Catching up with Emirates Lions loosehead prop Sti Sithole - Lions rugby

Catching up with Emirates Lions loosehead prop Sti Sithole

Team News

3rd Dec 2021

We had a quick catch-up with Sti Sithole, loosehead prop of the Emirates Lions ahead of this weekend's Vodacom URC match against the DHL Stormers in Cape Town.

We had a quick catch-up with Sti Sithole, loosehead prop of the Emirates Lions ahead of this weekend’s Vodacom URC match against the DHL Stormers in Cape Town.

On touring Italy, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in the URC

It was tough but fun. The tough part was when we had to be in quarantine in Italy for a period of 10 days upon arrival. We couldn’t really do much to entertain ourselves or do a bit sightseeing. The hotel and training fields were basically the only two places we explored! The fun element was experiencing the exciting new tournament, the people and measuring ourselves against the best in the world.

On front row chats heading into the campaign

As a front row unit, we had long conversations as to how we wanted to approach the tournament. We eventually settled on how we wanted to paint the perfect picture for referees – by that I mean making it easy for them to officiate our aspect of the scrums. I must say, it worked out pretty well as we felt our scrum department held its own against the best the competition had to offer.

 

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On the quality of the scrum in the Vodacom URC

The quality of scrummaging in the Vodacom URC is of a very high standard. Set pieces, of which scrummaging is a key feature, are becoming quite important especially in Northern Hemisphere conditions.  Looking back at competitions we had previously played in, the emphasis was on ball in play where set pieces were used mainly as a platform to launch attacking play.

On preparations for the DHL Stormers clash

The preparations for Saturday has been very good – quite tough to be honest. The key for us is to execute on the things we’ve been working so hard in the week in order to achieve a positive result in Cape Town.

On player mindset shift after the postponement of Cardiff Rugby fixture

I must admit it was quite disappointing for us. Our preparations for Cardiff Rugby spanned over a period of 4 weeks. Field sessions, gym, analysing their play – it was all geared towards facing them here at Emirates Airline Park.

As a player it does affect you but then again, we’ve experienced this kind of thing before during the pandemic where matches were either postpones or cancelled altogether. We have no choice but to adapt and move on.

On facing his former team in the Vodacom URC

I always look forward to playing against my former team. It’s great heading down to Cape Town to face the DHL Stormers in a local derby. Key for us is to have a great outing and come back with a win.

 

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