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Hello all, I have been coerced into being a contributing author on Rugby-Talk, providing a Cheetah perspective on all things rugby! This is new territory for me, but in the interests of Cheetahs supporters, and the growth of Rugby-Talk, I will give it a good old whirl.

In today’s Article, I will look at the possible contenders for props in the Cheetahs 2012 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention. I encourage all to differ from me, as that is what we all blog for. However, let’s avoid the personal diatribes.

The Contenders:

Name: Victor Coenraad (Coenie) Oosthuizen also nicknamed “Shrek”

D.O.B. : 22 March 1989
Vital Statistics: (H) 189 cm (W) 121 kg

His claim: Coenie has been in the Cheetahs system since 2005, representing the Free State Schools at the Grant Khomo u16 tournament. Despite his youth, he is already an established senior player. He is quick for such a big man, and has scored plenty of tries for the Cheetahs.

Strengths: Coenie’s workrate out of the scrums is exceptional, making tackles, attending rucks, and running at opposition defences. He has delighted fans with his “goose-step” vs the Brumbies in 2011. He is a try scorer of note (top try scorer for Cheetahs in the 2010 CC). He can play loosehead and tighthead which is invaluable. His claimed time of 12 seconds for the 100m and 5.17 sec over 40m is more that of a back than a front row behemoth.

Weaknesses: His detractors say that his technique is lacking, but at 23, under the mentorship of the legendary Os du Randt, that can be rectified. Another issue that has been bandied about is the penalty count. However, many penalties have been at rucks, when he is quick to contest, and not always at scrum time.

Bok Potential: He is already a bok (No. 824), but is uncapped as yet. He is definitely a bok contender, and his ability to play both sides is a bonus. He will have to oust Beast Mtwarira, to cement a starting berth for the Boks, but could well play a bench role iniatially. His ability to play both sides is an advantage. Other good prospects are Greyling (Bulls), team mate Marcel van der Merwe and Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

Name: Marcel van der Merwe

D.O.B. : 24 October 1990
Vital Statistics: (H) 189 cm (W) 121 kg

His claim: Marcel has been in the Cheetahs system since 2009, representing the Cheetahs at u19 age group. A powerfully built young man, he threw his name into the hat, by virtue of his relatively good season at loosehead for the Cheetahs in the 2011 CC. He got his chance when a move to tighthead, for incumbent Coenie was necessitated, by an injury to WP Nel. Apart from being schooled by Bok incumbent Jannie du Plessis in the CC semi-final in Durban, he delivered some solid performances.

Strengths: Like Coenie, Marcel is a busy player out of the scrums, often seen making tackles, and running at the opposition. He is very young, and started out as a tighthead, but shifted to tighthead by Os as part of his development.

Weaknesses: Apart from being schooled by jannie, I will reserve judgement. He is definitely a better back up than Caldo imo.

Bok Potential: A junior bok in 2010, he can definitely throw his name in the hat in a year or two.


Name: Johannes Lambrechts (Janro) van Niekerk

D.O.B. : 05 November 1982
Vital Statistics: (H) 182 cm (W) 115 kg

His claim: Janro started out his senior rugby at the u21 age level for the Bulls in 2002. More recently, he was a stalwart in the unexpectedly all conquering Boland Cavaliers team in the 2011 Vodacom Cup, where they comprehensively smashed the Super rugby hopefuls the EP Kings. I don’t know much about the man, but it could be an astute signing by Naka to shore up his prop back up.

Strengths: Need help from bloggers on this.

Weaknesses: At a mature 29, which is when most props hit their straps, he will be hard pressed to get a starting spot against the younger contenders.

Bok Potential: at 29 doubtful.

Name: Willem Petrus (WP) Nel

D.O.B. : 30 April 1986
Vital Statistics: (H) 182 cm (W) 120 kg

His claim: WP started out his senior rugby at the u18 age level for the Boland in 2004, and later with the WP at u21 in 2007. He then moved to the Cheetahs in 2009, and after some sterling performances, he was selected to represent the Barbarians vs the All Blacks at Twickemham. WP Nel has become the anchor, in what has become a powerful Cheetahs scrum in recent years.

