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Ken Borland

Notshe has the x-factor gene, but his focus is on the basics

Posted on April 25, 2022 by Ken

Sharks eighthman Sikhumbuzo Notshe certainly has the x-factor gene in abundance, but he says his focus is on the basics as he continues his comeback from serious injury. It is an attitude the profligate Sharks team in general would probably benefit from after their embarrassing lack of finishing cost them against Edinburgh last weekend.

Notshe ruptured his patella last May and only returned to action at the beginning of February. Starting in the Currie Cup, his form has been good enough to see him reinstalled as the Sharks’ first-choice eighthman in the United Rugby Championship side.

“There are always a lot of extras one can focus on in rugby and I know I’ve got x-factor,” Notshe said on Tuesday. “But that’s not my focus going into games.

“I just try and get into as many battles as I can, make as many tackles as I can, make sure I set the maul properly if that’s my job.

“I just try and do the industrial work first, my other abilities will come naturally. In terms of my best, I’m not there yet and I am still working hard.

“The road to recovery was tough, but I had the best rehab and support I could get here at the Sharks in Dean Macquet [head physio] and Jimmy Wright [head biokineticist]. But it was a helluva road,” Notshe said.

In terms of fixing the disgraceful finishing shown in their last match, when they spent much of the game in the Edinburgh 22 but could only score one try, Notshe said you needed to look at individual errors, which can only be fixed on the training field.

“Our conversion rate in the 22 has not been great, we know how to get there but we just can’t finish off our opportunities.

“It comes down to individual errors and we need to clean up our own personal games. You can only do that through time in the saddle, on the training pitch. We need to put ourselves in those situations over and over again.

“And you can never make the weather an excuse. We’re playing at home, in front of our people, so we must always have energy. We can control that but we can’t control the weather.

“We don’t want to be a side that makes excuses and you can’t wait for a sunny day in Durban. We must always express ourselves,” Notshe said.

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