Cape Town – Western Province’s in-form flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis
has earned the ultimate compliment for his ability to dictate play.
No less a personality than Naas Botha, the former Springbok
string-puller in the position, suggested at the weekend that the 24-year-old
“might have the best tactical kicking game of all (South African) fly-halves”.
Television pundit Botha also said Catrakilis’s confidence in
wet-weather conditions would only enhance any possibility of a call-up to the
Bok end-of-year tour.
It remains to be seen what national coach Heyneke Meyer’s
plans are at No 10 for the three-game mission against Wales, Scotland and
France respectively – Morne Steyn is the incumbent and Pat Lambie served the
slot soundly on last year’s unbeaten European venture.
The young Cheetahs phenomenon Johan Goosen has also been
back playing Currie Cup rugby over the last fortnight after a lengthy absence
through injury, although he remains significantly undercooked in
But multi-talented Lambie can also be deemed a utility
player for the Bok party, so there may be a spot for a “third” flyhalf on tour and
if Meyer decides to use the trip to have a look at a hitherto uncapped
customer, Catrakilis is a worthy dark horse.
He may also have one last opportunity to tick some boxes in
Meyer’s mind because the coach reportedly only intends naming the tour squad on
Monday, two days after the Currie Cup final between WP (to whom Catrakilis
recently re-committed for two years) and the Sharks at Newlands.
Both Catrakilis and Lambie, set to go tantalisingly head to
head in the showpiece, were in fine general form and also major points
contributors in their teams’ respective semi-final victories over the Lions and
Cheetahs at the weekend.
Botha’s observations about Catrakilis’s tactical strengths are
significant because “Nasty Booter”, as the SA legend became known in the
outside world, is still considered one of the best dictators of play ever in
wet and/or windy conditions.
The Boks can probably expect heavy, damp and cold conditions
for much of their November assignment, even if the Millennium Stadium in
Cardiff, venue for the first clash against the Welsh, has the option of a
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