Sharks flyhalf Lionel Cronje found himself on the receiving end of a huge tackle that he’d hope will not be repeated when they face Griquas in the Currie Cup semi final this coming weekend.
On loan from Toyota Verblitz in Japan, Cronje has put in solid performances for the Durban-based outfit since moving to number ten ahead of young Curwin Bosch.
After playing for multiple teams in various countries, he is now looking to add a Currie Cup title to his resume.
“The Currie Cup is the oldest competition in the world and every South African kid who has gone on to become a professional rugby player grew up watching it and imagining what it would be like to win it,” said Cronje.
“Winning it is what all South Africans want and I think the Sharks have a good opportunity to do that this year. The closest I came before this was in 2010. Ironically I was playing for WP then and we came to King’s Park as favourites and lost to the Sharks.
“That is 11 years ago and I am hoping this is an opportunity to make up for that disappointment.”
The semi finals take place this coming weekend, with the Sharks facing Griquas and Western Province taking on the Bulls.
It was Western Province who got the better of the Sharks last weekend to earn themselves that spot, and while Cronje was doing what he could to create some magic late in the game, things did not go entirely to plan.
He was not done any favours by Bosch, so with nothing on, had to hold the ball as young replacement prop Sazi Sandi rushed in to make an absolute monster of a hit.
Ever the professional, Cronje placed the ball back and the Sharks retained possession, but the 32-year-old will not have been hit much harder than that in his career!