Bekker all-clear key for Perth

2012-04-24 11:31

Cape Town - The likelihood that Andries Bekker will be fit to represent the Stormers, as well as pick up the seemingly poisoned chalice of leadership, goes a long way to settling their supporters’ nerves ahead of the Super Rugby encounter with the Force in Perth on Saturday.

They need as much “seniority” as they can get right now, what with various experienced customers suddenly dropping out of the mix through injury.

With Duane Vermeulen just the latest casualty, the Stormers have lost a strong component of their lineout game, among other things, making Bekker’s anticipated return to action after missing the Reds fixture last week imperative.

It was an area of play, in an otherwise professional display, where the touring side fell unusually short in Brisbane despite winning 23-13 for a second triumph in three games abroad.

But if Bekker does, indeed, make the cut for this one (11:40 at nib Stadium, SA time) the 2.08m beanpole could make all the difference to restoration of more normal service at the lineout.

He will also, almost certainly, be involved in a poignant last Super Rugby battle with veteran Force second-rower Nathan Sharpe, who is scheduled to retire from all rugby at the end of this season.

The 34-year-old no longer has the captaincy at the Western Australian franchise, with David Pocock now holding that responsibility in the interests of longer-term needs, but he is still the fulcrum of the Force pack in many ways.

Sharpe is the most-capped Wallaby lock forward of all time, with a three-figure tally of appearances, and boasts almost 15 years of first-class rugby.

Understandably, there has always been great mutual respect between Sharpe and Victor Matfield, the Springbok and Bulls legend who is possibly the best lineout jumper ever witnessed.

In his recent book “Victor: My Journey”, Matfield makes reference to the Force favourite on a couple of occasions.

He mentions that it an honour to encounter Sharpe in his 100th Test at Loftus in 2010.

“That evening, a function was held for the players and their families. I was given the chance to say a few words and I thanked everyone who was involved in my career.

“I also singled out Nathan Sharpe, as he and I had competed since our days as under-21 players, and it was fitting to have him as an opponent in my 100th Test.”

If Bekker is to keep developing as the heir apparent to Matfield in South African rugby, a rousing game against Sharpe would do his credentials no harm at all ...

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • Jason - 2012-04-24 11:44

    Bekker Vs Sharpe battle will be a fun little side game in the match!

      Japjapjap - 2012-04-24 13:11

      ja zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      Blouvitrioel - 2012-04-24 14:33

      Go Sharpe!!! Bul groete.

      Tokolos - 2012-04-24 16:34

      Go NATHAN!!!!

      Lance - 2012-04-24 16:41

      Some scared Bulls here, hoping the Stormers lose so that they don't have to encounter the might Stormers again. I know if it were the other way around I'd be hoping the Bulls won to get a shot at revenge....Bulls ? More like chickens...

      Tokolos - 2012-04-24 17:23

      Lance... Not revenge old chap... JUSTICE!!! On 2 June JUSTICE will be served!

      Lance - 2012-04-25 11:55

      Lets hope for it Tokolos..but wishing for a foreign side to knock us out of the competition doesnt help.The Bulls wont have a shot revenge. Its tough..but you have to wish the Stormers well or else this will be the year the "Bulls lost to the Stormers"..Im definitely supporting the Bulls as Bulls/ Stormers final will be a true test !

  • Jovan - 2012-04-24 11:58

    "Had we been defeated, we would never have offered the loss of our three leaders, Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers and Andries Bekker as an excuse. On principle, we believe that finding excuses is a self-defeating exercise, which only detracts from our focus on improvement and achievement." This what Koster wrote in his blog. To me a bit contradicting in what Rob assume the stormers' supporters feels. This weeks game will be great test for us, will we have the depth even without Bekker? I hope so, think so, and will always support.

      Japjapjap - 2012-04-24 13:21

      weepee het nog nooit leiers gehad ni?? daarom dat di volgers al vir 11jare+, so in sirkels loop... AC- al verloor ons, ons geniet ons rugby....

      Jovan - 2012-04-24 13:42

      japjapjapjapjap... ek het lee blikke by my huis ook. Swaap.

      Japjapjap - 2012-04-24 14:11

      ek glo mens moet nooit jo familie beledig ni- ni jo mammie of jo pappie of jo sussie of vir ouma...of vir enige van di lee blikke by jo huis ni??

      Stormkaap - 2012-04-24 14:52

      Japjap, how long have you been following/watching rugby? Testament to the statement that rugby is enjoyed in the WC is the fact crowds are better @ newlands than at for leaders, some of the best Springbok captains came from WP.

      Jovan - 2012-04-24 15:00


      Tokolos - 2012-04-24 17:31

      JapJappie... Jy is reg my maat. Hulle het nooit leiers gehad nie. Al van die Groot Trek se tyd af. Dis hoekom hulle in die Kaap agtergebly het. Die "lame, sick & lazy". Hulle het nie leiers en guts gehad nie. Dis vandag nog so! Dis hoekom hulle so afgunstig en jaloers teenoor die Bulle is. Hull sê nou nog vir hulleself "as my voorouers maar net wou trek daai tyd...."

  • Craig - 2012-04-24 12:33

    Bekker's a quality player, will be good to see him back and hopefully the injuries stay away. Would love to see him and Etzebeth as Bok 4 and 5. And this coming from a Sharks supporter. Would also love to see more unbiased oppinions on this sights.

      Ren%c3%a9 - 2012-04-24 12:42

      Craig, IMHO I would like to see Juandre @ 5 and Etzebeth playing 4. They will cause havoc!

      Japjapjap - 2012-04-24 13:27

      @craigi- do agree, no more biased oppinions on this sights, pls! lets support our super blue bokke team and especially the great blue bok locks- best in the world!!!!

      Lance - 2012-04-24 15:43

      Truth is locks need to come in pairs as they need to know each others thoughts. It will be all Bulls or all Stormers locks..other predictions for June are F du Preez and Morne..Jean and Juan..

      Tokolos - 2012-04-24 17:34

      Yes Lance... After this season you will have to buy a pair of locks. One for the South gate and one for the North gate..... No cups AGAIN this year unfortunately!!!

      Stormkaap - 2012-04-24 18:44

      If Juandre can sort out his discipline issues..maybe. But for now it has to be Bekker and Etsebeth..

      Lance - 2012-04-24 20:06

      Houghie is my first choice 9, but my prediction is what Meyer will choose.

  • Shaun - 2012-04-24 13:18

    The words 'Powerful' and 'Andries Bekker' in the same sentence???

      Tokolos - 2012-04-24 17:12

      I would rather say "powerpuff" Shaun.

      Stormkaap - 2012-04-24 18:45

      No tokkie when you and others refer to 'powderpuff'' you must be refering to Piggy Spies

  • steve.vanrooyen - 2012-04-24 14:26

    Sharpe and Pocock are going to make this a huge test for Stormers youthful resolve....

  • Pieter - 2012-04-24 14:26

    As Bekker beseer is, moet hom asseblief nie speel nie!!!

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