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Cell C Sharks look to make it two wins from two in the Heineken Champions Cup as they travel to Union Bordeaux-Bègles on Friday night.
The South African side beat Harlequins 39-31 last weekend on their EPCR competition debut, while Bordeaux fell 22-17 at the hands of Gloucester Rugby.
The Pool B match kicks off at 20:00 (UK and Irish time) at Stade Chaban-Delmas, and is available to view on beIN SPORTS, SuperSport, BT Sport and FloRugby.
Cell C Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell: “We feel we are moving in the right direction, although there are things we can do better and we’ll identify them before the next game. We will need to show better discipline and there are other areas of our game we would like to improve on before Friday night’s game. But the amazing thing about this team is that all the individuals are making a step up and doing what we expect of them.”
What a weekend of #HeinekenChampionsCup action 🤩@leinsterrugby and @SaleSharksRugby top the Pool Standings after Week 1 📈
Sum up your team's performance with an emoji 👇 pic.twitter.com/OyjlDgUwWl
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 11, 2022
- Bordeaux made the most metres from their maul in Round 1 (47).
- Tom Willis beat more defenders than any other player in Round 1 (eight).
- Union Bordeaux-Begles have now lost three of their last four matches in all competitions.
Cell C Sharks
- The Sharks made the fewest carries in Round 1, with 60.
- Makazole Mapimpi made three clean breaks against Harlequins, the most of any player in the round.
- Scrum half Jaden Hendrikse made four kicks that were retained in Round 1, as many as any other player.
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Cell C Sharks laid down a marker in the Heineken Champions Cup as they defeated Union Bordeaux-Bègles 19-16 at Stade Chaban-Delmas on Friday night.
The first half may have gone in favour of Bordeaux, but the visitors battled back in the second, with a try from Werner Kok and brilliant kicking from Curwin Bosch helping the South African debutants to a second victory in their first two Pool A games.
A second defeat in a row for Bordeaux damaged their qualification hopes, Renato Giammarioli going over for the hosts in the first half.
The flanker dotted down for the first points of the game on seven minutes, with Bordeaux taking advantage of wing Kok’s sin-binning for a dangerous tackle.
A well-executed lineout sucked in the visiting defenders, before the French side burst out into the centre where they forced themselves over the line with some strong carries.
💪 @UBBrugby score the opener in Bordeaux.
Huge try assist for Jandre Marais who just hauled Renato Giammarioli over the line 😆#HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/YJlq8tyRzG
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 16, 2022
Heavy hitting proved to be one theme of the match, while another was some sensational kicking. Fly-half Bosch slotted three penalties over the course of the game, none more impressive than the effort from inside his own half shortly after Giammarioli’s try.
His deft drop-goal further reduced the deficit moments later, but errors and mistakes allowed scrum-half Jules Gimbert to kick two penalties for Bordeaux and ensure an 18-9 lead for the home side at the break.
The second half was equally competitive, but it was Cell C Sharks who took command as their pack flexed their muscles and won successive penalties at breakdowns and scrums.
Eventually the pressure told on 48 minutes, some quick hands allowing Cell C Sharks to switch play and find Kok, who atoned for his earlier yellow and crossed to put his side in front.
They would never surrender that lead, nor looked like doing so, with Bosch kicking a further penalty to keep the scoreboard moving.
Ill-discipline cost Bordeaux as they never regained momentum, fly-half Zack Holmes’ penalty on 68 minutes proved purely consolatory as Cell C Sharks saw the game out.
The two sides face each other again in Round 3 on January 14, this time in Durban, South Africa.
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