Kolisi the back row chameleon

Tue, 03 Dec 2013 09:00
Large siya kolisi bok gesture Large siyakolisiboktraining

Whilst Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer may see his future at openside flank, Siya Kolisi does not mind which position he is asked to play.
 

Whilst Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer may see his future at openside flank, Siya Kolisi does not mind which position he is asked to play.

Having started his career as a blindside flank, Kolisi's big break came at the start of 2012 when Stormers skipper Schalk Burger was injured in the first Super Rugby match of the season.

Although he had limited experience of playing as an openside, he impressed with his high work rate and commitment on defence which was well suited to the Stormers' approach of loading the defensive line without contesting the breakdown very often.

Since then he has played on both sides of the scrum as required, and is not bothered about the number he wears on his back, as long as he gets on the pitch.

He told this website: "I will play where I am needed, if the Stormers need me at flank I will play at flank and if they need me at eighthman I will play there.

"I don't really want to set myself in one position, I have played all three positions so I will play anywhere they want me to," he said.

Defined roles in the loose trio are not as important as in the backline or tight five, which means that versatility is more of a blessing than a curse, with the key rather ensuring that the entire trio has a good balance.

Burger is a good example of a player that has had success in both flank positions, whereas the label of 'utility player' has had more of a negative impact on the careers of Frans Steyn, Ruan Pienaar and Pat Lambie.

At 98 kg and 1.88 metres Kolisi does not quite fit the bill of Meyer's ideal blindside bruiser, and the Bok coach has been candid about the fact that he would like him to develop his breakdown skills further and focus on playing at openside.

However, with breakdown specialists such as Deon Fourie and Duane Vermeulen at the Stormers Kolisi knows that he may not get the opportunity to so next season, despite working hard on that area of his game with Bok breakdown coach Richie Gray.

"It is all about decision making, it is not easy to change from seven flanker to six flanker, it is quite hard but I am working on it.

"Obviously we have a lot of ball stealers at Western Province so they probably won't need me to be there so I will have to adapt to the number seven position which I don't have a problem with," he said.

He explained that the competition for places in the Stormers loose trio is something that he embraces as he is constantly being challenged to raise his game.

"You can't settle, that is the best thing about the Stormers team, there are so many good players so you can't think you are going to play the next game, you have to be on top form every weekend.

"That is why I am enjoying it here, because you always have to be at your best and you are always challenged to go out of your comfort zone," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 09h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 11h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 09h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 11h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19