Sharks wing Sbu Nkosi has made it clear that his side will not allow the magnitude of Saturday’s Currie Cup final to get the better of them.
The Sharks will meet the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria, having beaten Western Province in the playoffs. After a turgid semi-final at Newlands, Nkosi stressed that the Sharks would remain adaptable against the Bulls.
‘We want to play the game and not the occasion, if the game allows us to find space with ball in hand then that’s what we need to do. If the game only allows us to find space in the air and in behind the Bulls, then that’s the route we will take.’
Nkosi, renowned for his game-breaking abilities on attack, wants to impose himself on the final yet keep it simple on Saturday.
‘You still need to stamp your mark, you just need to do it differently. In a game that is tight and everyone is on point, you don’t necessarily need to make magic every time you get the ball – a game like that requires you to have all your fundamentals in place.
‘As you know semi-finals and finals are won by whoever makes the least mistakes in the important areas of the game. In playoffs, I’m more concerned about my fundamentals than my X factor.’
Quick to dismiss the Sharks’ underdogs tag, Nkosi also hinted at a cagey contest at Loftus.
‘We don’t focus on the underdog tag and I’m sure that having world-class players and coaches in our team will mean the Bulls give us all the respect that we deserve, because they know we are giving them all the respect that they deserve in our preparation.’
Meanwhile, Nkosi highlighted the importance of the form that flyhalf Curwin Bosch has found in front of the posts.
‘I can see the sparkle in his eyes, he’s on fire right now. Everything he puts his boot to seems to work out. We’re looking to give him opportunities to have a crack at goal because right now he’s scoring everything that he’s hitting.’
Nkosi will likely line up against two rising stars on the wings for the Bulls.
Kurt-Lee Arndse and Stravino Jacobs have recently announced themselves on the domestic scene but, as an established Springbok, Nkosi feels he may have an edge.
‘They’re both great players but we all have a lot to learn and I’m a bit further down the journey than they are and there are a couple of things that I’ve picked up that they are yet to pick up. But I’ll pay them the respect they deserve and play my own game as if I were playing against the best winger in the world.’
Asked how much a Currie Cup victory would mean to the men from Durban after a tumultuous year, Nkosi was unequivocal in his reply.
‘Obviously, to win the trophy would mean a lot of gratification after all the trials and tribulations we have been through. We need to make sure all the sacrifices we have made are justified on Saturday.’