'Super-Sarel' is back - Ex-Bok

    2013-03-11 22:32
    Cape Town - Former Springbok scrumhalf Werner Swanepoel believes Cheetahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius's spark is back after an indifferent 2012 season.

    Pretorius, who was South Africa's Super Rugby player of the year in 2011, struggled last year after heading to Australia to represent the Waratahs. He struggled to fit into the style employed by the Sydney-based team and was eventually dropped from the Waratahs squad.

    But "Super Sarel" seems to have found his groove again after a top effort in the Cheetahs' win over the Highlanders in Invercargill on Saturday. He scored two tries to lead his side to an emphatic 36-19 win.

    The Cheetahs also face the Waratahs in their next match on Friday and Pretorius will be eager to prove a point against his opposite number Brendan McKibbin, who kept him out of the team last year.

    And Swanepoel believes it was a lack of game time which led to Pretorius losing confidence at the Waratahs.

    "At Super Rugby level 80% of the guys have the talent, but having confidence is important," Swanepoel said on the Beeld website.

    "Sarel's confidence took a knock last year, but it looks like he's back.

    "I believe scrumhalf, flyhalf and hooker are three specialist positions where the guys need to have the necessary skills.

    "Sarel may have also lost some of his sharpness last year due to a lack of game time.

    "Furthermore, Johan Goosen also looked better on his outside (against the Highlanders)," said Swanepoel.

    Swanepoel also highly rates Piet van Zyl, Pretorius's back-up No 9 on Saturday, but feels Pretorius should retain his place in the starting team for this weekend.

    "If your scrumhalf and flyhalf plays well, then the whole team will play well. We saw that with the Cheetahs on Saturday."

    The clash in Sydney kicks off at 10:40 (SA time) on Friday.

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