Krappie stealing the show at Lions
SPOTLIGHT: Yet another South African scrumhalf is making waves with his performances on the field.
This time it is Lions’ 22-year-old wunderkind Morne van den Berg.
After two rounds of Super Rugby Unlocked, the young man ‘- know affectionately by his teammates as ‘Krappie’ – has been quite clearly the best scrumhalf in the tournament so far.
In the Lions’ opening game against the Sharks, Van den Berg nearly single-handedly changed the course of the game, when he replaced the injured Dillon Smit early in the match.
After being outplayed for much of the first half in Durban, Van den Berg increased the tempo for the visitors in the second half. He gave his team direction around the field and was a nuisance at the breakdown as well, winning a couple of key turnovers.
The Lions narrowly lost that game 16-19.
Van den Berg was then given the No.9 jersey for Lions’ Round Two match against the Stormers in Cape Town and the young No.9 continued where he left off against the Sharks.
He produced another energetic performance and outplayed his opposite number, Springbok Herschel Jantjies in the 17-23 loss in Cape Town.
At the conclusion of Round Two, stats revealed that Van den Berg was one of the top three performers over the weekend with the other two being the Pumas’ Eddie Fouche (first) and Van den Berg’s halfback partner Elton Jantjies (second).
According to Opta Sports, “no player made more offloads than Van den Berg (3) in Round Two of Super Rugby Unlocked; he also made one clean break, beat four defenders and made six/six tackles against the Stormers”.
The Lions have more experienced scrumhalves to call on in the form of Ross Cronje and Andre Warner for future games.
However, after Van den Berg’s performances in the opening two rounds, it is hard to see anyone else wearing the No.9 jersey for the Johannesburg outfit.
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