Sharks coach Everitt after Kolisi debut: ‘He is a fantastic rugby player’

27 March 2021 - 10:58
Siya Kolisi of the Sharks during the SA Rugby Preparation Series match against the Bulls at Kings Park on March 26 2021 in Durban.
Siya Kolisi of the Sharks during the SA Rugby Preparation Series match against the Bulls at Kings Park on March 26 2021 in Durban.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi is adjusting to the new way of doing things at the Shark Tank in Durban since his high-profile move from Cape Town.

Kolisi‚ who played his professional career with the Stormers and Western Province‚ last month moved to the Sharks and on Friday he marked his eagerly-anticipated debut with a try during their commanding 45-12 win over the Bulls.

“I think the tackles that he missed were more system errors rather than individual errors but we are very happy with Siya‚” said Sharks coach Sean Everitt‚ adding that Kolisi is going to be used differently in his blindside flank position to the way he was in Cape Town.

“His role at No. 6 at Western Province was slightly different to what we have here. The No. 6 role here at the Sharks means that your work rate must be more because you are playing a little bit closer to the ball.

“So‚ he is adjusting and I thought he did exceptionally well and thought he did well for the first 40 minutes.”

Playing in his first match since the resumption of the Preparation Series‚ Everitt said Kolisi was meant to play for only the first half but he had to stay on longer due to Sikhumbuzo Notshe’s injury.

“He was supposed to play the first 40 and come off but unfortunately Notshe got a hamstring injury and had to leave the field early. That meant that we had to push Siya for a little bit longer but he is a fantastic rugby player and we are happy with his contribution.”

Fixtures for next month’s Rainbow Cup have been released and Everitt said the Sharks will have to adjust to European conditions and embrace new opportunities.

“In Europe‚ conditions are not going to be that sour where we will have to kick the ball away. We are going there in the better part of the year and at the same time when you have done your work by watching Pro16 rugby it’s not all about kicking. It’s about getting the balance right between kicking and attack.

“By kicking you can get counterattack opportunities but you can also force turnovers by good defence and that is the blend that you have to get right. Taking 50/50 chances in your own half is probably not the way to go when you are over there because of the strength of their set-piece.

“When you are dealt cards‚ you’ve got to play with them. We control what we can control.

“The Sharks in the past have travelled very well and I don’t expect anything from a tour to Europe. We’re going be there for two weeks and we will have to get used to the conditions.

“I think the guys are looking for the challenge of playing new teams‚ going to new places and making new memories.”