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Former Springbok and Sharks lock Mark Andrews is worried about current Bok second rower Eben Etzebeth’s commitment at the breakdown area.


While acknowledging that Etzebeth has performed well this season, Andrews feels the 21-year-old isn’t ticking all the boxes a second row forward at the highest level should.

“I would have loved to see Eben Etzebeth play with someone like Bakkies Botha or Victor Matfield,” Andrews told Sports Illustrated Radio on Wednesday.

“He has an incredible talent. The maturity he has been showing in the lineouts has been fantastic and he has a huge amount of confidence in carrying the ball up.

“However, I think that he may be set up by the media, the public and maybe the coaches for a fall later in his career if not sooner in the sense of that he isn’t really doing the job that he should be doing.

“Every single effective pack in world rugby – from international down to club rugby – has one of the second rows who has the ability to bring a physical presence to the game and normally that comes down to ruck time. What’s lacking with the Springboks at the moment is we have quite a few players who think they are ball carriers and Etzebeth has been put in that position at Western Province where he has to be a ball carrier.

“However, I think at the Springboks the situation should be different. It worries me that someone like Willem Alberts is hitting more rucks than anyone else in the team, when he is one of our most effective ball carriers.

“Now we have a guy like Etzebeth standing out a lot of the time waiting to carry the ball up and it has happened a few times already when he’s lost the ball when he’s close to the tryline. I think his role should be to hit rucks and the Springboks need someone like him to own the breakdown. The All Blacks have always believed in owning the breakdown, but at the moment – and I have probably watched him more than most because it’s a position I played in – I don’t see him hitting rucks,” Andrews, who played 77 Tests for the Springboks between 1994 and 2001, said.

The former Sharks enforcer feels Etzebeth has the ability to become world class but needs someone to tell him what is lacking.

“He got away with it in the Currie Cup and in Super Rugby where a very physical Stormers pack has allowed him to play a looser game, but at the Springboks it is going to be critical going forward to have a guy like Etzebeth, who ticks all the boxes, to hit the rucks. He actually runs away from breakdowns instead of running towards them.”

Etzebeth, who won the SARU Young Player of the Year award, will pack down alongside Juandré Kruger when the Boks face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

137 Responses to Oh dear Mark Andrews – says Etzebeth is not doing his job…. I hope he has bodyguards

  • 101

    Wat tik en vandag so bold?
    Nee wag, laat ek gaan eet duik vir die pisvel, kyk al oormekaar hier.
    Tjeers almal.

  • 103

    @ grootblousmile:
    het my mail deurgekom?
    Ek weet nie waar ek myne gaan kry nie, stuur een asb

  • 104

    103 @ superBul:
    Ja, en ek het teruggeantwoord… kyk gou

  • 107

    106 @ Sharks_forever:
    Bwaahahaha. Sorry to our Lion Friends here, but that was brilliant! :)

  • 108

    Jeez looking at that, I really feel for the Lions that they are out of SR next year.

  • 109

    Ja it’s a shame, political interference holds us back at least 10% in this country.

  • 110

    109 @ Stormersboy:
    Very true bud.

  • 111

    @ Stormersboy:
    Sadly so, and it will only get worse, specially down your side of the country as these bastards are now causing hell on the farms there to try destroy the DA

    Emails proving this to be true, wtf

  • 112

    Just looking at the weather for Edinburgh and it still showing sun with some cloud, no rain forecast.

    Come on Boks have a go man, let us keep ball in hand and play some decent rugby the supporters want to see.

  • 113

    108 @ Puma:
    Yes Puma have said before always feel sorry for the fans of the Lions in all this, especially the drawn out way in which it came about but to be honest they were struggling for a very long time in Super rugby as well as with all sorts of internal problems themselves, so maybe its time they made way for someone else for a change.

