News24

Bekker 'could play at flank'

2011-03-31 09:28

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Might a lack of depth at loose forward come to scupper the Stormers’ chances of advancing to a maiden Super Rugby title in 2011?

Not if Allister Coetzee, inventive coach of the South African conference and overall log-leaders, can help it.

It is a department where, even in pre-season, last year’s Super 14 runners-up arguably looked shorter on genuinely big names than, say, fiercest domestic rivals the Bulls and Sharks.

And now the loss through a knee injury for the remainder of the campaign of seasoned pro Pieter Louw - for some time the main back-up to loose trio front-liners Schalk Burger, Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen - appears to notably aggravate the situation.

It means that Nick Koster, the now 22-year-old schoolboy sensation of some four years ago, has basically been elevated to the role of next in line to the regular three, and the Stormers may be in a spot of trouble if any of the other key loose forwards joins Louw in the long-term “sick bay” over the next few weeks.

Koster is the sole “loosie” on the bench for the Stormers as they prepare to take on the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

A look at the latest Western Province team-sheet in the Vodacom Cup indicates no Super Rugby experience at all (or even a Currie Cup start) among the loose forwards, however talented they may be deemed to be: Wimpie van der Walt, Siya Kolisi and Tertius Daniller.

Compare that to the situation at the Sharks, where a soon-fully-fit Jean Deysel will scrap with all of Keegan Daniel, Jacques Botes, Willem Alberts and Ryan Kankowski for three starting berths - all brimful of solid, first-class experience and mostly Springboks into the bargain.

But Coetzee is not pressing any panic buttons: nor, indeed, will the Stormers repeat what they quickly did when first-choice hooker Tiaan Lienbenberg cried off for several weeks, leaving only Deon Fourie as a proven No 2 - explore the marketplace for another specialist in the position. (They ended up netting former Lions stalwart Ethienne Reynecke on loan from Saracens.)

“For the moment I should make the point that I am very comfortable having someone like Nick available as first back-up,” the coach told Sport24.

“Of course he is mostly a No 8 but he can also cover seven, and we have enough options within the squad not to have to go outside, I believe.

“Happily Nick is now injury-free, and what’s been impressing me the most has been the momentum-stopping tackles he’s made.

“Siya is part of our bigger squad set-up and Wimpie has been playing well at Vodacom Cup level.”

But Coetzee, interestingly, is also prepared to explore more creative options if necessary ... and just one might involve lock stalwart Andries Bekker operating on the side of the scrum.

“You might have a situation where Anton van Zyl can come in at No 5, and Dries (Bekker) become a really tall, yet also mobile option for you as blindside flank.

“Imagine the lineout options you’d have in that instance. I haven’t really spoken to him yet about the possibility of (temporary use at) flank, but we did explore it last season and he ran there in a couple of training sessions which really impressed me.

“Also, Deon Fourie has covered No 6 for us plenty of times in the past and you could employ him there if you had to, bringing Ethienne in as starting hooker in his place.”

Coetzee agreed that Rynhardt Elstadt, who has been making promising strides since his conversion to lock, could also offer brawny possibilities in a return to a No 7 flank role.

The Stormers mastermind may just have to put some of his experimental thoughts to a real-life test as the gruelling Super Rugby season grinds on; he is only too aware that last season first-choicers like Vermeulen and “Flo” Louw made umpteen starts at both Super 14 and Currie Cup level.

And the workload started to take a bit of a toll ...

Sport24

Comments
  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-31 09:36

    Gooinat - we discussed this in detail yesterday already. And it seems we think in similar lines to our coaches (just not the Bekker on flank issue...) Elstadt on flank if required.

      gooinat - 2011-03-31 10:04

      Yes we did,Bekker is in the same mould as Albert van den berg,lean and very mobile,playing him on the flank,I would not have dreamt doing something like this but it gives us good lineout options,Elstadt yes anyday at flank(only as cover though, he's excelling at lock),as far as locks are concerned we have more than enough cover,would really like to know whats Coetzee's thinking is when he has to rotate players.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-31 10:38

      @Gooinat - go and read Tank Lannings blog about the meeting with P Divvy yesterday, some of the quotes are classic.....especially Divvy's one on Sonny Bill Williams!!!!

      gooinat - 2011-03-31 11:14

      Have just read it,like the one about John Smit being unfairly treated,he's the one that began this whole thing that Smit play prop,now he wants Smit to play hooker,I agree with Smit at hooker but will he be first choice,I don't think so?????Peter Grant might just be in with a chance now that he "excites" Divvy(hehehe)Last year he was bashing Frans Steyn,now......... Three stooges,can you believe it......,SBW oh boy hope he sees this article,Saffa atleast Divvy puts a smile on our faces,give him credit for that.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-31 11:31

