Friday, August 03, 2012
If you didn't know it already, young Eben Etzebeth has arrived, in a big way. The recently capped Springbok lock put down a marker early on against the Sharks in the Super Rugby semi final, smashing legendary hooker Bismarck Du Plessis to the floor.
You may have seen what happened but with many requests to get this posted, and after a busy week and some much needed time off, we've now added this to the RD archive of Big Hits.
Sharks hooker Du Plessis, notorious as a hard man himself, was put on his backside by the young Etzebeth, a player that many are already touting to be the next great Springbok lock.
With Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha both now out of the picture, Etzebeth has stepped up and while he's still just 20 years old, has shown that he can throw his 6ft8, 120kg weight around.
There are many stories about his family, namely his father and uncles, being hard men of the Cape.
Tough as nails uncles Cliffie and Skattie both had that reputation, and when current teammate Andries Bekker's father - former Springbok Hennie - spotted big Eben playing in the backline for a second team in high school, he enquired as to who the speedy youngster was.
Upon hearing he was an Etzebeth, he immediately took notice.
A late bloomer, playing wing and center up until the second last year of high school, Etzebeth has since become an imposing physical figure that has put a lot of hard work into his impressive frame.
"He does have an amazingly proportioned physique," coach John Dobson told SA Rugby magazine. "In fact, his biceps are something of a talking point around him. They’re massive and when we have fines meetings we make him show them off as a party trick. He is just ridiculously strong.
"Eben is not as dirty as some locks who fulfil the role he does but he is also no angel. Let’s put it this way, I wouldn't like to cross him on the field.
"In fact, I wouldn’t play against him at all. He’s scary."
Expect to see much more of young Etzebeth in the coming years, and during the Rugby Championship, where he will no doubt add to the three Test caps he picked up against England.
One of the best things about this moment is that we now have proof that Bismarck is in fact human. Despite being knocked out the way by the double decker bus though, he shrugged off the blow and soldiered on, contributing to the Sharks victory and helping them reach the Super Rugby final.
View Highlights of the Stormers vs Sharks semi final
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Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play