Coetzee is up for the fight

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 06:27
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Sharks flank Marcell Coetzee knows that he has his work cut out to break into the Springbok loose trio this season as competition is 'insane'.

Sharks flank Marcell Coetzee knows that he has to stay on top of his game if he hopes to break into the Springbok loose trio this season as competition is 'insane'.

Coetzee got his international break in 2012, with Bok coach Heyneke Meyer showing great faith in him from the start of his tenure, but the emergence of Francois Louw and Siya Kolisi saw the Sharks flank play a supporting role from the sidelines last year.

Louw is currently the man in possession of the Bok No.6 jersey, but Coetzee has been in impressive form under new Sharks coach Jake White this season, posing more of a threat at the breakdown in a more classic openside role.

The Sharks returned to training refreshed this week after a bye during the last round of matches, with their next opponents coming in the form of the Lions up in Johannesburg on Saturday and Coetzee knows that he cannot afford to take his foot off the gas.

"The competition among loose forwards in South Africa is insane," Coetzee said on Monday.

"With the amount of loose forwards around, I think our extra loosies can fill any international team anyway. So it does challenge you and you have to be on top of your game in every game in Super Rugby.

"The competition is so fierce, it's actually healthy because it brings out the best in you," he added.

The dynamic flank has formed a formidable loose trio partnership with Willem Alberts and the rejuvenated Ryan Kankowski - the three having dominated against most opponents this season.

The likes of Jean Deysel, Keegan Daniel and Tera Mtembu have all had to make do with playing second fiddle.

"I'm very happy with my form, but have to give credit to my teammates for that," Coetzee said.

"Our combination is one that's growing, the chemistry is also growing each week and we just want to get better.

"Ryan and Willem both have their roles, but they're exceptional players to be playing with."

Coetzee was hoping his form would warrant him being selected for the Springboks in the No.6 jersey, which was occupied by Louw for a large part of last season.

"It's a goal that everyone's after, but I'm focusing more on Super Rugby for now," he said.

Jake White's men are on top of both the South African conference and overall log with 23 points from six games. The Sharks have been at home for all their wins, while their solo loss has come on the Highveld against the Bulls.

"We had a break now and that was very good for us as a team, getting away from things," Coetzee said.

"We're back now and have to pick up where we left off in the last game and give everything."

He warned against any complacency against the Lions, who are third domestically and seventh overall.

"I think the important thing is not to get loose out there," he said.

"I've seen some of the teams and they look a bit weary and shaken up [at this point of the season]. We need to stay focused and we have to get it right every week."

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Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14