Elstadt option boosts Stormers

2012-03-26 13:41

Cape Town - Elstadt and Etzebeth - it’s not difficult to imagine that overseas commentators are going to get quite confused about those two names, and how to distinguish the one from the other, in the coming months.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, back in Cape Town after seeing his team scrape home in their first away game of the Super Rugby season in Johannesburg, is in the enviable position of having to decide between the two impressive, aggressive No 4 locks for Saturday’s crunch top of the log derby against the Bulls at Newlands.

The pair in question are of course Rynhardt Elstadt and Eben Etzebeth. The former was one of the finds of last season, and Bakkies Botha was among the big name players that he terrorised during an impressive first season as a Super Rugby player. But Elstadt started the season late because of injury, and 20-year-old Etzebeth has taken full advantage of the opportunity offered him by delivering four thunderous performances in the No 4 jersey.

Elstadt returned to rugby last week with an impressive performance against the Sharks in a Vodacom Cup game, where he played 65 minutes. And by all accounts he was even more impressive this past weekend as Western Province defeated the EP Kings.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was already tempted to use Elstadt in the match against the Lions, and eventually only decided against it as he felt the player would gain more out of playing the bulk of a game than by coming off the bench. Coetzee has confirmed that he is considering Elstadt for the game against the Bulls - the need to get Elstadt sharp for the derby was why he was so eager to see Elstadt pick up more game time in the WP team.

Given that everyone knows the impact that Elstadt can have on a game, the question really revolves around whether Coetzee starts with Elstadt and plays Etzebeth off the flank, or does it the other way around. It’s a difficult question to answer, with continuity and the fact that he is a superior lineout forward giving the incumbent the edge at this stage.

Of course Etzebeth is equally at home as a No 5 lock (some would say he is even more at home as he has played most of his career as a middle of the lineout jumper) so there is always the chance the two fearsome Stormers second row forwards could find themselves playing as a combination should Andries Bekker be injured or a decision made to rest him in the future.

Elstadt played 77 minutes against the Kings and there is no longer any doubt over his readiness to make a full return to top level rugby after an absence of nine months (he was injured in the Super Rugby semi-final last year and missed the Currie Cup).


  • Japjapjap - 2012-03-26 14:06

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz weepee rugby is boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Japjapjap - 2012-03-26 19:39

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz weepee rugby is boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Jc - 2012-03-27 08:45

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Japjapjap is boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hvanderlinde - 2012-03-26 14:06

    Play both, bench Koster, move Duanne to 8. Problem solved

      Lionel - 2012-03-26 14:10

      Like the way you think,extra lineout option in Elstadt!!!!!!

      Saffa - 2012-03-26 14:26

      SPOT ON :) x100000000000000000000000000000

      Jean - 2012-03-26 14:28

      Im not a big koster fan, and I also think thats a great idea, but koster made 28 tackles on saturday!

      Saffa - 2012-03-26 14:35

      @Jean - Koster is the IDEAL type of loosie to have come on for the final 25 mins or so I reckon - when play is 'hopefully' a little more loose?

      Lionel - 2012-03-26 14:37

      We all like Koster but he lacks that agression that a Elstadt would bring to the pack.Saffa is right we need to stand up to them!!!Hello Saffa,surf that good:):):)

      Saffa - 2012-03-26 14:41

      Howdy Lionel :) Always good somewhere - lol. Sometimes one has to travel :)

      paul.ramncwana - 2012-03-26 14:59

      I rate Elstadt bt I think there is a big difference between Vodacom & Super Rugby start him from the bench. Wht I can say it's a good problem to have.

  • Saffa - 2012-03-26 14:10

    For the love of Hugh Bladen and G & T's play the following Allistair: Elstadt at 7, Duane at 8, Kolisi at 6. Etzebeth and Bekker at 4 and 5. If we want ANY chance of winning this - the Bulls forwards must be smashed and smothered....... This combo will do just that I reckon. Screw with their forwards and Steyn will revert to type. The space and time the Bulls were afforded on Saturday by those Red chaps was absolute Nirvana for Steyn and Hougie........(and credit to them, they certainly made the most of it)

      lourens.jordaan - 2012-03-26 14:22

      Saffa wat my pla die Stromers het nie n fetcher nie. Lions het ontrent 6 tot 7 balle gevat in die losskrum.Ons het n goeie fetcher nodig en die ouens moet skoonmaak oor die losskrum. Ons kan nie net staatmaak op verdediging nie.As ons die bulls se voories onder druk kan sit en voorrentoe speel het jy klaar helfte van die game gewen.

      Saffa - 2012-03-26 14:25

      Ek was bekommerd daaroor Vrydag al. Het geweet die Lions gaan ons 'neuk' op die 'deck' en hulle het. As die Bulls sonder Steggies speel, glo ek die lostrio wat ek genoem het, sal goed genoeg wees om die Bulls ouens te bully - as Steggie speel - sal dit dalk vir ons 5 strafskoppe beteken MAAR so ook 'n probleem op die deck - weereens.

      Jc - 2012-03-27 08:58

      @ Saffa Olivier - We all know who is the real Saffa and who is the fake one. We can see it in your comments, numb nuts!

  • Danny - 2012-03-26 16:28

    Send one of them to Durban along with the very impressivge Grant Hattingh from Maties! Rudolf, are you reading this? If not, and you are snoozing again, get this message to Brian van Zyl.

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