Brüssow edging closer to Boks

2012-09-09 12:24

Cape Town - You have to be careful these days not to use performances in the diluted Currie Cup as too big a yardstick toward international credentials.

But in Bloemfontein on Saturday night Heinrich Brüssow will have given plenty of depressed Springbok supporters some cause for renewed cheer as his comeback from several weeks on the sidelines probably only exceeded expectations.

Clearly the 26-year-old has a remarkable engine, because he somehow managed to finish as strongly as anyone for the Cheetahs in a breathless, exciting Currie Cup encounter - the home team battered away for fully five minutes after the final siren to try to force an equalising try in a 29-22 defeat to a Western Province team who grab the tournament lead on points differential from the Lions and Sharks at the round-robin midway mark.

Significantly, despite his recent lack of game-time, the low-slung, big-hearted open-side flanker was a bundle of energy for those 85 personally uninterrupted minutes.

In short, Brüssow’s mobility and ball sense made him a creative factor on attack at times, but he also excelled at his real forte of being a menace at the breakdown, if not always actually stealing ball then at least going a long way to slowing down WP possession or stopping their mauling initiatives.

He made enough of an impression for a tearaway Bok loose forward of yesteryear, Rob Louw (@roblouw6) to enthusiastically tweet: “Brussow in his 1st match back ... great. Send him to NZ.”

The wobbling Springboks next play world champions New Zealand on Saturday as their challenge in the Castle Rugby Championship continues to fade, following the sobering loss to Australia in Perth.

It is almost certainly “win or bust” for the Boks in Dunedin, who are five points behind the unbeaten All Blacks at the halfway mark and will just about hand the 2012 title to Richie McCaw’s side if they play second fiddle - already some more pessimistic Bok enthusiasts are probably secretly hoping only that the tourists keep the score down anyway.

The Wallabies, aided in no small measure by fielding a specialist open-sider against South Africa in young Michael Hooper, continue to look less than world-beaters themselves, so their 26-19 triumph puts the Boks’ current plight in stark perspective.

Still, you would think it is highly unlikely that embattled coach Heyneke Meyer will suddenly issue an eleventh-hour tour call-up to Brussow, who he had stubbornly ignored before his most recent injury setback anyway.

A likelier scenario is that the Free Stater will make himself a near-irresistible candidate for the closing, home leg of the tournament for the Boks against Australia in Pretoria (September 29) and then New Zealand in Soweto (October 6).

There were times in Perth where the Boks, despite some periods of promising supremacy, did cry out for swifter numbers to breakdowns, as they were instead frustratingly turned over.

Unfortunately Marcell Coetzee, who nevertheless remains a great prospect for the Boks and offers options both at No 7 and No 8, is looking increasingly less, rather than the obviously desired more, accomplished on the open side.

Not that his is a lone, problematic loose forward spot: big unit Willem Alberts is yet to fully convince on the blind-side as an “80 minutes” factor, whilst Duane Vermeulen had a subdued debut as eighthman at Patersons Stadium.

Indeed, in Vermeulen clearly still being short of a gallop (though he warrants another crack in Dunedin?) probably lies a lesson to Meyer and company: don’t be in too obscene a hurry to rush back somebody like Brüssow from Currie Cup comeback activity.

It would make sense, arguably, for the coach to hand existing squad member Francois Louw a start at No 6 on Saturday after the Bath man was restricted to just over 20 minutes off the bench in Perth, perhaps not quite enough time to make a meaningful impact.

Louw, at least, is one player who can boast a rare accolade: once emphatically getting the better of the great McCaw on the deck, a famous night in 2010 when the Stormers thrashed the Crusaders 42-14 in a Super Rugby fixture.

Even something moderately close to a repeat would represent a major tonic to the Boks’ upset hopes, wouldn’t it?

