Burger and Smith to face off

2010-10-14 22:39

Stephen Nell

Cape Town – Schalk Burger and Juan Smith should be Springbok colleagues within a few weeks, but before then a colossal battle of the loose forwards is looming in Saturday’s Currie Cup semifinal at Newlands.

Both captains have a talismanic effect on their teams. Burger’s return last week paved the way for Western Province to win the first game in their last five clashes against big unions as they comfortably saw off the Sharks.

Smith’s presence in the Super 14 this year led to an average swing of 38 points in favour of the Cheetahs. The average score of games that Smith played this year was 30-24 to the Cheetahs, while in his absence it was 12-44 against them in four tour games.

Burger was the captain of a Stormers team that reached the Super 14 final for the first time in the history of the Cape franchise this year.

Smith is also a veteran of the Free State teams that won semifinals against WP at Newlands in 2004 and 2005, and undoubtedly the danger man.

“I think he had almost the same effect with the Springboks,” Burger said about Smith’s big impact at the Cheetahs.

“Juan is a fantastic player and someone I have played with a lot. He is outstanding on and off the field, and with the manner in which he leads Free State. With him there they are definitely a stronger side.”

The same applies to Burger and WP. Province have a thicker cheque book and more depth than Free State, so are less reliant on one outstanding individual for the x-factor.

The down side is that they can’t rely on the same continuity as the Cheetahs.

Burger’s return also re-unites the Cape loose-trio that comfortably stood its ground against the best in the Southern Hemisphere in the Super 14. He is playing with former Cheetah Duane Vermeulen and also outstanding Bok flank Francois Louw.

Ashley Johnson, who was a Springbok tourist last year, and Hendro Scholtz make up the Free State loose-trio with Smith.

“Smith is a Bok and Johnson has toured with the Springboks. But they are also up against a seasoned loose-trio in Schalk, Flo and Duane,” said WP coach Allister Coetzee.

“Juan is inspirational for Free State and this kind of game is very physical. I’m happy with the way in which our pack stood its ground last week. It was not just a matter of the pressure being absorbed and that they were able to hold their opponents, but of dominating. I expect nothing less this week.”

Coetzee said that WP had learned from their mistakes in the 24-29 defeat to Free State at Newlands earlier in the competition. The Cape side have also subsequently been strengthened by their Springboks.

“They put us under a lot of pressure by limiting our time and space on attack. We grew from that experience and I’m satisfied with how we have subsequently fared against teams that have put us under similar pressure,” he said.


  • @Uncle - 2010-10-15 03:24

    So bek kort jam!2 Manne daai nie stofpoepertjies soos Spies bloedklont nie.Ek kyk netnou die fotos van eers die WP wat oefen en toe die Bulle.Jirre mense daai Bulle bly n kommin spul barbers!Hougaard is al net sp pyl en hy is skaars weg uit die Kaap.Fkn dom Spies is nou heel uit verhouding uit van al die steriods en bodybuilding.Wat n simpel sot is die ding nie en dan like hy homself ook so baie!Enigste van 3 BB wat met n frokkie oefen...seker dat sy spiere nie sy trui skeur nie.Regte Hatfield gwar!Hopelik onttrek die d@@s vd einde vd jaar toer.Vroulief mag seker nie alleen bly nie..hehehehe!Groot plastiek/bottel spiertjies met seker n 2duim voeltjie...hehehehehe! Grootste grap in Wereldrugby op die oomblik.GO SHARKS!

  • Budget? - 2010-10-15 03:29

    n Tjekboek gaan nie help in Bloem nie.Watter ordentlike mens wil in daai k@k dorp bly!?

  • Loftus - 2010-10-15 07:03

    @uncletjie Spies is an 8th man while Schalk and Juan are flankers.Together they play for the Springboks.Learn your rugby and stop criticising the Bulls players.Have you ever seen Bulls supporters insulting other provinces' players the way you and your fellow supporters do to Bulls players?

  • @Uncle - 2010-10-15 07:04

    Right on the money there!!!!

