Brüssow: Baby-faced killer

2009-11-11 16:07

Paris - Heinrich Brüssow may not be anywhere near the size of his fellow Springbok forwards, but what he lacks in physical presence he more than makes up with his spirit on the pitch as France will no doubt find out in Toulouse on Friday.

The 23-year-old Cheetahs flank does not have the physical presence of lock Victor Matfield or the 'killer' reputation of Schalk Burger but he certainly stands out with his small physique and baby-face.

Such has been his impact since being brought into the pack - known as the 'Jurassic Pack' - this summer after a brief appearance against England last November that he displaced Burger from the starting line-up during the Tri Nations tournament which South Africa won.

Burger will also start on Friday.

His contribution to the continuing success of the world champions has been fully recognised by among others his skipper John Smit.

"I think Heinrich is a phenomenal find of 2009," said Smit, capped 90 times.

"He's built for that role. Big fat guys play in the front row, the four foot two short guys get to steal ball," added the hooker turned prop, who at 1.81 metres is small by Springbok standards.

Brüssow, who was named man of the match in the Tri-Nations first Test against the All Blacks where he also scored his first try, admits that his role is mainly that of a spoiler, letting the more creative players get on with it.

"Slowing the ball down is one of the keys to success in Test rugby because it allows your defensive line to set, and the benefits of that are obvious," he said.

"If we can turn over ball, we have a superb back line who are dangerous on the counter-attack. So if I give the guys an opportunity on both counts I would have done my job."

His spoiler tactics - which has also provoked cries of foul play in the manner of his straying off-side regularly and holding onto the ball on the ground - have certainly grabbed the attention of France coach Marc Lievremont.

"Brüssow is a poison when it comes to the game on the ground," said Lievremont, himself a former backrow forward.

"It is the first time that the 'Boks' have such a high class player in this spoiling style and it is for that reason they are even stronger a unit up front as never before."

His opponents have certainly experienced his pugnacity and willingness to punch above his weight.

Most notably in the third and final test against the British and Irish Lions earlier this year when he seized all 100kg of Martyn Williams by the collar and shorts and lifted him off the ground as the Welshman was slow in getting to his feet after a maul.

France have been warned.


  • alchemist - 2009-11-11 16:28

    "It is not how big is the dog in the fight but how big is his bite" .....Heinrich 'pitbull' Brussow is a champion already !!

  • Awwsum - 2009-11-11 16:52

    1.81m and 103kg is considered small in rugby? My word,that's pretty monsterous considering it's 103kg of power packaged in 1.81m(Ps, he's bigger than some of the all powerfull Free State front rowers)

  • GoB.... - 2009-11-11 17:16

    I am really looking forward to Friday nights game. I am hoping that Heinrick has an absolute blinder.....

  • papoose - 2009-11-11 17:31


  • jerry - 2009-11-11 17:37

    you go , an avid Cheetahs supporter , you are now my favourite Springbok player .

  • SteveD - 2009-11-11 17:39

    He!! a BABYFACE??!! Mhwarharhar - funny!

  • @papoose - 2009-11-11 17:58

    Brilliant the Heinrich manouvre! Hahahahaha, I'm so scared of friday's match, really guys i'm really scared........... I'm scared Heinrich is gonna start eaTING THE FRENSHMENN!!! O what horror what horror!

  • GT - 2009-11-11 18:14

    Yeah, what is small about the bloke? He has no neck, forearms like popeye and legs like marula trees. He may be shorter, but there are slabs of meat attached to that frame

  • Andries - 2009-11-11 18:41

    Allthough brilliant, Heinrich is just a part of a Springbok team that's in France to declare war on the Frenchies.Sorry for you guys,i'm affraid the feathers are going to fly on Friday.GO BOKKE!!!!

  • Mike - 2009-11-11 19:00

    Does anyone out there know which referee will be blowing the France/SA test?

  • WP Man - 2009-11-11 20:54

    Heinrich is in die klas van Boland Coetzee van ouds. Die ouer garde sal hom nog onthou - ook sogenaamd "klein", maar pure yster.

  • Voëlvry - 2009-11-12 05:06

    My pa sê: "Staal het nie dikte nodig nie."

  • StuartW - 2009-11-12 07:16

    An awesome player, fitting into an awesome trio of loose forwards...going to be a great game. @Mike, sorry, dunno, but lets hope it is not Dickenson, Barnes or old Brice Lawrence...

  • Yakyoo - 2009-11-12 08:06

    Go Heinrich you beast....

  • muzie madondo - 2009-11-12 08:11

    Mike, The match referee will be the one and only Wayne Barnes the Pom. Yes, he of the famous French favor against the All Blacks in the 2007 WC. Yes, the same one who refereed the Brisbane match vs OZ where Boks went down by 21-6 in their only Tri Nations defeat. I do not trust or like him, seeing he's a Northerner like the French, but I would rather it be him than Stuart Dickinson of OZ, the biggest Bok hater of all time. Boks will win 26-20.

  • Carl Muller - 2009-11-12 08:29

    Dynamite comes in small packets.

  • William Shakespeare - 2009-11-12 08:33

    Heinrich Brüssow : MAN OF STEAL

  • Jeff Aucamp - 2009-11-12 08:35

    It will be good to have him on our side for a change!!

  • Dr Ruth - 2009-11-12 08:37

    I told you all along, size does not matter......

  • GeePMB - 2009-11-12 08:58

    Ok, I am going to be pedantic now, but seriously, did this article have to have the word "killer" in the headline. Yes I understand the context of "killer-instinct" and that Brussouw certainly has it. I also rate him as the find of the season. But in a country where violence and killing is a daily occurence, the use of the word "killer" in a sporting headline smacks of insensitivity. Maybe I am just in a grumpy mood this morning so forgive my little outburst. Either way, Go Bokke shoe les Bleu's who the champions really are!!

  • William Shakespeare - 2009-11-12 09:37

    @GeePMB 11/12/2009 8:58 AM: omg you can't be serious

  • GeePMB - 2009-11-12 10:53

    @ William Shalespeare 09:37 - Told you I am having a grumpy morning lolololololol

  • phillip harding - 2009-11-12 15:09

    Actually the saying goes:’ in a fight, it’s not the size of the dog that counts, but the size of the fight in the dog.” Heinrich is a working class hero. Hope he be-steels, plunders and bliksems any onion chomping frog that comes in his way> Viva!!bokke

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