*Saturday’s next round of Currie Cup fixtures (home teams first): Griquas v Blue Bulls, 15:00, Cheetahs v Lions, 17:05, Sharks v Western Province, 19:10.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • lean.sadie - 2012-09-09 12:37

    Can only hope he gets called up really soon. Great player!!!

      foodfor.thought.73 - 2012-09-09 12:40

      Do not underestimate what Marnus Schoeman, Grikwas, can add to the Boks. Yep he might lack some international experience, but he certainly knows how to steal a ball...

      thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-09-09 19:00

      We do need changes, and they will come!!!. Lets be REALISTIC, you don't lose so many senior players five of them LEGENDS plus a horrendous amount of frontline players and expect nothing to change!!!! Remember Jake Whites team lost 49 nil to the Aussies when he was building and had most of his frontline players inn!! The ABs and slightly less Aussies still have their core players inn, so lets be patient and see Meyer learn from these games!!!!! I am also not a fan of the kicking game, but I think we overdo it!! Ruan doesn't look like the answer but to be fair it was his first start, I always said he was not the man for the AB games!! I was like many fans, going nuts at the TV but after a cooling down period REALISED we must stand back and look at the real picture!!!!!!!!

      macziekpk - 2012-09-09 19:40

      Please thomas don;t sound so reasonable. Heyneke Meyer is the sole reason for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and John Lennon the two greatest leaders of our time

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:21

      @maaksiek. Only because he aimed for the persons standing 10m away from them.

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-09-09 12:38

    Test rugby ain't Super Rugby HM and you way out of your league in this one.It only took Australia 40 minutes to figure how pathetic your gameplan is and to counter it sucessfully.England did it in the 2nd & 3rd test in June and Argentina in the Mendoza 2 weeks ago.The All Blacks already now what's coming from the Boks with HM's poor selections and outdated gameplan.The Boks have a talented & potentially dangerous backline that can play running rugby,but is being nullified by the HM'S kick and chase k^k. The 2012 version of rugby is called "expansive style of rugby" HM.You need a proper no 6. fetcher in our loose forwards to clear out the rucks and provide quick turn-over ball.Put Goosen or Lambie at flyhalf as they can both tackle and get the backline moving whereas Morne Steyn can't do s**t.Morne Steyn is a robot.He can only play the way he's been programmed to do.There's no creativity from him. HM brings in players that are not fully fit(Vermeulen) and drops game breakers like (Keegan Daniels).He neutralizes Marcell Coetzee by forcing him to play a different game instead of his natural game.South Africa's best player at the last WC,Frans Steyn,also gets nullified as a game breakers because he has to do his job and cover for Morne aswell.You make room on the field for Hougaard & Kirchner simply because they Blue Bulls players.Players that can turn a game on its head gets left on the bench and brought on only in the last 10 minutes of the game. HM your time's up.

      blou.johnny - 2012-09-09 13:26

      ...and drop useless Donkey Vermeulen, ...pensioner useless bryan Banana ...and palooka captain Jean de villiers... ..losers....

      timothy.johnson.90857 - 2012-09-09 13:30

      Could'nt agree more. My sentiments exactly.

      macziekpk - 2012-09-09 18:52

      The funniest thing is you have addressed your long prose to Heyneke Meyer himself. He will never read it and never reply. But thanks buddy for trying. Maybe Santa will get your letter. You don't actually put Keegan Daniel in brackets. Otherwise your sentence would just read....and drops game breakers like. Frans Steyn is one man not "a game breakers" which is so grammatically wrong (it makes me sick). Really a badly written letter and if I was Heyneke Meyer I would not bother reading it purely because of poor spelling and poor grammar.

  • foodfor.thought.73 - 2012-09-09 12:39

    Do not underestimate what Marnus Schoeman, Grikwas, can add to the Boks. Yep he might lack some international experience, but he certainly knows how to steal a ball...

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:25

      If Heineken could have taken off his bloubril, he could have picked some more Griquas and WP players, because they are clearly the pace-setters in SA rugby, with the cupless pink jokers just keeping the Boks behind.

