The football doesn't stop!

The 2014 SWC might be over, but the PSL and English Premiership are around the corner! Have your say on our Forum!

LIVE

    Fourie: SA’s number two No 2?

    2011-04-07 13:39
    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

    Cape Town – Deon Fourie has been wearing the No 2 jersey for the Stormers with such aplomb this season that he has almost certainly vaulted his way to second-best performing South African hooker in Super Rugby thus far.

    Of course Springbok incumbent Bismarck du Plessis has been producing consistently high levels of personal industry for the Sharks: it has been through little fault of his own that the Durban franchise have lost three games on the trot after a roaring start.

    But the livewire Fourie is neck-and-neck with him for prowess in the South African conference -- and also more broadly in the competition in his specialist position -- as the unbeaten Stormers currently command loftiest log position in both respects.

    Indeed, the Cape side’s lineout has been firing significantly better than the Sharks’ equivalent, so that must be another feather in Fourie’s cap in many ways.

    The Cheetahs, it must be said, have been hampered by the broken hand suffered by their own international hooker Adriaan Strauss, but nobody at the other South African teams can be said to have jumped out for true “wow” factor in the No 2 shirt thus far.

    And the seamless way in which the supposed back-up hooker Fourie has slotted in, after first-choice Tiaan Liebenberg damaged medial ligaments in a knee in the pre-season friendly against Boland, has been at least one key reason for the Stormers’ early-season surge.

    Bear in mind that when the 24-year-old product of Pietersburg High was hastily introduced to the team’s starting plans at the outset of the competition, he had just come off a layoff himself.

    There were also some fears that when Fourie, who at 100kg surrenders some 10kg to the more renowned scrummager and tight-loose bulldozer Liebenberg, entered the middle of the front row the Stormers’ set-piece (still the subject of some question marks at the time) would be further compromised.

    Yet the scrum generally withstood acid tests from the Bulls and Sharks, in particular, whilst Fourie has always been highly regarded anyway for the dynamism and mobility he offers in open play.

    Coach Allister Coetzee traces his rise back to last season, when the luckless Liebenberg was also bedevilled by injury.

    “Deon’s personal growth as a hooker, for me, really came in the 2010 Currie Cup when he stepped up a notch as we won seven matches in a row and also got to the final; his development continues to be really, really pleasing this year,” he told Sport24.

    “His leadership qualities are also shining through nicely – he’s in charge of our scrums, you know, and maintaining our benchmarks and accuracy levels there.”

    Coetzee concedes that there has been “a perception” that Fourie would not be as effective a scrummager as his older and more street-wise squad-mate.

    “It’s ironic ... I obviously chat to (forwards coach) Matt Proudfoot all the time and he keeps insisting to me that Deon is actually very good at scrum time. He’s got sound technique; you don’t see his head popping up very often, do you?

    “So Deon is not only showing that he offers great impact potential coming off the bench ... he’s a genuinely quality starter now. And that’s what you want in a (squad): as many good starters as possible.”

    The coach acknowledges, too, that until recent months many critics were likelier to have compared Fourie more with a “run-around” hooking predecessor at Newlands like Schalk Brits, than others with reputations for unglamorous donkeywork at the coalface.

    Fourie continues to exhibit a penchant for panache on the run -- as evidenced by his wonderful solo, kick-and-chase try against the Western Force recently -- but is also mixing up his game most effectively.

    “Absolutely, Deon is not one to stand back from the tight chores; he is a man just as prepared to operate in the trenches for you,” Coetzee points out.

    “Don’t forget also that he can operate very well, when the situation may demand it, in an open-side flank capacity. We’ve seen him operate successfully there, and it is also why he makes good decisions at breakdown and turns over balls for us.

    “Tiaan is about three weeks away for us, and working extremely hard. He knows he will return to healthy competition ...”
    Read More On:  super 15 deon fourie stormers

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    156 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • SS3
      Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @04:00
    • SS4
      Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @05:00
    • SS7
      Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @06:00
    • SS5
      Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @06:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Fixtures

    02 August 2014
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney 11:40

    Results

    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    EXPERT OPINION

    “Advantage is a great part of rugby, says Tank Lanning, but it allows for lots of personal interpretation, hence Victor Matfield’s tirade. ”

    Opinion Poll

    The 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby final will be contested between the Waratahs and Crusaders. Who is your money on?

    Soccer World Cup quiz!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.