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AUDIO: Eben reveals where Challenge Cup victory ranks in his list of achievements

SPOTLIGHT: Sharks superstar Eben Etzebeth says his team left their “best performance for last” in a very challenging season.


The team from Durban outplayed Gloucester on their way to a 36-22 victory in Friday’s Challenge Cup Final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

John Plumtree’s side became the first South African team to win the trophy and they also secured qualification for next season’s Champions Cup.

After a disappointing season in the United Rugby Championship, Friday’s victory will be something to savour for the Sharks as they try to build a rugby dynasty.

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“The motivation was more within the team,” said Etzebeth.

“To turn things around the way we did after where we were four or five months ago, was fantastic.


“There was a big drive to win the Challenge Cup as a silver lining to our season, which hasn’t been great.”

He added: “If you told us at the start of the season that we were going to win the Challenge Cup and qualify for the Champions Cup, we probably would have taken it.

“It is great for this team to play in the Champions Cup next season.

“We made a few great signings, and we got some quality players and we want to be measured against the best teams in the world.


“We all know that will be in the Champions Cup, but tonight [Friday] was special.

“I think we left our best performance for last. The guys were just incredible.

“Everyone has put their body on the line. It was just an incredible feeling.”

Etzebeth was also asked to rank this victory amongst his other long list of achievements.

“This will rank third. The two World Cups will always be No.1 and No.2 but at franchise level, this is by far the best memory.

“The last championship I won [at franchise and provincial level] was the Currie Cup back in 2012 and it was against Plum.

“It’s a first international trophy for the Sharks and it’s the first time a South African team has won a European trophy, so in my club career, it’s my best memory ever.”


Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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