DURBAN – New kid on the Sharks block Sanele Nohamba will go far if he continues with his current appetite to learn, reckons the elder statesman of Jonsson Kings Park Lwazi Mvovo.
Once upon a time, Mvovo was in those young boots when he joined the Sharks Academy as a teenager from the Eastern Cape, and after 205 games for the Sharks (Super Rugby and Currie Cup) the 33-year-old knows what he is talking about.
“Sanele was at DHS (Durban High School) two years ago and last year was the Sharks Under-19s Player of the year (in a team that swept all before them), so the talent is obviously there,” Mvovo said yesterday after Sharks training ahead of Sunday’s Currie Cup match against the Golden Lions.
“But talent can only take a youngster so far. Those who go further have the right attitude and an openness to learning, and Sanele has that,” Mvovo said.
“He has a mature head on his shoulders. It showed last week when he got the man-of-the-match award against the (Free State) Cheetahs by playing within the team structures but also expressing himself, which is very important because you want the talent to come through.”
Mvovo also highlighted Nohamba’s intelligent reading of the game and his quickness on his feet to get into position once he has anticipated the play.
“But Sanele is not the only youngster coming through,” Mvovo added. “Coach Sean (Everitt) has brought in a number of those Under-19 guys and their desire to express themselves has added a lot of energy to the squad. These guys are very eager they want to play in a Currie Cup final.”
If there is to be a chance of that happening, the Sharks will have to beat the Lions on Sunday as well as the Blue Bulls at Loftus the following weekend if they are to force themselves into the semi-finals.
“Sunday will be a very tough assignment in Jo’burg, the Lions are never easy,” Mvovo warned. “They are on top of the table and don’t like losing at Ellis Park, so they will be smarting from losing at home to the Bulls last week.”
The veteran also pointed out the inevitable needle that is part of games between these two teams.
“It goes back to when the Sharks secured a bunch of Lions players like Louis Ludik and Willem Alberts So it is always a battle when you go there. There is no love lost and every player on the field goes out to compete very hard,” Mvovo said.
“We love playing them and at Ellis Park and earlier this year we came away with a nice win in Super Rugby. They won’t want that twice in a year, so they will be waiting for us.”@MikeGreenaway67