All eyes on Siya Kolisi but Boeta Chamberlain will be in the spotlight
CAPE TOWN - While the spotlight is likely to be on Siya Kolisi’s debut for the Sharks against the Bulls today, the performance of Boeta Chamberlain at flyhalf could be of greater interest to coach Sean Everitt.
That is because first-choice No 10 Curwin Bosch picked up a thumb injury in training on Wednesday, and Everitt said that scans would be done later yesterday.
He admitted that “we don’t know right now” how bad Bosch’s situation is. Everitt will hope his twocap Springbok pivot is not ruled out for a lengthy period, as the Rainbow Cup is set to start on April 17.
Chamberlain ran the backline well in last week’s 43-40 try-fest defeat to the Lions at Ellis Park, but with rain predicted for Durban on match-day, he could face a stiffer test with regards to managing the game for the Sharks.
He will also be up against veteran Morne Steyn, who was outstanding for the Bulls last season and will be aiming to continue his push for a Bok return in the British & Irish Lions series.
“We did give the players a little bit more freedom, but if you want to win rugby games, you’ve got to have a blend, and a perfect mix between attack, defence and a kicking game,” Everitt said about the Lions match.
“I think maybe we overdid it a little bit against the Lions.
“We will look at better decisionmaking from our game managers (against the Bulls) – I’m not saying we are going to be conservative, but we need to be a little bit more streetwise in areas where we are under the pump, and when we exit, which we struggled with a few times last week.”
That maybe part of the reason why Jaden Hendrikse has been recalled at scrumhalf for Sanele Nohamba – to take some of the kicking pressure off Chamberlain – while Marius Louw will also add his experience at inside centre.
Another interesting choice from Everitt was Anthony Volmink at fullback, who the Sharks coach feels is a “very similar” player to regular No 15 Aphelele Fassi, who will play off the bench after being involved in the three previous preparation games.
But it will be a big day for Kolisi, who has been training hard on his fitness over the past few weeks.
“Siya had a full week of training last week and another this week with the team, and he has come on really well, so he deserves a start and an opportunity to show us what he can do in the black and white,” Everitt said.
“James Venter is unfortunately out injured, and Dylan Richardson is not well at this stage, so Siya gets a start in the No 6 jersey. He will be fulfilling a different type of No 6 role than he did at Western Province, so we are hoping that he can come through well and do a good job for us as a six.”
SHARKS Starting XV:
15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (capt), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha 1 Ox Nche Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Rynhardt Jonker, 23 Aphelele Fassi