  • timothy.johnson.90857 - 2012-09-09 13:03

    Yes, he is the real deal. Unlike the hordes of Bulls players that have not forced their way into the Bok side based on their play, but rather are selected just based on just playing for the Bulls (Potgieter, Kruger, Van Der Merwe, Hougaard at 9, Steyn, Vermaak .....). We are in for another dry spell until a better coach is selected. The Boks still play one dimensional rugby (kick and chase) and were beaten by a very weak Australian side.

      blou.johnny - 2012-09-09 13:30

      ...Bulls = Super Champions X3.. .....fool.....

      paul.sdoow - 2012-09-09 14:19

      . . . . bulls=three times losers to chokers . . . . fool . living in the past are you jonny

      deon.fouche.3 - 2012-09-09 15:35

      Paul, who is the bulls? Is it the palokas at the BOTTOM of the log? That team that lost 42-6?

      paul.sdoow - 2012-09-09 17:05

      ha ha yes deon i think that's the ones

      macziekpk - 2012-09-09 18:44

      The Bulls lost to the WP and Stormers in the past. It happened now it is the past, so therefore you too, are living in the past.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:25

      Cupless pink jokers at the botttom of the log.

  • blou.johnny - 2012-09-09 13:19

    ...drop useless Donkey Vermeulen...!! Play Alberts at 8, Coetzee at 7 and Brussow at 6..

      johan.arendse.90 - 2012-09-09 13:26

      awe blou job,jou maaaa se po&s.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:29

      @daanleroux. Pink Johnny is a Bulls supporter. He likes to loose. He just want to weaken the team further because he is afraid they might win. Just like Heineken really. But for the rest of the world that knows something about rugby, I'd say Brussouw at 6, Alberts 7 and Vermeulen at 8.

  • Sammy Willow - 2012-09-09 13:31

    he will persist with the same team this weekend, being stubborn, and after we get beaten, hopefully through sheer media pressure he should realise there is no further hope to compete for the four nations and try out the youngsters, lambie, goosen, jordaan, Whitehead and bring back brussow, the reason we won the 2009 tri nations

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:32

      You would think so, but this is Heineken Bloubril. He will stick to the same gameplan, get beaten by 20 or 30 points and claims his gameplan worked. He will then drop Eben for Flop, Jean de Villiers for Wynand Olivier. Beast for Dean "dommer-as-'n-deurknop" Greyling. Vermeulen for Potgieter and move Two-step Hougaard back to 9.

  • blou.johnny - 2012-09-09 13:49

    ...Heyneke Meyer, ...please get rid of all those useless loser WP Stormer players in th Bok team.. You cannot build a Bok team with so many losers in your team... ..Donkey Vermeulen was nowhere against the Aussies.. ..Bryan Banana is already on pension (for last 3 years)... ...and no-pass Jean de Villiers is a palooka captain...

      marius.potgieter.39 - 2012-09-09 14:22

      Every time you comment you say the same old line....wp stormers loser chokers ... That same loser choker wp stormers beat your bulls team 3 times in a row now !!!

      danie.joubert.7 - 2012-09-09 15:01

      ag gaan speel in die verkeer....jy raak nou\r\nfken irriterint en j gee and blou bul\r\nsupporters 'n slegte naam. WORD GROOT OF\r\nGAAN DOOD

      deon.fouche.3 - 2012-09-09 15:42

      Dit is al hoe die arme patetiese siel homself kan vermaak! Sy ou bulletjies gee hom nie juis iets anders om te doen nie

      werner.pretorius.12 - 2012-09-09 19:14

      Die ou maak die Bulle se naam Bollie. Waar is julle Bulle. Maak die ou stil.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:38

      Thanks to Vermeulen, the Boks received at least two penalties because he was claiming the ball and they held on. I also saw a few balls he turned over. It is the first test this year that happened. And contrary to your "opinion", players that cost us the game were Turnstile Steyn, who can't pass, can't tackle, can't kick, Two-step Hougaard was no-where to be seen, Nik-naks kicked away every bit of posession he got; no immagination or inventiveness, the whole front row who got scrummed into the ground by the worst scrum in world rugby, Kruger and Coetzee (were they even on the field?)

