Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi is enjoying great form in this year’s Super Rugby campaign and aligns his own development with that of the team, to perform well and to do so consistently.
“I’m very happy with my performances from last year continuing into this year,” said Fassi in an interview with the Sharks website.
“My key is always to be consistent in all that I do and with the help of the coaching staff and my team-mates, I’ve enjoyed my form.”
He’s put together some amazing runs and scored some fantastic tries which he says he puts down to backing himself and having self-belief to go all the way.
Obviously as a young player he understands that his form comes off a platform of learning and making progress in his game and is committed to be the best player he can be.
“What I’ve done with coach Sean (Everitt) and the coaches going into this campaign is working on my kicking game and on my defence as well.
“Pat Lambie plays a big role in my kicking as well, we’ve worked on a few things and I think that performance-wise, his work with me is showing results.”
Asked if he believes the Sharks are title contenders, given the great form the side has shown to date to climb to the top of the table, he points out that this kind of answer needs more time.
“I think it’s too early to say,” he responds. “In Super Rugby, things can change in a heartbeat, but for a performance-driven side like ours, the performances we have put in and the things we’ve rectified and improved should ensure that we do go far in the competition.”
With five wins from six, it appears the side is doing a lot right, he argues that it’s more than just getting the victories.
“Obviously everyone wants to get the results, but as a performance-driven side that focuses on work rate, putting in the hard yards and everyone backing each other, from players to coaching staff, I think that’s more important in our success.”
Besides the catchphrase ‘performance-driven’, the Sharks have also been emphatic about producing consistency. Following up one good performance and a win with a loss the next week seems to have been eradicated from the team’s DNA and that only bodes well for the remaining 12 matches of the pool stages.
“Being consistent in our performances is one thing we want to achieve,” he explains. “That has a big role to play in earning a home quarterfinal and beyond.”
After a tough intra-conference match against the Jaguares in Durban last week, Kings Park plays host to fellow South African side the Stormers on Saturday in what is sure to be a massive clash between old foes.
“SA derbies are always hectic, we saw that even on Super Hero Sunday” he says. “The boys are keen for the game and you can see that energy on the training ground.
“Jetlag is a thing of the past and the boys are feeling fresh again. There was some fatigue in the last 20 minutes of the game against the Jaguares, but the boys are ready for the Stormers.”