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Eben Etzebeth: 'At club level this is by far the best memory'

By Ian Cameron
Eben Etzebeth of Hollywoodbets Sharks embraces Tendai Mtawarira, Former South African rugby union player following victory in the EPCR Challenge Cup Final match between Gloucester Rugby and Hollywoodbets Sharks at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 24, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Hollywoodbets Sharks captain Eben Etzebeth described his team’s 36-22 victory against Gloucester in the EPCR Challenge Cup final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as his greatest of his club career. Etzebeth praised his team’s character for making history as the first South African franchise to win a European title.

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The win secured their spot in next season’s Investec Champions Cup and came following a dire United Rugby Championship season where they missed the playoffs and won just a handful of matches.

Etzebeth cited the Sharks’ poor season as a major motivation in the final.

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“The motivation (to win) 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.

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“If you told us at the start of the season that we would win the EPCR Challenge Cup and qualify for the Investec Champions Cup, we would have taken it.

“The victory was special, and it felt as though we left our best performance for last. The guys were just incredible, and the physicality was great.”

“At club level this is by far the best memory. The last championship I won (at club level) was the Currie Cup in 2012, so it’s been 12 years.

“This is the first international trophy the Sharks have won and to become the first South African to win in Europe is definitely one of my best memories ever.”

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Hollywoodbets Sharks head coach John Plumtree said: “We wanted to apply a lot of pressure up-front because we knew it would probably be their strength, so by taking that away, we knew we would have a good chance.

“I thought the scrum was outstanding, and the front row’s drive was very good, and they earned the rewards for it. So was the pressure game from our kicking game.

“A lot of it was based around scoreboard pressure, which we had to keep building on, and credit to the guys for sticking to the plan.”

The Sharks have one URC game remaining this season and it will be against the local rivals the Vodacom Bulls.

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Comments

1 Comment
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Craig 28 days ago

Eben to Captain Boks would be good as he is guaranteed a place in the Bok team
Bongi also could be Captain but Marx could land up starting many games.

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