Kings man sets his sights on bigger target

Ntsila eyes return to bow-hunting hobby

Andisa Ntsila
Andisa Ntsila
Image: Gallo Images

Known for ruthlessly hunting down the opposition, dynamic Southern Kings loose forward Andisa Ntsila now wants to try his hand at bow hunting. Ntsila, who has a keen eye for the tryline, is sure to have the stealth needed to be a successful bow hunter if he puts his mind to it.

“I would like to involve myself in bow hunting sometime,” Ntsila said when asked what he would like to do away from the rigours of rugby.

“I think I am pretty much into that, even though I have not tried it for a long time.

“I last had a shot when I was 13, but I can still feel it today. I enjoyed it.”

Ntsila is not alone among Kings players who have an interest in bows and arrows.

After training, several of the Kings players often enjoy archery as they aim at a portable target on the back of a vehicle.

Bow hunting, however, will be the furthest thing on Ntsila’s mind when his team bring the curtain down on their season with a home game against the Cheetahs next Saturday.

It has been a trying debut PRO14 season for the Kings, who have been able to win only one of their opening 20 matches.

“PRO14 is a wonderful opportunity and it is great to be part of it and the game is quite hard up in the northern hemisphere,” Ntsila said.

“The guys come at you physically and they are very technical.

“Tactics change from team to team, and you face Irish, Scottish and Welsh opposition.

“Some of those sides also have New Zealand coaches, so the styles of play are quite different from team to team.

“You have to do your homework and it is very physical. You need lots of preparation for every game.”

Ntsila says he is open-minded and is willing to try new things in every game he plays. “As player I give all credit to my teammates and I draw my energy from the people around me.

“They also give me confidence and I am quite a confident person.

“It all comes down to moments if something works or not if. “I always give 100% and make sure I try to execute what I do.”

The loose forward says he works hard on his strengths and weaknesses during training.

“As a rugby player you have to be balanced and you can’t be seen as having a weakness in a certain area.

“If you do, teams will target you in that area and you will have a bad game.

“Opponents will attack you on the weakest point of your game.

“In the team I see myself as a link between the backs and forwards. I also need to have good defensive roles because I play No 6 and 7 and 8, and my agility on the side of the scrum fits in well with the plan at the Kings.
“Understanding the people I am around and play with helps me fit in with the group.”

Ntsila was born in Queenstown, where he attended Queen’s College until 2011.

He didn’t earn any provincial call-ups to represent Border while at school and moved to George after high school, where he linked up with the SWD Eagles.

Ntsila was included in their U19 squad that participated in Group A of the 2012 U19 Provincial Championship.

He played Varsity Cup rugby for the Madibaz at the start of 2015, starting six of their seven matches in the No 8 jersey.

Soon after the 2015 Varsity Cup finished, Ntsila was also included in the SWD Eagles squad for the 2015 Vodacom Cup. He made his first-class debut on April 17 2015, coming on as a replacement in the team’s 36-13 victory over a Sharks XV in George.

In July 2016, Ntsila was drafted into the Kings Super Rugby squad and named on the bench for their round-16 match against the Lions.

“I started playing rugby in high school for Queens and then I went to study in George, where I played club rugby.

“Over time I was spotted by a SA Rugby Academy coach. He told me I had the talent and he gave me an opportunity in professional rugby.

“From there I grew and that happened at the end of 2014.

“I got into a Saru Academy in George and I appreciated it because if SA Rugby had not put those academies in place I don’t think I would have been where I am today.”

Ntsila said one of his highlights was returning to George to play for the Kings in PRO14 clash against Munster.

“I never thought I would go back to George and play an international.

“That was one of my very proudest moments. It was where my professional rugby started.”

Ntsila says he is oblivious to the roars of the crowd when he goes on one of his trademark ball-carrying runs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“I do not hear the crowd roaring because I am very focused and zoned in on the field. “I am blinded by the job at hand.” Ntsila says he has enjoyed many highlights and that some stand out more than others.

“When we beat the Waratahs in Australia that was big for the Kings. There were also Super Rugby wins over the Sharks and Bulls last year.

“Playing for the South African A side was memorable, as was being invited to a Springbok camp.

“Scoring a try against Munster in George was also special.

“I am young and I want to work hard in the process of getting where I want to go.

“I want to play for the Boks, and I have aspirations to be rated among the top athletes in the world and being measured against the best.”

In the meantime, Ntsila will have the Cheetahs in his sights.