Strengths: He is technically a sound scrummager, and he is pretty mobile too.

Weaknesses: Not many that I am aware of.

Bok Potential: Not really seen as a contender thus far, and with quite a few tightheads coming through the ranks, I doubt we will see him in the national frame, but he remains an integral part of the Cheetahs setup.

Name: Lourens Cornelius Adriaanse

D.O.B. : 05 February 1988
Vital Statistics: (H) 180 cm (W) 115 kg

His claim: Lourens started out his rugby at the u16 age level for the WP in 2004, and starred for Maties in 2010 Varsity Cup, and was then scooped up by Griquas. He quickly became the anchor in the Griquas CC campaign.

Strengths: He is strong scrummager, and has been consistent in the CC, and has fared well in his season of Super rugby with the Cheetahs.

Weaknesses: Not many that I am aware of.

Bok Potential: Not really seen as a contender thus far, but aged 24, he has time on his side. Other tightheads coming through the ranks, that could make the step up are Frans Malherbe (Stormers), his brother Jacobie (Lions), Werner Kruger (Bulls) and Pat Cilliers (Lions). So far Jannie has the Bok position firmly nailed down setup.

Name: Trevor Ntando Nyakane

D.O.B. : 04 May 1989
Vital Statistics: (H) 178 cm (W) 110 kg

His claim: Hailing from bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, Trevor represented the Limpopo Blue Bulls at u16 age level in 2005. He has been in the Cheetahs system since 2008, representing the Cheetahs u19 team. He got a few starts in the 2011 CC, and has made a positive

Strengths: He is new on the scene, but he has been useful thus far. As has become the norm in the Cheetahs setup, and modern props he is quite mobile. He is also short which will allow him to get under taller looseheads.

Weaknesses: To early to say.

Bok Potential: To early to rank as a bok hopeful.

Name: Eugene Francois Butterworth

D.O.B. : 19 September 1984
Vital Statistics: (H) 184 cm (W) 128 kg

His claim: He is pretty new to me, but formed a useful partnership with van Niekerk at Boland in 2011. He is a big fellow at 128 kg though.

Strengths: Need input from bloggers.

Weaknesses: Need input from.

Bok Potential: I have no idea, seems unlikely.


My picks:

Once Coenie has made a successful recovery from his neck injury, he should nail down the loosehead position. In his absence, it will be the young Marcel, to try and keep Janro van Niekerk at bay. WP Nel is a shoo in at tighthead, with able back up from Adriaanse. Naka, and the Cheetahs are famous for boxing above their weight with relatively unheralded players, and it seems that they are well covered at prop. His signing of the two Boland props as cover could prove to have been astute. With Coenie and van der Merwe able to play both sides of the scrum, the combinations and options available to Naka are legio. He has players with extensive Super Rugby experience in Coenie, WP Nel, Lourens Adriaanse, with young players looking to kick on, in Van der Merwe and Nyakane and as additional cover he has signed the prop pair from Boland. Though relatively untested at Super Rugby level, they were stalwarts in a powerful Boland scrum. There won’t be too many franchises in SA that will outmuscle the Cheetahs front row.



Name: Kevin Bruce Stevens

D.O.B. : 30 January 1987
Vital Statistics: (H) 186 cm (W) 122 kg

His claim: Kevin has represented the Cheetahs u18 age level in 2005, and has been in the Cheetahs system since, mostly playing for the Griffons in the CC.


The Bok prop contenders in my humble opinion:

Loosehead: Beast, by a thread. He will be pushed hard this season by Dean Greyling who will look to bounce back from a poor debut in Australia, and by Coenie who was unlucky, to have been carrying an injury at the time.
Tighthead: Jannie is quite firmly in the saddle. He will be kept honest by a host of young tightheads, like Pat Cilliers, the Adriaanse brothers, and the progress of Coenie at tighthead.


Right, that is my orange tinted perspective, let’s have it!

46 Responses to Cheetahs Super Rugby contenders – Props

  • 1

    Lekker first Article, Cheetah4eva!

    You’re cooking on GASSSSSSSSS !!

