All-action Free State Cheetahs flank Heinrich Brüssow and Blue Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke were the big winners at the conclusion of an exciting month of Absa Currie Cup rugby in July.
Rugby 365 reports that Brüssow, who has been in excellent form for the Cheetahs this season, and Ludeke – who has bounced back from a tough Super 14 campaign with the Bulls – this week walked off with the first-ever Absa Currie Cup Player and Coach of the Month Awards, respectively.
The duo were each rewarded with ZAR10,000 in prize money for their efforts in July, while they were also presented with exclusive miniature replicas of the Currie Cup trophy.
The Coach of the Month title is voted for by a five-man panel of leading rugby writers and commentators, while all eight coaches in the Currie Cup nominate their Player of the Month. Coaches may not nominate players from their own province.
Former Grey College student Brüssow edged out Free State Cheetahs teammate Adriaan Strauss, Falcons duo Len Olivier and Sean Plaatjies, Deon Fourie (WP), Wynand Olivier (Blue Bulls) and veteran Sharks ace Stefan Terblanche in a wide open race.
“It’s a great honour and something I’m very grateful for,” Brüssow said. “Obviously my priority is with the Free State Cheetahs, but it’s nice to know that the other coaches around the country have noticed me too!”
Brüssow’s performances have been hard to miss this season. And the 22-year-old – who has played as a ‘fetcher’ since his Standard Eight (Grade 10) days – has been a key factor in the defending champion Cheetahs’ push to the top of the log after six rounds of action.
Unfortunately a foot injury – suffered against the Falcons at the weekend – will keep him out of action for four to six weeks, but the tearaway former SA Schools and SA Sevens representative is already plotting his comeback.
“Fortunately the Cheetahs have a few byes coming up over the next weeks, so I could be in line for a comeback in our return [home] matches against Western Province and the Bulls in September,” said Brüssow, who hurt the front ligaments of his foot and damaged a small bone in the process.
Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, meanwhile, guided his Pretoria-based team into second place on the Currie Cup standings after six rounds of action.
Under Ludeke’s stewardship, the Bulls have lost just one match in the Currie Cup; scoring 16 tries and conceding just seven in the process, and making Ludeke a popular choice as July’s Coach of the Month.
The Bulls coach just edged out the challenge of Falcons coach Rudy Joubert, who earned two votes to Ludeke’s three.
“It’s a great honour to be recognised by the panel,” said Ludeke. “But one cannot achieve anything as a coach without a committed team. I would like to thank my players for this award.”Tweet