaders is the Sharks next challenege with many of the team never having experienced Christchurch before, given that it has been four years since the teams met here last.
“The last time we were here was in 2010, so this is the first time we are playing in Christchurch since the earthquake," Du Plessis added.
“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.
"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.”