Coenie confident about Sharks’ rise

Coenie Oosthuizen (Gallo Images)
Coenie Oosthuizen (Gallo Images)

Durban - Prop Coenie Oosthuizen believes the Sharks have the skill and talent to enjoy a successful Super Rugby campaign this year.

Many rugby fans will remember the Sharks’ disappointing Super Rugby run in 2015, which saw the Durban side lose nine of their 16 fixtures to finish amongst the bottom four on the overall log.

However, there’s a new sense of optimism in the Sharks squad this year, which includes new faces in the coaching staff and player personnel.

One of the new recruits is Springbok prop Oosthuizen, who is enjoying life at his new team after making the move from the Cheetahs.

“Our preparations for the 2016 season is going very well. We’re finalising our plans for the upcoming Super Rugby tournament and the players are all very positive,” Oosthuizen told MyPlayers.

“There are new coaches managing the squad and there are new players in the mix, including myself. And we’re all gelling very nicely.

“We all realise that 2015 was a disappointing season for the Sharks. But the reality is… that happens in professional sport. Every team will experience a bad run, but the important thing is learning from what went wrong, fixing it and coming back stronger. That’s what we aim to do in 2016.”

The 26-year-old added that the Sharks forwards will need to make a big impact.

“We’ve lost guys like Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, who are great players and have a lot of experience. But we have the talent to take the Sharks in the right direction,” said Oosthuizen.

“Our scrums need to be strong and our lineouts need to be accurate. Set-pieces are important in modern rugby. We also need to ensure we dominate up front, especially at the breakdowns.

“A guy like Tendai Mtawarira (Beast) is a powerful player and it’s great packing down next to him. I also hope to play my part by adding value all over the park on attack, defence and at the set-pieces.

“There are other experienced players to depend on elsewhere in the team too… guys like Jean Deysel and Pat Lambie, who will also provide positive influence and leadership.”

Off the field, Oosthuizen is enjoying Durban’s beaches and spending time in the water.

“That’s a great thing being in Durban. As a player, you’re able to work very hard on the field at a high intensity, and during the downtime, you have an environment where you can relax and unwind,” said Oosthuizen. “Since moving to Durban, I love spending time in the water. I’ve bought myself a jetski, which I’m really enjoying.”

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