The Springbok giant that will be ‘fired up’ against his old club in Coastal Derby

Dylan Coetzee
Sharks superstar Eben Etzebeth looks on.

Sharks superstar Eben Etzebeth looks on.

Stormers hooker Scarra Ntubeni expects former teammate Eben Etzebeth to be raring to go against the Capetonians when the Sharks travel to DHL Stadium this weekend.

Etzebeth started his career within the Western Province structures before going on to play 61 times for the Cape Town side after which he went to France and ultimately returned to South Africa with the Sharks.

Nothing to prove

One of his teammates during that time was Ntubeni who has never played against Etzebeth before. The hooker insists that the two-time Rugby World Cup winner has nothing to prove but will certainly be pumped up for the clash.

“I don’t think he will have a point to prove,” said Ntubeni.

“Knowing Eben, he is just so fired up for every game, whether he will be playing on the C-field at Bishops or Cape Town Stadium.

“He is very competitive, so I don’t think he has got a point to prove. Maybe this week they [Sharks] will be asking him a few questions about us since he spent six or seven years with us.

“They will definitely dig into his history about me, Neethling [Fouche] and the other guys that he was here with, which we would also do.

“If we play the Bulls, we have Lizo [Gqoboka] who will give us some advice and the coaches will decide whether to use it or not.

“I think it is going to be weird playing against him [Etzebeth].

“I have never played against him, so it is going to be challenging, but we are looking forward to the fight on Saturday.”

Nothing for granted

It has been a challenging season for the Sharks, who only have one win from seven games as they are still adjusting to John Plumtree’s game model.

Despite the Durban side sitting in second last on the table, Stormers defence coach Norman Laker refuses to take anything for granted and insists that the Sharks can click at any time.

“With that amount of experience in the team, if the penny drops on the day, they can beat anyone in the competition,” said Laker.

“I just think Plumtree is working with new players and maybe they are just struggling to find their feet. Once they do then they will be a tough team to beat.

“In this competition, you can’t take any team for granted.”

For the Stormers, it has been a good period recently with wins over La Rochelle and the Bulls signalling better fortunes after the team had a slow start early this season. They will be desperate to make it three wins on the bounce.

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