KSA Shark ©

Nokwe… the Cape outcast


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 3 Sep 2008 at 21:25

Completely overlooked when winger Jongi Nokwe scored his record four Tri-Nations tries on Saturday was that the Cheetahs wing calls Khayelitsha home, illustrating what a loss the No 11 speedster is to Cape rugby and the Stormers franchise.

And Nokwe broke his silence on the frustration of Cape rugby, life in the township as a rugby star and the one man who kept faith in him, allowing him to fulfil his Springbok dream.

Dale Granger writes for the Cape Argus that speaking from his rugby base of Bloemfontein where he is recovering from the ankle injury he collected in the act of scoring his fourth try in the 53-8 rout of the Wallabies at Coca-Cola Park, Nokwe spoke of his rise to stardom.

What sets Nokwe apart from almost every other Super 14-calibre rugby player in South Africa is that he has always lived in the township and still flies back to the Cape at the first opportunity to see his girlfriend, aunt and uncle, who share his home in Khayelitsha.

This year the Stormers were left ruing their decision to let the winger go as he emerged as the third highest try-scorer in the Super 14 (with five tries) even though his new team, the Cheetahs, finished second last on the log.

Nokwe played wing for the Stormers under Kobus van der Merwe two seasons ago, but blew hot and cold while finding his feet in his debut season to Super rugby, and wasn’t kept on the books at Newlands.

To all intents and purposes his career in the big league looked over as he trudged back to his home union Boland with his mentor, Hawies Fourie, the one man who always believed in his talent and backed his ability.

When Fourie joined the Cheetahs as their backline coach, Nokwe soon followed.

However, the normally coy Nokwe, who used to travel two hours a day on trains, buses and taxis to get to training in Wellington from Khayelitsha, spoke about his early frustrations in rugby, scoring those four tries and his time spent with the Springboks this season.

“I was disappointed last year when the Stormers never renewed my Super 14 contract. But I just told myself it was not the end of the world and believed that I would get another chance to play Super 14 with another province. Then when I got the call I decided in an instant to come to Bloemfontein.

“I discovered a big difference in rugby in Bloemfontein to the Cape. The management of the Cheetahs are patient and more relaxed and so are the supporters. If you play well this week, but then badly next week, it’s not the end of your career.

“In Cape Town you feel that you’ve got to perform every week or you’re gone and they don’t have patience with you. In my first year of Super rugby in 2006 I remember not having a good game against the Brumbies there were a lot of issues and then I was dropped.”

So the Khayelitsha Express, a confidence player low on self-esteem, went back to Boland, where Fourie, who first met him at a garage near the airport and signed him in 2003, welcomed him back with open arms.

“If there is one thing I’ve got to say to Hawies it is a thank you very much. He is the one guy who always believed in me as a rugby player. At one stage at Boland I was out for six months after a car accident. I came back and he put me straight back into the starting line-up. Initially I did not play well, but Hawies was patient and said he knew what I could do,” said Nokwe.

In Nokwe, WP missed a golden marketing opportunity of expanding their fan base in the township, where Nokwe says “some of the people like rugby, but they like soccer too. These days I would say more understand rugby than before.”

The next time Nokwe returns to Khayelitsha it will be as a Springbok hero who woke up a different man on Sunday morning as a record Tri-Nations try scorer.

“The four weeks I spent with the Springboks was like being with a family. Everybody was great, but Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana and Conrad Jantjes were particularly helpful when I needed advice.

“Jean is such a nice guy with so much experience who I really look up to. On Saturday he said to me when I got injured ‘please, we really need you. If you can play, please stay on’. That made me feel really good,” said Nokwe.

Nokwe also spoke about the disappointment of going on the end-of-year tour with the Springboks in 2004, only to hold tackle bags – a disastrous transformation exercise which Fourie said had set him back psychologically by at least a year.

“Yes, I was disappointed in 2004. I was in the Bok squad but then not even regarded as good enough to play Super 12 rugby (in 2005). But I told myself if I just worked harder, maybe my chance would come.”

This week, of course, the rugby world is at Nokwe’s feet and he said his confidence was soaring.

“The media have been phoning me for interviews and I’m feeling really good,” he said. On Saturday he will sit on the sidelines with a bruised ankle and play no part in the Currie Cup battle between WP and the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

“I can’t wait to get back to Currie Cup action, particularly as I’ve never played in a semi-final or a final.

“But what I really, really want is to play more Test rugby. It’s one thing making it as a Springbok and being in and out. Now I want to stay there.”



29 Comments

  • Hehehehe, WP, let that be a lesson to you. Fancy letting Nokwe go only to buy old Naqelevuki. ( Do not shoot me for the spelling ) :roll:

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.09.08 06:53:03 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver FoxCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 1) :

    Okay but for future reference………… it is spelt Kalie Woekie.

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.09.08 07:08:13 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • “Jean is such a nice guy with so much experience who I really look up to. On Saturday he said to me when I got injured ‘please, we really need you. If you can play, please stay on’. That made me feel really good,” said Nokwe.

    Is Jean a captain or what???

