Cell C Sharks prop Thomas du Toit says his side are pushing hard to continue their winning start in their maiden Heineken Champions Cup campaign – but warned they must balance the competition with their domestic efforts.
The Durban-based side have beaten Harlequins (39-31) and Union Bordeaux-Bègles (19-16) so far in Pool A and welcome the latter club to Hollywoodbets Kings Park in Round 3 on Saturday.
The game comes a week on from a United Rugby Championship (URC) defeat at Connacht Rugby – their fourth loss in 10 league games – and du Toit says they are looking improve their domestic form while maintaining their Heineken Champions Cup assault.
“We are putting a big emphasis on the Heineken Champions Cup, but in the same breath we have mentioned quite a bit that we are under pressure with the URC,” du Toit said.
“Especially with the resting period coming up for some of the Boks, we really need to perform in the URC.
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“I can’t say there’s emphasis on either one, it’s on both. That’s where we are at the moment.
“I can’t speak for the coach because I really don’t know the mindset behind it, but it’s probably about the rotational system, giving guys who have been training really well and showing up at training sessions a chance to have a go in the big league.”
Meanwhile, Bordeaux lock Jandrais Marais has detailed his team’s trip to South Africa so far and asserted that despite enjoying a return to his homeland, they are fully focused on securing a first Heineken Champions Cup win of the season.
“We’re pretty busy. Our management staff did a great job by letting us taste all the local dishes at the hotel so we haven’t really had to move,” he told AFP.
“We have a busy week, because our plane trip took a bit longer, our week is a bit shortened so we don’t have a lot of loose time.
“Tomorrow I’ll see my brother. We’re going on a safari this afternoon. But we’re not here on holiday.”