After Wednesday night’s Currie Cup match between the Sharks and Western Province in Cape Town, Sharks coach Sean Everitt would have been delighted at the performance of two of his star players from his unbeaten Under-19 side of 2018 —the only drawback was that one of them contributed royally to the Sharks’ demise.
The latter is Evan Roos, the barnstorming No 8 that so far has been the best player in the Currie Cup, picking up Man of the Match performances and scoring blockbusting tries, as he did for Province in their 32-21 win over the Durbanites.
Everitt said after the match that the Sharks would have loved him to still be in their ranks but the former Paarl Boys High pupil chose not to renew his contract.
“Evan chose to return home to his Cape roots. Pieter-Steph du Toit was with us and did the same thing,” Everitt explained. “I am glad it has worked out well for Evan. Obviously being at home and close to his family has given him the confidence to perform as well as he could.
“We have always known that Evan has a tremendous amount of potential,” Everitt continued. “He played SA Schools and then as an Under-19 boy he was the Under-21 player of the year. We certainly did not want to get rid of him, he just wanted to go home.”
Another product of Paarl Boys’ High, Thaakir Abrahams — like Roos just 21 — was a revelation for the Sharks on the left wing. He was a challenge for the WP defence each time he touched the ball and enjoyed a number of scorching breaks.
“I suppose it is a bit unfair to compare him to a young Cheslin Kolbe, but he has incredible feet and pace and a good game appreciation, while not being the biggest of guys,” Everitt enthused.
“He has been with us since school and played in the same Under-19 team as Phepsi Buthelezi (and also the likes of Roos, Sanele Bhamaba, Dylan Richardson, Jaden Hendrikse and JJ van der Mescht) in 2018 and went on to represent SA Under-20 at the junior World Cup.
“He has been coming through and got opportunities in the Preparation Series, and last year when we played Russia he was at fullback and was outstanding. We just feel he is ready to have a good go. I am very pleased for him that he had a good performance because he works very hard at his game and he is a delightful chap.”