Etzebeth could become great No.5

Tue, 28 May 2013 18:55
Large ebenetzebethreds Large ebenetzebethstormerstraining4 Large ebenetzebethstormerstraining3 Large matt proudfoot talks to tea Large eben etzebeth and andries b Large andries bekker stormers sho Large andries bekker stormers h s

Prodigious Stormers second row Eben Etzebeth could become a world-class No.5 lock, if he is granted time to grow into the role.

Prodigious Stormers second row Eben Etzebeth could become a world-class No.5 lock, if he is granted time to grow into the role.

This is the view of Stormers forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot, who hailed Etzebeth after the 21-year-old’s standout performance in his team's 20-15 victory over the Reds at the weekend.

Etzebeth, in the adopted No.5 jersey after first-choice Andries Bekker joined the Stormers’ lengthy casualty list with a back injury, called the line-outs with distinctions while maintaining his physical play across the park.

With Etzebeth calling the shots, the Stormers won all eight of their line-outs and managed three steals on the Reds’ throw.

The Cape team’s dominance in the set-piece came as a surprise as Etzebeth, a natural enforcer lock, and Gerbrandt Grobler, in his first Super Rugby start, were expect to struggle against the Wallaby captain James Horwill-led Reds line-out.   

Etzebeth emerged as one of the stars of the match and hinted at a bright future in the No.5 jersey, where he could become the long-term successor of Springbok legend Victor Matfield at international level.

Proudfoot said he was ‘proud’ of Etzebeth’s effort and felt he showed potential to make a successful long-term transition.

“Eben took to the role very well,” Proudfoot said at a media gathering on Tuesday.

“How he changed it up was very good, he went from four-man to five-man to full line-outs, so to have that level of detail early on was good. It’s a role that he will grow and develop into.”

Proudfoot highlighted Japan-bound Bekker and his mentorship of Etzebeth as key to the 2012 South African Young Player of the Year’s evolution.

“Every generation stands on the shoulders of the generation before and Andries’ mentorship of Eben has been massive,” said Proudfoot.

“In the play-off race last year we tried to push Eben into the five role and he wasn’t very comfortable there and not a year later he started a game there successfully, so that mentorship is crucial and Andries has been massive there.

“You as a coach can give structure and leadership and make sure the cogs are working but advice from a senior hand is vital and I’m grateful Andries has been there.”

Proudfoot added that it would be imperative that a potential permanent switch be well managed to ensure Etzebeth grew into the role naturally.  

“Eben is a player who will astound us in the future. We just need to allow him to develop and not force him into that role,” said Proudfoot. 

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 20 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 14h45 Bloemfontein
TUT v WSU 16h30 Pretoria
UWC v Rhodes 16h30 Cape Town
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Durban
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Stellenbosch
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Potchefstroom
UJ v UP-Tuks 17h00 Johannesburg
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
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