Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was all smiles after his first outing back from injury, and his first game in a Sharks jersey, ended in a convincing victory over the Vodacom Bulls.
The men from Durban overcame tricky conditions and a spirited young Bulls side to register a dominant 45-12 victory. Kolisi, who started the match at openside in his first appearance for the Sharks, had an industrious outing and, though far from perfect, there were positive signs for the man returning from injury.
‘Body’s good. I’m really happy that I came off with no injuries. I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to play and enjoy myself, and put a smile on my face. So it was really good, but obviously there’s still a lot of hard work to do.’
Kolisi punctuated his performance by finishing a well-worked try for the Sharks. He’ll be pleased to have crossed the whitewash and has credited the Sharks’ players and management for making it easy for him to settle in.
‘It’s been really good [settling at the Sharks]. What I have enjoyed the most is that they just said, “No pressure, just play rugby. We want you to be happy and enjoy yourself”. And that’s exactly what I’m doing.
‘There are a lot of guys who are leaders in the team, and if anybody needs help from me, then I’m there. But the most important thing is to make sure that I’m playing well, and that’s what the guys have told me.’
Kolisi played only 50 minutes against the Bulls as he continues to find match fitness. Coach Sean Everitt admitted it was longer than he had initially expected him to play but that his hand had been forced by an injury to eighthman Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
With confirmation of the Rainbow Cup coming earlier this week, Kolisi will be targeting this competition to find form and fitness in time for the B&I Lions series in July.