Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen is impressed by the way scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba is adapting to the rigors of Super Rugby.

The 21-year-old has made huge strides since debuting for the Durban franchise a few weeks ago.

Although they suffered a first loss of the season to the Hurricanes last weekend, Esterhuizen says they were able to take away many positives from their performance.

With Curwin Bosch missing out due to a family bereavement, youngster Boeta Chamberlain started at flyhalf.

But Chamberlain was forced off with an injury just 20 minutes into the encounter. With no recognized pivot on the bench, Nohamba was thrust into the role, impressing everyone, Esterhuizen included.

After two weeks in New Zealand, the Sharks are now in Australia where they are preparing to face the Rebels this weekend.

Following a challenging start to the competition where they lost their two opening games, the Rebels claimed their first victory of the season by beating the Waratahs last weekend. Esterhuizen says they are well aware of the threats posed by the Melbourne based side.

The Sharks were undone by a team coached by John Plumtree last weekend, a man with an intrinsic understanding of South African rugby having previously mentored the Durban team.

They could be up against a similar challenge this week with South African born, David Wessels at the helm of the Rebels. Esterhuizen says there is certainly a South African feel to the way the Rebels go about their business.

– Report by Thahir Asmal