Brüssow back with a bang
Heinrich Brüssow is not just hype, he is the ultimate openside flank - as the Springbok star again proved last Saturday.
Heinrich Brüssow is not just hype, he is the ultimate openside flank.
The 27-year-old Cheetahs star, who played the last of his 20 Tests in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal, returned to Super Rugby for the Cheetahs against the Sharks last week after missing the first half of the season with a fractured toe - suffered while playing for his Japanese club.
And while the Cheetahs lost 8-19, the influence and value of Brüssow was there for all to see.
Despite his lengthy absence from the playing field - with only a Vodacom Cup match as a 'warm-up', the Cheetahs flank did not skip a beat on his return to Super Rugby.
Statistics confirm the general perception that Brüssow was one of the stand-out players on the day.
He did earn a yellow card for repeated team infringements, but conceded just two penalties himself.
Brüssow, who has a keen appetite for the breakdowns, proved last Saturday in Durban that he has not lost that insatiable hunger for turnover ball.
He shares the top spot for most turnovers won with another breakdown specialist in Stormers flank-cum-hooker Deon Fourie.
They stole four balls apiece in their respective matches (Fourie in an 18-3 win over the Lions).
However, Brüssow's value goes way beyond just his poaching ability.
Brüssow's name also appears at near the top of the most tackles made category - where he made the second most tackles last week.
He made one tackle less than Bulls flank Jacques du Plessis, who made 19 in his side's 12-19 loss to the Waratahs in Sydney.
Cheetahs fullback Willie le Roux also continues to make up the running metres and has almost run a full 800 metres this season.
Bulls fullback Ulrich Beyers leads with most metres run (with 161 metres), while Le Roux is shortly behind him on 151 metres.
Le Roux is also among the top players in terms of carries for the weekend, with the Rebels' Luke Jones leading with 17 carries. The Cheetahs player shares 16 carries with Charles Piutau (Blues) and Scott Higginbotham (Rebels).
Some Round 10 stats:
1. Ulrich Beyers (Bulls) - 161m
2. Willie le Roux (Cheetahs) - 151m
3. Charles Piutau (Blues) - 128m
4. Jason Woodward (Rebels) - 122m
5. Tom Marshall (Chiefs) - 113m
1. Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes) - 3
2. Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders) - 3
3. Bryn Hall (Blues) - 2
4. Courtnall Skosan (Lions) - 2
5. Jaco Kriel (Lions) - 2
1. Luke Jones (Rebels) - 17
2. Charles Piutau (Blues) - 16
3. Willie le Roux (Cheetahs) - 16
4. Scott Higginbotham (Rebels) - 16
5. Ben McCalman (Force) - 14
1. Jacques du Plessis (Bulls) - 19
2. Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs) - 18
3. Matt Hodgson (Force) - 17
4. Shane Christie (Highlanders) - 16
5. Kyle Godwin (Force) - 16
1. Deon Fourie (Stormers) - 4
2. Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs) - 4
3. Derick Minnie (Lions) - 3
4. Francois de Klerk (Lions) - 3
5. Jaco Taute (Stormers) - 3
Line-outs won on own throw:
1. Stephan Lewies (Sharks) - 6
2. Adam Coleman (Force) - 5
3. Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes) - 5
4. MB Lusaseni (Lions) - 5
5. Flip van der Merwe (Bulls) - 4
1. Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs) - 2
2. Adam Coleman (Force) - 1
3. Duane Vermeulen (Stormers) - 1
4. Grant Hattingh (Bulls) - 1
5. Jacques Potgieter (Force) - 1
Overall stats after Round 10:
1. Marnitz Boshoff (Lions) - 124
2. Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) - 117
3. Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders) - 109
4. Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls) - 97
5. Quade Cooper (Reds) - 94
1. Marnitz Boshoff - 28
2. Lima Sopoaga - 26
3. Beauden Barrett- 21
4. Jacques-Louis Potgieter - 21
5. Jason Woodward - 20
1. Marnitz Boshoff - 6
2. Jacques-Louis Potgieter - 3
1. Willie le Roux - 789m
2. Jesse Mogg - 597m
3. Julian Savea - 584m
4. Charles Piutau - 562m
5. Jason Woodward - 519m
1. Willie le Roux - 105
2. Charles Piutau - 97
3. Ben Smith - 91
4. Jesse Mogg - 89
5. Israel Dagg - 89
1. Matt Hodgson - 13
2. Adriaan Strauss - 12
3. Deon Fourie - 12
4. Bismarck du Plessis - 11
5. Jack Lam - 11
Line-outs won on own throw:
1. Victor Matfield - 42
2. Ben Mowen - 39
3. Jake Schatz - 36
4. Steven Luatua- 33
5. Flip van der Merwe - 30
1. Matt Hodgson - 121
2. Jacques du Plessis - 105
3. Shane Christie - 101
4. Lappies Labuschagne - 90
5. Kyle Godwin - 95