Stormers can't give Notshe any space at the Shark Tank, says Dobson
The Stormers can't give Sharks loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe any space when they meet at the Shark Tank on Saturday.
So says Stormers head coach John Dobson, and he would know all about what the skillful loosie can do with space.
The 26-year-old spent six years with the Stormers before joining the Sharks - a team in which he really seems to be flourishing given their style of play and the opportunities he's got.
"Notshe is a really, really good friend of mine. When he wanted to leave he came to my house and we had a long chat," Dobson said.
"It's so weird watching him score against the Jaguares and then you go 'yes!', and then you realise we're playing him next week.
"It's going to be really conflicting because I've really wanted that guy to break through for a long time. I'm really pleased for him, I just hope it doesn't go too well this Saturday," Dobson quipped.
Dobson also explained why they let Notshe - whose promise has been more than evident over the years - go.
"It's emotional seeing the way he's playing now, but last year we had to sit down and trim from 70-odd players to 45. He's a really good friend of mine, and I say that sincerely, he's a house friend of him, but he was a five or six cap Springbok and to play for the Springboks you need to be starting Super Rugby. With Siya and Trokkie and Jaco Coetzee, could I guarantee him a place in the starting lineup for the Stormers...it would be irresponsible to promise that, " he said.
"So I told him we'd love to keep him and we made him an offer, but he had to look at the reality of game time. I think the turnover style of game the Sharks are playing and the space..it suits him.
"It's easy to say I regret it now, but it was the right decision at the time for Notshe."
While he's a handful, Notshe is far from the only Sharks man the Stormers would have to watch out for this weekend.
The threat of their backline, the back three in particular, has already been pointed out by defence coach Norman Laker earlier this week.
Still, shutting Notshe down is one thing the Stormers will surely be focused on.
"It's hard to shut Notshe down in space, and that's one disappointing thing, the fact that we didn't create those opportunities for him.
"He can also do the hard yards, so I do think the guys will be keeping an eye on him. We can't give him the kind of space he's been enjoying the last few weeks."