A tale of two eighthmen

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 17 Dec 2008 at 11:06
Tagged with : , ,

Two schoolboys from different walks of life will embark on different rugby adventures in 2009. Although their paths crossed in 2008 at the annual Craven Week, it may be some time before they face each other again in the cauldron that is South African provincial rugby.

Christiaan Johan Stander, or CJ to his friends, played number 8 for Oakdale Agricultural College in Mossel Bay this year, incidentally, the same school which bred Sharks captain Johann Muller. At 1.89m tall and 100kg, he’s already a strapping youngster and a fine leader, captaining the unfancied South Western Districts team at the 2008 Craven Week to some great results. Stander enjoyed a great tournament and was named as the number 8 (and captain) of the South African Schools team at the end of the week. In the final game, SWD downed a strong Free State side and Stander emerged as the hero of the hour.

As a former age-group fly-half, Stander is incredibly quick and models his play on that of his hero, Bulls loose forward Pierre Spies. Coming from a family of Blue Bull supporters, Stander quickly grasped the offer of a Bulls junior contract when it was offered to him and he will be heading north to study at Tukkies next year, while he learns his trade under Spies and the other Bulls loosies. With the strong pedigree that this youngster has shown, don’t be too surprised to see him rise up through the ranks quickly in Pretoria. One suspects that he might find himself shifted to the open side of the scrum in time, a position where the Bulls lack genuine talent.

Going back to that final game at Craven Week, though, we note that Stander’s direct opponent was one Andries Adriaan Theisinger, also a number 8 and also a captain, hailing from that famous nursery, Grey Kollege in Bloemfontein. Although weighing in at a similar 100 kgs, Theis stands 1.96m tall in his socks and is only going to get bigger as he matures. The talented Free Stater didn’t have the best of Craven Weeks this year but has shown over the course of two years in the Grey First XV what a talent he is, to the extent that he apparently had Kiwi scouts crawling all over him during the schoolboy showcase event. Adriaan Theisinger is, according to those who have watched him play, one of the future greats of the game and it is a major coup for the Sharks that he has been lured to Durban to further his development at the Sharks Academy in 2009.

Missing out on SA Schools selection was obviously a big blow for Theisinger and he is sure to go all out over the next few years to show that he has just as much to offer as his schoolboy rival, CJ Stander does. Don’t be too surprised to see some epic battles between these two in years to come, wearing their respective shades of black and light blue. Then again, if Theis packs on a few more pounds in the next few years, he might end up becoming too big for Stander to handle. Assuming, of course, Stander doesn’t run right around him…


  • SA does seem to produce lossies by the bus load. 😀

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.12.08 11:10:34 by McLovin Reply
  • lossies = loosies.

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.12.08 11:13:54 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 2) : yeah… let’s not forget young Nick Koster now…

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.12.08 11:17:58 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Ja, let’s not. Future looks bright. 🙂

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.12.08 11:22:26 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 2) :
    South Africa produces world class loosiies and lossies by the bucketfull.

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.12.08 11:28:45 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 5) : hehehe.

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.12.08 11:34:44 by McLovin Reply
  • SWD downed a strong Free State side

    I thought Grey were invincible? 😯

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.12.08 12:09:49 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Flyhalf turned eighthman 😯

    Expect some Zinzan Style clearance from him on occasion

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.12.08 12:14:28 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : I think they had to include one token non-Grey player in the Free State Craven Week side, which upset the whole rhythm 🙂

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.12.08 12:24:01 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :


  • Comment 10, posted at 17.12.08 12:25:49 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • (Comment 9) More than one, Craven week is no longer strength versus strength and not the whole Grey side and half of their second side go to craven week, like used to happen in the past, I would be lying if I said a number , but it would be interesting to know how many tokens have to be included? Having said that Grey have not exactly grabbed the new SA by the collar either and there are very few black players in their sides.

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.12.08 12:53:18 by Whindy Reply
  • @Whindy (Comment 11) : I didn’t mean “token” in that sense

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.12.08 13:54:29 by robdylan Reply
  • Fantastic. Boss’s boss just told us there’s a brunch tomorrow morning and everyone can bugger off at 11. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.12.08 14:07:10 by klempie Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 13) : awesome!

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.12.08 14:16:07 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Yeh. I suppose there are some advantages to living in the third world… 😛

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.12.08 14:49:48 by klempie Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 16) : eish!

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.12.08 14:59:47 by klempie Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 17) : ❓ ❓

    Me and Rob have a very good ‘verstandhouding’

    I’ve got the verstand, Rob has the houding. 😆

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.12.08 15:03:13 by wpw Reply
  • don’t make me have one of my little episodes, please Wesley?

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.12.08 15:13:00 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : What nationality is Otto from anyway? Austrian?

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.12.08 15:32:52 by klempie Reply
  • Hungarian!

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.12.08 15:39:46 by klempie Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 20) : For real?

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.12.08 15:57:15 by McLovin Reply
  • Is wes mis-behaving again?? or am I just missing some posts?? 🙄 😉

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.12.08 16:02:12 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 22) : I think he was flirting with Rob again. 🙄

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.12.08 16:05:03 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 21) : I dunno. The Ottoman Empire ruled that area at one point. Shot in the dark.

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.12.08 16:07:11 by klempie Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 23) :

    If it makes (him) happy…it cant be that baaa-aaad… 😆

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.12.08 16:07:16 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 25) : 🙄

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.12.08 16:08:30 by klempie Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 24) : I see. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.12.08 16:09:04 by McLovin Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 26) :

    Are you rolling your eys at ME??? 👿

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.12.08 16:10:09 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 28) :

    Mr Rock Star??

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.12.08 16:10:59 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 28) : JA!!

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.12.08 16:12:53 by klempie Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 30) :

    Brave when you are far away, aren’t you??

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.12.08 16:16:16 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 20) : it’s South African. Duh

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.12.08 16:16:28 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : Funny.

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.12.08 16:24:55 by klempie Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 33) : I try

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.12.08 16:55:09 by robdylan Reply

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