DURBAN - Sbu Nkosi is wonderfully robust in the No 14 jersey of the Sharks and the Springboks and off the field he is no shrinking violet either. After Sharks training yesterday, it was put to him that Western Province are favourites to win Saturday’s Currie Cup final at Newlands, did he agree?
“Of course not! Of course not! I disagree,” Nkosi exclaimed indignantly. And what does he base that on? “I am a Sharks player. I don’t need to say any more. I want to win the Currie Cup final and that is that.”
No fine. That is as subtle as one of his barnstorming runs, like the one that saw Elton Jantjies flying backwards when he got in Nkosi’s way in the semi-final last Saturday. The 22-year-old was enjoying starting for the Sharks after a long layoff for a foot injury incurred towards the end of Super Rugby followed by a period of inactivity with the Boks.
“It was a privilege to be part of the Bok camp in the Rugby Championship even though I did not play, I loved it as much as the guys that did,” he said. “However, it is also great to be on a rugby field, especially for my union. I love playing for the Sharks. And giving Kings Park a good performance on Saturday was an even bigger honour for me. I did sleep with a smile on my face on Saturday night.”
Now it is finals week and Nkosi says the Sharks are raring to go: “The atmosphere here is good all of the time, and it is electric now. We have quite a brotherhood vibe going on. There is nothing too different, just the fact that we are playing the last game of the season, and it happens to be a final. The energy levels are higher, but it is not vastly different.”
Nkosi was asked if the Sharks were taking anything out of last year’s Currie Cup final, which was a major failure for them. Again, he was dismissive in his retort. “It is a different year, a different final. There is no need to talk about last year’s final, there is nothing in that for us,” Nkosi said.
And does the Sharks’ 50-27 defeat at Newlands last month have any relevance? “We are a in a different space now to when we played WP last time. We have got comfortable with the shape that we are playing, we have got better at decision-making especially regarding ball in hand,” Nkosi said.
“But it is now a Currie Cup final and they are exceptionally tough. Space is very tight, it is hard to find out wide. So with that in mind, I will be doing everything in my power to make sure that Cup flies back to Durban with us on Sunday.”