Stormers’ Seabelo Senatla ready to release his, smiling, inner animal ...

Stormers’ Seabelo Senatla is ready for the Sharks. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Stormers’ Seabelo Senatla is ready for the Sharks. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Mar 3, 2023


Cape Town - It’s been his goal to play every rugby match with a smile on his face and to get that enjoyment going ahead of a big game, Seabelo Senatla channels his inner animal to get the smile going and blood flowing.

So if you see someone ahead of the Stormers' United Rugby Championship (URC) coastal derby against the Sharks tomorrow (kick-off 2.30pm) doing all these funny movements on the field, it's just Senatla warming up for a big clash.

He will be getting his leopard crawls, tiger walks, cart wheels and even bunny hops on, which he believes prepares him best for what awaits on the field.

"I've been warming up like this for about two years now thanks to a good friend of ours, coach Murray Ingram, so it's not a new routine," Senatla laughingly said when asked about his odd warm-up tricks.

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"We call it animal movements so we move like animals and what that creates is a lot of mobility and blood flow within the body. So when you see me doing these 'stupid' things, it might look dumb and like I am freestyling and dancing.

"But it is actually a very good warm-up because it gets me mobile, it feels like I'm loose and free. That is exactly how I love going into a game.

"It also puts a smile on my face. And while it might look like I'm joking around, I'm busy prepping for the game and that's the best way for me to prep right now. It makes me feel good.“

Senatla says he's all aware that a wounded Sharks team will rock up to Cape Town this weekend. The focus for the Stormers is to just keep doing what they've been doing to be successful.

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A victory will secure the SA Shield and make it a clean sweep of wins over South African opposition this season in the round-robin stages.

According to Senatla, they can't be too focused on what happened in Durban a couple of weeks ago when the Cape side beat the Sharks 46-19.

It was also the match the speedy winger made his return in after being out injured since September last year after he was the victim of a dodgy clean-out at the ruck which tore his pectoral muscle.

"It's been a two-game stint (against the Sharks and Bulls) so far since my injury and it was easy to slot into a team where everyone knows their roles. I fill one piece of the puzzle.

"And yeah, it's been wonderful to play rugby again. This is what we love and this is what brings smiles to our faces. We are back again baby, and we're doing it again.“

On possibly clinching the SA Shield tomorrow, Senatla said that can't be the main focus for the team. But it has been one of their goals coming into the season.

"It's easy winning something once, our thing is consistency. So I guess the SA Shield comes into conversation when you put that to mind.

"What we put onto ourselves right now, is chasing greatness. Whatever that looks like because it's different for everyone. One thing, though, that is certain about greatness, is that there's no finish line, you're never at the end.

"We are trying to push ourselves as much as we can, to achieve as much as we can. We're always improving and that's great."