Burger plays after long layoff

2013-09-28 10:30

Johannesburg - Springbok Schalk Burger returned to action on Friday after a long layoff as Sharks and Western Province secured Currie Cup semi-finals places.

The flank and 2007 Rugby World Cup winner came off the Province bench on the hour in a thrilling 29-27 triumph at Cheetahs while Sharks won 31-25 at Lions.

It was Burger's first appearance for the Cape Town outfit since injuring a knee 18 months ago in the opening round of the 2012 Super Rugby competition.

Capped 68 times by South Africa, Burger, 30, had his comeback delayed through a calf muscle injury, a cyst pressing on his spine and bacterial meningitis.

The illness kept the 2004 World Player of the Year in hospital for six weeks and he spent a further eight weeks indoors after being released.

Burger ran on to huge applause from the Free State Stadium crowd in central city Bloemfontein and helped Province transform an eight-point deficit into a last-gasp win.

Loose forward Michael Rhodes, back after serving a one-match ban for stamping on the face of an opponent, touched down following a driving maul.

Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis converted and kicked a penalty to nudge defending champions Province into a two-point advantage.

Playmaker Elgar Watts restored Cheetahs' lead off a penalty only for substitute Catrakilis to drop a goal a minute from time and keep Province unbeaten this season.

Left-wing Cheslin Kolbe was the other Province try-scorer, starting flyhalf Kurt Coleman kicked three penalties and a conversion, and Catrakilis a conversion, a penalty and a drop goal.

Cheetahs, unlucky losers with a much-changed side after a drubbing at Sharks last weekend, crossed the try-line through fullback Hennie Daniller (twice) and scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius.

Right-wing Riaan Smit kicked two conversions and a penalty before retiring with a calf injury and Watts slotted a conversion and a penalty.

Young Sharks flyhalf Fred Zeilinga starred against third-place Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, scoring 21 points in a victory that kept his team top of the table.

Zeilinga started the season as understudy to 2007 Rugby World Cup winner Butch James, but outstanding form has elevated him to first-choice status.

He helped the Durban team turn round a 20-16 half-time deficit with replacement scrum-half Cobus Reinach scoring the crucial try 12 minutes from time.

There were also tries from fullback SP Marais and Zeilinga, who kicked two conversions, two penalties and two drop goals.

Loose forward trio Derick Minnie, Warren Whitely and Jaco Kriel dotted down for Lions and flyhalf Elton Jantjies slotted two conversions and two penalties.

Sharks and Province have 28 points each and need to win one of their two remaining league fixtures to clinch home semi-finals in the oldest provincial rugby competition.

Lions have 21 and Cheetahs 17, and Bulls (11) are away to Griquas (10) Saturday in a game that could decide who finishes last and goes into a promotion-relegation playoff.


  • Riaan Van Der Merwe - 2013-09-28 10:33

    Geluk skalla ou maat eks bly jy is terug en mag jy nog n paar goeie jare speel voor jy aftree.

      Maraai Visser - 2013-09-28 11:53

      Ek en Isak is sjoo bly jy is terug ou Schalkie....nou kan djie WP weer wen vir n slag. Bekers tot djie jaar 2016

  • Nkosincedile Matwa - 2013-09-28 10:42

    Comments hv been closed 4 this article(news 24)

      Brutus Mcgreggor - 2013-09-28 12:24

      Visser jou AAP, die artikel gaan oor burger, djirre jy is soos n gatvlieg partykeer

      Martiens Bezuidenhout - 2013-09-28 15:54

      @isak... Ek hoop jy het geld op daai een gesit. Dom bly maar dom.

  • Pieter Samie - 2013-09-28 10:48

    Burger you legend. Never write this guy off - way too much class (PS eat your heart out)

      Niel van der Walt - 2013-09-28 12:51

      Schalk plays flank, spies plays 8th man, your comment makes no sense. Why would spies care how a flank plays?

      Pieter Samie - 2013-09-28 15:30

      Niel, not sure where you recorded it, but I have never seen PS play in any position.

  • Sean Bagley - 2013-09-28 10:48

    Well done Province in securing the Semi-Final spot.Province to put the Kittens away next week and hopefully to break the GRIDLOCK at the top of the log at Kings Park later. Massive improvements last night when Catrakilis came on.He seem to get the best out of Kolbe,Aplon and vd Heever.

  • Leon Young - 2013-09-28 11:47

    welcome back schalk burger

  • Brutus Mcgreggor - 2013-09-28 12:26

    The way old rob Houwing was going on last night one could swear burger' return was the second coming. Burger won't make it backin the boks, his daddy doesnt have the cash anymore to bribe saru

      Brendan Keith Shaw - 2013-09-28 12:35

      Brutus that is defamation of character, however I bet you won't have the guts to tell Schalla to his face. As a troll, you most probably feel safe behind your keyboard. Well WP get less coverage than most on SS and SABC, therefore where else must we go?

      Sean Bagley - 2013-09-28 12:58

      Skurk en swendelaar Brutus is lekker grootbek agter sy komputer.

      Rudolf Meiring - 2013-09-28 14:14

      People like you must rather support soccer! CAKE!! Schalla achieved more than you ever will &(wannabe/ASS)

      Rudolf Meiring - 2013-09-28 14:14

      People like you must rather support soccer! CAKE!! Schalla achieved more than you ever will &(wannabe/ASS)

  • Nkosincedile Matwa - 2013-09-28 13:55

    Injury prone. Bt he is good player.

  • Rudel du Preez - 2013-09-29 11:34

    Soos Schalk gespeel het is dei Viskoppe die enigste span wat hy kon haal

  • Cape Stormer - 2013-09-30 10:53

    I still don't understand this whole Schalk thing, I would like to see if Kolisi will have to make way for him in the WP/Stormers team. Kolisi is so much better than him, Schalk just knows one thing and that is how to play dirty and give away yellow cards. Has never been a big fan of him and will never be. Make no mistake he is a good player but like the Springbok team his discipline is not good at all. I will go for any clean player over a fan favourite any day.

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