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Rise and Shine

One of the best things to happen in South African rugby last year, was the brand new crop of brilliant youngsters. Eben Etzebeth and Marcel Coetzee, for example, made their mark in no uncertain fashion, as many a bruised opponent will attest.

Wie gaan dit vanjaar wees? Daar is die ouer strydrosse soos Schalk Burger en Juan Smith wat sal veg vir hul plekkie in die son, terwyl manne soos Siya Kolisi en Rynhardt Elstadt sal wil voortbou waar hulle laas opgehou het.

Jan SerfonteinBy die Bulls is die uitstaande nuweling vir my Jan Serfontein. Ek kan nie onthou wanneer laas ‘n senter my so opgewonde gemaak het soos dié klong nie – dalk Danie Gerber? Hy het Eben Olivier se vermoë om ‘n gaping te skep, en is dodelik op die verdediging. In die lang Superreeks gaan hy beslis kans kry om sy talent uit te stal, en ek wag in groot afwagting vir die impak wat hy gaan maak. Dit sal waarskynlik beïnvloed word deur die span se spelpatroon, en keuse op losskakel, maar ek voorspel hy gaan nogtans uitstaan. Hou ook vir Handré Pollard dop. Hy het immers sy rugby op die regte plek geleer!

As daar een speler by die Cheetahs is wat alle rugby liefhebbers gaan dophou, is dit Johan Goosen. Sy ontydige besering verlede jaar, (is daar iets soos ‘n tydige een?) mag dalk sy selfvertroue beïnvloed het, veral sy gesukkel met pale toe skop. Vanjaar is sy geleentheid om sy onbetwiste talent ten toon te stel en ons gerus te stel oor die pad vorentoe. Hy is een van drie wêreldklas losskakels waarop die Bokke kan staatmaak.

The Sharks team is possibly the best balanced side in the Super series. My focus will be on young Pieter-Steph du Toit to not only address the weakness the Sharks had in the line-outs last year, but to become a serious contender for a place in the national side. Another contender for the already overstocked fullback position is Louis Ludik.

The Kings look a bit like my wine collection – a mixture of mature and promising young ones. The biggest challenge will probably be for young Demetri Catrakilis to show that he can perform as well at this level as he did for Western Province last year. He not only looks a lot like Robbie Blair – he also kicks as well as that old Province stalwart of the seventies. I just wish they would give him a nickname. Have you any idea how difficult it is to spell his name and surname?

When Dewald Duvenhage was replaced by Nick Groom and Louis Schreuder at scrumhalf towards the end of last year, the backline seemed to have a lot more bite. Schreuder even made a difference at flyhalf! I think I speak on behalf of all Stormers fans, when I express the heartfelt wish that the Springbok backline of the Stormers will be allowed to play to their natural ability. With Jantjes at flyhalf, and Jaco Taute at fullback, it is more than possible that we will see far more tries from this talented outfit.

OK. I know you are bursting to share your wisdom and insight. Hit the comment button below.

Just do it, ou Grote!

 

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