Sharks assistant coach JP Pietersen said Sanele Nohamba has an opportunity to reclaim the main halfback berth at the Sharks with more consistent performances.
Sharks Currie Cup assistant coach JP Pietersen said halfback Sanele Nohamba’s start against the Pumas when the sides meet on Friday in Mbombela is an opportunity for him to re-establish himself in the franchise’s pecking order.
After his breakout 2020 that also saw him shine at the Springbok Showdown at Newlands in September 2020, Nohamba has been overtaken by teammates Jaden Hendrikse and Grant Williams.
Hendrikse is already a capped Bok while Williams has hovered around the squad when the Boks had a mini-injury crisis at scrumhalf.
Pietersen, who was capped 70 times by the Springboks between 2006 and 2016, said there weren’t major changes to Nohamba’s game, but the game time will give him a fighting chance.
“He’s been training well, but what will motivate Nohamba is that he was the number one scrumhalf and that’s the biggest motivational factor for him,” Pietersen said.
“He knows he can be number one again and he’s now got a massive opportunity to showcase what he can do.
“There’s nothing major that has changed. It’s the consistency and when you’re lacking game time, that’s what happens.
“He’s got a good opportunity to showcase what he can do.”
The Sharks’ trip to Mpumalanga will be their first Currie Cup game since 19 February when they beat the Lions in Johannesburg.
Pietersen, who said the Pumas remain a tough prospect despite only winning one of their four matches this season, added that they’ve been managing their gaps very well.
The United Rugby Championship that now has pride of place in the South African rugby calendar means Currie Cup games at times can serve as warm-up matches.
“We’re managing the gaps well and it also gives the team time to have regular recoveries from injuries,” Pietersen said.
“It does test the group, but one needs to remember that we’re also in the URC, but the break also gives club players to train with the Currie Cup and see what they offer.”
15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Sebastian de Klerk, 13 Alwayno Visagie, 12 Eddie Fouche, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Lucky Dlepu, 8 Willie Engelbrecht (captain), 7 Anele Lungisa, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Shane Kirkwood, 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Simon Raw, 2 Corne Fourie, 1 Ruan Kramer
Substitutes: 16 Llewellyn Classen, 17 Dewald Maritz, 18 Ig Prinsloo, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Phumzile Maqondwana, 21 Chriswill September, 22 Devon Williams, 23 Ali Mgijima
15 Inny Radebe, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Murray Koster, 11 Marnus Potgieter, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Celimpilo Gumede, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 James Venter (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Dian Bleuler
Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 OJ Noa, 21 Bradley davids, 22 Jordan Chait, 23 Curwin Gertse