  • 114

    112 @ Puma:
    Looks like there will be some rain overnight in Edinburgh and then a dry bright morning, maybe bit cloudier and quite cold during the game but should stay dry. Not sure how well the ground drains but hopefully some morning sun and a bit of a breeze will help dry it out, otherwise the ball may still be a bit slippery at times.

  • 115

    Morning all RT’s!
    @ Puma:
    Let’s hope.
    Time to shine for Heyneke and the Boks.
    Except for a few brilliant moments from the likes of Habana,JPP and Etzebeth here and there, they have been pretty mediocre so far, not even near the dop dogs (ABs), though we are 2nd on the log.
    Can you imagine last Saturday had Brian O’D and Paul O’Connell been in the Irish set-up?

  • 116

    @ Sharks_forever:
    @111 They must stop that nonsense, or the Cape will be out of wine soon! And then we will all suffer….

  • 117

    113 @ Bullscot:
    I know they were struggling, but Lions were slowly getting it right under Mitchell. If they had not had so many injuries this year I very much doubt they would have ended last. Great pity that their team is now spread around the country, it will be starting from scratch again and that is a pity.

    I don’t think Kings will do any better either, they too are set up to fail. So really both teams lose out to be honest. How can Kings get up and ready in one year? Never will happen, they have to play a regulation game in their first year. Saru is to blame here, should have waited to bring Kings in after 2015 when we surely will have a new format in Super Rugby. Look Rebels never had to play a regulation game after their first year and now they are building nicely, sure slowly but they getting there. Kings have no such luxury. Lions lose all their players and no continuity from where they were. Two teams will lose on this very daft move by saru to bring in Kings before they were ready. Kings should have played CC for the next 2 years and once they in Super Rugby should never have to play a regulation game in the first year, they will need at least 3 years to build. Next year Kings face: Sharks/Chiefs and Saders one after the other. EISH!!! I feel they in for a rude awakening. Not the Kings but saru to see what they have done. Idiots the lot of them.

  • 118

    @ Sharks_forever:
    Yes, the whole Make the Cape Ungovernable campaign had started, in earnest.

  • 119

    116 @ Pietman:
    No wine would be a worry, can’t have that! :)

  • 120

    115 @ Pietman:
    It is our gameplan Piet. We have the players to play a really good expansive game, but we just sticking to the old tried and tested rugby. We are falling behind playing that type of rugby.

    I am with Mallett on this as well, he said last night like all of us here and everywhere, if you have the type of flyhalf like Lambie there why the heck make him kick up and unders? He really does not play that type of rugby for Sharks. Meyer had Goosen and Elton do the same thing. All these 3 flyhalves love to keep ball in hand and play what is in front of them, putting players into space. Again agree with Mallett and we have all said it as well, if he wants to play the kick and chase thing, then play Morne. Don’t waste our 3 very talented flyhalves by playing that dribble. Mallett had said as much as we have that he would have had Taute at fb with Mvovo on the wing, especially that we have Juan starting with Lambie and let us go out there and play some attacking rugby, as he said let them go and play some rugby dammit.

  • 121

    116 @ Pietman:
    Piet we would have to get our homebrew kit out if that happened. Delighted

  • 122

    114 @ Bullscot:
    Just going by the forecast, then you and I know that in Scotland there are a few seasons in one day, or even a hour….. hahaha. Have to wait and see when we start what the weather is like.

  • 123

    @ Puma:
    Cheers @ Puma:
    Viva homebrew, long live!!!!
    Faarkim, I will make my own if they continue messing with the wine production down there!

    Wife has just touched down in CT, on the phone, talk again in a while…

  • 124

    @ Stormersboy:
    Bloody XhosaNostra, they should go back to their homeland, they are just messing up my beautiful place of birth…..farmworkers my arse.

  • 125

    @ Pietman:
    Ja. 3rd force and all that.

  • 126

    @ Stormersboy:
    Just spoke with mom in Swellendam, old folks are stuck indoors, off-sales burnt down and shops looted overnight, the mob is now moving towards the municipal offices as we speak….

