Sithole hails Jake's influence
Durban - Sharks centre S'bura Sithole admits that the backing of director of rugby Jake White and his coaching staff has gone a long way towards his excellent start to the Super Rugby season.
The 23-year-old was named man-of-the-match for his stand-out showing in the 23-12 weekend triumph over the Lions in Johannesburg.
He has been shifted from his position on the wing to centre by White and the results have been rewarding for the top-of-the-table Durban union.
"As a player, there's nothing better than running out onto the field knowing you've got the full backing of the coaching staff," he said on Monday.
"I think that's something that has made a difference in the way I've played now.
"There's no fear.
"I can just run out there and express myself.
"So it's been great working under Jake."
However, the Queenstown-born player admits he still has a long way to go in order to complete his transition.
"I'm still learning how to play centre properly and not at all perfect there," he added.
"For now I'm just concentrating on getting better and just doing well for the Sharks."
Sithole's form has meant that JP Pietersen, who made the change to midfield last season, has been kept on the wing, while Paul Jordaan has had to make do with a place on the bench since his return from injury.
He has made the run-on XV in the last four games alongside Frans Steyn after two substitute appearances.
"During pre-season I did a lot of stuff with my hands because previous coaches had said it was an area where I was lacking.
"So I took it upon myself to fix this because I thought it was something I could really improve on.
"I guess by doing that it kind of opened up a gap for me to play centre."
The Sharks currently top the overall log with a two-point lead over the second-placed Brumbies and have a game in hand.
They face the Cheetahs at Kings Park this weekend, and Sithole believes they have the capacity to go all the way and win the competition.
"Guys have been very positive about it," he added.
"From the get-go, the coach spoke to us about our goals and vision for the season, so we've known what we wanted from the outset.
"Nothing has changed in the team since then and everyone's still on a high.
"Things are very positive."
The Durbanites will be without their back-up flyhalf Fred Zeilinga this week after he sustained a hamstring injury against the Lions.
Regular number 10 Patrick Lambie has already been ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury.