Captain Siya Kolisi had a clear and simple message for his Western Province team ahead of Saturday’s Currie Cup semifinal against the Sharks at Newlands – “Just do your job”.
This coastal derby has produced some interesting results in recent years and it has regularly been the visitors who have come out on top. It is something that has not been lost on Kolisi and he’s fully aware there are a number of threats in the Sharks team ahead of the game.
But despite this and the fact Province haven’t played a game in three weeks and Kolisi himself has only just returned from a bout of Covid isolation, the captain said his players were raring to go.
“The team knows what needs to be done,” said Kolisi.
“The message is clear – if you are unsure, just do your job, and everything else will fall into place,” he said.
Kolisi said it would be “tough” not having any fans inside Newlands stadium.
“It has been tough not seeing the fans there, but we still know they expect us to deliver. It’s been a long time since we were able to give them something to smile about,” he said.
Kolisi added the prospect of the match possibly being the team’s last outing at Newlands had brought on added responsibility.
The team will also have to make do without the experienced prop Steven Kitshoff – a real presence in so many areas of the game – but Kolisi said a team was made up of many individuals who all contributed.
“Steven will be missed, he is great at the breakdown, but we have several capable guys,” said the captain who’ll have equally experienced campaigners like prop Frans Malherbe and hooker Bongi Mbonambi leading the way up-front.
“I think every guy who has played in a big playoff game will play their part, like lock Chris van Zyl, who has lifted the Currie Cup as captain,” he said.