  • 2

    Good one, Cheetah4eva, look forward to reading about the rest of the squad

  • 3

    2 @ Just For Kicks:
    Maybe once Cheetah4eva is finished with his run of Articles on the Cheetahs players, you could do the same for the Stormers for us, thereafter Scrumdown could do the Lions and I could do the Bulls PLUS Sharks.

    It would make for good reading in the next few weeks, leading up to Super Rugby itself…

    I really don’t see another site, doing such a thourough job.

  • 4

    Will do, have just been to the useless stormers site, and the info I can glean is just a massive squad of names with a comment, and I quote, “Please note the squad is not final and players may be added at any time. The squad will only be cut closer to the competition phase and after the conditioning and tactical phases.” Nothing else. As soon as I can get a bit more info I will.

  • 5

    4 @ Just For Kicks:
    I could always do the Bulls next, their site is up to date.


  • 6

    @ grootblousmile:I would think that the local Grabouw Rugby team has a more updated site! But yes, it would certainly add something to the site if we all do it.

  • 7

    6 @ Just For Kicks:
    Maybe after this week, once all the Franchises are hard back at work… the sites will be updated.

    I’ve often wondered why the Stormers & Lions have such shitty sites, which are so out of date!

    Seems that the Bulls site leads the way, the Cheetahs not far behind. The Sharks site is good too, but they always name their final players and teams very late in the day.

    The Lions site is as bad as the Stormers site.

    Also planning to apply for full WP / Stormers (Newlands) accreditation for you, and see to it that you are on their regular mailing list… once they open applications for accreditation, that is!

    Wonder where Cheetahs4eva lives… if it is in or close to Blingfontein, I will apply for full Media Accreditation for him too at the Cheetahs.

    Scrumdown has full Media Accreditation at the Coke-Tin, as do I and of course I have full Media Accreditation at the Bulls, SA Rugby, Newlands, Kings Park, Cheetahs….

  • 8

    @ grootblousmile:Well if they don’t update it soon, I’ll do player profiles on Disney cartoon figures – actually, thinking about it, maybe I won’t, they could end up looking better than the actual squad!

  • 9

    7@ Just For Kicks:Thanks, that would certainly help

  • 10

    Sorry, that should read GBS, not JFK!

  • 11

    8 @ Just For Kicks:

    Mickey Mouse – Dewaldt Duvenage
    Minnie Mouse – Tiaan Liebenberg
    Toy Story Hero – Wikus Blaauw
    Pluto – Andries Bekker
    The Hulk – Schalk Burger
    Dumbo – Brok Harris
    Shrek – Duane Vermeulen

    … ect…

  • 12

    11@ grootblousmile:Yup, you’ve got the idea!

  • 13

    Once a year, usually at the 1st Super Rugby Match I attend, I get given a good Super Rugby Media Reference Guide Book – Detailing ALL Super Rugby player / Coaches / Suppport staff bio, stats, particulars, number of games played…. the whole bang shoot.

    Lekker stuff!

    Anyway, got to go… enough of this for a Sunday… back to the family!

    This time round I’ll PDF the whole book and mail it to all the Authors, maybe even put it on Rugby-Talk, under the Header Graphics in the topic of Super Rugby.

  • 14

    ek reken dat coenie ,marcell ,wp ,adriaanse die vier top manne in die cheetah streek is,nyakane het my nogal beindruk die afgelope cc,die feit dat ons twee sterk skrummende hakkers in strausie en barnes het met pw en klein tian as backup is ook goeie nuus.

  • 15

    @6 GBS,
    Cheetah4eva lives in Nelspruit, as close as possible to the bush, whilst still able to earn a penny. It will be good to have extra tools available to add value to the site. You go GBS! I like the way you think. Personally I would love to see the Cheetahs enhance their website even more, but to be fair, they have made massive strides in this regard! Have a wonderful week all.

  • 17

    Voorspoedige 2012 smallies! Jip, ek stem saam, is heel opgewonde oor die seisoen wat voorlê. Ons het min ouens verloor, en heelwat blink ouens met potentiaal ontdek. Sarel, is weg, maar Piet van Zyl lyk na ‘n speler wat flink diens gee, en ook self lekker kan breek en hol. Riaan is weg, maar ek verstaan, dat die Willie le Roux self lekker hol vanaf die laaste vesting. En Steenkamp is weg, maar ons het ‘n paar slotte wat dalk goed kan vaar by gekry, soos Andries Ferreira. Dit moet nou net begin… moeg vir krieket!!