      @Gooinat - the best div quote EVER has to be his one on Sonny Bill's form: "Even the best gun slinger eventually dies"........ROTFL

      Gertjie_Mac - 2011-03-31 11:47

      @ Saffa. Read tanks blog. Geeze, Snorre is full of words! Very entertaining stuff but not enough sense behind anything except of course Peter Grant being noticed

      gooinat - 2011-03-31 11:47

      Someone that decides one day to publish a book on Divvy's best quotes will make a killing:)

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-31 12:08

      @Gertjie & Gooinat - it brings a smile to ones dial....(but that smile disappears pretty quickly when you start thinking about the implications of all these "comments".

      RobinB - 2011-03-31 12:35

      @SAFFA-CAT where can I read this blog of our p divvy

      Gertjie_Mac - 2011-03-31 12:47

      @ RobinB . http://blogs.sport24.co.za/frg/an-afternoon-with-div

      molefeP - 2011-04-01 07:35

      Guys, I miised you r conversation yesterday. But I have SERIOUS reservations about playing people out of possition. Especially pushing a Lock into a Loose forward position. It is only in exeptional situations wher eit works. And it is not as if we have any shortage of good loose forwards!

  • PaulGinsberg - 2011-03-31 09:43

    Imagine Bekker at 8th man, Brussouw and Juan Smit/Schalk Burger/Duane vermeulen etc and then Pierre Spies at inside centre. Come on this has got to look exciting

      kosie - 2011-03-31 10:02

      but spies can't tackle, so he would not work at centre. maybe centre of the bench

      unbeatabulls - 2011-03-31 10:29

      funny how all the stormers supporters came out of the closet after 20 years, haha, only supporting your team if they win hey? For me i dont care once a bull always a bull!!!!!

      unbeatabulls - 2011-03-31 10:40

      gooinat. Hey bring it on sunshine.......!!!! is that the best you can come up with????? haha

      Jigsaw - 2011-03-31 15:02

      Unbeatabulls - Unbeatable... definately not!!! Only bullsh*t remains... I don't take them serious this year. Bulls had their good years and now it is somebody else's time, get use to it.. And don't be such a pissy, support your fellow SA teams... I do!

      CliffBradley - 2011-03-31 16:35

      unbeatabulls: You must be talking about Blue Bull Supporters , I have been on these cooments for a long time , and I have seen , week after week the WP/Stormer supporters saying , don't worry , next week will be ok , but one thrashing of the Flou Trille by Stormers & Alwyn Kruger & his gang of idiots , are quiet as mice ( Pappa Smurf , Johnny , Jaco & The Chief ALWYN THE CLOWN KRUGER) They were all missing in action for 3 - 4 days !!

      Lloyd - 2011-03-31 17:08

      Cliff the stupid halfbreed, I seem to remember that Jaco and myself were amongst the first on the web to congratulate you guys on your win. As jy weer kom, kom by.

      CliffBradley - 2011-03-31 19:23

      Lloyd : Not under this stupid name you did not , maybe I owe Jaco an apology - So Here It Goes - SORRY JACO - For hurting your feelings , but nothing for a half breed called Lloyd as he did not exist when we ass whipped the bulls

      Lloyd - 2011-03-31 22:28

      Cliff, you should pay attention in class. I declared a couple of times this week that I used to be Pappa Smurf. Now I'm using my real name, Lloyd Christmas.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-01 09:16

      Lloyd : Let me tell you what , if my name was Lloyd Christmas . I would also call myself PAPPA SMURF , sounds a lot more civilised !!! In fact I only pay attention when people talk sense , not when they give vile evil comments . I do recall Pappa Smurf congratulating me .

  • PaulGinsberg - 2011-03-31 09:45

    SBW has met his match!

      Howzitekse - 2011-03-31 10:03

      SBW catches the ball, runs well, sometimes chips it through, and his passing is setting the world on fire. He is the complete package. Pierre Spies knocks on regularly, and is clumsy. Goes to ground at the 1st contact. has probably missed 80% of his tackles this season. One of the least skilled players in S15.

