Future bright for Fassi as he makes first Sharks match count
Sharks coach Robert du Preez believes the future of his new enterprising utility back Aphelele Fassi is bright and the player could even end up being counted among the top men in the country if he keeps working hard.
Fassi (20), who possesses the ability to make a switch to wing or fullback without hassle, kicked off his senior career with the Durban franchise on a speedy note when the Sharks defeated the Blue Bulls 26-10 in the Currie Cup on Saturday.
Fassi played only 20 minutes after being introduced in the second half, but he still managed to make sure that the people who watched the clash would remember his name.
The youngster from King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape replaced Kobus van Wyk and scored his first try in the senior team with his first touch.
The Dale College old boy later scored another try, but it didn’t count because the TMO ruled that he had received a forward pass.
“He is a special kid and he’s very talented,” said coach Du Preez about Fassi.
“We play him on the wing but he is actually a fullback. It’s great to have a guy like that in your set-up, a young guy. He has to keep working hard.
“Hopefully he will get a start soon. I’m not concerned about starting him, at all. He can start any time.”
Fassi’s first stint with the Du Preez-coached outfit was two weeks ago in a friendly match against the French side Bordeaux Begles at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The youngster also gave the French a hard time with his amazing pace and dangerous skills.
He matriculated from Dale College in the Eastern Cape last year and immediately joined the Sharks academy.
Another player who shone in the clash against the Bulls was Juan Schoeman, who is set to be a principal prop in the Currie Cup.
Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira was the first choice for the number one jersey in the Super Rugby but the Currie Cup provides Schoeman with a chance to grow his career.
“He is brilliant. Juan had a great Super Rugby season and he just continued with that form. He is a guy who can play 80 minutes; obviously, in the Currie Cup we only have one prop,” said Du Preez.
The Sharks’ next assignment is in Bloemfontein against the Free State Cheetahs on Saturday at 2 pm.
Du Preez will be hoping that before they travel to Free State his side will be sure about the need to improve their conversion rate.
“Our conversion rate was not that great, so that’s something that we definitely have to work on. “We do create a lot of opportunities,” said the coach.
Pumas vs Western Province — 6.30 pm
Cheetahs vs Sharks — 2 pm
Bulls vs Lions — 4 pm.