  • 127

    123 @ Pietman:
    Yip we could be making homebrew before you know it Piet, lucky you and I have good experience it it…..hahahaha.

    Really hope it all gets sorted in the Cape.

  • 128

    @ Pietman:
    I read the report on News 24, not great at all. Hope everything is OK.

  • 129

    @ Stormersboy:
    See you Cape Boeties?? :lol: Ya well no fine, :mrgreen:

  • 130

    Ok so this thread is a bit old, but whilst a lot of people are suddenly criticising Eben’s hard graft rate, lets look at the facts from last week’s game against Ireland.

    Most Rucks hit:

    1. FLO with 7
    2. JDV with 6
    3. Eben with 5.

    4. Juandre Kruger 4
    Adriaan Strauss 4
    Zane Kirschner 4

    OK so he’s hardly shirking that responsibility.

    Lets look at tackle made (missed)

    1. FLO 15 (2)
    2. Eben 14 (0)
    2. Juandre 14 (2)
    2. Duanne 14 (1)

    So when we look at those, it doesn’t add up to what Mark is saying.

    I call Bullshit on the whole thing :)


  • 131

    130 @ Stormersboy:
    Morning bro,

    Look not sure how much we can take from stats. I hardly ever look at them. Go check they have Beast playing for 80min as we know he never played in that game. So not so sure about those stats to be honest…. :wink: :)

  • 132

    Yes they have 24 players on the team sheet.

    they obviously have CJ, Beast and Heincke mixed. I can understand how you could confuse them. ??

    The point was, the argument is one thing and the stats suggest another, the stats are usually fairly reliable, so they can’t be that far off.

  • 133

    152 @ Stormersboy:
    Look there is no disputing that Eben is our best lock and will be for years to come. Probably he could have hit more rucks who knows, I did see him standing back for a few, could be what Mark was talking about. Probably just good advice to make him even a better player than he is.

  • 134

    132 @ Stormersboy:
    And Eben could come play for the Sharks any day of the week….. :) Best lock in the country for sure bro. Doubt any are thinking any less of him if he did not hit all the rucks, just good advice from Mark.

  • 135

    Sure, I’m not saying the guy can’t improve. I was reading the original article on Rugby 365 and one of the comments mentioned his stats so I thought I would look them up..

    14 tackles, 0 missed is pretty impressive.

    Also Duanne is showing his workrate there too. A much tighter player than Spies, doing the hard work though.

  • 136

    135 @ Stormersboy:
    If it was between Duanne or Spies it would be Duanne all the time. I personally would like us to have a faster player at 8. If Juan was at blindside no problem with Duanne at 8. Not totally sure if Juan will come back though. Just look how well Sharks done with a fast loose trio and much lighter than the Bok loosies. Sure SR is not Test level but it is almost there. I like a Read type of 8. Remember Mallett saying he would not think about it his 8 would be M. Coetzee. Said he thought Marcell could be a brilliant 8. He has played there, he is fast, has great skills as well. We just could be missing a trick there. I rate Kanko highly as well if he played like he did towards the end of SR. For now Duanne is fine, just very slow, together with Alberts our loose trio is slow.

  • 137

    @ Puma:
    Yes I agree with you on the 8, I also prefer a linking more skillful type of player at 8. Duanne is strong like Read but nowhere near as explosive, and then again Coetzee ( who I do rate very highly) is very explosive but to me lacks the ability to punch through gaps up-field the way Alberts does. I think personally that Kanko must be kicking himself at his timing, he would have had 8 or 9 games at 8 for the Boks and we would never have to fear the return of Pierre Spies. He would have been the best available for me.

    Coetzee may have been the answer if he’d been given some game time there at SR level, Heynecke will never pick a non specialist at 8, he is too conservative. I do rate Heyneke’s knowledge when it comes to the forwards, he does have a handle on that department. It’s the backs where he doesn’t have a cooking clue.


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