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Ken Borland

Kolisi has key role ensuring attack & defence work together at optimum level with Sharks nearing complete game

Posted on January 04, 2023 by Ken

With the Sharks nearing the complete game of rugby in the second half of their United Rugby Championship match against the Glasgow Warriors last weekend, flank Siya Kolisi obviously has a key role to play in ensuring both attack and defence are working together at optimum level.

The Springbok captain was typically industrious in playing his role in a “bomb squad” that brought tremendous intensity and turned a one-point lead after 50 minutes into an overwhelming 40-12 win. Kolisi was his usual physical presence in defence at close quarters, attended plenty of rucks and also popped up on attack, providing valuable continuity and offloads.

It was the sort of all-round display that showcased his hybird loose forward abilities very well, and Kolisi feels his role in the Sharks loose trio is pretty much the same as with the Springboks.

“I think we have a similar game-plan, and our shape is definitely very similar, but we get the opportunity to run the ball a bit more at the Sharks,” Kolisi said.

“Coming off the bench, I was able to get stuck in and we played more of an offload game, which was really enjoyable for me. They also expect me to look after the breakdown and it was a fast game with a bit more ball-in-hand.

“But the Sharks are similar to the Springboks in that we also choose carefully which areas we want to play in. When we came on there was still a lot to do, and we were able to bring some energy and the physicality that is always needed.

“For me it was just exciting to be back after a week off and a week of integration, and I just wanted to try add value,” Kolisi said.

The 31-year-old also loved being on the field again with his mates like Eben Etzebeth, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche, Makazole Mapimpi and Thomas du Toit. When that bunch of Springbok giants looks around at each other, it must do wonders for their confidence to know the level of support that is around them.

“They’re all experienced guys and they stood up on the weekend. We make sure that we back each other and there’s going to be no place to hide on Saturday against Ulster, we know it’s going to be decided up front,” Kolisi said.

“Ulster have good backs too, but we know we need to stand up and set it up up front first.”

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