  • 19

    15 @ Cheetah4eva:
    Mooi wêreld daar rondom Nelspruit, veral daai ronde klipkoppe en daai veelkleurige bome… wat noem mens die goed nou weer!

    Sal vir jou kom hello sê wanneer ons weer na Inniebos toe kom.

    Ek het ‘n neef wat daar in Nelspruit bly, Basie Geldenhuys, wou al lankal vir hom en sy vrou Veronica ook kom kuier.

  • 20

    gbs @ 19
    hahaha, jy laat dit klink asof jy eerder vir sy vrou veronica wil gaan kuier …. of lees ek alweer net wat ek wil? :grin:

  • 21

    20 @ Ashley:
    Eishhhh… nee man, wil sommer net vir hulle gaan kuier!

  • 22

    By the way, wat het van Kobus Calldo geword, het hy heel uit die bus geval?

  • 23

    Good one cheetah a lot of info about the players thanks. By the way Nelspruit was ‘n lekker dorpie, spent some of my school years there, I’ve heard it has grown quite a lot since those days into a nice city, was really proud when you hosted World Cup there, would never have guessed all those years ago such a big international event would be coming to town, back then the biggest sporting event outside of the schools sports that I went to was Laeveld rugby in the Sport Pienaar.

  • 24

    23 @ Bullscot:
    Nelspruit is now classed as a city!

    It has really become big, and there are a bunch of very modern Shopping Centres, Big Vehicle Dealers, Building Supplies outlets, Hotels…

    Not “Sleepy Hollow” anymore.

    If I was the Pumas Rugby Union, I would move permanently from Mordor (Witbank) to Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium.

  • 25


  • 26

    @ grootblousmile:
    Was jy al Poskantoor toe?

  • 27

    26 @ Loosehead:
    Nog nie… vanoggend nog te besig gewees om paar ouens wat tjelt aan my skuld op te flok!

    Sal seker so teen 13:00 gaan… moet ook gaan Kameeltjies koop en by ‘n kitsmasjien stop.

  • 28

    Cheetahs not badly off at all in the Prop Department.

    Compare the Cheetahs prop position to that of the Stormers and one has to laugh out loud at the Stormers.
    The Lions have a good starting pair in Pat Celliers & CJ van der Linde, but not nowhere near the depth at prop that the Cheetahs have.
    The Bulls have great props in Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger, with very good backup in Kirsten & Dawie Steyn… and Rossouw de Klerk (once back from injury).
    The Sharks have 2 current Springbok starters at prop and enough depth with Wiehahn Herbst and Eugene van Staden backing them up.

    The problem for the Cheetahs lie in those guys who will kneel behind the props in the second row. One needs great scrummaging locks too to make it possible for the front row to demolish opposition.

    That said, the Cheetahs always field a strong scrum.

  • 29

    OK… for those living in Mpumalanga and close enough to Nelspruit… your PC fundi and Computer guy is Cheetah4eva.

    In my absense here, he might answer a few technical computer questions for you too.

    Puma, hope you read this… freegin old fella with the sticky fingers…. hehehe

  • 30

    Great news GBS, at last something to come out of the Stormers camp:

    “The DHL Stormers returned to official training today at the HPC (High Performance Centre) and immediately underwent post festive-season fitness tests.

    “The bulk of the players tested exceptionally well against the fitness and conditioning targets set for own training over the festive season, with a number exceeding the targets set. Blah, blah, blah.” And so it goes on – you can read the rest on the site, but its just more of the same.

    The bit that interested me, though, and the reason I posted this small excerpt, was the …”The bulk of the players tested exceptionally well against the fitness and conditioning targets”…. bit. If the bulk of the players passed, what about the rest, one would think that this close to the start that ALL the players would be passing and doing exceptionally well! Hell, what are we letting ourselves in for?

