- S'bu Nkosi wasn't necessarily slated to be an impact player for the Sharks against the Pumas this weekend, but a late Covid-19 test forced the team's hand.
- It's no bad thing as the Springbok winger was instrumental in saving his side's bacon two week ago against Griquas as a substitute.
- Head coach Sean Everitt notes there are no easy games in the domestic competitions.
S'bu Nkosi, at least officially, isn't really supposed to be an impact player for the Sharks in their Currie Cup opener against the Pumas on Friday night.
The Springbok winger will come off the bench at King's Park simply because of a delayed Covid-19 test result, which was out of his control.
"Unfortunately, he didn't train at the start of the week due to him receiving his test late, through no fault of his own. The sooner he gets back into the starting line-up will be great for us," said Sean Everitt, the Sharks' head coach.
Yet at the same time it's also hardly a bad thing having the 24-year-old as a proverbial banker for later on in the game.
It was Nkosi who played an instrumental role in the Sharks snatching a victory from the jaws of defeat against gutsy Griquas two weeks ago.
The overall expectation is that the Durbanites won't make such heavy weather of gaining a result against the Pumas, but results from Super Rugby Unlocked certainly suggest the so-called smaller franchises are punching above their weight.
"He did a wonderful job in Kimberley for us," said Everitt.
"He came off the bench and effectively won the game for us with a great take out of the air from the final kick-off of the game. His overall contribution was massive."
It's not out of the realms of possibility Nkosi could be required to conjure up similar heroic deeds.
And if that sounds a bit melodramatic, Everitt cautions it's not.
"The Pumas ran the Bulls close last weekend. The reason I say 'close' is that the Pumas managed to keep the scoreless while scoring a try themselves. They actually did really well," he said.
"There are no easy games in this competition, like we experienced firsthand in Kimberley. It's important for us to get log points, there are only six games left.
"We are performance based and we want to win trophies, but we have to focus on the job at hand. Saying that, a home game against the Pumas is an opportunity for the team to perform at their optimum. There's been no travel this week. Hopefully, we can get five points."
Kick-off is at 19:00.
15 Manie Libbok, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Thembelani Bholi, 7 JJ van der Mescht, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Zain Davids, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Werner Kok, 23 S'bu Nkosi
15 Devon Williams, 14 Morne Joubert, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Theo Boshoff, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Francois Kleinhans, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter Janse van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsberg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 HP van Schoor, 1 Liam Hendriks
Substitutes: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Wikus Groenewald, 18 Brandon Valentyn, 19 Heath Backhouse, 20 Chriswill September, 21 Wayne van der Bank, 22 Tapiwa Mafura, 23 Dewald Maritz