      Cisco - 2011-03-31 10:20

      i hope you not referring to Pierre Spies, that guy cant tackle for shit

  • RJ - 2011-03-31 09:52

    Brilliant Bekker

  • boyd.lance - 2011-03-31 10:01

    If this were to happen, I'd rather have Elstadt on the flank. Its far too dangerous to experiment to the extent that Bekker gets played on the flank. He's a specialist lock and should stay there.

      PaulGinsberg - 2011-03-31 10:05

      possibly agree with you but what about spies- he is so heavily marked now - he should be in the backline. issues with his tackling but so did lomu have the same problem. seemed to work for the allblacks

      boyd.lance - 2011-03-31 11:44

      Anything is possible. Spies is a good ball carrier, but he doesn't have the ball distribution required of a centre such as DJV and he doesn't have the ability to offload in the tackle like SBW. And then you just mentioned he's also k@k in defence.

  • westy09 - 2011-03-31 10:04

    You can not say the Stormers loose trio is not one of the best in the country. I think the Sharks trio take the cake as a physical and hard working loose forward trio but the Stormers have 3 physical loose forwards ( Verm, Flouw and Burger) and Flouw is defiantly the best at stealing under the new laws. Stormers vs Bulls we saw the Stormers trio outplay them at the breakdown. I believe the loose trio for the Springboks should be 6. Burger 7. Alberts 8. Spies with Louw and Vermeualen in the squad. Louw proved last year that he is a ball stealer under the new laws and one bad game he was canned! We will see come WC.

  • Marx - 2011-03-31 10:05

    Thought he does his playing on park benches......Paul SBW plays centre!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      PaulGinsberg - 2011-03-31 10:07

      i know Mar marx but i'm referring to the impact he had on the game

      Marx - 2011-03-31 10:41

      Paul, the fuss over SBW, all hype to confuse the oppsostion, he's not bad, let's see what happens against the Stormers and Bulls.

  • CapeTownJunk - 2011-03-31 10:10

    Bekker at eighthman is something I've always wanted to see tried. Bear in mind who's played at No. 8 in winning World Cup finals for South Africa: Mark Andrews and Danie Rossouw.

  • PaulGinsberg - 2011-03-31 10:13

    Bekker at 8th man will suck in opposition, spies at inside centre will create additional problems for cover defence

      Aitsa - 2011-03-31 23:04

      Spies at inside centre! Can't pass, can't link, tackles poorly... sounds like a great idea, Bud.

  • sweis1986 - 2011-03-31 10:13

    What! Oh no! The Sharks have one more loose forward back up than us? Dreadful! What the hell, they make it sound like the Sharks have ten loosies and we have two. Elstadt can play flanker as well. Not worried

      Gertjie_Mac - 2011-03-31 11:09

      Agreed, but they are a little thin in that area and also at no.2. Still can't believe talent like Schalk Brits slipped through the nets, He could have covered both!

  • Shark_4_Life - 2011-03-31 10:31

    I cant wait for the return of Deysel, One of the hardest loose forwards around. The sharks are truly spoil't for choice in this department of the game, wish i could say the same for the backline.

      Gertjie_Mac - 2011-03-31 11:05

      Deysel is an awesome talent and extremely physical, Spies has nothing on him. Will be a good clash on the return leg between Vermeulen vs Deysel.

      Shark_4_Life - 2011-03-31 11:25

      100% He is a great runner and defender, cant wait to see those two go up against each other. If Deysel returns with form he will be a good contender for springbok i think. Spies should not be considered for the boks unless he turns his whole game around, which at the moment looks very unlikely. But i'm sure ou Pdiv has a warm little spot reserved for him.

      RobinB - 2011-03-31 12:39

      @Shark_4_Life Isnt Deysel a Namibian international?

      Shark_4_Life - 2011-03-31 13:11

      @RobinB No, as far as i know he's from the free state.

      Gertjie_Mac - 2011-03-31 13:19

      @ RobinB : Jean Deysel Springbok number: 814 Test debut: 21 November 2009 vs Italy in Udine aged 24 Total tests: 1 Tour matches: 2 Total Springbok matches: 3

      CliffBradley - 2011-03-31 16:38

      RobinB : Jean Deysel born 5 March 1985 in Virginia, Free State, South Africa is a rugby union player for the Sharks in the Super 14 competition. He plays number 7. Deysel is known for his bruising running with ball in hand, often "bumping" the first defender.