  • 31

    …Oh yes, and they’re off for a bit of “Spanbou” in Hermanus tomorrow – I hear the whale-watching’s great this time of year!

  • 32

    30 & 31 @ Just For Kicks:

    Guess you’re in for a good season… hehehe

  • 33

    Yup, the circus continues!

  • 34

    33 @ Just For Kicks:
    Damn, if only the Bulls played the Stormers first up….

    … shades of 74 / 15 springs to mind….

  • 35

    I can see that I am going to be the butt of all the jokes this year! But I’m tough, so bring it on. Reading a few other blogs, I see that even with all the experience in the team, there don’t seem to be too many people giving the Stormers much of a chance, so it could be a looooong season for me. I still hold out hope though.

  • 36

    35 @ Just For Kicks:
    Maybe the Stormers surprises us all…

    … but they are sure making it difficult for us to believe it might happen.

  • 37

    Hmmmm I see Mexted reckons the Blues will be Nz top team this year! Hang in there Just for kicks, i didn’t expect the Stormers to top the SA conference last year either. But I must say, I think they peaked in the past 2 years. Sorry boet! lol

  • 38

    I wish we had a guru like Mexted down here who could predict a similar result for us in SA. Some one with a loud mouth like Mexted. Someone large like Mexted. Someone as controversial as Mexted. And lastly someone as gifted in the cerebral department as Mexted…..Oh yes, of course, Malema

  • 39

    I see everybody punting their Teams to do well…

    Hell, the Blues think it’s their year, the Lions fans think their team is now invincible, the Reds want to re-invent themselves to do a double on the trot.

    Bulls fans like me are excited about the new acquisitions, the cheetahs fans are happy that the Cheetahs have lost very few players.

    The Sharks are upbeat about their forwards and like usual sharkie memorabilia with fins are selling like hot-cakes (I think the same three guys buy everything they can).

    The other New Zealand sides are upbeat because the All Blacks won the World Cup.

    The other Australian sides all think last year was not a true reflection on their form.

    The Stormers… are the Stormers, they ALWAYS punt their team to be the eventual competition winners..

    I guess 14 sides are going to be disapointed…. hehehe

  • 40

    38 @ Just For Kicks:
    Did Mexted also get an H for Woodwwork?


  • 41

    40@ grootblousmile:I don’t know, but he certainly didn’t come 1st in literature – I pulled these quotes by him off the net:

    “I just love it when Mehrtens comes on the inside of Marshall”
    “As you know, I’ve been pumping Marty Leslie for a couple of years now.”
    “You don’t like to see hookers going down on players like that.”
    A Sky TV producer was conducting a sound test before the last Springbok test at Carisbrook. “Murray can you hear me?….Murray can you hear me?” Murray: “No.”
    “Paul Tito looked like a blind man in a brothel, just left groping.”
    “The lineouts of course are a great artform, I’ve always fantisised about lineouts, even in my sleep sometimes…”
    “Well it was a great kick. We know Matthew Cooper’s got tremendous rhythm now, he’s smooth, smooth as a baby’s bum… By Joves, that didn’t slip out did it?”
    “It’s very easy to be exposed as an open side (flanker) if you don’t have your mate up your backside”
    “Well it still does it for me, the tingle up the spine, the tingle in the loins”

  • 42

    41@ Just For Kicks:Very Malema-esque type quotes, don’t you think?

  • 43

    42 @ Just For Kicks:
    The difference is, Malema still does’nt know he’s farked up big time by saying everything he did say!

  • 44

    @ grootblousmile:Too true, but both are bloody hilarious!

  • 45

    24@ grootblousmile:
    Yes gbs heard all these big changes that happened there, is hard to picture what the place must look like now, it always used to have quite a compact CBD with only a few ‘multi storey’ buildings. Do you think there is enough support and player base to sustain a Currie Cup team in Nelspruit? I think with Witbank being more central the Pumas must have quite a few players who live in commuting distance in Pretoria, Joburg etc. Agree though that with a stadium like that there it would be good if it could take off.

  • 46

    45 @ Bullscot:
    Might be just the thing the Pumas need, because Witbank is too close for the Bulls and Lions to just poach the good Puma players.


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