LIVE

    Fourie is 'Brüssow counter'

    2012-05-09 17:35
    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
    Cape Town - Gaining on the swings, losing on the roundabout? That is something to consider in the Stormers’ mildly surprising choice of Deon Fourie at hooker for their Super Rugby derby with the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.

    The turnover department in the loose and the front row scrap in the set scrums shape up as potential areas the visitors will target in their quest for an upset win, which would be their first in this competition against the Stormers since 2007.

    And back-in-favour hooker Fourie will be a player under the spotlight, interestingly, in each area.

    Although there are always “rotational” factors to consider at such an advanced stage of the campaign - and normal first-choice Tiaan Liebenberg is the type of confrontational beast who needs to be rested now and then - there are certain risks at play in coach Allister Coetzee’s decision to give Fourie a rare start and have Liebenberg lurking on the bench for the Cheetahs’ challenge.

    One key reason for preferring Fourie as a horse for this particular course is extremely obvious: the Stormers do not currently have an out-and-out fetcher, while the Cheetahs, by contrast, sport the country’s virtually undisputed best No 6 in the form of Heinrich Brüssow.

    For good measure, this will be the diminutive Springbok’s 50th Super Rugby cap, thus a further incentive for him to do some damage to the home side’s battle-plan.

    Fourie, along with the Sharks’ eternally stand-out Bismarck du Plessis, is one of the best poachers in a No 2 (or often No 16, of course) jersey in South Africa, his unusual speed to the breakdown and iron will essential features to his makeup.

    So it is a comfort to the Stormers to have his dynamic presence in their midst.

    But now for the “roundabout” part: the Cheetahs no doubt have every intention of trying to put a front-row squeeze on the hosts, in the form of their settled unit of behemoth Coenie Oosthuizen, brawny captain Adriaan Strauss and tighthead specialist WP Nel.

    Surrendering Liebenberg means that the Stormers do also lose almost 10 kilograms of handy beef in their own front row, where Steven Kitshoff is an emerging rookie, but a rookie all the same, and Brok Harris at No 3 is more renowned for his exemplary work-rate than real right-shoulder menace.

    With the lighter Fourie now installed at hooker, the Cheetahs will be even more desirous of dominating the set-piece - albeit that you always have no lack of takers in the Stormers brains trust insisting Fourie is, indeed, no slouch on the scrummaging front.

    Saturday might be an opportune time for Pretoria-born Fourie to confirm it, if he can ...

    *Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

    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
    32 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    03 April 2015
    • Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:40
    04 April 2015
    • Chiefs v Blues, Waikato Stadium 08:35
    • Brumbies v Cheetahs, GIO Stadium 10:40
    • Sharks v Crusaders, Growthpoint Kings Park 15:00
    • Lions v Bulls, Emirates Airlines Park 17:05
    10 April 2015
    • Blues v Brumbies, Eden Park 09:35

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Sharks centre Frans Steyn has been found NOT GUILTY of a dangerous tip-tackle against the Chiefs. Your thoughts?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

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