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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter


Ox Nche determined to keep up World Cup standards at the Sharks

“I’ve shown what I can potentially do, and for me, it’s about setting that standard."


Springbok prop and 2023 Rugby World Cup winner Ox Nche is determined to not drop the standards that he set in France during the global spectacle when he turns out in the United Rugby Championship in the coming weeks and month.

Nche played a crucial role in the Boks’ run towards winning their fourth Webb Ellis Cup, playing mainly off the bench as a member of the “Bomb Squad” and winning a plethora of penalties for his team in the scrums.

The devastating nature of Nche’s performances saw him become something of a cult figure during the World Cup.

Nche is now back at his franchise, the Sharks, having returned to action in the 69-14 United Rugby Championship win over Welsh side the Dragons last weekend at Durban’s Kings Park.

High standards

As the franchise season shifts into second gear, Nche is keen to maintain the high standards he set during the World Cup and not drop the ball.

“For me, it’s more of a challenge, as a player I want to get better,” said Nche when speaking to the media.

“I’ve shown what I can potentially do, and for me, it’s about setting that standard. I can’t suddenly do less than what I was doing at the World Cup for the Springboks.

“So, for me, it’s about setting that standard and actually keeping going the way I have been playing,” he said.

Momentum

The Sharks will next go to Pretoria on Saturday to take on the Bulls in a highly-anticipated match at Loftus Versfeld (3pm) with a chance of winning back-to-back games for the first time in this URC campaign.

“It’s crucial because we can’t put up a good performance like we did this past weekend and then think everything is going to happen. We’ve got some momentum; we now just have to keep it going.

“The Bulls have been playing amazing rugby, they seem to be gelling well together, so I think it’s going to be a big task, and I think it’s going to test us.

Test like match

The Bulls have been on a roll this season, winning four of their six games and are currently in third place, and Nche is expecting nothing but a huge battle.

“If you’ve been watching the Bulls games, they have been running with the ball, they kick well, they dominate in contact, and their defence systems are in place.

“So, I think they are going to give a complete package of challenges. They are going to challenge us in every single thing. We have to be ready for it, or we’ll come out second best,” said Nche.

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