Faf rated ‘best in the world’

A telling contribution in Sale’s 24-18 win against English Premiership defending champions Saracens put the finishing touches on Faf de Klerk’s emergence as the best defensive scrumhalf in the world.

“Arguably no player is more valuable to Sale than Faf, who possesses game-changing ability on both sides of the ball,” was the conclusion of a review published by RugbyPass. “He is the best defensive halfback in the world, with a valid case for the title of the very best based on his work in the last twelve months.”

It’s not an isolated view as De Klerk was the only scrumhalf shortlisted for the 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year award. And it’s an opinion that would get much support from Bok fans who cheered the combative halfback’s fearless defensive efforts in a season that included an epic win against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

De Klerk’s timing and anticipation was well utilised in a Bok defensive system that deployed him as a roving blitzer in line defence more than in kick coverage, and the same role at Sale has made the 21-Test halfback a fan-favourite at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The review also credited the scrumhalf for his part in Sale’s attack and kicking game – his speed used to launch set-piece forays while De Klerk’s big (if not always accurate) boot is central to a kicking game designed to limit opponents from deploying their lineout attack.

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

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  • Barry

    There is no disputing his talent and there seems to be a great vibe at The Sharks, though to be fair, much of the credit for their recent success should sit with a few of the other team members.

    We need to be mindful that they were third from the bottom before the year end internationals and now they sit in forth position! The return from injury of Jono Ross has had a big impact, but more so the inclusion of Rob Du Preez at 10 and to a lesser degree his brother Jean Luc at 8, has made a huge difference to the side and to their results.

    Their weekend success against Saries was impressive but no less the previous weeks drubbing of Johan Ackermann’s Gloucester, where they managed to match Gloucester’s trade mark physicality.

    One hopes that this has not escaped our National selectors!

    • Herman Schroder?

      Yes Barry and even old Rob showed he can in fact distribute with a bit of flair. Of course this only proves what a useless coach his Dad is with his dom krag Plan A at the Sharks. And guess what he is coaching them again this year. Einstein is right again. Cheers.

    • SweetAz

      Didn’t you get the memo?—Johan Ackermann is the new Messiah,—–everybody else just coaches domkrag.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Exactly, it will take a while for his ‘system’ to kick in and then the Messiah will rule over all again. Probably too many domkraggers in his team at the moment.

        By the way fourth in this highly competitive competition is pretty good considering that an away win in this competition is a bonus. Most teams apart from the top two are around a 50% win ratio with 9 games still to go so don’t get too excited about seeing him fail.

        By the way only three SA players were in line for awards last year and ALL of them LIONS !!! Guess what, all coached by Ackerman and Co. Oh how we embarrass ourselves with uninformed snipes. Cheers.

        • SweetAz

          Dont talk crap,-Ackerman wasn’t even coaching in South Africa last year. WIpe your mouth, I think you still have some brown stuff on your lip.

      • Barry

        No sorry missed that one. Some questions being asked at Gloucester at the moment with yet another defeat this weekend at the hand of mid log Leicester. Funny enough Gloucester are known for their physical approach to the game, rather than a running style!

        • Herman Schroder?

          Barry, Please see my response to SweetAz above. Also kindly refer me too the article saying questions are being asked about Ackerman ?? I look forward to your response. Cheers.

  • John Williams

    Have always been a Faf fan & could not understand why he was dropped from the Boks at one stage. Have been

    watching quite a bit of British rugby lately & could not help but be pleasantly surprised in the vast improvement

    in Cobus Reinach’s game ( Northampshire) . He reads the game very well, kicks very cleverly, defends like a Tojan

    & is quick to spot s gap. Surely our next best scrumhalf after Faf if not just as good.

    • Graham

      I agree with CR. Thought he would have been included in the northern tour, much more of a like for like wih faf not being available for some games.also has some test experience but the 2 rookies didnt go badly, it was probably Rassies plan to build for the future

      • Herman Schroder?

        Graham. The two rookies are at best average SR standard. For test rugby you should be a standout in your position which probably eliminates two thirds of the current Bok squad, lol. Cheers.

    • Barry

      Yes John agreed, as the number of SA players has grown, so has the interest in the Premiership. Agreed Cobus is a stand out player doing much the same for Norths as Faf does for Sale! All thing being equal, and of course they’re not, they would be my first choice 9’s.
      Not much of a fan of Juan De Jongh over the years, but he has grown considerably – his self made try over the weekend for Wasps was absolutely outstanding! I see both he and Cobus are in top forth position for tries scored in the Premiership!

      I hop these guys are on the National radar!

      • Herman Schroder?

        Yes and even old Francois Louw had a stormer for Bath. Pity he doesn’t show the same form when playing for the Boks. Overpaid and ducking and diving injuries while on test duty in my humble opinion. Cheers.

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