McCaw return a 'bonus'

2011-05-12 09:00

Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein - It will not be Heinrich Brüssow's job alone to beat Crusaders captain Richie McCaw in the loose on Saturday.

Brüssow believes that the Cheetahs are becoming a threat at the breakdowns for opponents in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament thanks to the ability of players such as prop Coenie Oosthuizen and centre Robert Ebersohn to also steal balls.

McCaw makes his return in the Free State Stadium on Saturday after a concussion limited his participation in last weekend's match against the Stormers.

The duel between the All Black flank and Brüssow is not just of interest to the supporters of both teams. Springbok coach Peter de Villiers and All Black mentor Graham Henry are set to watch the clash with eagle eyes.

Brüssow, who looked a pedigreed Springbok against the Lions, believes his team-mates support him enough at the breakdowns and that it will not be his job alone.

"If you look at the statistics, you will see that Coenie Oosthuizen stole three balls and Robert Ebersohn four or five against the Lions. There are a number of guys in the team that are starting to poach balls. It makes it so much easier.

"As a team we have become a threat for our opponents at the breakdowns and that makes a big difference."

Brüssow (24) played his first game after a rib injury against the Brumbies this season and against the Lions he left the field shortly after halftime with his team leading 36-7.

The Bok fetcher said that the Cheetahs' recent success had made his comeback that much easier.

"The team's good form made it easy for me to come back. It's nice to play with a team that's going forward. It's easier than going backwards all the time. Our confidence is turning and that makes a big difference. There are a number of guys that are playing excellent rugby now."

While Brüssow believes that McCaw's return is a bonus for the Crusaders, he believes the Cheetahs should draw from their own recent performances.

"We have played better as a team of late - it's not necessarily the other teams that were weaker. That is why we are focusing on what we do well."

Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that McCaw provided the assurance that he would take "no risks" after the recent blow to his head.

The flank has a history of concussion and the worst is feared in New Zealand every time he gets a knock to the head.

 "There is no way I will do anything funny and play when I shouldn't. That is when you get in trouble - when you don't respect the symptoms," he said.


15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Riaan Smit, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Corné Uys, 11. Rayno Benjamin, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Davon Raubenheimer, 7. Ashley Johnson, 6. Heinrich Brussow, 5. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4. Francois (FS) Uys, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen

Replacements: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Lourens Adriaanse, 18. Waltie Vermeulen, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Naas Olivier, 22. Hennie Daniller

15 Tom Marshall, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 George Whitelock, 5 Chris Jack, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Ben Franks

Substitutes: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Joe Wheeler, 19 Matt Todd, 20 Steve Alfeld, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Brent Ward


  • YB Normal - 2011-05-12 09:07

    Even a blind old lady with a stick can steal balls at the breakdown from the Lions. But I have to admit i am looking forward to see how Brussow will do against some real competion. He has not really been tested since his return from injury as the Cheetahs have only been playing the teams towards the bottom end of the log since his return. He is a brilliant player and should do well with or without support from the rest of his team

      kosie - 2011-05-12 11:46

      he is our best fetcher, just hope he gets his form before the world cup.

  • WPBEFONK - 2011-05-12 09:08

    My prediction: The CHEETAHS to SNEAK it by 3. Can you do it CHEETAHS??????

      Luckybugger - 2011-05-12 09:57

      What the hell are you doing here, this has got nothing to do with the Stormers, besides your predictions were far of the mark last week "oh wise one"

      Guz - 2011-05-13 08:32

      WPBEFONK...I'll support you on that one - GO CHEETAHS!

  • Hybrid - 2011-05-12 09:29

    If the Cheetahs play the positive rugby of the last couple of weeks they might just stand a chance. In any case I believe this is gonna be a real high scoring game.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-12 10:42

      @Hybrid - if their defence is found wanting (as it has on so many occasions this season) it is going to be a long night for them. I also believe the Saders will run eveyrthing at them, so will probably also be a iffy on defence....could be a frikkin high scoring game this.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-12 10:43

      35 plus points both sides......with the winner hitting 50 plus.

  • Marcus Daily - 2011-05-12 09:51

    Forget about Sonny Bill Williams, GET CARTER first! I hope the Cheetahs defence holds up, this game could be over before half time. And don't forget that Robbie Fruen was a winger turned center last year. Crusaders by 30 and SBW to run over the Eberson sisters.

      !!Vrystaat!! - 2011-05-12 11:09

      Eberson's have taken on big men already and they are use to 7's rugby, thus dont count them out because of there size. They tackle correctly stopping the play, they dont try and kiss the player like most other teams do, they relay on there backup to insure contesting for the ball on the guy just tackled. In short if there support play stays the way it is you might be shocked, as they say, big poison in small bottles.

      Johann - 2011-05-12 20:56

      dit is duidelik dat jy maar baie min weet van rugby .seker altyd lemoene op die veld gedra toe jy nog klein was nou dat jy groot is is jy seker gesuip as daar ugby gespeel word daarom kan jy nie sien hoe goed die 2 Eberson broers speel nie .Kyk saterdag na die game met oop oe en sit naby sodat jy kan sien op die TV.

  • georgemtem - 2011-05-12 14:02

    saders will take the game by 2 tries. i dont think carter, SBW and richie will b in gear # 6..........go go go saders. i see fruean doin some massive damage.....cheetahs r lucky that mailland, thorn, Crockett and dagg r not playing. otherwise they would have lost by 7 good tries......

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