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Sharks youngsters can learn from Eben Etzebeth and become better players, says Etienne Fynn

Eben Etzebeth will bring a wealth of experience for the younger players at the Sharks. Photo: Mark Lewis/Huw Evans/Shutterstock via BackpagePix

Eben Etzebeth will bring a wealth of experience for the younger players at the Sharks. Photo: Mark Lewis/Huw Evans/Shutterstock via BackpagePix

Published Feb 20, 2022

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Durban - Sharks Currie Cup coach Etienne Fynn says the arrival of global superstar Eben Etzebeth at the Sharks will provide a massive opportunity for growth for the youngsters at the Shark Tank.

Fynn, speaking after his team had made it three wins in a row by beating the Lions 45-31 at Emirates Airline Park, says young players are like sponges around the six World Cup winners the Sharks already boast, and a figure as respected as last year’s World Player of the Year nominee in Etzebeth will add renewed excitement in the ranks.

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Etzebeth will be joining World Cup stars Siya Kolisi, Bongi Mbonambi, Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am and Thomas du Toit at the Shark Tank when he finishes up with French club Toulon later this year.

“Eben is a world-respected World Cup-winning Bok who has played senior rugby for well over a decade and the younger players at the Sharks can only learn from him and become better rugby players, so it is a massive opportunity for them and especially for the young locks.

ALSO READ: I can see things are happening over there, says Eben Etzebeth after agreeing deal to join Sharks

“These seasoned Springboks of ours bring a huge amount of detailed focus in preparation,” added Fynn, who himself is a former Bok. “Young players soak up so much whether it is about studying the opposition or their own personal preparation. It is a great opportunity for them.”

Fynn’s Currie Cup team played some excellent rugby at stages of their bonus-point win over the Lions but also made life difficult for themselves at times, including giving away three yellow cards in the second half, which gave the Lions the opportunity to score five tries.

“The yellow cards are controllable and we will address it,” he said. “When we did get it right we played some really constructive and attractive rugby. Going forward... when we stuck to our game plan and our structure we really executed well. We have a good squad and good decision-makers and must back that.

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“Also, when you are in the stands, you have a picture as a coach or observer but the players on the field get a tangible feel of what is going on — they will know what will work and what won’t and it is then up to them to nail and consistently expose the weaknesses in the opposition. It must be a case of not straying away from what works and sticking with what does.”

Incidentally, the SuperSport scorers got the score of the game wrong. They did not add one of the Sharks’ successful conversions and had the final score was 43-31 when it was in fact 45-31.

@MikeGreenaway67

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