Sanele Nohamba in the mix to start against Highlanders, says Sharks coach
Scrumhalf dazzled for the Durbanites in a grandstand finish against the Bulls
Sharks coach Sean Everitt may resist the temptation to start with Sanele Nohamba at scrumhalf ahead of the experienced Louis Schreuder for Friday’s Super Rugby date with the Highlanders in Dunedin.
While Schreuder was the sure and steady starter in a tricky first half for the hosts when they saw off the Bulls 23-15 last Friday‚ Nohamba dazzled for the Sharks in a grandstand finish. Nohamba scored the match-winning try that snapped a nine-match losing streak against the Bulls.
“We haven’t announced the team yet‚ but he’s definitely in consideration to start. I believe in having continuity in the team. I know that Sanele’s played very well and had a very good Currie Cup‚ but that is something we are discussing‚” Everitt said.
While the Bulls’ structured approach played into the hands of the Sharks‚ the Highlanders are uncoordinated and chaotic.
The Sharks though have tended to live well with this type of New Zealand rugby. At times‚ they’ve been successful against it‚ but generally in the middle of the season when they’ve hit their straps, which they are far from doing. It makes Friday’s fixture a tricky one.
A distinct advantage the Sharks do have is a settled and solid pack‚ not that it serves as a deterrent in New Zealand as some of those franchises somehow find a way to get around strong SA packs.
Everitt knows his team will need a better kicking game‚ but the forwards will have to front up quickly.
“We struggled against the Bulls in the set piece in the first half but we seemed to sort out our issues at halftime. I was happy that the team was able to adapt and learn fast. If we can nullify the Highlanders’ set piece‚ we’ll be in for an easier day defensively‚” Everitt said.
“The Highlanders and Bulls are two different teams. Both teams went into the game on Friday with a kicking plan. The Bulls wanted to kick‚ but we also wanted to take advantage of their poor kick and at times we didn’t take advantage of that‚” Everitt said.
The Sharks tend to have a level of touring competence that’s beyond most SA teams in New Zealand.
While they do not always win‚ they play very well. In 2019 they forced a draw against the Crusaders while a tactical brain explosion from former coach Robert du Preez gave the Chiefs an undeserved 29-23 win.
In 2018‚ the Sharks sleepwalked their way to two defeats in Australia but found their voice with a 63-40 win against the Blues. They were then robbed by a last-minute try the next week against the Hurricanes in Napier.
Everitt has seen how good touring has been for this team and hopes it will continue in that way.
“It’s a case of continuing from the past and taking confidence from what has taken place in the past. We tend to tour well because we’re a good bunch of people and the guys enjoy being together as a group‚” Everitt said. “It also gives us time to prepare nicely‚ spend time together and build a bit of gees.”