The role Siya and Eben played in Sharks coaching transition
REACTION: Senior Springboks Siyamthanda Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth played a significant role in helping the Sharks through their tumultuous coaching revamp at Kings Park this week.
This past Monday Sharks Chief Executive Officer Eduard Coetzee dropped the bombshell: ‘Sean Everitt stepped down as coach with immediate effect.’
Everitt’s axing followed last week’s 0-35 whitewash by Cardiff in the Shark Tank.
Director of Rugby Neil Powell, who only started his new role in Durban in October, will now also take on the coaching reins for the remainder of the United Rugby Championship and the team’s first foray into the European Cup.
Powell, in his new dual role, on Thursday fronted up to the media for the first time since Monday’s shocker – hoping to discuss the Round Nine encounter with Ospreys at Kings Park on Friday.
After an emollient media release, littered with the usual platitudes, the Sharks made the anticipated attempt to direct questions away from the polemical coaching issue during a team announcement media briefing.
However, the media was having none of it and after some fractious exchanges with the media scrum, Powell relented and revealed that Kolisi and Etzebeth played a significant role in ‘preparing’ the team this week.
Neither will feature this week – Etzebeth being ‘rested’ after a particularly busy year, while Kolisi has been sidelined by an undisclosed injury.
Powell described the loss to Cardiff as “painful and disappointing”.
“We realised we were not good enough and there were consequences because of that,” Powell said.
“It was a different week,” the Director of Rugby said, adding: “A lot has been said this week.
“It is time to put those words into action. We can speak as much as we like, but we have to act.”
He said Kolisi and Etzebeth were both great to help ‘action’ those words.
“To have those Boks back was really good to help refocus us,” Powell said.
“We spoke a lot about what happened, how we see the next week and how the focus needs to be shifted.
“It is obviously not easy, but it was important for us to get together as a squad of 50 and talk about what happened at the weekend.”