Du Preez: Nothing like Currie Cup

2009-10-24 00:00

PRETORIA — He can probably be viewed as the most influential player in South African rugby and the number of trophies he has won is indicative of that.

Even so, Fourie du Preez feels just as passionate about the Currie Cup as he did in 2001 when he represented the Blue Bulls for the first time as a 19-year-old.

And while he has sipped champagne from the cup, he is very thirsty as the Bulls have not won the trophy outright since 2004. They shared it with the Cheetahs in 2006.

“It is one of those unique aspects of South African rugby. The emotion the Currie Cup stirs in you; you won’t find it anywhere else,” said the 27-year-old spelling out his motivation for today’s final.

Du Preez is also extremely competitive and refuses to lose, even on the golf course.

That is one of the reasons that he is so successful at international level — he simply wants to be the world’s best scrumhalf.

It is even more intense at provincial level as he is a dyed-in-the-wool Blue Bull. His father, Fourie du Preez Sr, played for the team in the late 1960s when they won the Currie Cup.

The Cheetahs will have to be on their guard for the driven scrumhalf, even though a mistake in the 2005 final led to the visitors unexpectedly winning.

A seemingly harmless high kick landed between Du Preez and fullback Johan Roets, and Meyer Bosman was allowed in to score the winning points.

Since then, Du Preez has showed why he is so highly rated.

In the World Cup group match between the Springboks and England in 2007, he destroyed the English with three flashes of individual brilliance inside 18 minutes.

The Chiefs received even less mercy. Du Preez was even more clinical in the Super14 final and it took him only seven minutes to rip the heart out of the visitors with two tries.

“The Cheetahs are a side that do not give up easily,” said Du Preez, dismissing thoughts of an easy win.

“However, we showed in the Super14 match in Bloemfontein last year that we are capable of posting a big score against them.”

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