An impressive audience of 5,800 people braved the freezing temperatures on Saturday afternoon to see South Africa’s Cell C Sharks come out with a strong 31-14 win over Racing 92 in the Natixis Rugby Cup at Aberdeen Sports Ground.
It was no surprise that the Sharks came in guns blazing in order to warm up for their upcoming Super Rugby opener against the Lions in two week’s time. The hungry Sharks forwards quickly established dominance in the ruck and maintained a large portion of the overall possession in the game, continuously driving their team down the field.
“It is a positive for us getting the win and working out a few parts of our game plan,” said Sharks captain Ruan Botha. “We’re looking forward to what is lying ahead, the Super Rugby campaign coming up and we’re just focusing on that now.”
Racing 92 winger Joe Rokocoko found it to be a touch game, and told us he had “expected a very hungry Sharks team with their season coming up in two weeks.”
Despite the loss against the Sharks, Racing 92 are appreciative of this team-building experience and it was a good chance for them to get to know some of their younger players better under the high pressure of top level club rugby.
Hong Kong’s 20-year-old Matt Worley worked his way into the game after making his first ever start for Racing 92’s first team since joining the academy three seasons ago and showed his capability of keeping up with his peers.
In addition to the exciting display of quality rugby, fans enjoyed traditional South African treats from Biltong Chief, draft beers on tap courtesy of Stella Artois, and tons of fun on and off the pitch. In keeping with deep-rooted traditions of French Rugby, the Natixis Rugby Cups are marked by a strong outreach to the local rugby community and lay great value in sharing the communal rugby spirit.
This year was no different as children and families enjoyed a mini rugby clinic featuring players preceding the match, and a lively beer garden with live music on offer, which continued into the evening hours following the match.
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