Sharks coach Everitt: Siya Kolisi is primed for Stormers showdown

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Siya Kolisi during a Sharks training session at Kings Park on 24 March 2021. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
Siya Kolisi during a Sharks training session at Kings Park on 24 March 2021. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
  • Sharks coach Sean Everitt said Springbok captain Siya Kolisi will be primed for whatever the Stormers throw at him when they meet in the Rainbow Cup on Saturday at the Cape Town Stadium.
  • The game will Kolisi's first competitive outing for the Sharks.
  • It will also be Everitt's first visit to the Cape Town Stadium.

Sharks coach Sean Everitt said Springbok captain Siya Kolisi is ready and waiting for the challenge that'll be thrown to him by his former Stormers teammates when they meet in the Rainbow Cup SA at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

The trip to the 2010 World Cup stadium will Kolisi's first competitive outing for the Sharks after coming through nicely in the preparation series.

Kolisi will be partnered in the back row by former Stormers teammate Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Henco Venter.

Everitt said Kolisi has shrugged off his cobwebs and is ready to make a serious impression in the black and white.

"When Siya arrived at the Sharks, he was under a lot of pressure and he's stood up to it. He's trained extremely hard," Everitt said.

"You will have seen in the Bulls game that he made some telling contributions that show he has made the step up. Our training was slightly different to what he's used to at the Stormers.

"From a conditioning perspective, he's made vast improvements, so we're happy with where he is now. His involvements in our system are a lot more as compared to what he did at Western Province."

John Dobson hasn't publicly released his match-day 23, but what is guaranteed with his team is a pack with power and endeavour.

Everitt has two Springbok props in Retshegofaditswe "Ox" Nche and Thomas du Toit in his front row and he is expecting a lot from them.

"With their pack at full strength, the challenge will come at scrum and lineout time. But in the last time we played them, the try that won us the game was from a turnover scrum against them," Everitt said.

"With Ox and Thomas in the Springbok fold, along with Fez Mbatha, who must be knocking on the door, it's a formula we'll try to grow on its own."

The Stormers are also expected to field dynamic loose-forward Pieter-Steph du Toit, making the back-row battle probably the most exciting element of the game.

"We've also got a dynamic loose trio with Siya, Notshe, and Henco Venter and they bring a lot of experience. I know Pieter-Steph will be playing flank for them, so it's going to be an equal battle to begin with," Everitt said.

Saturday's game will be the Sharks' first at the Cape Town Stadium. They were the last team to win at Newlands when they beat Western Province in the Currie Cup semi-finals.

Everitt is looking forward to his first Cape Town Stadium experience, even though it'll be without fans.

"I've never been inside the stadium. I've never even been there for the Sevens tournament and the only guy with a bit of experience is a guy like Werner Kok because of Sevens rugby," Everitt said.

"It is a new experience for us but our players enjoy being in a new environment. It's one of the reasons why we tour so well. We'd like to put our marker down at the Cape Town Stadium like we did at Newlands."

Teams:

Stormers

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain)

Substitutes (from): 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Evan Roos, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Abner van Reenen, 23 Dan du Plessis, 24 David Meihuizen, 25 Marcel Theunissen, 26 Leolin Zas

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Werner Kok

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