  • phillip.marchant.52 - 2012-09-09 14:15

    No, he's too small. No, he's too big. No, he's too slow. No, he's not strong enough. No, he gives away too many penalties. No, it was a very weak Lions side that he single handedly beat. No, it's only that McCaw always has an off day when the two match up. No, he's not match fit. No, the laws have changed. No, he's too much of a Cheetah. No, his kicking game's not up to scratch. No, if I choose him the 'Boks might actually win a game. No, if I choose him now, I'll be proved wrong. This is the most disgusting treatment of one who has proven himself to be the greatest ground-player of the modern era, and we can thank our lucky stars that this great 'Bok doesn't care much for bangers and mash, frog leg, or raw fish.

      macziekpk - 2012-09-09 18:46

      A bit bitter are you? The guy is useless man, just gives away penalties and gets injured in the process. Plus he went didn't really go to a good school Haha

      bielie.vanzyl - 2012-09-09 21:01

      @macziekpk - you're not the sharpest tack in the box, are you? In fact, you're a real, dyed in the wool idiot.

      Staalburger - 2012-09-10 00:51

      Macziepkp, we all know you're a bulls supporter, and that you have posters of Heyneke against your wall. And your jealousy about Grey College is...well... fitting to you.

  • marius.potgieter.39 - 2012-09-09 14:17

    Brussow,alberts and vermeulen the loose trio... Goosen and lambie taking over from m steyn and kirchner... And away with the kick and chase rugby...

      paul.sdoow - 2012-09-09 14:22

      if only d fourie throw ins were accurate would opt for him with bizzy injured. your hooker needs to be one of the first at break down area

      marius.potgieter.39 - 2012-09-09 14:25

      Jip he is the closest to the tipe of player bizzie is....

      macziekpk - 2012-09-09 18:48

      Brussow and Alberts and Vermeulen. We lost because Vermeulen cannot chase kicks or clear rucks or hold onto the ball. ALberts is the same. Brussow is not from a good school. Vermeulen has the look of a real donkey.

      macziekpk - 2012-09-09 19:42

      We lost because Vermeulen can't fetch. We lost because Vermeulen is a donkey. We lost because Jean De Villiers is a gutless wonder. We lost because Bryan Habana should be our starting number 6. We lost because of the melting of the ice caps, which is Heyneke's fault obvs

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:40

      @marius. Agreed. Everyone can see that except Heineken Bloubril. O yes pink.johnny and maaksiek as well, but they don't count.

      sky.nhlangothi - 2012-09-10 07:39

      I reckon, as good as alberts is, he should be rested. He is been over worked, let marcell take over,start a fetcher, now I see it ws a big mistake dropping Daniels as he would have help to slow the ball at the break down.

  • - 2012-09-09 15:07

    Man if only Sharks supporters would adhere to that opening line.

  • chris.holtshausen - 2012-09-09 16:08

    Geen spanveranderinge gaan hierdie Bokke meer red nie...die enigste moontlike redding is om so gou as moontlik van HM en sy 'dinosaur'-afrigtingspan ontslae te raak!!!

  • thereevos - 2012-09-09 18:07

    I think we going to have to bite our tongues on this one as I think HM hasn't got everyone's best interests at heart.the oke is clearly only on his dimensional ........he will go at this game pan until he wins something then it will be "i told you so"...jean devilliers is in agreement with HM on the game plan which I then have 2 word for you puss lips.eff off

  • michael.hendrickse.58 - 2012-09-09 20:50

    Dont rush into things........keep Brussow for our 2 home fixtures.......let him get his rugby mojo back..........dammit we lacking a good fetcher!!!!!

      rjbtee - 2012-09-10 10:47

      Agree, lest win our home games with a decent fetcher, we are out of the running to win the championship anyway - or are we. Brussow in Dunedin to scramble the AB balls. Three wins and the title is ours.

