CAPE TOWN – Ahead of their opening Rainbow Cup SA match against the Sharks at Cape Town Stadium at the weekend, Stormers hooker Scarra Ntubeni avoided his former teammate, Siya Kolisi, because he “just wanted to stay focused on the game”.
Ahead of the coastal clash, Kolisi was one of the main talking points as the fixture marked the first time the Springbok captain ran out against his former team since moving to the Sharks earlier this year.
Despite how it sounds, Ntubeni’s reasons for wanting to stay away from his good mate was because of exactly that – their friendship and the distracting banter that would certainly have taken place had they communicated before kick-off.
“I tried to stay away from him, especially before the game, because I just wanted to stay focused on the game,” Ntubeni said with a smile during a virtual press conference.
“There was obviously banter afterwards when we met in the changing room and after the game, but there are no mates on the field and he knows that as well and we don’t even think of that. But it was really good to see him and to see him happy.”
The Stormers will face the Bulls at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday in their second Rainbow Cup SA game after narrowly losing out to the Sharks last weekend and, shifting his focus to their next challenge, the Springbok hooker said that they’re eager to remedy one of the biggest issues they’ve experienced until now.
“I’m looking forward to playing against quality opposition this week and it’s a good opportunity for us. We still haven’t performed to our potential and we’re losing games by three or five points, so I think it’s time for us to get that killer instinct.
“We haven’t played for a full 80 minutes, we have played well but we also tend to lapse towards the end of the first or second half, and that was quite a big message at half time during the Sharks game. But again, we weren’t able to execute.
“We, as senior players, need to take more responsibility in that regard, it’s inexcusable. We are well-coached and we have an idea of all the scenarios we could get on the field, so it’s up to us to adapt to that. It’s definitely something we’re working on, we had some long chats on Monday as well. We’re definitely going to fix that’s this weekend.”