    Matfield would probably have stood on his sore ankle. :roll:

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.09.08 07:46:54 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 3) : Hehehe, even you can be funny, the Matfield bit. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.09.08 07:49:03 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver FoxCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 4) : :wink:

    I was actually being serious… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.09.08 07:50:41 by wpw Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : :grin:

    Can anyone say Kobus Van Der Merwe ?

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.09.08 08:52:52 by Sauce Reply
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    Worcestershire SauceCurrie Cup player
     
  • Come on, he was crap in those days, couldn’t catch a single thing. Hindsight is a perfect science bla bla bla.
    Pointless article, other than to point out what a crap captain Matfield is.

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.09.08 08:57:09 by molly Reply
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  • He’s still a crap defender, and lazy on cover defending, when someone gets past him he NEVER back tracks.

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.09.08 08:58:17 by molly Reply
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  • wrong side of the bed this morning again. :sad: Sorry.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.09.08 08:59:01 by molly Reply
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  • @Sauce (Comment 6) : Messed up some poor club side as well this year.

    Molly is right though, he couldn’t catch a cold back then BUT can anyone say GUS THERON!

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.09.08 09:00:49 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 10) : Thankfully he hasn’t graced a team sheet – Can you believe Rudolph Straulei picked him for the Boks :!:

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.09.08 09:17:18 by Sauce Reply
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    Worcestershire SauceCurrie Cup player
     
  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 10) : Gus “The Gas Man” Theron. What a legend!

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.09.08 09:17:44 by molly Reply
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  • @Sauce (Comment 11) : luckily for the boks he pulled his hamstring during the captains run!

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.09.08 09:22:05 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • I’m disGusted.

    Hey, nokwe did not claim to be the best back then, he only says somebody believed in him. :shock:

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.09.08 09:27:00 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver FoxCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Sauce (Comment 11) : But to be honest, who didn’t get capped by Rudi?

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.09.08 09:42:09 by molly Reply
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  • Outcast my backside. :evil: So is any player that started off their career at province X and not made the grade & then moved to Province Y now an outcast of Province X? :twisted:

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.09.08 09:57:51 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @molly (Comment 15) : Very true, add Jorrie Muller to that one !

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.09.08 10:00:09 by Sauce Reply
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    Worcestershire SauceCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Sauce (Comment 17) : :mad:

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.09.08 10:03:41 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • @Sauce (Comment 17) : Dale Sandton? The list goes on.

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.09.08 10:13:35 by molly Reply
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  • Molly

    I remember Nokwe scoring a very good individual try for us, the next game he had a mare and was immediately dropped.

    It didn’t help that Fester was coach back then. :roll:

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.09.08 10:31:59 by wpw Reply
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  • Myself still get goose bums thinking about Nokwe tries. People are so quick to critise Snor but really they way he try to use Chavangha first, then JP and then pick a in form CC Nokwe I’ll give him the most credit for this. Same thing with Beast.

    Live your dream Nokwe and we have Rassie now, so return home !

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.09.08 11:28:26 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • @PaarlBok (Comment 21) :

    I have to agree regarding Beast. Another player who would definitely not have been chosen if Heyneke was coach is Adi Jacobs.

    And look how well he has been playing since PDV selected him.

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.09.08 12:02:39 by wpw Reply
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  • If you look at saturdays backline only FdP & Butch WC heroes, Jean only one match. And for some strange reason I was happy when they replace FdP with Januarie and Butch surely strugglinbg the whole 3 Nations.

    I havent post in tests threads but vokket Jean was good on saturday. Surely after saturday he have to be the Worlds prime 12.

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.09.08 12:09:12 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • Dollie out for the rest of the season.

    Hark-working lock Frikkie Spies will also miss the rest of the season after sustaining a shoulder injury against the Sharks and right wing Danwell Demas could not be selected because of an shoulder injury, while hooker Clemen Lewis will sit it out with a knee injury.

    PB ,what are you feeding the boys up there in the Boland,

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.09.08 12:21:35 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 24) : Next time ill actually check what other threads there are.

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.09.08 12:24:49 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 24) :
    Steak, Toast Braai broodjies (net nie pap en sous nie) and KWV wine or charge office coffee (brandy & coke).

    Had a visitor from Ireland yesterday I met on TSF and he nearly wet himself when I took him through town and saw this big advertise board at Paarl Gym Prymary “Cattle Baron Steak Ranches”

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.09.08 12:30:46 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • I think Matt Giteau and Jean De Villiers will be nominated for IRB Player of the Year this year.

    I can’t think of a NZ player just yet. Maybe Dan Carter???

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.09.08 12:48:14 by wpw Reply
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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 26) : Hot any spare KayDub tens laying around, i have a long standing deal with Dancing Bear i would love to complete!

    Red wine i get enough of,the lady works for a company that exports the stuff so im good for a long time.

    Not much steak in Ireland or what?

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.09.08 12:52:16 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 28) : The amount of meat and biltong we eat compare to them maybe something different :cool:

    Always believe it have to do something in the Paarl air. Look like they grow just that little bit bigger.

  • Comment 29, posted at 04.09.08 13:41:37 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     

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