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-10-15 07:27

    2 Van die BESTES in hul posisie!!! But tomorrow it will be WP by between 3-5 points!!! Good luck to BOTH teams..... WP groete.

  • creigh - 2010-10-15 07:36

    Hey, leave Spies alone... He da man.

  • Carl Muller - 2010-10-15 07:37

    The best of the best. And those that criticize goes on. When I was small we use to say, "Jealousy makes you nasty, jealousy makes you nasty". Bitter pil om te sluk as jou spannetjie verloor....

  • Michael - 2010-10-15 07:49

    It is anyones game. Both teams want to be in final. My money is on WP.

  • @Loftus - 2010-10-15 07:50

    Catch a wake up, uncle's comment was on LOOSE FORWARDS not FLANKERS vs 8th MAN!! Sieeeeeeesss!!

  • Slangvel - 2010-10-15 07:52

    @Uncle - very special !!

  • Arend - 2010-10-15 08:06

    @Uncle: I am a proud WP supporter and lifelong Springbok supporter. Your mother should moer you and wash out your mouth. You are an embarrassment for all rugby loving people and should not comment at all as you expose your intellect which deserves a "Darwin" award. Please dissappear as soon as possible. Good Luck to all semi final teams will be brutal! May the best teams win. GO WP!

  • Blou - 2010-10-15 08:11

    @Uncle. Sham ou, het lanklaas iemand gehoor wat so minderwaardigheids kompleks het. Jy moet 'n sielkundige gaan sien. If you can't contribute rather keep you mouth shut. This is actually quite a positive article that you come and destroy

  • Bullion - 2010-10-15 08:25

    @uncle - To speak with such disrespect about rugby players that have proven the are the best - the only South Africa Super14 champions - 3times and Currie cup champions 23 times. The Sharks ZERO super 14 and only 5 time Currie cup. And it took you a 100 years to win your first one. Like your team you have ZERO class and do not deserve any respect. Sharks should be ashamed to have such brainless and common supporters that can only insult players. As a fellow rugby supporter i would advise you to take up a sport which could cater for you 50 IQ.

  • Laeveld Stormer - 2010-10-15 08:27

    Uncle: hahaha! that just made my morning! PROOOVINCE!!!! HOS JA!

  • @Uncle en sy aanhanger - 2010-10-15 08:29

    Jou ma jou seker nie genoeg vasgehou en jou gym instrukteer seker weer geweier om jou fat ass te train dat jy so jaloers is? Burger en Jean albei uitstekend in hul posisies maar weet nie waar julle 8ste man vergelykings vandaan kom nie.

  • Bill - 2010-10-15 09:24

    I agree with Loftus, the WP supporters are the worst in the country. I have been to all the major stadiums in the country, and Newlands definitely rates as the worst place to watch rugby. I can only assume that the WP supporters suffer from an inferiority complex and try to take their frustrations out on any other franchise supporters. In my opinion, a bunch of narrow minded idiots!!

  • @@Uncle - 2010-10-15 09:27

    I'm starting to wonder about your sexual orientation. I mean as a non bulls supporter you actually go and look at their photo's and can explain in a lot of detail what Bulls(Spies) is were wearing and his muscle structures etc. Projection they call this, when you diss something when you are too embarrassed to admit you actually like it. This is the 21 century; it is ok to come out of the closet.

  • Bloubull_zn - 2010-10-15 09:48

    People ignore Uncle's comments. People like him enjoy nothing more than stirring the pot and when we react to them they "Kry Lekka". So @Uncle. Thank you for your comments and enjoy the game on Saturday. To all the real rugby supporters out there, I must admit as a Bulls supporter here in KZN I am not so confident. In all honesty the Sharks and Province has played the better rugby this season and realy deserve to be in the Final.

  • @GW - 2010-10-15 13:43

    When the ANC forces you're beloved WP to move from Old Land, we'll have a nice chat again. You heard it here first, watch this space.

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-10-16 10:23

    Loftus: Whoa net n bietjie , lees , o jammer , julle manne van nnord van die jukskei kan nie - Uncle 2010/10/14 11:44 PM Two real loose forwards LOOSE FORWARDS A-HOLE

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