Siya Kolisi on Sharks debut: Grateful to play and enjoy myself
CAPE TOWN - Siya Kolisi said making his Sharks debut put a “smile on my face” in Friday night’s 45-12 walloping of the Bulls at Kings Park.
The Springbok captain put himself about in his first match in the black jersey, and topped off a busy performance with a try as well.
He did miss a few tackles, but overall, he was pleased with his display. “Body’s good. I’m really happy that I came off with no injuries. I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to play and enjoy myself, and put a smile on my face. So, it was really good, but obviously there is still a lot of hard work to do,” Kolisi told SuperSport in a post-match TV interview.
“It’s been really good (in terms of settling in at the Sharks). What I have enjoyed the most is that they just said no pressure. Just play rugby. We want you to be happy and enjoy yourself. And that’s exactly what I’m doing.
“There are a lot of guys who are leaders in the team, and if anybody needs help from me, then I’m there. But the most important thing is to make sure that I’m playing well, and that’s what the guys have told me.”
Coach Sean Everitt also expressed his satisfaction with the No 6, who came off after 50 minutes.
“Ja, I think the tackles that he missed were more a… it was a system error rather than an individual error,” he said.
“But we are very happy with Siya. His role at number six at Western Province was slightly different to what he has here. The six role here at the Sharks, your work-rate has got to be up there; you’re playing a little bit more closer to the ball.
“So, he’s adjusting, and I thought he did exceptionally well for the first 40. And he was supposed to play the first 40 and then come off. But unfortunately, (Sikhumbuzo) Notshe got a better hamstring injury and had to leave the field early.
“So, we had to push him (Kolisi) a little bit long. But he’s a fantastic rugby player Siya, and we’re happy with his contributions tonight.”
The Sharks played a free-flowing game in the first half despite the wet conditions as they looked to keep the ball alive in contact and stretch the Bulls defence, which resulted in five tries in 25 minutes.
FULL TIME:— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) March 26, 2021
The @cellc Sharks were at full value for their 7 tries to 2 victory over @BlueBullsRugby at JONSSON King's Park, with an adventurous game that flew in the face of the conditions blowing the visitors away. #OurSharksForever #SHAvBUL #FrontlineFighters pic.twitter.com/RjN9goo8gP
Kolisi feels that they can replicate that style in the upcoming Rainbow Cup.
“We knew it was going to be wet today, but nothing was changed. All we said was just keep our feet, get the ball early, and I think we did that well – especially in that first half. And also tempo – we are not going to change how we want to play, and we will take that to the Rainbow Cup,” the 29-year-old said.
“Obviously we will adjust to the conditions and everything else, but the way we are playing is exactly what we are going to take to the Rainbow Cup.”
The Sharks’ first match in that tournament will be on April 24 against the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium.