Newlands is nurturing a new Schalk Burger

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Jun 10, 2019, 15:51

Rooitwit will be very nervous about this as he doesn't like rough players like Eben or Schalk. Those of us who like genuine forwards and not pansies will be applauding Coetzee all the way!

Cape Town - It is fitting that it occurs in the same year that a certain Schalk Burger, one of Newlands's favourite sons, almost certainly brings down the curtain on his illustrious, widely-travelled and roughly 17-year professional career.

But it can be said with increased confidence, I feel, that another restless, furiously combative loose forward, in the shape of Jaco Coetzee, has arrived as a genuinely Super Rugby-quality factor for the Stormers - and with future potential above that level - in 2019.

There will always only be one Schalk Willem Petrus Burger in the minds of many Capetonian supporters and Springbok-loving ones from further afield, of course.

Ever since he started throwing himself at rucks or winning dynamic yardage with little regard for own life and limb in first-class combat at the famous old venue (in 2003), the charismatic Burger, so instantly likeable away from the white lines, just seemed earmarked for a torrent of major honours.

From the World Cup pinnacle, they have come in virtually all landscapes for him (although deep down he will always rue that Super Rugby title glory never came the Stormers’ way in his yeoman tenure - including as captain - for them).

So you have to be deeply cautious about tossing around any "new Schalk" mantles at this point.

The likes of him simply don't come around every day; he is an indisputable Bok great.

But I also suspect I may not be alone in noticing a great many similarities in playing style and pure hunger between Coetzee - who turned 23 this very day - and the blond-mopped Burger of around the same stage in his development all those years back.

The cynically-minded, after Coetzee delivered perhaps his premier showing of the entire campaign on Saturday, may also be tempted to venture "it was only the Sunwolves".

But that would also under-estimate the enormity of the value he brought to an injury-ravaged, rookie-laden Stormers combination against a franchise who had, remember, already upset both the Chiefs and Waratahs away.

While the Stormers were notably imperfect as a combination in eking out the nervy 31-18 result, it nevertheless took them to within one victory - Sharks at the same venue next Saturday - of qualification for the finals series.

It needed someone to assert himself forcefully on the contest to make a vital difference and boy, did Coetzee do that.

But it was really also simply his finest, perhaps, of a string of prominent showings this year: in a season marked by the wild inconsistency of South African teams and also plenty of individual players, the Pretoria-born competitor has been vibrant and constructive with virtually every start he's had.

So thoroughly deserving of his player-of-the-match mantle on Saturday, Coetzee ended it looking the way Burger frequently enough has through the years: bloodied, patched-up but utterly unbowed

As with his revered predecessor, the former Glenwood High School (Durban) pupil once again showed off his hard-grafting engine and stamina, and similarly seems to play so much of his rugby on the edge ... usually in the most positive of senses.

Slowing down in intensity just seems an alien concept to him.

Coetzee, whether stationed at open-side flank or eighth-man - already very much demonstrating the loose forward positional versatility that is another Burger hallmark - is a feisty factor over the ball for turnover purposes, and extremely quick to attend defensive rucks.

But he’s also not just about earthy aggression and muscle; for attacking purposes he has encouraging speed off a standing start, and on Saturday sold a wonderful little dummy en route to one of his two tries.

While his vital statistics (almost 1.90m, some 108kg) suggest that he could even do duty with some assuredness on the blindside if required, his already evident ability to police either of the other two loosie spots influentially has been invaluable to the Stormers during their current crisis on the "casualty ward" front.

In the absence of Springbok and franchise captain Siya Kolisi, for instance, they have been low on open-side specialists, while Coetzee looking so at home in the No 8 shirt has also compensated hugely for greatly disrupted campaigns to Juarno "Trokkie" Augustus and also Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who continues to under-deliver, somehow, on his huge athletic potential even when he is blessed with fuller fitness.

All going well (Sport24 has sought an update on his contractual status at the cash-challenged Newlands), Jaco Coetzee should be a very central figure, I believe, in the new, John Dobson-led strategic era for the Stormers from 2020 ...

Jun 10, 2019, 16:16


How dare you put this article n site after Mozart comments last weekend when I referred to Coetzee and he described the player as a seuntjie and of no quality at all.   He will have a fit and will turn into a critic of the player for life,   Remember the Du Toit saga that has now been his pet hate destructive comment for 5 years.   

I saw this guy playing in a number of games - he is a loosie in the mold of Hooper and is a rugby brain player,   He s definitely a player that Erasmus should pick for the WC squad  -  we need a hard-working player to use when Vermeulen is on holiday in Japan and playing every third or fourth game.

Jun 10, 2019, 16:28

Mike I think Coetzee is doing well. Next step let him have a few tests before the RWC. My guess is that he will be in the RWC squad.

Moz and I agree on many things but not all - eg personally I rate Steph Du Toit very highly.

Jun 10, 2019, 18:36

Yes, Schalk was a very good player, tough as nails (unlike wee Eben who wilts when he has a broken nail, lol) & plenty of skills as well. He was smart and talented enough to adapt his game as the game evolved. A true throw back to the glory days of the Boks.

Beeno, what would Schalk think of this latest wimpy behavior by Eben. No doubt he would give him a Patton type slap to the face & tell him to toughen up.

Jun 10, 2019, 19:19

JW, Schalk is an intelligent so of course he would tell Eben not to play with a broken hand but get fit for the RWC. 

I am assuming he had a broken hand as that is the last news I had. 

Schalk would obviously loved to have played in a pack led by Eben. Imagine Bakkies and Eben as your two locks. Kiwi munchers both of them. :D

Jun 10, 2019, 23:33

Great prospect this kid love his natural strength - has the ability to break tackles much like the du Preez twins

Jun 11, 2019, 01:52

Mike you are a sad old liar. I have said nothing but positive things about Jaco Coetzee

Here for example:

Apr 09, 2019, 14:54 'Beast got the better of Sadi, our supposed new strong man. He had some some storming runs and effective offloads, so he gets my vote.

Coetzee is a nice surprise, he has good vision.'


Jun 11, 2019, 09:13


I memtioned Coetzee as an option - preferable to Vermeulen and you have been onto your seumtjie BS at that stage.   The example you quoted is a normal diversion on your part - no m,entiion of Coetzee at all - LMAO.     

Jun 11, 2019, 13:26 about this:

mozart on Ruckers Forum mozart Hall Of Fame 28098 posts May 25, 2019, 15:21

Naholo totally gasses Allende. Correction Blikkies...the steal was by Coetzee who transferred to Stephanie


Or this where I speculate that Coetzeecould be a Bok open side solution:

mozart on Ruckers Forum mozart Hall Of Fame 28098 posts May 25, 2019, 15:32

Given our lack of good opensiders, I wonder if Coetzee could be a solution.....good ball carrier and fetcher.


Ot this

mozart on Ruckers Forum mozart Hall Of Fame 28098 posts May 25, 2019, 16:01

Great hands and positioning...Coetzee

0 0 Likes .......

You are a disgustingly dishonest old poofter Tokkie.

Jun 11, 2019, 16:59

No poofter please - you quoted one aspect - but not about him being a seuntjie when deriding him when reference was made to him ahead of has been Vermeulen.  

Jun 11, 2019, 23:07

Find that quote for us...will you?

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