  • JR - 2011-03-31 10:39

    Soos julle tekere gaan het Wie Pie al 3 S14 bekers gewen. lees weer.'advancing to a maiden Super Rugby title in 2011?' Net die Bulls het meer as 0 gewen.

      unbeatabulls - 2011-03-31 10:45

      jip, WIE PIE het nog elke jaar gewen, die media wil ook so graag he enige ander span buiten die bulls moet goed vertoon dis net nie waar nie. Al agtergekom hoe hulle elke keer oor die nuus se" die ONOORWINNE STOMERS" lmga

      thumper - 2011-03-31 10:55

      If that is the case "untreatabull" then it might only be because of the arrogance and stupidity of the average Bulls supporter and not be aimed at the team themselves!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-31 11:03

      @Unbeatabulls - verander jou naam.....Beatabulls, Beatlejuice, Beetljuice ens ens ens.

      Oukoos - 2011-03-31 11:17

      @JR die WP het die Curriebeker 5x in 'n ry gewen - maar dit is geskiedenis. Die Bulls se 3 super 14 bekers is ook geskiedenis. Kom by my ou - ons is nou in 2011, die jaar van snot eet vir die Bulls spelers (en ondersteuners)

      Bootman - 2011-03-31 11:25

      Maybe beetroot bulls, seeing how the stormersb shredded them to pieces.

      Hanjo - 2011-03-31 11:34

      unbeatabulls...al ooit gedink hulle noem hulle doe onoorwonne stormers omdat hulle onoorwonne is??niks snaaks daaraan nie, dis n feit...wat wel ironies is, is jou naampie..."unbeatabulls", want duidelik is die bulls beatable...even WIE PIE het hulle gewen...en wees asb so gaaf as om vir my uit te wys, waar enigeiemand gese het die stormers het reeds die super15 gewen....?

      JR - 2011-03-31 12:35

      Snaaks hoe al die ander spanne die Currybeker met die S14 vergelyk, want dit pas hulle. Die S14 is baie moeiliker om te wen, of moet ek dit ook verduidelik. Net om rede julle nie n S14 beker het nie beteken dit seker maar niks.

      Supersmurf - 2011-03-31 14:29

      @Thumper,,,i beg to differ mate,,,arogance is a team that did not win anything for a period of 11 years but their supporters sound like they have been the Super champs for years,conveniantly forgetting that they choked last year in the Super final,ending up blaming the ref,then the Sharks ripped them apart through Lambie,,,,,that was only last year,in the last decade the players went on strike once,they lost by 60 against the Bulls in a Super game,,,but they have all the reason to be arogant after all they are the Kings of Chokers,,,,,Stormers Suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      CliffBradley - 2011-03-31 19:28

      JR : Just so you know , the Flou Trille have won 0 Nul Nothing , super 15 Titles , but if you are putting the whole shebang together , Super 10 , 12 , 14 & 15 - then the one that Tvl won a long time ago , ( Prob before you were born ) counts as more than 0, but then as you are proberbly only 12 and in grade 1 , you are forgiven - ASS-WIPE

  • Gorilla - 2011-03-31 10:54

    Bekker is a Lock, what is this kak fascination of playing people out of position. It did not work with many players and it won't work with Bekker.

  • Dan the Man - 2011-03-31 11:06

    Its not a bad idea...but maybe as no 8 instead of flank? Duane started as a flank before converting to no8 after his move to the stormers, and bekker has really good hands, and has been far more aggressive in taking the ball up over the past season or so - he now weighs more than anyone except guthro in the bok squad, and its clearly not fat

      thumper - 2011-03-31 11:13

      Not a bad idea but I think part of the reason for the success so far of the scrum is bekker packing down behind the front row.

  • TheBokFan - 2011-03-31 11:30

    I like the thinking out of the box Coach Coetzee! Nice to see such faith in your players and willing to experiment

  • Sh@rks Fever - 2011-03-31 11:55

    If Bekker scrums at flank I forsee a problem. Firstly duvenhage might keep on tripping over Bekker long legs, and secondly Bekker's feet will stretch out behind Vermeulen's feet. So when will the ball be out of the scrum? He is class so he can probably play anywhere in the scrum except front row.

      thumper - 2011-03-31 12:05

      Thats funny. You're not that bad for a Sharks supporter.

  • RobinB - 2011-03-31 14:04

    @ Gertjie_Mac Thanks bud

  • Supersmurf - 2011-03-31 14:47

    Sorry TYPING ERROR,article should read"Bekker could play as a plank"apologies from News24

      CliffBradley - 2011-03-31 16:56

      Supersmurf: Clever ne , amper so clever soos die klomp flou trille , toe hulle kop onderstebo van die veld af kruip na die STORMER loesing HAHAHAHA

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