Coetzee: Life after Sadie, JJ
Cape Town - Western Province coach Allister Coetzee believes they will be be able to overcome the loss of two of their stars, Johann Sadie and JJ Engelbrecht to their Northern rivals, the Blue Bulls.
The duo will join the Pretoria-based outfit after this year's Currie Cup.
Sadie and Engelbrecht have been two star performers in an exciting Western Province backline in this year's Currie Cup, and have played a big part in catapulting Province to second spot on the Currie Cup standings.
Their departure up north received hefty criticism in cape rugby circles - where journalists and fans alike - have expressed their concerns over the union's inability to hold onto their promising young players.
However, Coetzee is adament that there is hope and that the loss of the duo won't have a negative effect on Western Province.
"It's definitely not nice losing those players, but luckily there's never a shortage of good players in the Cape. Especially not backline players," Coetzee told Die Burger newspaper.
And his hopes are pinned on a few young stars in WP's junior teams.
The 19-year Blitzbok, Tshotsho Mbovane, who currently plays wing for the WP under-21 side is the real deal, according to Coetzee.
Mbovane is only 1.77m tall, but according to the WP coach his small stature is no drawback. Coetzee says its "unbelievable" how physical Mbovane is.
"He is also very quick and I have no doubt that he will come through."
The coach was also full of praise for the WP under-21 team's flyhalf, Michael van der Spuy. "He's actually a centre, but had to play flyhalf out of necessity. I think that will enhance his career, because as soon as he moves back to centre he will use the more space available with the insight of a flyhalf," said Coetzee.
Coetzee is also happy with the form of a couple of new young players in his Currie Cup side.
Marcel Brache has impressed the coach at inside centre recently.
"A year ago he was too frail to play at Currie Cup level, but if he continues like he's currently doing, he could be an outsider to become an established WP player.
"His communication and organisational skills remind me a lot of Jaque (Fourie - WP's Bok centre).
"Then there's also a young Berton Klaasen, who floats between us (Currie Cup side) and the under-21's. He's still waiting for his big chance," said Coetzee.
Only time will tell then, whether Province will rue letting Sadie and Engelbrecht slip through their fingers.
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