CAPE TOWN – Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says he’s set on “starting fresh” after their disappointing Currie Cup semi-final performance against the Sharks at Newlands in January.
Western Province, who were in second position on the log behind the Bulls in first, went into that game as favourites but, staying true to recent history between these two coastal sides, the game produced a surprise result, with the Sharks coming away with a 19-9 victory to book their spot in the final at Loftus.
It was the last game played at Newlands, with WP rugby’s move to Cape Town Stadium set to be completed by the time the Rainbow Cup kicks off in April. Needless to say, their goodbye to the iconic stadium couldn’t have been further from what they would have hoped for.
Kolisi, who returned to captain the side for the play-off match after two weeks on sidelines due to Covid protocols, says he has adopted a new mindset for the new year.
“For me, personally, transitioning back on the field hasn't been easy, we've carried over a lot of feeling and uncertainty from 2020,“ Kolisi said in an interview with Red Bull.
“The last game at Newlands was supposed to be a big, special game and we were supposed to deliver. We obviously wanted to achieve so much more.”
“It's been tough, but now I'm looking to start fresh. It's a whole new year. It has to start first in your mind, and you've got to tell yourself ‘whatever has gone in the past, it is gone, it is done. I'm focusing on something new,' and find other ways of getting yourself up.
“That's what I'm looking towards with my family as well. I'm telling my kids ‘it’s going to be a different year no matter how, even if it is one small thing'.”
With everything going in the Cape, the World Cup-winning skipper and other star players' futures at the union have been brought into question in recent months, and rumours of Kolisi leaving and joining their rivals' camp intensified when Marco Masotti’s MVM Holdings secured a controlling stake of the Sharks.
Michael Yormark, the president of Roc Nation, the management company Kolisi is signed to, is also a prominent partner of the US-based consortium.
Before the deal was finalised, the Western Province Rugby Football Union were in talks with Masotti, but would not give up a controlling stake in the professional arm of their business.
Looking forward to what 2021 will bring, Kolisi added: “I'm the type of player that needs consistency. I need to be playing game-in-game-out to find my flow and really hit my best, and that is absolutely the ambition.”