  • carl.dillon.37 - 2012-09-09 21:42

    Brussow the LEGEND! Brussow ...THE Bok Fetcher!

  • Arche' van Rensburg - 2012-09-09 22:23

    f louw over brussouw 4 now as brussouw only came back now after a long injury layoff!! if u go into the clash against nz with 2 of ur loose forward short of game time and match fitness(brussouw,vermeulen) your gonna get demolished...

  • Arche' van Rensburg - 2012-09-09 22:26

    just a question!! once schalk burger returns where will you find place for him in the bok team?? same 4 spies?? because HM will def make space for spies

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:43

      And don't forget Potgieter, Stegman, the other Potgieter and that outjie that plays for the Bulls c-team. Heineken wants to play all of them.

  • Arche' van Rensburg - 2012-09-09 22:39

    johnny willem alberts is swak op 8 en was nog altyd dis hoekom hul hom terug gekuif het flank toe!! jys darm maar n dom aap en iriteer almal op die sites!! baie baie sad mens!! waste of space en asem,rerig!! jy gaan seker elkedag in jou daaglikse lewe ook uit jou pad uit om te kyk hoe onangenaam jy lewe kan maak vir almal wat saam jou werk,bly!!! very sad case you are!! amper kry ek jou jammer!!

      blou.johnny - 2012-09-09 23:39 Cups... Super cups... ...Sad... Very sad...

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-10 00:07

      @Arche. Moenie aanneem pink johnny het 'n werk nie. Hy sit elke dag in sy krot en kyk video tapes van jare gelede toe die bulls nog iets gewen het. Dis vir hom baie bitter dat sy span nou al etlike jare bekerloos is terwyl die WP en Stormers hulle game na game trap en daarby nog 'n paar bekers in die kas het. Dit het sy lewe geruineer en sy kop laat uithaak.

  • Arche' van Rensburg - 2012-09-09 23:01

    42-6 !!!!! brache en duplessis nou nog in blou.johnny se nightmares!!!

      blou.johnny - 2012-09-09 23:34 cups... ...11 years... ...and counting...

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-10 00:07

      Cupless pink jokers bottom of the log.

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-09-09 23:20

    Get him into the team immediately. Heineken forgot to pick anyone in the nr. 6 jersey last weekend and only realised it in the second half when he sent Louw on.

  • xolisa.madalane - 2012-09-10 07:40

    this is not right ppl the boks nid someone to fetch those balls in wrack bt brussow is around, why he did not take him this is unfair guyz.

  • Arche' van Rensburg - 2012-09-10 10:08

    chrisin.oz!!! lol... thats so true!! we saw how the game changed in the last 10min when HM replaced his bulls(morne,niknaks) with goosen and lambie but by that time he leaves it to late and give the guys with real talent no time to show what they can do!!! im REALLY sick of morne now!!! they can even bring back john smit again thats how badly i want to see morne be moved to the bulls first division/japan,wherever!! just away from any bok jersey!!! give goosen time!! we are losing games now anyways so we can then just aswell use this losing streak lol to develop talent that can actaully make a difference and win us games!!!

  • Arche' van Rensburg - 2012-09-10 10:11

    xolisa,brussouws time wil come!! he just came back from a long injury layoff,aswell as vermeulen so HM didnt want to take the risk of selecting 2 backrowers in need of game time in the same team!! i think HM will call him up for the 2 home leg matches against nz and aus!!

  • rjbtee - 2012-09-10 10:29

    Someone send the video to HM

  • yuri.maharaj - 2012-09-10 10:49

    Its dark days as a bok supporter, but geez, we need Brussow back badly. He is just class. How good did Lambie and Goosen look in contrast Morne, who was at sixes and sevens for almost the entire game. Just not good enough from the Boks. We are double world champions ffs.

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