The Per(th)fect braai

Fri, 17 Jan 2014 07:53
Large sias ebersohn force Large sias ebersohn force looks

After being the first South African to join the Western Force, many of Sias Ebersohn's countrymen have now joined him the west.

After being the first South African to join the Western Force, many of Sias Ebersohn's countrymen have now joined him the west.

The Bloemfontein-born flyhalf is now one of eight from the Rainbow Nation with the Force - including former Bulls lock Wilhelm Steenkamp, Sharks back row forward Brynard Stander, along with the Western Province quintet of Marcel Brache, Chris Heiberg, Dillyn Leyds, Dylan Sage and Francois van Wyk.

The South Africans flavour reflects the franchise's new approach to recruitment as a move away from a reliance on Australia's east coast-based player pool.

Steenkamp, 53 times Super Rugby capped and the Force's second international marquee player alongside Alby Mathewson, joins the franchise for Ebersohn's second year with the Force - with the pair actually related through marriage as second cousins.

"Wilhelm's dad and my wife's dad are cousins, so nothing directly to me but through my wife," he said.

"We only figured that out when we played at the Cheetahs together."

Despite being eight-and-a-half thousand kilometres away from South Africa, Ebersohn and his fellow ex-pats from across the Indian Ocean make sure to get a regular taste of home.

Ebersohn concedes that there has been more than one coincidental run-in with his teammates for a 'boerie roll' (a South African sausage on a long bread roll) on a Saturday morning at Cape to Cairo - a South African wholesaler in Osborne Park.

"We also braai together when we can but apart from that we fit the Perth culture," he said.

"We like the beach like they do in South Africa as well. We don't always have the opportunity back home - like in Bloemfontein where there's no beach - so to have Perth as your franchise and as your beach is great!

"The only thing is that since the other players have joined and we've started talking Afrikaans with each other, my English has got worse!"

But while they enjoy socialising together off the field, Ebersohn indicates that there is a strong determination and understanding within the group as to why they are in Perth - with many Force players noticing an increase in physicality even at training since their arrival.

"When I came over they gave me an opportunity and that's the biggest reason why I came to the Force," he said.

"The boys that come here and know that if they work hard they'll be rewarded with game time. That's what it is all about - getting on the pitch.

"That's the thing about the Force - if you perform and you do well, you get rewarded for it.

"We've got a great squad and there's big competition in the team. Guys are challenging each other more for positions. We've had a really long pre-season without any games yet so conditioning wise, we're in a good spot."

And with the season just around the corner, Ebersohn is looking forward to once again having the opportunity to perform in front of a vocal Sea of Blue in 2014.

"While nib Stadium is smaller than the stadiums we have in South Africa, the fact that it is always packed and our supporters are motivated to come and see us has a massive influence in our game."

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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
Fri, 02 September 2016
Boland v Pumas 13h00 Wellington
Blue Bulls v Golden Lions 17h00 Pretoria
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Pumas v Griquas 35 | 41
Golden Lions v Boland 60 | 12
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
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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