Nyakane an 'awkward' customer

Thu, 21 Mar 2013 20:43
Large trevor nyakane drinks Large naka drotske   os du randt Large trevor nyakane cheetahs2 Large hawies fourie cheetahs trai Large trevor nyakane cheetahs

By front row forward standards he is still a 'rookie', but 23-year-old Trevor Ntando Nyakane is beginning to show real promise.

By front row forward standards he is still a 'rookie', but 23-year-old Trevor Ntando Nyakane is beginning to show the promise that could attract the attention of the national selectors in a year or two.

Born in Bushbuck Ridge, schooled at Ben Vorster in Tzaneen and having represented Limpopo at the 2007 Craven Week, the former Baby Bok (2010) is making rapid progress under the tutelage of double World Cup-winner Jacobus Petrus (Os) du Randt in Bloemfontein.

In only his second full season of Super Rugby the loosehead prop obviously still has many areas of his game to work on.

However, he is now a key member of a vastly improved Cheetahs pack that will play a vital role as the Bloemfontein franchise attempt to achieve an unprecedented three consecutive victories on the road when they face the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

Nyakane had to overcome a shoulder injury, which forced him off the field after 43 minutes of the win over the Waratahs in Sydney last week, but Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie believes he will be as effective as he has been in the last two outings - victories over the Highlanders in Invercargill and the Tahs.

"He is playing very well," Fourie told this website, adding: "His defence, in particular, is on a different planet from where it was before.

"He has always been a good ball carrier, but against the Highlanders in particular he made some really big hits and had a very high workrate on defence."

Nyakane had a low-key start to the season - attempting just 12 tackles in 80 minutes against the Sharks, while missing four. In the next match, against the Chiefs, he was even more ineffective, making just three tackles.

However, he really came into his own against the Highlanders -  attempting 22 tackles, making 19 and even secured two turnovers.

Last week, against the Waratahs, he made nine of his 10 attempted tackles in the just more than 40 minutes he was on the field and again featured in the 'turnovers won' column.

His scrumming is also improving steadily, especially with Du Randt on hand to share his vast reservoir of knowledge.

"He [Nyakane] is very awkward to scrum against, because he is stocky and powerful," the Cheetahs assistant coach told this website.

While the Cheetahs prop is still a long way off from laying claim to a spot in the Springbok front row, he could do so if he continues to make the progress that has been so evident in his game this year.

"Maybe not right now, but I do believe Trevor has the ability to play for the national team in the future," Fourie said.

"There are still aspects of his game he can work on.

"However, if you compare his game now with a year ago, he has made such remarkable progress that in the next two years, if a player like Beast [Tendai Mtawarira] perhaps decides to call it a day [he could step up].

"At this stage Beast is in a class of his own, but if he does decide to call it a day then I feel players like Trevor and Steven Kitshoff of the Stormers are potential candidates."

Fourie said that despite what some pundits might think, South Africa certainly have depth at loosehead prop.

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9