Sharks Coaches, Kolbe receive awards in Premier Division
(left to right): Absa Currie Cup Player of the Month Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province), Batandwa Ntlabati (Marketing Manager KZN Absa Group Marketing & Communications) and Trevor Barnes (Sharks Team Manager)
The Sharks coaching team and Western Province utility back Cheslin Kolbe were on Thursday named as the respective Absa Currie Cup Coach and Player of the Month for August.
The announcements were made during the Sharks’ team announcement in Durban.
Brad Macleod-Henderson, Sean Everett and director of rugby Brendan Venter have proven to be a powerful management team, judged by the side’s second place on the log at the halfway mark.
They have demonstrated what Absa calls the Human Spirit, by embracing the challenge of starting their campaign as a new coaching unit. The trio received an overwhelming vote, with Western Province coach Allister Coetzee also a worthy nominee with his team occupying first place on the Absa Currie Cup table. Western Province has been consistent performers so far winning three of their five matches and drawing two.
The fleet-footed Kolbe has been a revelation in his debut in the Absa Currie Cup with his mesmerising runs. The 19-year-old’s transition from the junior provincial ranks to senior rugby has been seamless with Kolbe playing a pivotal role in his side’s first place on the points table.
Kolbe’s has proven that he could hold his own despite his small frame and confirming what Mark Twain said: “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight, what counts is the size of the fight in the dog”. Kolbe staved off challenges by Sharks loose forward Jean Deysel and Lions fly-half Marnitz Boshoff, who were worthy nominees. Deysel has been instrumental in his side’s success so far this season with his brutal runs with the ball in hand, while Boshoff’s kicking proved a powerful weapon for the Lions.
Absa has been a proud sponsor of the Absa Currie Cup for the past 28 years, which has provided a podium for young aspirant players to emerge on the rugby scene. Both winners walked away with R10 000 each, courtesy of the tournament sponsor, Absa.
The Sharks coaching team decided to donate their winnings to Childline KZN. “We hope that this helps sustaining the good work that you (Childline KZN) continue to do in our province,” Barnes said.