Monday May 30, 2016 Giant Bok teammates Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager come to blows

Giant Bok teammates Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager come to blows
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Springbok second row teammates Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager came to blows in Saturday’s Super Rugby match between the Stormers and the Cheetahs in Cape Town, and while no punches were thrown, there was clearly some fire in the heavyweight encounter.

The two have both been included in the Springbok 31-man squad to take on Ireland next month, so it was interesting to see them react like this to one another, perhaps showing that provincial rivalries still mean more than friendships off the field.

It looked like De Jager (6ft9) bodychecked infamously aggressive Etzebeth (6ft8), who naturally took exception to it. It was handbags and deathstares until Etzebeth flung the babyfaced Cheetahs look to the floor, going in with a bit of a forearm to the face or neck.

Referee Glen Jackson found it all quite amusing, saying it was just “South African fun”, and simply gave them a bit of a talking to.

“There’s always personal fight… everyone wants that Bok jersey for himself so I think that’s a massive battle,” said Cheetahs captain Francois Venter.

“Lood actually owed him one from the previous game in Bloemfontein. I think Eben got the better of him there, but I’m proud of Lood. He picked up his game and his presence was felt on the field again. It’s always great seeing them play against each other and they are a huge clash.”

It would have been nice to see the two Test players shake hands or something of the sort, but egos were clearly bruised and they can chat more about it in the Springbok camp in Stellenbosch.

The Stormers won the match 31-24. View the incident below then highlights wrap at the bottom

Match Highlights:

14 Comments

  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    If nothing else, it's a good excuse to get some Lions players into the team. And plenty of them should be.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Agreed, apart from his non headbutt headbutt against oz a few years ago... Enforcer role really doesn't exist anymore... In pro rugby players are so well schooled that focus on physical skill etc is only part of it, mindset, discipline etc is a huge part of training.... granted for every action there is a reaction, so players taught not to react, whilst EE is taught to provoke a reaction... But I think this is why there is a huge amount of petulant whining going on in the game, because players won't react - therefore their reaction manifests in different ways (bitch to the referee about it)... What I'm getting at is that if someone like Etzebeth grabs you, you can just throw your hands in the air and stay focussed on your game, and then what? The enforcer role has disappeared... whats he going to do? out wrestle someone who isn't even competing? - that looks stupid and pointless. Will he punch someone who isn't fighting? Again, stupid and will land him in hot water... The game is so tight these days that even Bakkies found himself sitting on the sidelines far too much. Martin Johnson and the mean eyebrow is somewhat laughable these days (not to his face mind)... but what is he actually going to do to you now? In the days gone by, he was the player that stepped in to sort you out when you were picking on one of his guys... these days that is what cameras, touch judges, referees and TMO's are for.... It's always good to stand there and look mean. I don't shave a few days before a match - makes you look rougher and meaner, but really it boils down to pissing in the wind, especially when a pre pubescent baby faced winger skins you and just makes you look like an overgrown untidy lump... EE's days are number unless like you said, he turns into a mean and extremely skillful player... Side note, anyone read about new laws to stop players feigning injury? Not sure how they can be applied if players really argue an injury but interesting!!

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    True. But what makes things really interesting now is P-S du Toit's injury and Franco Mostert's inclusion. Because Mostert handles brilliantly in the lineout as well as in open play. And the stats don't lie - he works his ass off for 80 minutes. If Coetzee really wants an athletic lock with great hands and a high work rate to replace du Toit, I reckon he should go straight for Mostert at 5 alongside either Etzebeth or de Jager at 4.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    As Katman said, there are times when the enforcer tag has gone to Etzebeth's head. He was the designated heir to Bakkies Botha, so he feels like he has something to live up to. That said, I think he has pretty good awareness of how far to push it. Even when a young guy - and he's still not old - you never saw him do something that you would classify as completely dumb. He niggles and he tweaks and he gets in your face, he's copped the odd short ban, but nothing major. Which I think is pretty impressive in the professional era with cameras covering your every move, and citing guys always looking for work. Bigger picture though (and Eddie Jones alluded to this when he was going to be the Stormers coach, before England came calling), he needs to up his skill level, especially in ball-handling. Because if the Bok coach wants a true line-out specialist like P-S du Toit in his team, Etzebeth and Lood de Jager will be competing for the other lock. And Lood definitely is the better ball-player at the moment. But I guess Etzebeth wanted to prove here that he is a better enforcer, for whatever that's worth.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    I reckon orange #8 will be disappointed with his ruck technique when he sees this video. Came in much too high to lever Etzebeth away.

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    I think Etzebeth is a fantastic lock, and I'd pick him for the Boks any day. But I do feel the "enforcer" tag has gone to his head. And not only him. His team mate, Ryno Elstadt, who came on a little later in the game is also constantly referred to as an "enforcer", and it's as if he feels he must live up to the label. This was not the only scuffle that Etzebeth started in this game, and Elstadt was responsible for at least two or three more.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    They are both going for the SA number 4 strait jacket... When De Jager pins Etzebeth, it is his

    Reply
  •  welshosprey
    welshosprey

    I could beat them both up if I saw them down the pub.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Laughing or not, he still threw and pinned de Jager like a rag doll. Probably the first time he's picked on someone his own size...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Looks like Eben dropped an elbow on him as they went down. Glad nothing came of it.... Although Details Jager ko'ing EE could have been cool to see...

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    I like how the 15 went in to try and stop it after about 3 seconds basically just went; "....nah"

    Reply
  •  benny
    benny

    Etzebeth has always struck me as a little insecure. The fake laugh that does a terrible job of covering his nervousness when he gets into a scuffle makes me cringe. Now, pushing around a team mate that is starting to look better than him. It was so clearly a man trying to exert his dominance in all the wrong ways. The guy is like a little kid that doesn't know how to control his emotions and just throws a hissy fit over nothing

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    Long neck fight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7HCIGFdBt8

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Etzebeth is an absolute beast. De Jager wasn't getting up without permission...

    Reply

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Giant Bok teammates Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager come to blows | RugbyDump